Tag Archives: coffee

My Open Farm Community

Its official. I have a new favourite restaurant. Lunch, brunch, dinner, coffee, family friendly. This place has it all. Open Farm Community is a gorgeous restaurant (with adjoining ‘farmacy’/shop), bringing the ‘grow your own food’ movement to the masses. The sizeable grounds are used to grow the fresh herbs/veges you see on your plate. The Farmacy sells produce, Common Man coffee (my favourite ‘coffee boyfriend’ has moved there from Tiong Bahru Bakery) and delicious drinks and other lovely stuff. You can register to participate in the community gardening sessions, and the last weekend of the month the Open Farmers Market is on, featuring fresh local produce for sale. Oh, and did I mention the table tennis, lawn bowls and large sandpit for the kiddos to play in? Without a doubt this is the nicest, most child friendly restaurant in Singapore.

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We have been there a few times now for dinner. Order the charred lamb rump with mint, peas, bacon, lettuce, whipped potatoes and deliciousness. Or the rigatoni with mushrooms, stilton and balsamic reduction. The warm broccoli salad is fresh, crunchy and generous in its size. Lemon tart with basil ice-cream or cheese platter for dessert (served with fresh honeycomb, tiny sweet OFC grown tomatoes and chutney). Yum.

There is a healthy, fresh and varied kids menu. Fish pie, lasagne, pasta, Caesar salad. My only comment would be the kids meals are expensive (from $18.00). We order for the boys to share, or they have a bit of our dinner (both loved the lamb) and the wait staff were very accommodating in providing plain pasta for the boys to go with their lamb (generous serve for $10.00).

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We took some friends to OFC for dinner Saturday night. Our booking was for 8pm, however our table wasn’t quite ready (word of mouth has spread, this place is a must book now). The manager was very apologetic, and very nicely sat us outside on a lovely lounge and provided us with two bottles of complimentary prosecco to tie us over while we waited for our table. A classy move. Service in Singapore is not something I can usually rave about but I will in this instance. We will be there again!

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Open Farm Community

130E Minden Road

Open Mon-Fri Lunch and Dinner from 12pm

Weekends 11am onwards.

The Farmacy is open daily from 9am

 

My Neo Life

 AN

xo

boys

My Clue-less Goat

The best thing happened today. We stumbled across a new café, The Clue-Less Goat, within walking distance to our condo. Since moving to Singapore, I have struggled to find any good coffee close by. The best I’ve managed is a 5-10 drive away. But all this has changed following our glorious discovery today.

This little café is nestled on the Thompson Road side of a nondescript shopping complex. You can park your bikes or prams right outside. They have highchairs and make a yummy Xavier-approved baby cino. They were happy to substitute poached for scrambled eggs for me (surprisingly, so many places in Singapore won’t do this for me). The barista gave Xavier extra marshmallows on request. The staff were friendly. The coffee was good. Very good. The food was good, but not great. Toast with jam and butter. Waffles with ham, fried egg and maple syrup. Smashed avocado with scrambled eggs and salsa. But for $35.00 for 3 breakfasts and drinks, great value.

So if you live in the Newton/Novena area, good news. There is FINALLY a good, family friendly coffee shop in our locale.

The Clue-Less Goat

189 Thompson Road

Singapore 307631

Open 6 days

Tues-Fri from 8.00am

Sat-Sun from 9.00am

Check it out.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

My Singapore Coffee. Where to find it.

Singapore has amazing coffee. Some of the best I have ever had. It also has a lot of average and decidedly below average coffee (anyone who drinks Starbucks and thinks it’s good, please stop reading now!). It took me some time to weed out the just ok coffee from the good, but I have now managed to find several lovely cafes, listed below. This is by no means a definitive guide, merely the places I frequent (frequently!), which are relatively kid friendly and I would recommend to my readers. All these spots open by 9am at the latest, a must for me considering my two monkeys like to wake anytime from 6am each morning.

Tiong Bahru Bakery

56 Eng Hoon St

#01-70

www.tiongbahrubakery.com

So I have a newish obsession with croissants, thanks to the Tiong Bahru Bakery (Marcel and I are here 3-4 times a week). They do the best croissants in Singapore, along with too many other delicious treats. The coffee is brilliant. The staff are friendly and really look after their valued (me!) customers. Marcel and I sit outside, watch the pigeons fight over our crumbs, flirt with the passers-by and share a croissant (who am I kidding, we always have two). After brekkie we take a quick swing by the wet markets for some fruit and veg, sometimes flowers.

They have a couple other outlets open around Singapore, but their flagship is where it’s at.

 

Common Man Coffee Roasters

22 Martin Road

#01-00

www.commonmancoffeeroasters.com

Strong, good coffee, and the best latte art in town (if you’re into that kind of thing). The main reason I love this place is that they have the best breakfast menu, hands down in Singapore. Their pancakes are the best I have ever had. Caramelised bananas, walnuts, berries, salted caramel. Ridiculously good.

Jimmy Monkey

9 One-North Gateway

#01-51 One-North Residences

www.jimmymonkey.com

If I lived closer to Jimmy Monkey I would be there all the time. Funky little café, simple, yummy food (boiled eggs and cheesy vegemite soliders, yes please!), and their coffee is simply exquisite. My only complaint is the wait time can be excessively long (30-45 minutes on weekends), just for a takeaway coffee. But if you are there early enough or happy to wait it’s worth it.

