Whale & Cloud is an extremely secretive/hidden cafe along Niven Road. If you did not do any research prior, finding the place will the a daunting task. Not only is it located off the main streets, but they do not have a proper website; only updates on their Instagram account. Of course, the whole “secret” has been out for a while now, anyone who is anyone have probably already visited the cafe, to see what the fuss is all about & to blog about it. (I’m pretty late to the game, sad to say.)
The Whale & Cloud Experience
Finding Whale & Cloud could prove to be hard task as it is actually located in an alley, right behind the row of shophouses that face Niven Road. Their actual address is 48 3/4 Niven Road. (Harry Potter fans anyone?) Once you’ve reached the famed blue door & “Open/Closed” bench/sign, you would need to knock on the door before someone lets you in. (Don’t bother trying to open the door, it would be locked.) More often than not, the place may or may not be open either. You would have to constantly check their Instagram account for updates on their opening hours, which is usually only on the weekends. (Doing your research beforehand is very important. I can’t stress that enough.)
The whole experience feels sort of like a game, and I must admit that at first I disliked the whole concept. (Why do they need to make it so hard for people to find them?) Originally, I couldn’t be bothered with the whole “secrecy” part of the cafe, and hence I decided to wait until more information got out about the cafe before I made a visit. Of course, after finally making my visit to the cafe (research done & all), I actually thought the whole concept was quite fun & refreshing. Perhaps a gimmick that will run it’s course after a while, but for now it’s quite the experience.
The cafe is actually right behind the row of shophouses along Nivens Road & it’s only accessible through a door at the back. The place is very very tiny yet very very cosy. There are only two tables in the place, with a row of theatre-like seats in the middle. (Visit early to get a table!) Plants are hung from the ceiling, Sunlight shines through the skylight. What’s nice about the place is that it’s very quiet & relaxing. It feels like someone invited you for tea in their cosy backyard. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place, it was very ethereal.
Now remember I mentioned that the place was very small? To prevent overcrowding, the cafe only allows people in when there is room for more customers. Hence, there would be a queue right outside the cafe filled with eager cafehoppers. (Mostly couples, I have no idea why.) The best thing to do is to visit the place RIGHT when it opens, which was what I did.
The main draw of Whale & Cloud would be their coffee. They source their beans from all over the world, including Japan, US & Australia. They also offer a few cakes & treats, availability depending on the day you visit. (“You never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump) Their cakes are usually home-made, with a few selections from Kisses Bakery.
Whale & Cloud used to have a “Pay what you want” concept, but have since changed it to fixed pricing for both coffee & cakes. (Guess some people were too cheap?)
Worth A Visit/Revisit?
Whale & Cloud was definitely a unique experience. Only after visiting the place, did I start to appreciate their interesting yet secretive concept. It was pretty fun trying to find the place, you’ll even end up chatting with a few other customers there. (The common goal being that you finally found the place.) The coffee is good & so are the humble selection of cakes. Great place to chill out as well. Of course, don’t take too long inside the cafe, there will be a stream of impatient customers waiting outside, wanting in!
WHALE & CLOUD
48 Niven Road, Singapore 228396
(Nearest train station: Little India)
Not fixed, usually on the Weekends
Check their Instagram for updates (Usually the day before they open)