What’s Buzzing? Popular Japanese cafe and tea house Hvala has opened its newest three storey shophouse outlet in the buzzing Keong Saik Road, right beside Potato Head Folk. A three storey cafe space in this vibrant enclave is definitely a luxury to have in Singapore.
What To Expect? A minimalist-style gorgeous Japanese inspired zen space that span across three levels. Level one has very limited seats by the counter, and there is a display of the various cakes and gelato flavours.
Level two is the main dining space, and I am instantly reminded of the teahouses I had visited before in Taipei. Every impression counts here, as I noticed that even the stairway is so tastefully done.
I absolutely love the teahouse vibe on level two. Expect wooden decked furniture, coupled with soothing music played in the background which simply transports me to another realm.
There is also level three, which is a tatami-style room.
What To Have? Go for the vegan Dairy-Free Waffles (S$11.80), where the buttermilk waffle is drizzled with maple syrup, a sprinkle of fragrant genmai (toasted rice), and you can choose a scoop of either the oatmilk or matcha one degree gelato. I went for the matcha gelato and it is quite intense, and I also enjoyed the crispy waffle done just right.
Drink options are aplenty, from hot and cold brew teas to iced drinks. The best of both worlds? I went straight for the Matcha Hojicha Latte Ice Blend (S$7), which is a nice balance between the two favours.
Other food options on the menu include gelato and sorbet, and a range of tarts and cakes.
What We Like? Zen vibes aside, I appreciate the contactless ordering system, which can’t be emphasize enough during this period of tough times. It is definitely also a convenience for diners that there is a self-ordering kiosk on each level (think of it like those in fast food restaurants) where the ordering system is fuss-free, with pictorials of each item, and your food will be served to your table.
The other aspect I appreciate might be slightly controversial, but Hvala currently has a one hour dining policy per table. I had to wait 20 minutes for my table, so my take is that this policy not only ensures that the cafe is able to sustain their earnings, but it also allows more diners to get the opportunity to enjoy the space. The downside is then on diners who want a space to chill the whole day, or plug their laptops and start working.
Overall, I highly recommend Hvala Keong Saik.
Hvala Keong Saik
34 Keong Saik Road
Monday to Sunday: 11am to 9:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter