While Kandahar Street is located in the Kampong Glam district near the famous Malay mosque, it does not stop the owners of Dong Po Colonial Cafe to start up a nostalgic Chinese-style cafe with a distinct Nanyang flavour amidst the row of shops selling traditional malay costumes and middle-eastern cuisine.
Nostalgic cafes that gives a blast to the past are the “in” thing now, especially when there are more Indie cafes opening up lately. With locals reminiscing the foods of yesterday, shops like Dong Po Colonial Cafe attempts to recreate the same atmosphere and the same foods for the current generation to experience the true flavours of the past, and to bring the older generation back to the old times in an ever-changing world.
The first thing that attracted me was the chiller of cakes and pastries. It got me so aroused I eventually left the place forgetting to try the toasts that everyone else were ordering! While this is a place with a sense of nostalgia, it does sell some modern treats that are popular with the younger generation these days, such as Chocolate Mousse and Macaron Tarts.
I was astounded because they sold something I had been finding for a very long time; Lamingtons! These might look very close to a square replica of an Oneh-Oneh, but it differs greatly on the inside. Lamingtons originates from Australia, and are sponge cakes soaked into chocolate sauce, with sprinkles of desiccated coconut on it. This is a Strawberry Lamington, so there is no chocolate involved. I found it rather peculiar because the insides of the Lamingtons were undisturbed, being a plain sponge cake with a layer of cream. It was light as it was a rather thin layer of sponge cake, so no matter what there would always be a light timt of strawberry flavour in it. For those whom are interested, there is also an Orange variation served here as well.
(Almond Macaron Tart)
Almond Macaron Tart is a fusion sort of snack. Taking the well-loved macaron shell and putting it into an egg tart-ish shell as a filling with a fluffy almond cake filling (similar to the texture of biscuits served with KFC A.M. Breakfast, Popeye’s and Texas) in between, this is bound to be a favourite with all ages. The macaron shell did taste the part though it would help if it was slightly chewier. Nonetheless the taste of almonds were distinct and solid, and the light crumbling of the macaron shell creates such a brilliant contrast with the denser crumbling of the tart shell.
(3 Hole Cookie)
The 3 Hole Cookie surely looked fancy, but the cookie were just too thick and dense it felt a bit too overwhelming after a bit. The holes were filled by red, orange and green gels, all of which tastes similar to the coloured gels applied on old-school buttercream cakes sold in neighbourhood bakeries which they also do sell.
This Sampan-like pastry is actually my favourite pastry of all time, the Pineapple Tart. This is seemingly giant for a pineapple tart and it is generous on pineapple fillings. The pineapple fibres in the feelings give it a great texture, but the crust though robust lacked a crustiness which would have made the texture better.
Kopi here is rather authentic. Initially I found it lacking on sweetness but it was my fault to forget stirring it before drinking …
Would I ever visit Dong Po again? Probably yes, mainly because I am a big fan of nostalgia, though I am not really fond of it’s location. One thing I am curious about are the toasts. During my visit most of the office workers were seen ordering the same thing, which makes me curious on how good it actually is.
Dong Po Colonial Cafe 东坡茶室
56 Kandahar Street
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DongPoColonialCafe?fref=ts