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Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 4): Coffeeshops, Street Food and Sights

Walking around Ipoh and can’t help but fall in love with these buildings and street scene. Nevermind about some of the charming but yet crumbling architecture; they only seemed to add to the allure.

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, a name synonymous among the locals, where a cup of white coffee and wanton mee would fill your soul. Located next to it is Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Foong which offers one of the best chee cheong fun in town.

Many came and testified that Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng 怡保光興茶室 serves one of the best popiah, Kai si Hor fun and egg custard in town.

It is common to find Thean Chun being packed with customers throughout the day. From shredded chicken meat with hor fun, thick beans sprouts, caramel custard to chee cheong fun, everyone will be spoiled for choices.

If you find comfort in a bowl of sumptuous pork noodles, be sure to try Restoran CY Noodle, a corner shop at 26-9, Jalan Theatre, Ipoh.

Touted as one of the top 10 must-try confectionery shops in Ipoh, Biskut Lam Fong 南方饼家 freshly served Tambon cake, horseshoe cake, salty danwei, pork lotus cake, glutinous rice cake, and other varieties of biscuits.

For a moment, one wondered whether is this still a coffeeshop?

A traditional convenience store still plying its trade in the wake of online shopping.

Located next to Concubine Lane is the 90’s Classic, a local barbershop!

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Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 3): Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum (明阁香港点心), Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong, Mural Arts Lane @ Jalan Masjid, Chang Jiang White Coffee (長江白咖啡), Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah (奇峰豆腐花), Gunung Lang Recreational Park, Cameron Highlands, Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, Instant Noodles World and Ipoh Bubble Tea Street

An inexpensive way of exploring Ipoh is by way of eating. For some well-establishments, diners need to be there early or else be prepared to wait.

Ming Court Hong Kong Tim Sum (明阁香港点心)

Famed for their dim sum, Ming Court comes to life the moment it is open at 6am. Customers from all walks of life will flock to Ming Court and the crowd within the restaurant will build in no time.

To avoid the crowd, I was already there at 6:05am. The restaurant’s business was so good that you might find homeless people sitting outside for handouts.

It was about 6am and customers were already inside.

Get your dim sum fix here. The restaurant adopted an old school style where waiters would serve classic dim sum selections in aluminium trays.

I noticed the portions were pretty small. Disadvantage it might be, but that meant that I could get to try more dishes before I am full.

Char siew bao.

Authentic Lo Mai Gai (糯米鸡).

Delectable Steamed Spare Ribs with Black Beans, one of my favorite.

Siew Mai (Shrimp and Pork Dumpling). There were 4 pieces but did you notice their size?

Just make sure you need to taste their Muar Chee, steamed glutinous flour dessert wrapped in finely grounded peanuts. It melts in your mouth!

Hearty breakfast! Ming Court Dim Sum restaurant is unmistakably a must-go-to eatery in Ipoh for breakfast.

Address:

36 Jalan Leong Sin Nam | 30300 Ipoh, Malaysia, Ipoh, Malaysia

Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong

Some of the best street food in Ipoh could be found in a coffee shop. Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong serves one of the best Ipoh white coffee that is more aromatic than other places.

Serving the best thick and creamy white coffee since 1937.

One of the best breakfast on earth – toasted bread spreaded with homemade kaya (coconut jam).

The coffee shop operates from 6am to 5pm.

Address:
15A,Jalan Bandar Timah Ipoh, Perak

Street Art in Ipoh – Mural Arts Lane @ Jalan Masjid

Street Art exploration is one of the fun activities in Malaysia. After the last trip to Penang, walking around the streets to be mesmerised by street art was actually fun.

These masterpieces were the brainchild of Eric Lai, a local art teacher. He initiated the street art project after being inspired by Ernest Zacharevic’s art.

It’s about building and celebrating our cultural differences.

