The story behind Tian Kee & Co. was simple – a provision shop situated in one of Singapore’s oldest and few rural estates, Dakota Crescent. After 54 years, it has developed into a nostalgic-styled café with a rural setting that we don’t come across every day.
Tian Kee & Co.
12 Dakota Crescent
Tue – Thu: 12pm – 9pm
Fri: 12pm – 9pm
Sat: 10am – 9pm
Sun: 10am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Mountbatten
Just like going back in time and stepping into the past of Singapore, Tian Kee & Co. still remained elements of the olden days. Wooden stools and tables, old toy machines, rustic gates and a plain simplistic signboard.
We loved the open concept of the café – how it encompasses an unpretentious look with its design that doesn’t give customers the feeling of an enclosed and “cooped up” atmosphere. A lovely evening it was, enjoying a drink along with slices of cake we decided to order from the menu.
Spot the counter, lined up with old biscuit tin cans and mason jars containing bits and pieces of little trinkets. Tian Kee & Co. had a range of hot pies and lovely cakes on display, which we wouldn’t want to miss out on during our visit. Apart from the snacks on display, the café also serves all-day breakfasts, wraps, salads, soups and healthy drinks.
Iced: Nuts About U ($7.0)
We ordered an iced drink under the ‘Bestseller!’ list, containing a special mix of Nutella, espresso, ice cubes and fresh milk. It was really sweet, coupled with the thick espresso flavouring. A strong Nutella essence lingered at first taste, yet dissolved after a while.
Yuan Yang Cheesecake ($6.5)
The “Yuan Yang” Cheesecake got its name through its cake mixture containing a blend of coffee and tea. Made of both espresso and Hong-Kong styled milk tea, the cheesecake strikes as a pick with a unique taste, with its cheese stuffing sitting in the middle while covered with a coffee-flavoured jello right on top.
Chicken Mushroom Pie ($7.9)
A huge pie it was, stuffed with soft, minced chicken and mushroom. We believed it also contained mashed potato stuffing. It was honestly a generous portion which is good to be shared within 2 – 3 pax.
Rainbow Cheesecake ($7.5)
The reason how we’ve heard so much about Tian Kee & Co. was the sight of this pretty, pastel-coloured slice of cake so highly-raved on our flooded Instagram feeds. Despite all the hype about multi-layered rainbow cakes in Singapore, what makes this particular item stand out from the rest is its adorable rounded strips of pastel rainbow colours. The soft, wet cheesecake had a jelly-like texture, layered with a wet crust at the bottom.
Coffee Caramel Salted Cheesecake ($6.5)
Despite its high level of sugar-contain, the coffee caramel salted cheesecake has got to be my favourite pick from the café! Made out of three coats, the cake had a dark-coloured coffee crust, a sticky textured cheesecake filling in the middle, with a sweet, goeey slab of caramel at the top. The three coats of flavours just melded so perfectly together.
It was getting rather late as we decided to pack our food before the shop closes for the day. Here’s the crumpled, brown paper bag for takeaway that we thought really associated well with their concept.
Here is my overall rating of the café:
Although the prices were slightly marked up as compared to what we expected of old provision shops, Tian Kee & Co. serves quality bakes of unique blends that gel well with their concept, which you don’t get to experience from various shop houses out there.
Would I visit the café again? Yes, I would love to visit the café again just to revisit the unique bakes available, if I do chance by the Dakota neighborhoods. This is further because of the recent update that many blocks in Dakota Crescent have been earmarked for redevelopment. Sadly, Tian Kee & Co. has to go by the end of 2016, too. So if you do have time, stop by this nostalgic café and enjoy its historical culture before a part of Singapore’s heritage is gone.
For more information, visit Tian Kee & Co.’s Facebook page for further updates. Cheers!