Back in June 2014, I caught wind of a cafe opening up in the neighborhood of Havelock Road, a leafy part of Singapore just north of the ultra-hip Tiong Bahru. So whilst out jogging the other day, I decided to track it down.
The place stood out from the traditional shops around it, adding a touch of modernity to the otherwise antiquated HDB estate. The interior was minimalistic with lots of light shining through the front glass, while the small, clever details in the café décor made it super ‘Instagram-worthy’. I ordered and was promptly served a cup of coffee from Bon Café, all the while thinking how great it would be if Common Man Coffee was served in such a beautiful cafe.
Then my wish came true. The Tastemaker Store is now serving up delicious Common Man coffee! I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Alvin, to learn more about the ethos behind their beautiful food and coffee. Alvin’s sister (who is an architectural designer) designed the café, while his folks and co-owner Shing Jie run the day-to-day operations in the cafe.
So what's the story behind The Tastemaker Store?
Alvin: Drawing from architectural design, engineering and hospitality, we conceptualised the store as a place where friends and family could be brought together by a shared appreciation for design and quality in both food and life. This is not a café, but a concept store, where both locally and internationally sourced products will be available in future.
What can we expect to find on the menu?
Alvin: The Tastemaker Store features a simple, hearty menu with a local twist. Serving quality food, we experiment with flavours and refine recipes you are already familiar with. Our menu consists of local delights and daily bakes, and we focus on producing high quality food and drinks. Right now, we are constantly experimenting with and refining familiar flavours to create a taste that is both personal and simple to understand and appreciate.
What are your signature dishes?
Alvin: Our Lemon Curd with Clotted Cream ($3.00) is really popular. It's served on an English muffin with a soft boiled egg on the side. Something more traditional would be our delicious homemade Glutinous Rice ($3.80) and Yam Cake ($3.80).
During lunch hour, the café is packed when the corporate crowd stream in from nearby office buildings for delicious coffee and something tasty to fill their tummies. This place is definitely a pleasant retreat from the hustle and bustle of a busy city.
The Tastemaker Store Block 22 Havelock Road #01-705
Mon, Wed & Thurs - 11am to 6pm
Fri and Sat - 10am to 9pm
Public Holidays - 10am to 6pm
Tues - Closed
Nearest Station: Tiong Bahru