Another check for my bucket list. Vietnamese Drip Coffee. Maid in Singapore. Feast for your Eyes. And other wacky themed Food Fares.
26.10.2011 29 °C
Atta said she would take me for a cup of 貓屎咖啡 for my birth day this year. 貓屎咖啡 is translated literally as "cat poop coffee" in Cantonese. You've guessed it, this is what HK locals' slang for Civet coffee, aka Kopi Luwak.
I heard about this coffee in a documentary on TV in Sydney some 6 or 7 years ago, but never actually thought about sampling it. So where did Atta got the idea from? A few weeks ago, while we had Vietnamese coffee at Trung Nguyen Coffee in Liang Court, Dan told us that he had a cup of Civet coffee in North Sydney. I was a little bit surprise because Dan has only lived in Sydney for about 2 years while I lived there for more than 30, and what's more, I was a keener coffee drinker than he is. Yet I had never heard about the coffee shop. Maybe they just opened in the last 2 years while we were out of the country. Maybe I'm just out of touch. Nah, I couldn't even convinced myself of that. Shame on me!
Actually the reason she suggested it was because when I was asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I said, half jokingly, I wanted to cross out an item on my bucket list. My list is a typical boring list that contains mostly of places to stare at, foods to chow down, drinks to suck, people to whack cheese off make peace with, movies to pirate watch, books to read. Well, forget about the last item. I heard rumours that books are on its way out. Well, on Feb 16 this year, Borders Group - the 2nd largest bookshop in USA - filed for Chapter 11, and closed the book, in a manner speaking. That's no rumours.
Besides, meself and my hands are tired of reading books with a magnifiying glass (but I do like the idea of looking like an old fashioned snoop - Sherlock Holm et al. Very cool). Let me change it to audio books to listen (not that my hearing are much better than my vision, but turn on the volume is a snappy job). Nah...forgetting about all forms of books, may they be paper, audio, Kindle or virtual reality (still waiting) or read by Miss Jackie Collins (if I can afford it). My book worm days are over. Here comes my blog WORM (Write Once, Read Many) days. I'll just watch movies that based on those books. I'm still waiting for Hollywood to make "A Man in Full" by Tom Wolf as the dust on the book thickens (so to speak).
Wha? You haven't got a list like this? Congrat! You haven't spent too much time dwelling on the spectre of death. Don't worry, you will warm up to the idea one day, or I should say many sleepless nights. Nights are best time to think about dark subject like death. No unwanted distraction, and with the bonus of feeling like watching a horror movie, except many times more frightening because you're the victim in it. "Watch out! The Grim Reaper yielding a large scythe is standing behind you, and he's going to chop your head off !" . Hey, isn't this a favourite topic for birthday boys and girls to think about? Ok, maybe it's just my cup of tea.
Different men have their unique approaches to dealing with mid-life crisis - some hook up with young girls half their age; some get onto a Harley (for the first time); some get spanking new toupees or treat themselves with (or get treated by) Ashley & Martin; some go for cattle drives. Me? I just want to try something that combine my love for cat and coffee - 2 birds with 1 stone. Each to his own. Just don't pooh-pooh it before you try it.
I dropped this cat poo coffee into my list since I watched the documentary. I smiled when I watched "The Bucket List" (2007). When Carter, played by Morgan Freeman, heard the story about how Kopi Luwak is produced, he laughed so hard that he crosses off "laugh till I cry" from his bucket list (odd that Carter has that as an item. On the 1 hand, I must have countless laugh-till-I-cry moments in my younger days. Countless. On the other hand, I find it quite a tall order that someone his age - late 50s, early 60s - can laugh till he cries). You can imagine that how funny is that scene would be to me (even though the Kopi Luwak explanation wasn't as funny to me as it's to Carter). No I didn't cry when I laughed at that scene as I heard it several times before (quite a tall order at my age, may be it's just me). I can no more laugh until I cry than I can salute for more than 1/2 hour. My legs would be sore from the standing that long. As is my right hand.
