We miss the rustic charm of our old ways, the dusty streets and crooked lines. Instead of seeing shimmering and shiny paintwork, we long for something that is real, and downtrodden.
Maybe that's why parts of Little India still holds this allure. Untainted by the economic change of redevelopment, every street and every shophouse looks like they have been here for decades.
Tucked away in a little corner of Little India is Flee Away Cafe. It strives to maintain the same sentiment of preserving a slice of our past, and yet it is still cosy and wonderfully decorated to make you feel as comfortable as you will find in any other hipster cafe.
Take a walk in and you will see relics and trinkets of all sorts from our past. Model airplanes dangle from the ceiling, and baskets of old games and toys that we fondly remember from our childhood. Snakes and Ladders, now that's something you don't get to see in this age of PS4 and XBox One.
|Le Char Kuey|
Most of the food are typical cafe fare, but there is one dish here that is truly original. Dubbed as Le Char Kuey, it is actually a giant sized you tian (fried dough) that comes with a selection of different fillings.
We elected for the dry laksa version and it was quite refreshing. The you tiao was quite fresh and still maintained a nice crispy exterior and the texture was just about right. Not too doughy nor chewy, it had a nice bite and a savory hint to it.
The dry laksa filling was pretty decent too, though it tasted like it came from a laksa mix. The ingredients were quite generous and the whole combination worked well with the laksa spices and the different play of textures on the whole dish. Served with a side of tiny papadam chips, it was both novel and fulfilling for cafe food.
|Tea Served in a Traditional Way|
The beverage options are quite conventional and whilst nothing really stood out, I like the way how they serve it in the classic kopitiam cups that makes for a nice change in a hipster cafe. During the nation's birthday period, the beverages were actually served with a nice batch of Merlion shaped biscuits too.
The best seats in the cafe are supposedly at the front of the cafe. Utilizing a pair of cinema seats, you and a partner will sit facing the main street with your faces almost right up against the main window. It may be a bit tight, but it is a great way to see the action along the road as you tuck away your food and drinks on a lazy afternoon.
It is places like this that I wonder if our authorities are paying attention to. Instead of spending insane amounts of money on artificial gardens and prosthetic buildings, they should be looking at ways at using the same money to make good some of our old architecture.
Flee Away Cafe is a good reminder of what we used to have, and how we can still continue to make it look great and entertain us all with its simple and quaint, rustic charm.
Flee Away Cafe
70 Dunlop Street