There is a mass of bars in Singapore and across Asia, but you know coffee drinking in Singapore has reached a new level when there are estimated 1,200 baristas here in Singapore. A clear indication of how upmarket players such as Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Spinelli, The Coffee Connection and Gloria Jean’s have established themselves over the past 15 years.
The Metropolitant team chanced upon a quaint café situated at the shop houses along Bukit Pasoh Road. A café by day and bar by night, The Reading Room is one place we would like to be seen sipping cup of long black. The concept is a book café by day and a bar by night. During the day patrons are free to read (and buy) the books on display, surf the free wifi and enjoy the different Panini sandwiches and food. At night, lights are dimmed and candles lit, turning the place into a bar where people can still eat and drink around books (now that is new for us).
We spoke to the owner, Jake to find out more about him and the café.
M: Jake, tell us what are your specials here?
J: You can try our Bruschetta – only using fresh ingredients: tomatoes, crushed garlic, onions, artisan Italian cheese and drizzled with our homemade balsamic dressing is a great combination with wines. Teriyaki and/or Miso chicken – Grilled with our own homemade teriyaki sauce and homemade miso sauce. Last but not least, the simple yet tasty Spanish Tortilla – potatoes, eggs and onions served with homemade Tomato sauce.
M: Tell us more about the concept, why books!
J: The bar is about books because I love books! I am also accepting donations to fill more shelves – and with the first donation we will buy you a cup of coffee! There is a collection of vintage items from phones to radios, mp3 players, cameras all around the place that was collected from my travels! The back room is a communal table with a handcrafted rocking horse as a center piece for private events. The table is actually a converted pool table that can be removed for pool nights: Mon/Tues/Wed. There is also a dart board so the back section doubles as an activity room. Best to make reservations if you would like to have the back space.
M: Why start a café at the age of 24? What were you doing previously?
J: I previously worked in the shipping line and was studying law. Planned to be a lawyer and I got accepted to further law study in Australia. Decided against it as its my passion to host parties, events for people. It is very gratifying to see my patrons have a good time and that is what keeps me going, being a great host and ensuring everyone is enjoying my place. I, just like everyone to have a good time. I plan to open a few more bars with different unique concepts for everyone to enjoy drinks, food and ambience.
If you are around the area, craving for a coffee in the day or a couple of drinks at night, check out The Reading Room.
More information or pictures here