the plain, craig road

good, homely little cafe along craig road, nearish the chinatown area.

this place has been around for ages, and might be called an institution: it’s small and cramped, it’s barely furnished, and the menu is small – all characteristics that fulfill the requirements of what it is to be a cafe in our modern age. but while some places go off the mark and irritate you with their too-cool-for-school ‘tude, this one maintains a pretty relaxed, chilled vibe that doesn’t annoy.

there doesn’t really seem to be much to say about this place – it’s a cafe, and it fulfills its functions well. the coffee is decent (or at least the brew that went into my affogato was strong but not tannic), and if you can find seats, it makes for a decent place for a chat with friends (except that if you’re sitting at the back, the lack of air-conditioning makes for sweltering conversation).

there is a tiny menu that includes eggs and soldiers (if you’re the sort that knows this as set A, this place is going to be overpriced for you) as well as cute little bowls of bircher muesli (such a rarity in this country – done here a little on the small and sweet side, but otherwise inoffensive).

communal sitting is the name of the game – unless you’re in a big enough crowd that you can edge strangers out – which I feel is optimistic in asia, where we whip out our phones to avoid eye contact and speak softly and impersonally when amongst strangers.

but, cute cafe and really rather cosy, and there’s bircher muesli. I’ll probably be back.

The Plain
#01-01, 50 Craig Road
Singapore 089688
tel +65 6423 9918
$$: 50-15 per person (depends on whether you’re eating)

binomio spanish restaurant, craig road

very good spanish food at this well-known restaurant along craig road – it’s a cosy, intimate space that’s packed at night, with waiters that are just the right mix of personal and professional, and dishes that both taste good and feel authentic.

it’s more napkin-ed fine dining than small-plate tapas, with prices that tread the high side for dishes well-worth the expense.

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