Last Updated: September 11, 2020
Delicious. Affordable. A hidden gem for sure. These are the thoughts that run through my mind as I leave Thong Aik Coffee, a humble yet popular cafe at the corner of a HDB block along Indus Road near Tiong Bahru.
Thong Aik Coffee serves a breakfast menu from 8am to 11am. From 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 8pm, look out for their scrumptious Thai dishes for lunch and dinner respectively. The cafe has a simple and clean interior, with several tables outside the main shop space along the HDB walkway. For all its obscurity, it has definitely attracted quite a following.
I arrived on the cusp of 11am so that I could peruse both menus. The scheduling gymnastics was worth it.
For breakfast, I had their Century Egg Porridge With Lean Pork Meat (S$2.90). A great way to start your day, this is a warm and homely bowl of congee with slices of pork and cubes of century egg. I found the pork a little tough, but the gelatinous century egg added a lovely savouriness to the otherwise mild porridge.
If you prefer your porridge with stronger flavours, definitely add the soy sauce and pepper that they serve on the side as it’s pretty light on salt alone.
The porridge wasn’t as refined in texture as I expected, unlike some of the smoother congees you’d find in a traditional Cantonese eatery. However, the rougher grains still offered a sense of homeliness to it.
Stepping over the threshold of 11am, lunch was the Pineapple Fried Rice With Chicken (S$5.50). Their version of pineapple fried rice tends towards the sweeter side, but I’m not complaining. It was an aromatic medley of sweetness and spices that I really enjoyed.
The slices of onion also added a nice crunch to this dish, though if it had included cashew nuts, that would’ve sealed the deal for me. Still, I’d consider this one of the better versions of pineapple fried rice I’ve tried because of its sweetness. This dish also comes in a Seafood option at S$7.
The big showstopper here was the Green Curry Chicken With Rice (S$6). With a buttery and rich curry broth paired with fragrant white rice, this was truly a comfort food.
The eggplant was soft while holding its structure, and did not have the bitterness that eggplants are notorious for. To complete the dish, the chicken was tender and juicy as well.
I appreciated that the curry was not overly fiery too. With a reasonably spicy kick and hint of sweetness, I was tempted to drink out the whole bowl.
I’ll definitely be ordering this again when I return.
To fully optimise your trip to Thong Aik Coffee, I highly recommend getting their Iced Hazelnut Latte (S$5.50). Wash down the spices with a bracing glass of sweet iced coffee that will leave your taste buds tingling.
Though the drinks were left to sit for a while, they were not one bit diluted when I got to them. Instead, it was a concoction of thick chocolatey goodness with a hint of bitterness from the two espresso shots. As I prefer a heavier chocolate note in my coffee, this was a perfect balance of bitter and sweet for me. Sipping this after the green curry pleased every inch of my palate.
Thong Aik Coffee is a lovely place to hang out, for its accessibility and location in a relatively peaceful neighbourhood. Although, with its delicious and affordable food and friendly staff, they do attract quite a crowd during peak hours.
In terms of variety, the lunch and dinner options are wider. If you’re looking for a place to keep returning to for new items, I’d recommend going for lunch or dinner.
At the same time, what I find special about Thong Aik Coffee is its rustic homeliness. Maybe it’s the proximity to residential areas, or the simple but wholesome menu, but I can see myself returning to this place often.
Their food offers a full-bodied flavour profile of sweet, savoury, buttery and crunchy textures that makes the dining experience feel so satisfying. Thong Aik Coffee is a short bus ride away from opposite Tiong Bahru MRT Station. Do note that their kitchen closes from 3pm to 5pm, so avoid that window if you’re planning to go after 11am.
Expected Damage: S$4 – S$13 per pax
Our Rating: 5 / 5
Thong Aik Coffee
78 Indus Road, #01-495 , Singapore 161078
78 Indus Road, #01-495 , Singapore 161078