Put on your sunglasses and leather jacket as you travel back in time to the retro 80s at Bing Tang Tang Shui (冰糖糖水办公室). Also known as The Rock Sugar Office, this cafe looks like it came straight out of a Hong Kong movie set with its dark lighting and vintage decor.
But instead of guns and paperwork, this store dabbles in something entirely unexpected — traditional Chinese desserts with floral infusions. And as their name suggests, these elevated desserts are brewed with rock sugar, imparting a sweetness that has greater depth and harmony with other ingredients.
When you first enter the cafe, you’ll spot nostalgic red leather tufted chairs and antiques like metallic table fans and a radio cassette player.
Venture in deeper, and you’ll find a meeting room with a whiteboard and retro metal folding chairs. And yes, those standing fans do work.
The highlight of the cafe is hidden behind a door at the end of a narrow corridor, which opens up into an old-school office space filled with manila folders, brick mobile phones and green banker desk lamps.
The other half of the room mimics a pantry space with shelves of classic biscuit tins filled with sweets and biscuits I haven’t seen in years, and all sorts of antique paraphernalia decorating the walls and wooden cabinets.
There’s even a private Chairman Office that can seat one, and is also furnished with those rotary dial phones and an old keyboard that looks like it should come with a Windows 98 computer.
Diners can choose to enjoy Bing Tang Tang Shui’s signature desserts in these retro-themed spaces. The star of their menu is the Osmanthus Tang Yuan (S$12.50), featuring chewy sesame tang yuan (rice balls) atop a bed of crushed ice drizzled generously with purple goji berry syrup and rice milk sauce.
The addition of Hakka yellow wine and lemon brings out the fragrance of the rice milk sauce, while osmanthus caramel leaves a delicate floral fragrance as the finishing note of this aesthetic dessert.
Bing Tang Tang Shui’s Lavender Infused Mango Sago (S$8.80) is also a crowd favourite. Just imagine whipped cream cheese paired with fresh mango cubes, golden pearls and lavender-infused honey. It’s a deadly combination that will send me straight to dessert heaven.
The Pearl Chrysanthemum Infused Orh Nee (S$8.80) caught my eye too. Instead of shallot oil, the orh nee uses refreshing chrysanthemum oil and syrup, topped with water chestnuts, sweet potatoes and crispy fried pearl chrysanthemum buds!
Check out their other floral-infused desserts like the Ginger Flower Honeydew & Watermelon Sago (S$8.80) and Pink Rose Cheng Teng (S$8.80).
But if you’re not a fan of any of the flowers, there are also classic versions of the desserts that leave out the floral infusions.
Bing Tang Tang Shui offers a selection of traditional savoury bites and drinks to go with the desserts as well.
A bowl of Lu Rou Fan (braised pork rice) with Singaporean flavours goes for S$5.80, and there are nostalgic childhood snacks like satay ampai (fish satay, S$2.50), Chee Cheong Fun (S$5.50), Kueh Pai Tee (S$6.80) and more.
The Flight of Three (S$9.80) is a trio of royal chrysanthemum, amaranth and marigold teas served in small glasses. They make for great shots, but if you are still feeling thirsty, you might want to consider a hot floral tea pot (S$6.80).
Fun fact, the alfresco area of the cafe is also pet-friendly! Do remember to bring some mozzie spray to ward off the mosquitoes though.
You can take your time to visit the cafe — it’s open till 1.30am throughout the week. You’ll probably even find yourself going back for more soon!
Bing Tang Tang Shui (The Rock Sugar Office 冰糖糖水办公室)
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???? 15 Thomson Hills Drive, Singapore 574759
???? 4.30pm–1.30am (Mon, Wed & Thu), 12.30pm–1.30am (Fri, Sat & PH), 12.30pm–12am (Sun), Closed on Tue
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