The iconic signboard – Tian Kee & Co.
Okay, this post about Tian Kee and Co in Dakota Crescent will be a quick and straightforward review. This is what we seriously feel.
If you have been hunting high and low for a really quiet cafe to laze the afternoon away, sort out thoughts or chit chat over some coffee and pastries, this is THE place. Why?
1. Quiet, Relaxing Cooling Cafe
The reason why the artisan cafe is so quiet and peaceful we think it’s because of its location – it’s right with the old estates. Old estates are usually has that cosy feel and are always pretty quiet. Plus, the amount of car traffic isn’t that much either (not like heartland that much) so disturbance is very much minimum.
Bright, quiet relaxing.
The Jazz music they played in the cafe suits the environment very well, making this whole thing so relaxing, away from all the hectics and fast paces.
By now as you are reading this, you probably know Tian Kee and Co is not air-conditioned. For what must it be air-conditioned? Coffee houses of the yesteryear don’t have this. This is what basically we think the owner is trying to do – nostalgic is the word. If not why would he want to retain the olds of the previous business, the provision shop? Honestly if heat is your concern, I do not know what ceiling fans they use but it does cool us down fast somehow. Breezy winds.
2. Good Coffee for The Afternoon.
We find the cafe serves up pretty nice coffee. I ordered the Long Black ($4) as usual and Dariel got the Mocha ($5.50). For the Long Black, body, aroma and taste are balanced. This is served in porcelain cups that we used to see back in those days – those with gold linings and floral-like design. The only thing I didn’t do was to pour the coffee into the saucer and drink it from there (though I do this in old coffee shops. Haha!). The Mocha doesn’t have the bitter after-taste, light and not too sweet. Seems like the drinks are balanced to suit the lazy afternoons…..
Mocha @ $5.50 (Left), Long Black @ $4 (Right)
For the pastries, we tried the Yuan Yang Cheesecake ($6.50). Though the cheesecake is combines both the elements of coffee and tea, the flavour of the yuan yang isn’t too overwhelming.
Yuan Yang Cheesecake ($6.50)
There are other plenty of drinks and pastries to order from their menu. Drinks such as Pink Lady (Rose Syrup with Steamed Fresh milk) available in hot and iced, SNAG (Espresso & Rose Syrup with Steamed Fresh Milk) and Mr Brown (an iced beverage of Double Ristretto with Fresh Milk). They also serve teas such as French Vanilla with Rose, English Breakfast and Russian Earl Grey.Cream puffs, muffins, Toffee Caramel Cheesecake, cakes (which are baked by themselves by people of Tian Kee and this is good).
It’s tea time!
Tian Kee and Co guys are working on bringing in mains to their menu when we asked them about any plans on doing so. Looking forward to it.
Apart from being a very quiet, laid-back cafe, it has many things that reminds of the yesteryear on top of it being in Dakota, an estate that has stood through more than 50 years. The owner of the place tries to retain the nostalgic feel with decorations that are taken over from the previous Tian Kee the provision shop owner. They also added in some of their own such as the Water Pitcher which they used it for their lemon-infused water for us to drink.
Go on! Help yourselves to these! Don’t be shy.
There are Haw Flakes, 巧克力威化 (means Chocolate Wafer) and Gula Gula Limau to help yourself over at the counter.
In conclusion, we think Tian Kee and Co artisan cafe is a great quiet bright place to go to if you want some quiet time for yourself or with your friends and family (if you think no other cafes can match your expectations, we think this probably will). The cafe we must say is very nostalgic; its decor, ideas and the items left behind by the previous business owner. Accessibility is not too bad thankfully by public transport and it isn’t hard to find by driving. Music is indeed relaxing and though not air-conditioned, they have ways to keep you cool with their powerful fans.
Personally we already fell in love with Dakota and with this new artisan cafe, we will most likely be visiting again to sip a cup of coffee and watch the day go by.
Something trivia, in case you are wondering this:
Lim Tian Han and his wife, both from Muar, opened Tian Kee and Co the provision shop more than 50 years ago. They decided to close it due to rising rental and competition from supermarkets. And then came someone who bought over the shop and its iconic 天記公司 signboard…..
….and hence it became the very much known artisan heritage cafe in Dakota Crescent.
Tian Kee & Co
12 Dakota Crescent, #01-48
Tue – Thu: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sun: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Nearest Bus Stop (B80279) – 2 mins walk
Bus 12, 14, 30, 158, 196 and 401
Nearest MRT station
Mountbatten MRT (CC7) – 3 mins from Exit B
Dakota MRT (CC8) – 5 mins from Exit A