Friday, March 9, 2012

Old Favourites: Good Morning Nanyang Cafe

Old Favourite: Good Morning Nanyang Cafe

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe is an old favourite of mine. From their early days in Chinatown point, and expanding to Robinson Road and a franchise in Sembawang. They are back again (Chinatown is closed for renovations). Now at Hong Lim Community Center.

I dropped by one morning to visit with owner Byron Shoh, and sample the new delicacies they are now offering.

Coffee and tea, or kopi and teh is made using the old time tested method of seeping Nanyang coffee or tea dust in a sock.

Nanyang coffee is different from the arabicas used in espressos. Typically an espresso blend is made from 3 or sometimes more providing the base and body while the others providing the blender's imagination of the flavours that go along. Nanyang coffee is traditional in this region, and more often made from robusta beans, though these days, arabica is also used. Instead of roasting the coffee dry, Nanyang coffee is roasted with sugar and sometimes maize (corn). Because the sugar caramalizes in the roasting, it forms a nice thick, black roast. Ground roughly and brewed with hot water in a sock (seeping method), it makes a powerful brew. Thick, aromatic, and because robusta has more caffeine, strong.

Byron's tea is also a bit special. He uses special tea dust, similar to the ones in Hong Kong...I forget to ask him if he did indeed buy the tea from HKG. The slight astringency of the tea, melds well with the condensed milk. Nice. The coffee too is thick, luscious, and rich with the fortification of the condensed milk. In my judgement, better than Toast Box, or Ya Kun.

Good Morning Nanyang also offers a killer orange ciabatta with butter and kaya. Absolutely delicious. So much so, that it was inhaled...the minute it was placed on the table, and I forget to take a photograph. But believe me, this one is what Makansutra would call Die Die Must Try. And truly innovative. The butter almost just melts...the kaya rich and aromatic...the orange rinds within the ciabatta provide a counterpoint. The ciabatta itself is crispy and slightly burnt at parts, but wonderfully soft, and moinst in others.

They also started to offer chicken curry with rice or ciabatta (instead of french loaf in many other locations) and chicken stew. I will come back and try the stew another day, but the curry was quite nice:

The chicken is cooked till super tender...literally fall off the bone. The curry was mildly rich, and the slightest tinge of kick provide by the chilli. Goes nicely with the rice and also with the toasted ciabatta.

The cafe is around the inside of the Community Center, not really visible from the main road, but has ample ground...and nice open area suitable for bicycle groups. Park the bikes outside, and have kopi.

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe
Hong Lim Green Community Centre

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