Opening in Far East Plaza is an interesting decision: the shopping mall, dominated by beauty salons, manicure shops and fashion boutique is indeed home to many other popular food and beverage establishments.
The mastermind behind the café is “Hei Kim”, a brunch place that used to be located along Changi Road. That outlet has since closed. So, think of the new cafe as a reinvention of Hei Kim.
“Hei Kim” means “black gold” in Chinese dialect. In normal circumstances that means “petroleum”, but the owners wanted that to represent the value of coffee.
Up on the third floor, Piccolo takes up a barebone space, decked out in minimal concrete floors and textured concrete walls.
The seating is limited to mainly a row of benches along the wall. Sitting side by side does facilitate a good talk though.
As far as the coffee goes, the choices are as standard as it gets.
A strong shot of Espresso ($4), or the tempered Black ($4.5), are the best ways to enjoy the flavour profile of the coffee on its own, without the influence of other elements.
A cup of White ($5) is rich and milky, good for those who take their coffee in a more easily enjoyable form.
More interesting is the Iced Black Sesame Latte ($7), which infuses earthy and nutty notes into the coffee and adds an extra dimension to the drink.
I was initially expecting a taller-glassed cup, but this was denser and compact, so expect to be feeling moderately full after finishing it up.
The ever-popular Iced Strawberry Latte ($7) is an alternative way should you want something non-caffeinated.
There are some sweets to go with the drinks, and the cakes are all made in-store so you can possibly even see how they are prepared.
Burnt Cheese Cake ($7), Honey Layered ($9) and Black Sesame Matcha ($9) are the three treats to choose from.
The Honey Layered probably is the most recommended, inspired by the Russian Medovik Cake with many layers of ‘biscuits’ (somewhat like Loacker wafers) alternating with burnt milk, great to go with a strong cup of coffee.
The Black Sesame Matcha ($9) had a distinct, roasty taste of the goma without being sweet overall; while the matcha was slightly on the lightly side in comparison.
Still a delightful, rustic-tasting cake to have if you love these two Japanese flavours.
Talk about a cafe for coffee and conversation – Piccolo by Hei Kim is exactly that.
Piccolo By Hei Kim
Far East Plaza #03-22, 14 Scotts Road, Singapore 228213
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
* Written by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Dean Ang. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.