Jewel Café and Bar

129 Rangoon Road

www.facebook.com/jewelcafeandbar

Lovely staff, easy street parking. The food here isn’t why you would make the journey (its fine, just not amazing), but their coffee is delicious, they have a coffee loyalty card (something which isn’t very common here), always have good tunes playing and great magazine choice.

 

Dutch Colony

Parsarbella at the Grandstand

200 Turf Club Road

www.dutchcolony.sg

The coffee at Dutch Colony is delicious. Creamy, strong, freshly roasted beans. The upside of Dutch Colony’s location is you can kill two (or three) birds with one stone here. There are a few organic grocers, my favourite is Tangy Tangerines, which sells lovely fruit and veg, a couple great soft play centres for the kiddos (Kiddy Fun is our usual choice), delis, butchers, supermarket, the list goes on. Oh and free parking!

 

40 Hands

78 Yong Siak Street

#01-12

www.40handscoffee.com

The original home of great coffee. 40 Hands put Tiong Bahru on the map as the place for coffee in Singapore, and really changed the café scene here. Xavier and I come here for our Mummy/X-man special time, for freshly squeezed apple and watermelon juice and coffee. Not a place I would recommend to take babies, unless you are happy sitting outside with your pram. There are no high chairs and it’s a narrow space inside.

And there you have it! My favourite cafes. Enjoy.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

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Someone shares Mummy’s love of croissant’s

 

My Café Life

Back when I was working, I always picked up a coffee on the way to work. The morning ritual. Flat white, large, no sugar. Without my coffee in my hand the day seem to start all wrong. With it, my day seemed to calibrate nicely. Mild disappointment would always set in when the coffee was over. Work began.

After Xavier was born, my morning ritual continued. But instead of a grab and dash coffee, it became an event. A day starter. A bonding experience for me and my little guy. A way to start our day. Xavier and I used to head to our local café (West End Deli, best café in Perth if any reader is ever there!). We would sit with our coffee, cino, sometimes baguette and avocado, sometimes crumpet and I would talk to him. He would play with his toys. Other locals from our area would pop in and out. We made friends with a lot of our neighbours. As he got older, we started colouring together, playing games, having proper conversations. It became less about Mumma sating her need for a coffee, and more about special time with my little guy (added bonus: it wasn’t at a play gym or the park, but somewhere I wanted to be too!). Don’t get me wrong, some days, I would just head out by myself and sit at the café on my own. Because I needed to. A coffee by myself. I’d go before my husband left for work and just enjoy reading the newspaper uninterrupted (or after a particularly sleepless night with Xavier, just start blankly at the pages clutching my coffee!).

Following the arrival of Marcel and our move to Singapore, our morning ritual changed. In the early days, I would take both boys, Marcel napping in the pram. Or I would head out and grab a takeaway. The cafes were no longer a walk from our place. But shortly after we moved, Xavier started preschool in the mornings. This was now Mumma and Marcel’s special time. We would and still drop Xavier at his school and drive to one of a few cafes. We order flat white, sometimes a croissant, sometimes (too regularly!) pancakes. Marcel makes friends with the barista. We pop by the wet markets on the way to the car, pick up some fruit and sometimes flowers.

Each parent will find their own way to bond with their children, some in, I’m sure, much more meaningful ways then me and my café kids. But I love that my morning ritual involves them. That we can have our special time in an adult setting. That they (for kids!) are very well behaved in restaurants and cafes because of it.

My Neo Life

AN

xo

Mumma Neo life. No Mumsy Allowed.

There are two little monkeys who consume the better part of my energy every day. Xavier (3) and Marcel (11 months). To say I’ve learnt a lot over the past 3 years would be an understatement. I’ve learnt I have patience I never knew an impatient person such as me could have. I learnt what is important and what isn’t. I’ve learnt that sleep is something I will forever be chasing (for me and those two kiddos!). I’ve never laughed or cried so much. I’ve realised that life couldn’t get any better. I’ve learnt that I have undeniably changed from the person I was before kids. And I’ve learnt even with all this change to my being, I am still me. And as important as it is to care for the needs and wants of my family, my needs and wants are important too. For my own well-being as well as theirs.

The best advice I can give any new parent is to always try to find time for yourself. For something you enjoy. For me, in the early days with one bubs, that could merely be a square (or four, who am I kidding!) of chocolate and a flick through Vogue when Xavier was napping. Sometimes it was a pedicure. Sometimes it was a coffee and banana bread at our local café on my own. Sometimes it was an hour watching my guilty pleasure – The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (no judgements!). It could be a night out with my girlfriends. Date night with my husband. Whatever was possible to ensure I could still feel like ME whilst looking after my little humans.

I have also learnt that there are some things from your before kids life you can enjoy together. The morning café ritual still continues for me, sometimes on my own, but a lot of the time with one or both of the boys. We order a flat white and babycino. Xavier colours and puzzles. Marcel flirts with the wait staff. I take a gratuitous pic of their cuteness on my iPhone. And its great.

And I have found it therapeutic to still, every morning, make an effort with my ‘mum’ outfit. Today it’s a printed Tshirt. Drop crotch pair of shorts. Denim vest. Newbark loafers. Comfortable, practical, but still kind of on trend. No Mumsy allowed. And I still feel like me.

My Neo Life

AN

xo