Tian Kee & Co
48 Dakota Crescent, #01-48
No trip to the Dakota/Mountbatten area is complete without visiting 1) Dakota Crescent with its vintage playground and 1950s flats - best looking HDBs in Singapore in my opinion, 2) Old Airport Road Food Court. Fortunately, nestled within the charming old estates in Dakota Crescent is a once provision shop turned artisan cafe - Tian Kee & Co.
This retro styled cafe is filled with vintage memorabilia and exudes a nostalgic quaint ambience perfect for catching up with friends. No air-con though, only whirling ceiling fans that work tirelessly against the weather... That aside, this cafe is known for its cheesecakes, especially this photogenic cheesecake in the loveliest pastel shades (think Walls rainbow ice cream!). This cheesecake was surprisingly light and fluffy in texture and tasted like a blend between yoghurt and whipped cream. Not unpleasant, but it is a well known fact that rainbow cakes tend to look better than they taste...
The star of this cafe for me though was the yuan yang cheesecake as pictured below. This is much heavier in texture and taste, and I have such the weakness for teh & kopi (& of course both together).
Unfortunately I didn't try the coffee here, but I had the salted caramel drink (1st picture) that looked really charming in that retro glass mug. Unfortunately again, though not unpleasant, it too looked better than it tasted...
Lots of thought has been put into the look and feel of the cafe and the food/drink, but unfortunately the food/drink didn't wow me taste-wise. That being said, this cafe at the corner of Dakota Crescent wins for its nostalgic ambience and chill-out, almost kampung, vibes. I'm devastated they're demolishing the estate there for redevelopment! :( I would have loved to stay there despite the apparently deteriorating conditions. (also, what is going to happen to the families of cats there!) Moral of the story, pay this neighbourhood & Tian Kee & Co a visit before end 2016, after which this plot of land will only become boring looking BTOs/ condos. Meh.