While I am not a coffee lover, or rather, I am not a coffee addict, I do love hanging out at good coffee places sipping a good cup of quality or uniquely-flavored coffees, reading alone, hanging out with friends over chatter, or holding business discussions with associates / clients.
When my good friend Damien* suggested for me to go all the way to the east, Katong 112 (formerly Katong Shopping Centre) for Vietnamese Coffee at Trung Nguyen's, I did not hesitate. I have never tried traditional Vietnamese coffee before, but have heard that it was supposed to be very good. Damien* affirmed it as well.
Since then, Trung Nguyen has several outlets, including Liang Court and Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, but the flagship in Singapore is at Katong 112. The exact address would be 112 East Coast Road #B1-26, Singapore 428802 and the number to call is 6604 9134.
Located at the basement level, this cafe is not very easy to locate as it is "blocked" by the lovely aquarium tanks surrounding it. Once located, one would approve of the comfortable setting of the plushy couches and wooden tables - nondescript, simple, relaxing - the way a good cafe is supposed to be, without being overly fussy or pretty.
I ordered the tea set comprising of Black Coffee and a slice of their Oreo Cheesecake.
It was served in a tiny metal mug with a metal ..dispenser? I was asked to wait for about five minutes before I tasted the coffee, to let the aroma of the coffee bean "sip" in, so I complied.
And took a bite of the tempting-looking pastry placed in front of me while waiting to drink my coffee.
It was hard, yes, a very hard slab of frozen cheesecake that was lacking in the fragrance of cheese. It tasted like oreo cookies mashed into a pie and served as cheesecake, actually. No, it was not good, I was disappointed.
Finally, I could taste the coffee I was anticipating to. Lifting the dispenser, the aroma of freshly-brewed dark coffee hit me, reminding me of the good old days when my grandparents brewed their coffee from scratch - strong, black and purely delicious.
I took a sip of this piping hot caffeine fix, and mind you, it was bitter to the core. I stirred in some sugar, even though I wasnt supposed to really do that - but it sweetened the coffee enough for me to be able to appreciate its bitter goodness.
Yes, fragrance factor, full marks. Yes, traditional, authentical good beans factor, full marks. Taste-wise.. perhaps I am still more accustomed to the western cafes or local coffess, hence shall take some getting used to.
I spent SGD$9.90 for my tea set, which was a bargain.