It’s funny how I’ve passed by this particular hideout once previously. I remember only having a glimpse through a restricted view of it – my curiosity got sparked. Yet I didn’t investigate further. Chapter closed. Then recently I was contacted by the owner (and also the barista) of this cafe, Florence, and without hesitation I decided to drop by. Chapter renewed.
So, I came to find out that the cafe is a springboard for a Gateway Boarding project in Chiang Mai to help youths there in terms of skills and training. Meanwhile, the cafe works with local organisations/schools to either bring in food or to provide them with the cafe space for various events. Essentially it’s great to know that even a cafe can do so much in reaching out to people.
What I found fascinating is that the cafe interiors livened up the monotony of an otherwise dull community centre. On one side of the cafe was a prominent blue wall which was painted after the cafe took over from a defunct snack stall. Dainty light bulbs were strung from the ceiling across the deep blue backdrop. The furniture there was a quirky mixture of wooden tables and chairs with plant decors all around. Clearly not the most typical food stall in your neighbourhood.
When I first asked Florence, “Why here?”, she had replied with a smile on her face, “Why not?” And then it led me to think of the puny significance of such areas in our heartlands today. Other than a place to loan badminton courts and for senior citizens to freshen up their lives, it’s really left with nothing much to mention about. Talk about getting food in the place: you have no choice but to make do with snack bars and vending machines.
If there is anything you must get here it is of course the coffees. Like a usual cafe, there are the usuals: cappuccino, mocha and I got the latte ($3.40) for myself. I’m hardly any coffee expert but I can say that I liked the blend here. Yup, they use a coffee machine to make their coffees too. Then the team at Shebrews served me their main of the day, Shepherd’s Pie ($6.90). Their version here is a rather healthy one and it comes with the feeling of eating comfort home-cooked food. A glass display of desserts at the counter may just be worthy of a second thought. From brownies (supplied from Bakery Hearts of a family service centre in Ang Mo Kio) to homemade waffles ($4.50) with ice cream and chocolate sauce, they do spoil you a little with the choices.
As a barista, Florence also conducts coffee workshops at the cafe itself with small groups of coffee amateurs.
Sure, Shebrews Cafe isn’t your most hipster cafe serving you food from an extensive all day brunch menu, but it is definitely the little corner to relax, cut off from connections and savour life. Ultimately, that’s the motto of this quiet and what they term themselves as a “slow food” cafe.
365 Commonwealth Avenue
Queenstown Community Centre
Mondays to Thursdays 11am – 6pm
Fridays to Sundays 11am – 7pm
Tel: 6474 1681