Address:

Jalan Masjid, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Chang Jiang White Coffee (長江白咖啡)

Chang Jiang White Coffee in Ipoh was the next stop. The Coffee place was opened back in the 70s by the proprietor Mr Kong Wing Kheong.

Ipoh Chang Jiang White Coffee is also one of the Instagram-worthy locations. While retaining their high quality signature coffee, the place had also been refurnished with a rustic charm.

Customers can choose to sit outside or inside, whichever their preference.

Nice atmosphere and great coffee over here. On daily basis, many tourists would stop by here for coffee breaks. When the place is packed (usually in the afternoons), customers will have to take a queue number to wait for their turn.

Pure coffee is known as “white coffee”. The white coffee was thick and creamy. Would recommend to taste their coffee instead as the food were so so.

Address:

7, Jalan Windsor, 30250 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah (奇峰豆腐花)

The most famous tau fu fah shop in Ipoh is over here. Apart from walk in customers, cars were streaming in by the roadside to make their orders.

Choose to savour the delectable bowl of tau fu fah in your car or slurp it up on the spot. Soft, smooth and refreshing!

The prices are reasonable too.

Address:

49, Jalan Theatre, 30300 Ipoh
10:00am – 7:30pm or until finished. Closed on Tuesdays.

Gunung Lang Recreational Park

Gunung Lang Recreational Park is located off Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (formerly Kuala Kangsar Road). It is developed around a scenic backdrop of limestone hills of Gunung Lang and Gunung Bilike.

To reach there, one must pay RM3 (adult) / RM1.50 (Senior Citizen) for a boat ride from the jetty.

Over here, there are lookout towers, children’s playground, campsite and a mini zoo.

Beware of mozzies whenever you visit a park. Spending an hour here would be sufficient.

Address:

Taman Rekreasi Gunung Lang, Off Jalan Kuala Kangsar, 30010 Ipoh, Perak

Open Time:
Monday to Thursday – 8am – 12noon / 1.30pm – 7pm
Friday – 8am – 12noon / 2.45pm – 4pm
Saturday, Sunday, Public holiday – 8am – 6.30pm

Boat Ride Fees:
Adults – RM3
Children (3 – 12 years old) – RM1.50
Senior citizens (above 55 years old) – RM1.50

Cameron Highlands

If you have a day or two to spare, you can consider exploring Cameron Highlands. A two hour journey by car from Ipoh, Cameron Highlands is the most popular of the highland retreats in Malaysia. Located at almost 2,000 meters at its highest point, it offers visitors cooling climate.

What to do in Cameron Highlands? I explored the Boh Tea Plantation.

The Lavender Garden, floral theme park with a small field of lavender.

Honey bee farm to learn a thing or two about bees and understanding the health benefits of honey.

Strawberry picking where kids will fall in love with it.

Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre

What a way to spend the night exploring the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre, which is adjoined to the WEIL Hotel.

This is the biggest and striving shopping mall in the entire Ipoh!

Address:

105, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil Lot G25, Ground Floor, Ipoh Parade, Ipoh, Perak

Ipoh Bubble Tea Street

Ipoh’s Bubble Tea Street is opposite the WEIL Hotel, a short walk away.

A new concept of dining, I tried the Instant Noodles World. Instant Noodles are served in home brewed base soup.

You can choose from the wide selection of instant noodles from all over the world..

Piping hot bowl of noodles will be served to you.

Address:

BLOCK C G-6,
IPOH SOHO 1,
JALAN SULTAN ISKANDAR
30000 IPOH, Perak

Ending our Ipoh trip at Bubble Tea Street, where there are galore of over 10 bubble tea outlets! You will be spoiled for choices.

Even till late into the night, you will never fail to see bubble tea lovers flocking to the outlets to grab their daily dose of…

refreshing bubble tea!

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Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 1): WEIL Hotel, Concubine Lane, Ipoh Booth Cart, Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室), Kong Heng Square, Burps and Giggles, Yum Cha Tea Bar and Tong Sui Kai 糖水街

Think of Malaysia, think of Ipoh. Located within the state of Perak, Ipoh took our breath away and we were just drawn by its slower pace of life as we took a short break away from Singapore.

