: : Life Cafe : :
Since LG was still in town, we decided to go to this quaint little shop we saw while driving through Carpenter Street. The name of the place is Life Cafe. Met AL and NT having some snacks there.
It’s a little tea shop but with really good Chinese cuisine, just like the way it’s made at grandparents’ home. We ordered quite a fair bit, including a pot of Chinese Tea :
-Traditional Claypot Rice
-SzeChuan Noodle Soup
-Celery Omellete Pancake
-Fried Dumplings with Spicy Soy Sauce
-A pot of Oolong Tea
Traditional Claypot Rice
This was great. The rice was served with chopped chicken, sliced black mushrooms, shallots, spring onions and chopped dried prawns. It’s supposed to be mixed together before eating it out of little bowls. Why the little bowls? Claypot is hot and you will accidently get burned. Having said that, the rice didn’t looked like it was cook in the claypot but who cares? As long as it tasted good, I’m not bothered.
SzeChuan Noodle Soup
Marvelous! Couldn’t quite make out all the ingredients but there definitely was chopped chicken, spring onions, spicy salted vegetables (kiam chai). Not spicy for those who can eat chilli. In fact, my granny makes it more spicy but it still tasted good.
Celery Omelette Pancake
As its namesake, definitely a pancake that was eaten with chilli sauce. However, we kept eating it with the spicy soy sauce that came with the fried dumplings.
Fried Dumplings with Spicy Soy Sauce
It looks like the Japanese dumplings guoza and the sauce as well. AS told us that it was definitely spicy but maybe because we did not order it correctly. Still, it was the sauce that was a big hit but we could only finish half of it. Too full from the noodles and rice.
A pot of Oolong Tea
Now, for the star of the night : the Oolong Tea. Have to check with LG what’s the name of the tea later on. The waitress was kind enough to show two ignorant Chinese gals the art of making tea. A small burner was used to ensure that there was always a kettle of freshly boiled water available. The amazing thing thing was we felt less full after drinking tea!!
We also had some tools available for use : a spatula, tweezers and scoop. The spatula is for removing the tea leaves from the teapot. The sharp end is to unblocked the spout which might be blocked by the tea leaves. The tweezers are for handling the hot cups after washing them with hot water. The scoop is for measuring the tea.
Step 1 : Put all the cups onto the plate. The taller cup is for inhaling the tea fumes for appreciation. The smaller cup is for drinking it (ahem… I know it’s corny but it’s my blog. So there! :p)
Step 2 : Pour hot water into the white jug. Make sure that the water is freshly boiled!
Step 3 : From white jug, pour hot water into the teapot. Then, water from the teapot is poured over the cups. Using the tweezers, pour the water into each cup one after the other. From the cup, pour it into a bowl so as not to fill up the plate.
Step 4 : Pour in approximately 2 scoops of tea into the teapot.
Step 5 : Pour freshly boiled hot water into the teapot. Close the lid. Then, pour a little bit of hot water over the lid. I think the last bit was to ensure the teapot is heated up to create a slight vacuum seal. The seal will prevent the lid from falling open.
Step 6 : After a minute has passed, pour the tea into the taller cup first. Then, put the smaller cup over the taller one and quickly turn it around! Tricky but takes practice. Then, inhale the tea-smell coming out of the tall cup to appreciate the fragrance. Lastly, drink the tea!
It was an adventure for the night but as usual, I forgot to take some pictures. This time it was the tea in the cups AND the facade with the tanglong (red lanterns)! I’m pretty sure the staff must have thought I was weird taking so many photos and asking for help on tea-making i.e. a tourist. Still, it was a popular place with many locals and tourists popping by to try the food and tea. It was a cosy place but not that many tables were available. They also had 2 seating placing for customers who want to sit cross-legged or Japanese style. There are seating areas inside the shop (air-conditioned) and outside (2 tables only, open air).
The address :
No.108, Ewe Hai Street,
Tel : 082-411754
Mon-Sun : 11 am – 11 pm
Close on Sunday
The place is located in the old Chinese shops near the Waterfront, along a Carpenter Street. Parking is a bit of a trial since the streets are very narrow with cars and big vehicles parked everywhere. Still, worth the drive down!