Saturday, July 12, 2014

Whale and Cloud - The Little, Initimate Cafe Hideaway

The address reads 48 Niven Road, and the signage displayed 48 3/4. Yes, it was not lost on me that this little whimsical ode to Harry Potter was only one of the fantastical touches to Whale and Cloud.

There wasn't a proper signboard either, just an OPEN word displayed on the side wall. The door is like an entrance to a hidden world. And what an amazing little world it is!

It is actually the back entrance to a shophouse, and can only be reached via the back alley. Finding it is an adventure in itself.

The small but cosy interior

Getting in is also quite a novelty. You have to knock on the navy blue door and wait for one of the 3 owners to open it. Once you have been admitted to this little secret cafe, you realize that it is very small. Just a couple of tables and about a dozen sitting places at most.

I say seating places as the chairs themselves are filled with delightful surprises. There is a row of old Cathay cinema seats lined up in a row, and a few lime green chairs that are actually zen like rocking chairs.

Whimsical Trinkets

There are only a few shelves lined with whimsical and classic toys. There is a 50s looking refridgerator that is bright yellow that reeks of nostalgia. Elsewhere, there are simple but cosy decorations that beautifully light up the cafe.

Though small, everything feels just right at home and cosy. It feels like a place you will run to hide from the world when you need that quiet space to yourself.


Most of the pastries are outsourced, but they do a good job of complimenting the ambiance of the place. Homely food to go along with the homely feel. You will never know what cakes you might get here depending on what pastries they are getting that week.


The coffee is likewise, always changing. The gentleman owner flies around the globe regularly, and depending on where his next destination and fancy may take him, the coffee beans that he procures are always different from month to month.

That particular day, I had beans from a San Francisco supplier and it was simply brilliant. Nicely balanced, fully robust and just the right amount of acidity to give me the kick to start the day.

They serve most of their coffee in paper cups, and they pair it with a cup of old school biscuits. It is really quaint and nostalgic. Their space is limited so washing is an issue, so one should not fuss over the paper utensils and I actually relish this little twist.

The Mystery Barista

The lady owner doubles up as a barista as well. She is hardly captured on film, and works diligently in her very tight space of hers. The other lady owner helps to serve the customers and puts everyone at ease with her easy charm and smile.

All three owners are actually holding down full time jobs during the week, hence this gem is only opened on weekends. In fact, I was told that as of now, you can only visit Whale and Cloud on Saturdays as they are too tired to open on both days of the weekend.

The Natural Skylight

I really enjoyed my two hours that morning. Despite the fact that the place has gotten quite a buzz and was fully brimmed with eager fans, there was this quiet serenity that appeased me.  Looking up at the natural skylight through its glass roof, there was a sense of beauty that surrounded the environment.

Every cake is priced at 5 dollars, no matter what you choose. As for the coffee, they have the most of novel of practices. It's up to the individual how much you want to pay.

Old School Biscuits

It seems that the owners are not in it for the money, but just the passion to open a cafe to delight their audience. That simple but beautiful sentiment is echoed throughout every inch of their cafe.

It is rare to find such a mindset in business owners these days, and I am glad that such folks still exist in Singapore. And even more glad that they opened this cafe.

Many will attempt to find this place, and some may not even locate it due to its rather abstract means of reaching it.

But for those who do manage to get here, that serene, intimate hour you may spend here will be one of the best you can get in a cafe in Singapore.

Whale and Cloud
48 and 3 quarters, Niven Road

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