Hip in Havelock


Finally, a café that we can say is cheap and good has opened up in the quieter side of Tiong Bahru

The quieter Havelock area of Tiong Bahru sees a quiet awakening with the opening of The Tastemaker Store.

Three siblings now own the establishment but their grandfather used to own the shop space at Block 22, Havelock Road, as a bookstore. It has come full circle as the siblings have since taken over and opened The Tastemaker Store, which is a minimalist café serving toast, eggs and… glutinous rice and yam cake.

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The café could easily fit in with the many hipster joints sprouting up all over Tanjong Pagar but I’m glad to say The Tastemaker keeps it real with affordable prices. The familiar Glutinous Rice ($3.80) and Yam Cake ($3.80) are traditional dishes served in generous portions.

The Yam Cake, yes, the Chinese kind, is smooth and contains chunks of pumpkin as well. The accompanying chilli sauce helps to bring out the taste of the fragrant dried shrimps. The Glutinous Rice comes with generous sprinklings of peanuts and mushrooms and has a springy bite.

Britain Meets Singapore

The “Toast, Eggs and Coffee” set ($5.80) fuses Singapore’s local breakfast with our colonial roots. The Lemoncurd Toast with clotted cream ($3, a la carte) comes on a dusted bun, which we found slightly dry but the lemon curd and clotted cream – both imported from the UK (where the one of the siblings resides) – is deliciously tart, zesty and sweet at the same time with a touch of richness brought to life thanks to the clotted cream.

It also has Kaya Toast with clotted cream ($3) for you traditionalists out there. There are also a few savoury options, such as the Hot Dog Bun ($5.80) with crisps, and a Pizza ($5.80) with mushroom or sausage. The coffee is still decidedly café instead of kopitiam. Get your Espresso ($3.50), Americano ($3.50-$4.50) or Mocha ($5-$6) at this quiet café as you feast on glorious local treats.

Give this café a shot; it’ll be worth your money.

The Tastemaker, Blk 22 Havelock Road, #01-705, Singapore 160022, Email: info@thetastemakerstore.com

By Cheryl Chia