For my best friend and I, "the usual?" means Starbucks at Raffles City, which for the last 5+ years since we were old enough to understand and drink coffee, has been our fortress and meeting point. All those rants against men and humanity, the many creative ideas and dreams that we had and the depression that follows the very shattering of those fantasies have filled the caffeinated ambience of that particular outlet.
So I asked her if we could somewhere else for a change, and she very wisely recommended The Book Cafe on 20 Martin St (off Mhd Sultan Road). It was exactly the kind of cafe that I had always longed for, but never thought existed in Singapore, and is one of the few places that I would recommend for anyone who wants something in Singapore that feels genuine without being grungy.
Half-eaten apple pies and banana smoothies; de-lish!
Located along a quiet street, the cafe is the perfect place to read with your cup of joe, or even indulge in a hearty meal. While chairs and tables make up one half of the cafe, the second half resembles my sister's living room. Sprawling L-shaped couches and toddler's toys strewn over the floor, with shelf-after-shelf of glorious books! The walls were lined with every category of magazines (though I highly doubt you'd find any Penthouse here), so feel free to sit and browse to your heart's content as a mixture of Jason Mraz and chic French tunes swirl in the background.
I barely sampled the menu (apple pie, and two different fruit smoothies between the two of us) but I noticed other customers around me ordering heaping portions of salads and mains, chewy cakes and steaming cups of coffee. I'm definitely coming back here to check the food out... and work my way through all of those books.
The Book Cafe
20 Martin Road #01-02
Seng Kee Building
Tel: (65) 6887 6530
Fri-Sat 8.30am-12 midnight