Having grown up in the East (side, best side), I’ve always been extra proud of its thriving cafe scene. It’s something I boast about to my non-Eastie friends — there’s no better place (or part of Singapore, more like) than to indulge in an entire weekend of cafe-hopping.
Naturally, I did not take well to the news about OG halal cafe Penny University closing down and relocating to Bugis, after a decade along East Coast Road.
We’ve seen plenty of cafes come and go, but the artisanal coffeehouse, which opened back way back in 2012 (when the phrase “hipster cafe” was still relevant), is undeniably one of the pioneers of Singapore’s cafe culture.
Well, I have to admit that Bugis is indeed teeming with good food (most notably, with plenty of fellow halal and Muslim-owned establishments), and I can foresee Penny University cementing itself as a go-to spot for speciality coffee, all-day brunch, and even dinner.
Unlike the former East Coast outlet, which had a more rustic interior, this new space along Jalan Klapa boasts a brighter and clean minimalist aesthetic, with accents of wood and stone. There is even a dedicated retail area where you can purchase coffee beans, mugs, and more.
Take your pick from the extensive selection of brunch staples (an expanded version of the East Coast menu), which includes the likes of the Turkish Eggs (S$13), comprising poached eggs, whipped Greek yogurt, and spicy Moroccan harissa with sourdough, as well as the Harlem-Style Buttermilk Chicken Waffles (S$20), waffles topped with crispy-battered gochugaru glazed chicken thigh, turkey bacon, and sour cream.
You can also keep it classic with the traditional Eggs Benedict (S$19) or the Penny’s Benedict (S$21), which features smoked salmon and a pretty-in-pink beetroot hollandaise.
Don’t forget to order a cuppa or two, like the signature Muddy Espresso with Cold Milk (from S$5.50), and keep your eyes peeled for the rotating dinner menu (which has yet to be officially released at the time of writing).
Penny University may no longer be in the East, but it’s just a bus ride away after all — I wish the team all the best in their spanking new Bugis digs!
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