Chye Seng Huat Hardware

Yesterday was Friday, which means today is Saturday.

Dear me I’ve even managed to lose track of the common circadian rhythm without my trusty watch lately, even with clear view of the light of day and everything else which keeps sentience at bay (that rhymed oh yes). But the afternoon glow was evident yesterday, and I felt the sudden nonsensical urge to investigate and explore some half rural part of the island. And of course, I’d only do such an out-of-routine thing if that meant sipping a cuppa good espresso. This time, I went here. I yearned for some solitary coffee time and to relish a new surrounding with possibly a new coffee clan, one of which is already nicely acquainted with some lush and hip hideout. A switch from a typical Orchard Road hopping about. A change to perk me up, with caffeine to weigh my worries down.

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The camera quality is nothing short of terrible here, though admittedly I was in a rush for a caffeine hurricane.

Chye Seng Huat, or CSHH as affectionately known by loyal indie coffee goers. It was Friday (yes I do remember quite clearly now that it was indeed a Friday and precisely 20 hours ago) after school and I hopped down there specifically to try their famed milk espressos and catch up on some logarithms and exponents practice, because that’s just what would go perfectly with a warm-souled brew at 4pm. I got my coffee and carefully walked out of the door and into the sunlight, only to return back inside 5 minutes later due to a paranoid fear of sun damage to my skin (a helpless obsession which has seen my cupboard go from bone empty into full blown wacko).

At $5.50, this regular-sized espresso packed in some dynamo bean quality in every smooth and silky sip. When it comes to coffee, it’s impossible for me to guzzle down unabashedly. It’s foam-tipped milky splendor caressing an intoxicatingly rich brew. I watched the barista deftly apply his craftsmanship, patience and skill as he wove a beautiful design of steamed whole milk through the full-bodied coffee. He smiled at me and I looked wistfully at the displays of coffee brewing equipment in little wooden cubby holes stuck in a neat grid on the side of the wall.

Hip, casual, Papa Americano. The buzz of elevator music lifted the cozy area entirely, casting a nostalgic haze over the couple tables which seated some rather trendy youngsters sipping caps behind large frames and striped sweaters. I looked down at my black flats and school uniform, somehow feeling both out of touch with coffee-going gear, yet totally suited to a longer study session. I was surprised at the line of people at the counter as I entered, and took a long look at the unique menu whilst waiting for a couple of pink-haired Chinese ladies to order their French toast and egg omelettes. I’ve always wondered at how people could have large meals in between meals. A good mix of admiration and jealousy, for I would never be able to savour such platters on a full stomach. Nothing like a late afternoon hamburger for them, I’m guessing.

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There was one moment whereby I was just sitting there, espresso in hand, sun blazing high up in the blue infinity of this world, and I felt rather infinite myself, or perhaps as if my finite being was comfortably subject to the ruling infinite comforts under a hatched roof.

Rating: 4.8/5 (based on coffee tasting alone. Making a self reminder to revisit this unfortunately half rural place oh so conveniently located smack in Jalan Besar)

Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee House

150 Tyrwhitt Road

6396 0609

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