Located on the ground-floor space of a converted 1950s art-deco building, Cups N Canvas offers a bit of a throwback to the past. There’s an old Chinese signboard as you enter while elegant porcelain pieces grace the top of the cupboard. Of course, the rest of the café flirts with modernity, with a clean baked goods counter and new refrigerator; then there’s also the fact that half of this spacious 50-seater transforms into an art studio and gallery on days when it hosts painting, drawing and printmaking classes with professional artists on its stripped-down industrial side.
The workshop side of the café is closed off during sessions, but open to café dwellers throughout the day. The art lessons are for everybody, regardless of experience – classes are paid for by a credit system ($240/260 credits; classes cost between 30-60 credits; Mon, Tue & Thu 7pm; Sat 3.30pm; Sun 10am).
The food: With just five pasta dishes, two salads and two sandwiches on the menu, we weren’t exactly spoiled for choice. The blanc bacon ($15.90), served with al dente fettucine in cream sauce, could have done with more of its namesake. The PK sandwich ($9.90) was a lightly toasted loaf of ciabatta goodness chock full of duck, Japanese cucumber and crackers in a orange hoison sauce. More options, including mains and nibbles, are on the way, thanks to a new in-house chef, who had just began to work on the week we dropped by). On weekends, expect a simplified two-item brunch. Baked goods are provided by co-owners Fiona Poh and Joanna Goh (two of five co-owners of the café), including a range of homemade cupcakes, a French vanilla apple slice and apple cheddar scones.
The drinks: There’s definitely a distinct home-grown flavour to the brews – the usual artisanal coffees are sourced from local range Highlander, while Gryphon supplies the gourmet teas. Noncaffeine drinkers can try the sweet potato latte ($4.80), a purplish mix of freshly puréed sweet potato and steamed milk, or the date shake (made from Iranian-sourced dates).
The verdict: For their endearing service and a bite of those homemade desserts, we’ll be back – possibly to try some of their art courses as well. Lee Min Kok
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|Venue name:||Cups N Canvas||Contact:|
139 Selegie Road
|Opening hours:||Tue-Thu 10.30am-10pm, Fri & Sat 10.30am-11pm, Sun 10am-6pm|
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