The Place Other than Tiong Bahru, Dakota is probably one of the last estates from the 1960s era to be preserved till today, which I find it really amazing in such a rapidly developing city like Singapore. A walk around the estate brings me back to my childhood days in the last century, especially after seeing the old design playground which I used to play around when I was much younger. Miss those days.Amidst the old estate of Dakota Crescent is Tian Kee & Co., housed at the ground level of this 55 year old building, even older than the age of this city. This used to be an old provision shop run by an old couple, which was taken over by the current owner and turned into a confectionary café.My first reaction was excitement when I saw how much of the old designs were retained to preserve the retro touch to the whole café, especially the original Tian Kee & Co. signboard. The old school railings, gate, Chinese Lunar calendar and some of the table and chairs specially bought from Malaysia totally complete the vibe of the place. The Food The coffee is one of the main draw for me, which I am quite fussy when it comes to café. Glad to hear that the beans are sourced from Dutch Colony which I think is good quality coffee beans. There is not much food options as of now if you are thinking about the usual brunch fare like scrambled eggs, but I believe the owners will introduce more food options in time to come. There are more options on the cakes and muffins, which we spot some interesting flavours such as the Yuan Yang Cheesecake and Toffee Caramel Cheesecake.
I had the Mr Brown ($6) drink, a double Ristretto with fresh milk. It is essentially a strong flavour coffee without the bitter taste. I totally appreciated the cold coffee as the weather was scorching hot. The Toffee Caramel Cheesecake ($6.50) was quite good as well. The texture and moisture of the cake is just right, so is the sweetness level as I always find most toffee caramel cakes overly sweet.Rants My only rant is that the lack of air-conditioning which can be very merciless on a hot and humid day. I guess turning Tian Kee & Co. into an air conditioned cafe will probably make the cafe feel overly modern, which is probably not what the owners want to achieve. For now, I shall bear with the heat and stay cool headed.
Will I return again? The retro theme of Tian Kee & Co. is very strong and unique in our cafe scene. We just hope to see more food options added to the menu soon, and rest assured we will be back, but on cooler days of course.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Tian Kee & Co
Blk 12 Dakota Crescent, Singapore 390012
Tel: +65 6344 8527