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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Time Table Café

Whenever anyone mentions Taiwan or Taipei to me and my Lioness, the first things that pop into our minds are: the lovely cold weather there during the winter months, the amicable and friendly people and their cosy roadside cafés that we like to chill out at whenever we are there. So we were both pleasantly surprised when we bumped into Time Table café at Jurong West.

Pleasantly surprised because the moment we laid our eyes on it, it immediately hit us with the Taiwanese vibe. More accurately speaking, the café is more like the offspring of a SG café and a Taiwanese café if they should copulate with each other; with the Taiwanese DNA holding more dominance within the offspring. Actually, we came across the place earlier before the date of this blog post, but since we've decided to come here again for dinner again tonight and we like the café, I figured I should start blogging about the place.

As you should probably be able to tell by the salon just next to Time Table if you haven't come here before, the café is situated on the ground floor of a HDB flat. Free WiFi without the need for password input is available courtesy of the café and I can't help but comment to my Lioness how the folks staying on the 2nd floor within range of the free WiFi could enjoy some free web-surfing riding on the unsecured network. Surfing speed is adequate after testing it out both within and just outside the café.

The interior

I wish my phone had a wide-angle camera lens so that I could show you more of the café's rather small interior, so I suppose this shot of the counter area will have to do (I'm too lazy to utilize my phone's panorama camera mode for this). Besides, it's crowded here tonight, so I do not have the liberty to position myself just anywhere I wish to for a more encompassing shot without earning for myself the title of 'public enemy' or 'café menance'. We consider ourselves lucky this evening that we could even find an unoccupied table for ourselves (outdoor seats are available outside too). Come here outside of peak dinner hour though, and you find yourself with a peaceful and quiet sense of better spaciousness.

All in all, in terms of seating space scale observed from the main entrance, Time Table has more breadth than length - it's oblong shaped and the small kitchen and counter is situated just right next to the handful of smaller tables placed along a narrow corridor that extends towards the small washroom at the back. The space in front of the counter is where the main bigger tables are.

One can't expect that much space in a HDB café but as a small café, the overall seating space and area available is still adequate and functional. I would say that they've made good utilization of every inch available. I've actually found the place to be rather cozy when there wasn't any crowd during our previous visits outside of the peak hours.

Smell test

Upon entering the café, a familiar smell permeates the air within - it's the exact same smell our nostrils detected from our previous visits. It's definitely not a foul or off-putting smell by any means, because otherwise, we wouldn't have come back here again, would we? On the contrary, it's kinda like how the smell of cooking something still lingers on some time after it's been cooked. The question is, what kind of food gives off that aroma? I have no idea, but it's the exact same smell each and every time we enter the premise.

So I guess Time Table is unique too in the area of having its own distinct aroma; It leaves its identity in your nostrils and your memory. It's the "Time Table aroma", as I like to describe it to my Lioness.

The food and beverages

You know how it goes when it comes to viewing the nitty gritty details in a photo if you are reading this on a mobile phone, so click on the menu's photo above to bloat it up to a crisper resolution and scroll along to properly see what's cooking and brewing here.

It's marinated boneless chicken thigh grill for me (the menu got it wrong as it says 'marinate', which made me wonder initially if I had to marinate the chicken thigh myself in their kitchen) and Vongole spaghetti for my Lioness tonight.

I find my meal to be nice while her spaghetti tastes rather bland to me, but your mileage may vary since we all have different taste buds with their own juries. The spaghetti is not terrible at all by any means, I'm just finding it to not rock my tastebuds enough but that's just me, since I think it has something to do with the fact that I don't like having my spaghetti swimming in soup. Gravy or sauce is what I always rock my spaghetti with instead, but my Lioness enjoys the Vongole and that's all that truly matters with the Vongole.

The service crew here are nice, friendly, accomodating and polite in our experiences here so far, so plus points for that. As for food and beverages waiting time, we didn't have to wait too long to the point of having to twiddle our thumbs uncomfortably and running out of patience while our stomachs growl angrily. If this was a Diner Dash game, the crew would reasonably pass the customer satisfaction challenges.

Now that we are done with our meals, a nice hot cup of chocolate cookies latte follows for my Lioness. I admit I'm not that well acquainted with the intricasies of all things coffee, but just where the heck are the chocolate cookies for her chocolate cookies latte? Nada. Despite either the missing cookies that should have been there, or my own ignorance of the art of coffee-making in all styles and forms, I'm finding the latte to be quite nice when my Lioness shares it with me.

Both of us chatted until we see now that we have just finished the cup of latte, so it's time to leave the café. But before we leave, I'll show you our receipt in the following closing section of this blog post. And oh, by the way, speaking of the receipt: First, you tick your orders on the order slips placed on the tables. Then, you submit your order slip to the counter and make your payment there first before being served with your food and/or beverages after they are prepared. Alternatively, you can just go straight to the counter and place your order there directly and make your payment if you already know what you want beforehand.

Conclusive thought in one word: Taipei

Ah, the Taiwanese vibe evidently carries over to their printed receipts as well, which brings forth smiles of sweet remembrance from the two of us. Man, we gotta go back to Taipei again during the cold winter months, which are the best times to enjoy a hot cup of coffee - whether with chocolate cookies or without.

For the meantime though, I'm glad we could enjoy a small mini slice of make-pretend imagination that we were back in Taipei again, made easy by just being at Time Table and enjoying its food, beverage and hybrid Taiwanese vibe.

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