This trip was so impromptu that we only had a couple of days to come up with the itinerary and we thought the trip went pretty well! In this blog series, we will cover some of the best cuisines in Ipoh, well-preserved historical landmarks and quaint cafes that make you fall in love with this town.

Instead of hopping into a dreaded 8 hours journey by coach, we took the budget airline and arrived at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport after an hour flight.

The airport was relatively small and you would probably be visiting these two booths – Car Rental and Purchase of SIM Card.

I bought a 6GB plan for RM35, which was more than sufficient for a 3-day use.

We rented a MPV which cost about SGD100/day. The car park was just in front of the airport so picking up the car was a breeze.

We would be staying at the WEIL Hotel. Apart from just 6km from the airport, this beautiful hotel is adjoined to the Ipoh Parade Shopping Centre and had so many reasons why visitors should be staying there.

Concubine Lane

Our first stop was exploring the Concubine Lane, which was along Lorong Panglima and is the busiest among the three lanes today with shops and restaurants. As cliche as it may sound, one of the must-do activities in Ipoh is the heritage walk around the old town area.

It was no surprising that the street was packed with tourists since it was a weekend.

Brightly colored umbrellas.

It might sound sinful, but what a shame it would be if a visit to Ipoh was completed without trying some of their unique desserts!

We sampled the Honey Ice Ball (RM5 per ball); an ice ball bigger than the size of a fist shaped with shaved ice then drizzled generously with gula melaka (palm sugar syrup).

Kuma Brand‘s rainbow cheese toast (RM13 per toast) certainly captured our hearts! Brushed with butter on the surface, the bread was being toasted to golden yellow.

The fun part of it? Stretching the cheese to your heart’s delight.

We tried the cold dessert at Tau Fu Fa, which was a great respite from the sweltering heat. To create the traditional atmosphere, long and squatting stools were set up for dine-in customers.

Their bean curd literally melts when you eat it. A must-try dessert shop at Concubine Lane.

Panglima Dua Lima, a charming little cafe housed in an old shophouse serving freshly prepare Ipoh white coffee.

The cafe was coated with attractive interiors. Old wall, wooden furnishing and displays of old school items added a rustic charm to this place.

Address:
30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Ipoh Booth Cart

Situated on the upper floor of the corner shop lot Restoran Sun Yoon Wah was Ipoh Booth Cart. We wouldn’t know of this place (opposite Concubine Lane) if not for the banners placed outside.

This place catered to a few booths or kiosks selling souvenirs and drinks.

Hey, admission is free!

Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室)

Thean Chun Restoran is highly recommended in the media and they are famous for their “Kai See Hor Fun” aka Chicken Kuey Teow Soup, egg caramel custard, chee cheong fun and satay.

We were very full but capturing pictures is a must!

Address:
73, Jalan Market, Ipoh, 30000,
Ipoh, Perak, 30000, Malaysia

Kong Heng Square

Nestled amidst Ipoh Old Town colonial buildings is Kong Heng Square Artisan Market (KHSAM).

An area rejuvenated with rustic blend of old and new architecture and shady trees, has been given a new “life” with burgeoning local arts, crafts and eateries. It is a hub where passion meets creativity.

I fell in love with photography few years ago and felt that Kong Heng Square actually was a good spot for photo-taking.

Previously a decrepit and abandoned space, Kong Heng Square has been rejuvenated into one of the cool hangouts in town.

Can you believe on top of this building is actually a hotel?

New Star Salon, an old school barbershop that have stood the test of time.

Popular Plan B Cafe, a place for all-day dining.

We heard much about Burps and Giggles and glad that it was conveniently located at Kong Heng Square.

Customers are greeted with great ambience and the cafe is furnished with eclectic decorations.

