The Orange Thimble, Tiong Bahru


A couple of months back (yes, I know I have been tardy), a colleague and I had some time to drive to Tiong Bahru and I suggested that we check out this place after the last outing to Forty Hands. I wished I had more opportunities to check out the cafe scene in Tiong Bahru because there seemed to be several other cafes in the vicinity that seem interesting and perhaps worthy of a visit.

This time, it was Orange Thimble, which my friend blogged about before. It’s located at Eng Hoon street, much nearer to the Tiong Bahru market, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find because it’s just next door to the bustling Tiong Bahru Bakery (another place I can’t wait to check out) that has recently opened a branch in the basement of Raffles City.

As we were fairly early, we got to choose our seats, so we took a table next to the front window. I think this served as a lamp at night, but it’s innovative to use this, which I don’t know a name for, as a lampshade.

And they also had the beeper device thingy that some F&B outlets are catching on in using these days. This looked rather DIY to me too.

View of the cafe interior from our vantage point. There is a separate seating area on the inside that uses glass for parts of the ceiling, which allows natural light to filter through for a brighter interior. I didn’t go in to check it out, but was told about it by my friend who went there before.

The menu isn’t very extensive, but they serve the usual cafe fare like sandwiches and breakfasts, and an assortment of pastries. Being a pastry person generally, I cannot resist them, so eventually after a bout of deliberation, I chose the spinach quiche. It isn’t a very big slice but is just sufficient to make you feel too overwhelmed with the egg.

My colleague ordered a sandwich, and this is how it looks. Two months down the road, I really cannot recall what was ordered, but it looks like mushroom and cheese with perhaps some ham? I thought the bread looked yummy, and the comments were that it’s not too bad, but as compared to the sandwich at Forty Hands, this paled somewhat, especially since sandwiches at Forty Hands come in a very generous portion!

And now for coffee. A flat white, and a cafe latte. I liked the little old school biscuits that came with the coffee, brings back nice childhood memories. Coffee was acceptable, but not as strong as Forty Hands. Sorry that I kept comparing Orange Thimble with Forty Hands, but since these are the only two cafes that I have visited in Tiong Bahru so far, I can’t help but one as a reference point.

Finally, we ordered the Hazelnut Dacquoise for dessert, which was really good! The chocolate was not sweet and it was so rich and sinful, perfect for sharing.

Food aside, I think this cafe is slightly bigger in terms of space, so they had the luxury of giving you a little more room between the tables and you don’t have to (over)hear the conversations of neighbouring tables. Forty Hands on the other hand, tends to get rather crammed since the layout of the cafe is narrow and longish, and with the lunch crowd, it gets a little warm and uncomfortable even though the place is air-conditioned.


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