Monday, August 8, 2016
Heap Seng Leong Coffeeshop : 那一年我们一起 lim kopi
Note: This was written in Aug 2015 but I left it hanging in the archive until now......
Even though I came here on a national day morning, everything seems to move in its regular cycle. The place is not too crowded and occasionally, some auntie living in the old neighborhood would stroll in to "dabao" not only the kopi but also the slices of cold butter. I wondered if she is going to put it on her bread or kopi when she reached home.
I don't drink kopi but I wanted to try the kopi gu yao (coffee with butter) which is why I came here. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the intensity of the coffee which was sweetened by the condensed milk found at the base. The butter melted almost instantly into a pool of oil but there was no trace of greasiness, only pleasant smoothness that is not found in usual coffee. Butter kopi ($1.10) does cost a few cents more than an average kopi but it is already very cheap amidst the rising food prices. I finished it right down to the very last drip.
The charcoal toasted bread is still not as crunchy as Ya Kun toast but there is a nice toasty fragrance to them. What truly impressed me is the humble and attentive service--the uncle cracks every single soft-boil egg before serving to customers. I felt really grateful for this extra touch and who says we can't have good service in Singapore? Here is one real and good example:)
Much has been written about this place which is run by the old uncle and his son since the 1950s, so I shall not elaborate any further. Sweeping the nostalgic sentiments aside, I don't really see a strong contrast in such traditional places as compared to hipsters cafe. Life goes on as usual and the place definitely doesn't stand rooted in time, doesn't remain immovable as Singapore changes and develops.
Heap Seng Leong
Address: Blk 10 North Bridge Road, #01-5109
Opening hours: 4 am to 8 pm