Don’t miss out their Fish & Chips and red velvet cake.

Yum Cha Tea Bar

The Bubble Tea world is on a rage. We heard that Yum Cha Tea Bar is selling White Rabbit Bubble Tea here.

Tasted but not to my liking..

Should have tried the matcha flavour.

Traditional Tea House / Wood Craft Workshop

As evening beckoned, we chanced upon this interesting tea house as we went to collect our car.

The friendly owner invited us to tour his premises.

Every bit of the interior was lovely and filled with charm.

According to the owner, this place was used to host wood craft workshop and corporate sharing sessions.

Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or “Dessert Street”

Tong Sui Kai 糖水街 or literally “Dessert Street” is one of local’s famous food spot with many stalls selling local delicacies such as rojak, cockles, noodles and many others.

Chicken Wings at RM2.70 per piece.

Wanton Noodle (Stall 44) at RM10 and Ice Kacang at RM5.

Memories of Ipoh on our first day.

Why not try Ipoh when planning your getaway? I am in love with Malaysia. Looking forward to explore this beautiful country again.

Address:

Jln Sultan Ekram, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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London Travelogue – (Part 1): Gatwick Airport, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown Gate and Trafalgar Square

This is our first trip to London and we were told that it is an extremely expensive city for vacation. All this while, we thought it wouldn’t be possible until we discover some London hacks that made our trip a reality.

For once, we realised apart from travelling with the usual prominent airlines there are actually options to travel with budget airline to London for an affordable price of $1.1K in total for 2 adults / 2 childs (one way) – Norwegian airline.

Journey to London

Norwegian airline offers a direct flight from Singapore to London without any stopovers. To ensure further comfort, inflight entertainment are available. Ear phones were not provided.

The inflight meals were simple and nothing fanciful.

As we booked the flight early, we managed to get the best seats which gave us more room.

The 14-hour flight was surprising smooth without any turbulence and we arrived at London Gatwick airport by 5:40am.

If you are travelling to London Zone 1 or 2, we would recommend you not to take the express train which cost about $20 per adult. Our travel from Gatwick to Islington/Highbury was horrid as we needed to change platforms during the morning peak hours.

Towing 4 big luggages with us up and down the subway stairs without elevators and waiting for multiple trains before squeezing in was no joke. The weather was about 10 degrees but we were already perspiring. We would recommend booking the airport transfer (Blackberry cars) instead as the price was almost the same with no hidden charges.

The train ride brought us to the Victoria station where we would need to buy Oyster cards to travel in the London Underground, or the “Tube”. In simple terms, this is a version of our MRT. London is segmented by 9 zones with the touristy areas being in Zone 1 and 2.

Image result for london map zones
Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_fare_zones

The morning crowd at Victoria station were beginning to build up.

We had our breakfast here before continuing our journey to the Airbnb.

This was already the third train ride. We were tired.

Finally arrived at Highbury & Islington station.

But not before taking a 5 min bus ride and another 2 min walk to our Airbnb apartment. For all the hassle, it would be wiser to take Blackberry cars next time.

Covent Gardens

Covent Gardens is one of the ultimate Instagram spots in London. An iconic area with thriving street arts, we heard that it is usually crowded with tourists. However, it was not that bad.

The streets were easy to explore and it was not uncommon to take a pause every now and then to soak ourselves in the historic architectures. Covent Garden is a popular tourist spot such that Din Tai Fung has recently established an outlet here.

Something similar we have seen back home.

The locals love coffee so much and very often cafes would be packed with people. The scent of fresh coffee permeated the cafe and we couldn’t help but to order a cup.

Address: 13 Floral St, London WC2E 9DH, UK

Leicester Square / Piccadilly Circus

As Covent Garden is located centrally, it is near to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Google maps may not be reliable. Having these street directories made it easier for us to find our way around.

We were in for a treat during winter as Leicester Square Christmas Markets was up and running.

