Almost like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland, the eclectically vintage decor and homeware at Carpenter and Cook offers a retrolicious escape from the hustle and bustle of city living in Singapore.
See something you like? You’d be pleased to know that everything (well, I guess almost everything) is for sale here as the cafe also serves as a showroom for vintage furniture and homeware. I found the chairs especially interesting and later found out that they were individually upholstered by a very cheerful young lady called Phoebe, one of the three partners in this cafe and for whom it is named “Carpenter”. That explains the one-of-a-kind feel that each chair had.
Shenn, the “Cook” in the equation, is responsible for churning out delectable baked goods such as Brioches, Cakes and Scones in addition to an array of other sweets. The selection changes daily for many of the products so do check ahead to avoid disappointment. The third partner, Eunice, is the interior decorator (and apparently their disciplinarian too) chirps Phoebe, a veritable social butterfly, who makes it a point to welcome and chat with everyone who walked into the cafe. A refreshing change from the sometimes sullen reception one gets at some hip cafes.Ham Brioche Sandwich @ S$ 9.50
I was famished as I was meeting friends for a late lunch, so I ordered a Ham Brioche Sandwich to start. It arrived lightly toasted with some salad on the side and stuffed with savoury ham and salami. The crisp and flaky crust broke open to reveal a buttery and fluffy core when bitten into. Accentuated by the rich flavour of freshly-made mayonnaise, this sandwich left me wanting for more. I wish Carpenter and Cook was closer to my home in the East. Wistful thinking aside, this is a Must-Try!Plain Scone @ S$ 2.50 (Add S$1.50 for Butter and Jam on the side)
I love scones so I couldn’t resist ordering a plain scone as my dessert. I had some of the best scones while I was in Cornwall where they were typically served with clotted cream and jam. In the absence of clotted cream, unsalted butter is a good alternative. I loved the scone at Carpenter and Cook because it was fragrant, buttery and crumbly with soft centre. It went well with the unsalted butter and homemade marmalade. The butter helped to smoothen the crumbly scone while helping to hold it together with the marmalade adding a slightly tangy sweetness to the combination. This is a Must-Try as it’s so difficult to find decent scones in Singapore. Some places serve “stones for scones” which are bland which makes me feel like I’m chewing on a corrugated cardboard.Sweet Fruit Brioche @ S$ 5.20
M ordered the Sweet Fruit Brioche with raspberries. I tried a small piece and enjoyed it as it was crumbly and slightly sweet without being overwhelmingly so. This is apparently one of the most popular pastries here.Passionfruit Meringue Tart @ S$ 5.80
I am generally not a huge fan of meringue but I had to try a small bite of this tart that M ordered as I love passionfruit. The tart had the right balance of sourness and sweetness that was perfectly complemented by the crumbly and buttery shell. This is also a Must-Try.2 Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea @ S$4.50
Carpenter and Cook serves specialty coffee from Liberty Coffee. As I was planning to head to Liberty for coffee in the late afternoon, I ordered a pot of tea instead. They carry an interesting selection of teas from Harney & Sons, headquartered in New York and who supplies teas to The Dorchester in London. I was drawn to the Hot Cinnamon Sunset Tea, a strong black tea blend that has been flavoured with three types of cinnamon, sweet cloves and given a brighter touch with orange peel. It was delicious served hot as it had the sweetness and warmth of cinnamon and cloves coupled with the refreshing tang of orange peel. I’m sure this would also taste as awesome as an Iced Tea, as recommended by the girl at the counter. Unfortunately, they had run out of Iced Cinnamon Sunset Tea yesterday so I guess I shall have to order it the next time I visit. If craft beers and ciders are your thing, you can drink all day here, just don’t drive after.
I love the attention to detail at Carpenter and Cook. Here’s what their takeaway box looks like. The label-like cardboard tag on top is their business card.
Carpenter and Cook’s Official Opening takes place on Saturday, 16 June 2012. In keeping with their vintage theme, they are having a Vintage Theme Party. Attend the party dressed in your vintage garb and be rewarded for your efforts. Check their Facebook page for details: https://www.facebook.com/carpenterandcookCarpenter and Cook 19 Lorong Kilat, #01-06, Singapore 598120 Phone: +65 6463-3648 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays: 12 pm to 10 pm Fridays: 12 pm to 11 pm Saturdays: 10 am to 11 pm Sundays: 10 am to 7 pm