When I asked Atta if she knows a coffee shop that sells it (we only here in Singapore for 2 years). She said, "no idea". Since this coffee is produced in the islands of Indonesia, I would have no doubt that the (affluent) neighbouring countries like Australia, and Singapore would have coffee shops that sell these exorbitantly priced drop of brew. In a mere minutes of googling, we pinned down Blue Mountain Coffee on Level 3 of 131 @ Sommerset.
The Kopi Luwak costs 26.9 SGD (about 30 bucks after adding service charge and tax). Excluding Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the Kopi Luwak is free of charge with an order of entree and pasta. And we ordered a (spicy) seafood pasta (of your choice, we picked penne), and for entree, a rosemary chicken. Actually both are not bad, and they came to a total of 28 SGD (including and cheaper than a cup of Kopi Luwak).
The Kopi Luwak is stronger and more fragrant than your average coffee beans, and left a nice bitter after taste. Not too crappy shabby. Truth be told, I would prefer my regular cappuccino than kopi Luwak even if money is no object. Like I said before, I have cheap taste, except for vino (probably because I'm not a drinker). Still, you should try it once, if you haven't. If anything, you can tell your grand kids - if you're so lucky - that their granny drunk coffee that came out of a cat's ass (of course, you need to keep the story PG rated, and make it educational). They should get a kick out of the story and you get a kick out of their laughter. Win-win. I'm not so lucky, so I just tell it to my virtual kids like you.
With that weekdays promotion, I wouldn't mind returning to this Blue Mountain Coffee, not just for its food, it also has quite a number of 'exotic' coffee on their menus ranging from Brazilian, Kenyan, Java to Ethiopian. These coffees are more reasonably priced.
If you're a keen coffee drinker and while you're in Singapore, you can also check out Trung Nguyen coffee at Liang Court Shopping Centre (right next to Clark Quay - a Singaporean tourist spot). I go there whenever I have an itch to walk down the memory lane. When I arrived Sydney some 30 odd years ago, having grew up on Vietnamese coffee beans, I found the Sydney coffee quite sour. After some 30 years of drinking those stuff, I now find the Vietnamese coffee quite bitter. But I enjoy that whole dripping nostalgia that I grew up with. And that coffee shop is usually quiet for a nice quiet cuppa.
But if you have a thing for cosplay, especially the Japanese type, while you're shopping for IT & electronics in Funan, you might want to rest for feet (but keep your eyes busy) in Cawaii Koohii Maid Cafe. The waitresses who serve you are dressed in maid costumes - the type that could commonly be found in the streets of Harajuku, Tokyo during weekends, or in Japanese Manga. It looks as if it's a Japanese franchise, but in fact a Singapore concept theme cafe, and is totally maid in Singapore. Singapore (and HK) is into Japanese youth culture of cosplay, anime and manga (HK has a thriving comic industry. I grew up on them in Saigon. Sat on the sidewalks of Saigon (former Ho-Chi-Minh City), reading their comics from the street stalls. It's much cheaper to read them there. Or left me with more money to read more). This cultural interests can be seen by the annual Toy, Game and Comic and similar conventions that are held here in Singapore. Cafe with this sort of theme is naturally grown out of this Japanese adoring sub-culture. For the fans of Japanese anime/manga/cosplay, I guess this cafe is a mecca for the Singaporean pilgrimage.
They serve UCC coffee - a Japanese coffee brand. Their canned coffee could be found in Daiso - a $2 Japanese shop in Singapore - in Vivocity. Although their taste is ok, but it's typically too weak for me, having grown up in Vietnam, and Sydney, Australia with the strong cuppa that made by Southern Europeans, Singapore's coffee is typically too weak for me. So do ask for a double shot if you're partial for strong drop. But if UCC coffee isn't your cup of tea, the Japanese manga maids who serve you might provide you with some nice eye candies and more to your tastes. If red and pink aren't your
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