Not a fan of shopping but food tasting was our theme during this trip. Unlike the States, Christmas markets are common throughout Europe and UK.

Didn’t stay too long in the Christmas markets as some strangers kept looking at our belongings. We decided to leave and go into M&Ms World for safety reasons.

Address: 1 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DE, UK

Have you been to M&M’s World? It is situated directly opposite Leicester Square Christmas Markets.

The bright, colorful storefront would inevitably draw anyone in. The staff were friendly and helpful, even if you are not buying anything.

Abbreviation familiar to a tween.

Address: Leicester Square, 1 Swiss Ct, London W1D 6AP, United Kingdom

London Chinatown is close to Leicester Square. The nearest underground stations to Chinatown are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Bus available are 14 / 24 / 27 / 29 / 134 / 168 / C2.

Eat all you can for $10.50.

We dined here over the next 2 days as the price was cheaper compared to other restaurants. Some restaurants open till 3am.

Address: 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6BZ, UK

Our jet-leg started to kick in. One final stop at Trafalgar Square before we ended the day. The attraction here is surrounded by museums, galleries, cultural spaces and historic buildings.

Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars with France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar.

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK

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Habitat by Honestbee: Uniquely Shopping and Dining Experience for Family

Just by word of mouth is enough to draw us to explore Habitat at Honestbee. The newly-opened supermart prides itself as a multi-sensory, tech-meets-food grocery and dining experience like no other. See, smell, hear, touch and taste fresh flavours and food items from across the globe – all in one habitat by honestbee.

When we arrived, many curious and eager shoppers were crowding at the entrance, opening or setting up their “Bee Pass” to enter/exit habitat. Yes, first of its kind experience. You do not need to bring any physical wallets and there are no ATMs to be seen as well. Just your “Bee Pass” will do.

Potted plants for sale after entering Habitat.

We read that Habitat occupies the space of slightly larger than a football field. Upon stepping into the compound, we were greeted with so many shoppers (probably their first time).

A long queue was forming at the coconut stall. Amazing, each fresh trimmed coconut was selling for only $0.95! No wonder they are the best sellers. We thought it’s a worthy buy, at least not spending more than $4 on bubble tea.

Big & Small M made a beeline to take a mandatory photo with the friendly bee when it came by.

Exploring the section near the entrance before our hunger pang strikes. According to Honestbee, the produce were sourced directly from farmers and established producers from across the globe.

Cute cup noodles from Korea and Japan.

If you are observant enough, you get to see peoples’ orders are packed quickly and transported by these conveyor belts.

 Dining here is akin to having design thinking, digital marketing and digital awareness coming alive right in front of you.

And so, we had our lunch here. To order our food, we can’t order direct from the stalls. The only way to order is through your Honestbee app under “Habitat”. E-receipt is emailed to you and via the app, you can track your order and receive notification that your food is ready to collect.

Honestly, Habitat wasn’t as big as we thought it was. Probably much of the space was taken up for storage or collection/packing. It would be good if Honestbee can introduce stationery or some electronic items in the future to make the shopping experience more fulfilling.

Finally managed to find seats after waiting for quite a while. This is Little Neck Clams and Bacon.

Milk Made: Frozen shakes & bakes.

Tiger Beer battered fish & chips.

Crumble Vairhona Chocolate.

Poofy Pancakes served with vanilla chantilly cream, maple syrup and fresh berries.

Australia Grass-fed Flank Steak. Served with roasted chat potatoes, roasted plum tomatoes, herb salad.

Cute and shiny utensils. They are actually made of plastic 🙂

We have a soft spot for fresh bakes.

Free tasting at the Lazy Loaf counter.

Exploring the remaining sections. Fresh seafood are a hit with shoppers. The best part was that you can pick your seafood and the masterchef will cook it for you.

While almost everything is automated, we still need human assistance to help us figure out how to complete our purchase.

Scan our order and the trolley will check out and be automatically rolled into the packing area.

