Tian Kee & Co. is the latest cafe to join the ranks of the trend of old historical places turned modern cafe. Tian Kee took over a 54 year old provision shop in the old estate of Dakota Crescent, after the previous owner decided to give up the shop & retire. The cafe has been recently featured in numerous news articles which has given the place a sudden boom in popularity.
Tian Kee was opened by a couple, Vincent & his wife, who originally dreamed of opening a cafe called “Black Rose”. They decided to keep & preserve the heritage of the original provision shop instead, retaining the name & old blue signboard of the shop – Tian Kee & Co.
The cafe gives off a nostalgic vibe, not only by it’s location in one of the oldest estates in Singapore, but also with the decor of the cafe itself. Old rattan chairs & old-style foldable tables with faux marble tops fill the place. The cafe has a very unfinished/old look, with grey concrete walls & floors, along with aluminium sheets covering their counter top. Some nostalgic decor include an old rusted Milo tin can & historical aviation posters on the walls. The place looks fantastic with it’s old-timely style, drawing customers & hipsters from all walks of life.
Jazz music plays throughout the cafe which adds to the peaceful & relaxing environment. It’s a great place to chill with a couple of friends over a drink of coffee. Do note that the cafe is not air-conditioned, though I found that there was enough shade inside & it wasn’t as hot as it would be in this local weather.
Tian Kee has a small selection of drinks & desserts, including cakes, muffins & home-made gelato. They have only recently rolled out a few main dishes for people who want something more substantial. Aside from these, they also offer chicken pies, which are home-made. Their coffee are made from coffee beans which are from Dutch Colony. Most of their cakes are actually outsourced from Cat and the Fiddle.
Unfortunately, I feel that there’s nothing much to talk about of Tian Kee’s food selections. I’m not a huge fan of cafes that outsource the majority of their food from suppliers. Of course, I’m usually alright with that fact, as long as the cafe itself makes up for it with their great aesthetic & decor, which Tian Kee & Co. has done. (Bear in mind the necessary licenses these cafes would need to achieve to expand their food menus. It’s not all peaches & cream.)
Sidenote: No GST or service fees here!
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
I do really like the whole nostalgia aesthetic & laid back vibe of Tian Kee. It’s a great concept & a fantastic place to hang out during the quiet afternoon. The location & nostalgia element here is what makes the cafe unique, with their food being more like a secondary companion to the experience. Hopefully in time, they would further improve on their food options. For now, do check them out just for a trip down memory lane over good coffee & small bites.
TIAN KEE & CO.
12 Dakota Crescent, #01-48, Singapore 390012
(Nearest train station: Dakota)
Tue – Fri: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm