Yesterday’s post- band practice “coffee conversations” finally brought us to Chye Seng Huat Hardware, where I’d been dying to go since reading about it online.
Perfect that I brought an engaging conversationalist (and her hilarious partner) in tow, for the first of my surely many visits there. Cafes such as this one are conducive to all forms of talk: trivial, existential, pseudo intellectual, and the downright funny.
Snug within the exciting labyrinth that is Little India, Chye Seng Huat Hardware is pretty much everything you want a cafe to be:
1) They have a great selection of coffee beans from all over the world, including those from their own in-house specialty coffee Roastery.
2) A cool group of baristas who sport tattoos and nice hairstyles serve you with what seems to be caffeine- induced efficiency and speed.
3) They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and beers.
4) The decor is, for lack of better words, very cool.
CSHH calls to mind the austere and functional aesthetic of warehouses and hardware stores,what with the presence of an old service staircase characteristic of Little India’s shop houses built in the 1940’s. This particular shop house’s stairs were left jutting unto the cafe space itself, a monument of the building’s utilitarian heritage. Rustic lighting and the old building’s existing windows put the cozy into the stylishly clinical interior.
5) I caught Bea trying to decipher the music they had playing on, using her phone. They have quite an exquisite playlist running in the background that one can only hope simultaneous conversations from the tables were as sublime as the music.
A vintage record player sits by the window, accompanied by a heap of vinyl records nearby.
6) The concept is genius.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware basically pays homage to the heritage district of Little India wherein the cafe’s street (Tyrwhitt Road) used to be lined by predominantly hardware stores.
Hence, the awesome name.
7) While CSHH has been written about and visited doubtlessly by a great many coffee and cafe aficionados, it still remains quite elusive and nondescript as the decrepit fence right outside it.
“Seek and ye shall find.”, so they say.
.…because the cafe is right behind.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware coffee
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Opens Tuesday-Thursday 9am-7pm, Friday-Sunday 9am-10pm
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