In case you are wondering whether you need to “rush” to the collection point after checking out your trolley, there is no need to. You can still dine or shop additional items and when ready, just proceed to the collection point to collect your honest purchase.

At the collection point, served by robot courier!

Shuttle bus is also available between Harbourfront to Habitat at Honestbee.

Address: 34 Boon Leat Terrace S(119866)

Bus: 10, 30, 30E, 51, 143, 175, 176, 188, 188E

MRT: Labrador Park, Pasir Panjang

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D’BUN 利满: CAFE@356 in Joo Chiat

True-blue foodies are willing to travel great distances in search of good eats. In the heart of Joo Chiat, there are no lack of culinary hotspots and most recently, D’bun (the bun specialist) newly opened Cafe@356, a cosy, homely concept that delivers the best home cooked flavours.

We know the weather can be unforgiving in the afternoon, with the sun scorching down on us. With the air-conditioned ambience, the cafe provides a great respite for customers.

Not forsaking its traditional product offerings, one can expect to find authentic light-bites. The owner shared that they aimed to make their foods with fresh, subtle and natural tasting flavours. As such, the products from our kitchens are hand made in small batches using quality ingredients.

From the way they are, the products simply doesn’t need any further embellishment.

With the mid-autumn approaching, would you like to try D’Bun Mooncakes which are baked fresh using fillings blended so that they are not overwhelmingly sweet and come in several traditional varieties. The suite of mooncake comes in these styles – snow skin, traditional baked and baked pastry.

Trying out their ever popular freshly made buns. Your first bite will be a revelation. We are not sure if they are absolutely addictive, but you just can’t give it a miss.

CHAN2 (1)

Absolutely love these light-bites, served in pretty generous portion! The soya-bean milk is a thirst-quencher.

Their shop cannot be easily missed when you step into Joo Chiat Road.

Main Branch
358 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427603
Open Daily 8am – 10pm
T: +65 6345 8220
F: +65 6344 8110

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Katong Point: Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee Lifestyle Concept Cafe

Slowly but surely, Katong Point is going to be developed into a favourite hunt for the cafe-hoppers. Located at Level 1, Choice Cuts Goods + Coffee is a lifestyle concept shop/cafe/bar that offers a relaxed DIY atmosphere to enjoy specialty coffee, craft beers, or to browse through the selection of vinyl records.

When coffee is your way of life, the specialty coffee that comes in a hand-stamped takeaway cup will make you love it from the bottom of your heart. Beneath the aroma features a blend of the finest beans from Brazil, Honduras, and Ethiopia that gatecrash their way into the menu. The cafe also offers teas from T2, organic hot chocolate, organic sodas from Melbourne Soda Co., spiced chai and matcha lattes.

Fashion isn’t just about big names. Check out the various apparel designs that suits your personal style.

Choice Cuts touts itself as a place for coffee, beers & music lovers who have a penchant for anything funk and soul inspired. Brought to you by the DJs from Matteblacc / Blaccsmith.

Like-minded folks with penchant for vintage records will surely love this.

Choice Cuts will also be serving up new breakfast items:
– peanut butter & jam, banana toast
– smashed avocado marmite cheese melt
– granola bowls: vanilla bean greek yoghurt, with choice of matcha w/ banana & blueberries or peanut butter chocolate w/ mango & blueberries
Our healthy range of artisanal baked goods from Muncha Bunch will also available:
– Chia Seed & Goji Berry Energy Bar
– Carrot Cake Turnover
– Banana Bread with Walnut & Chia Seed
– Flourless Almond Beetroot Brownie

Carrot cake muffin

Banana Walnut Chia Seed Muffins.

Chia Seed & Goji Berry Energy Bar.

Need that specialty coffee to perk up your weekend, Choice Cuts is now open at 9am.

Address: 451 Joo Chiat Road, #01-07, Katong Point, Singapore 427664

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/choicecutsgoods/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/choicecutsgoods

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