New Kid on the Block: The Adele Edition

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Hello… How are you?

So it’s been a while, 3 years to be precise. So I did “an Adele” – took a hiatus from I-don’t-know-what-exactly, and only now have come back on to the scene. But unlike Adele, I’ve not made millions and millions of dollars quietly. On the contrary.

I suppose Adele is both relevant and irrelevant to this post. I decided to see if I could still log in to my WordPress account after all these years, et me revoilà, en fin! Amazing! Like chewing gum on your shoe, I just wouldn’t let go, and how dare I assume anyone is still remotely bothered to read any of this bull!

Well, I happened to see Adele in concert in Melbourne, Australia recently. Sat alongside Rossa, Raisa, Afgansyah, Taufiq, Tulus and just about 79,000 other people in the stadium. A good night out that was!

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Anyway, Melbourne was full of nice little cafes, and it was true what I’d been told by friends who had been, coffee culture is great in Melbourne. So you could imagine my concern about missing a good brew once I’d balik kampung. Nothing against local Kopi- readers will know I love local coffee- but occasionally you also want brewed coffee with foamy milk and crema and a pretentious heart or a misshapen fern of some sort (if only to massage your already over-inflated ego and convince yourself that you’re a coffee connoiseur)…

But I needn’t have worried actually. Cos today a new bistro has opened in Tutong Town in Kg Petani called “I ❤️ Cafe Bistro”.

It boasts a nice set up, with the option of cosy indoor seating or alfresco, which is particularly nice for minum patang, or chill out malam. Over the past few years there have been various attempts by some eateries to introduce brewed coffee to the Tutong audience, all with limited success, it would seem. The homegrown Mumba Cafe was a pioneer in this courageous feat in the mid 2000s, and then Fratini Piccolo tried for a while with some amazing coffee, but it didn’t survive long. Ideal cafe then came along and offered lattes, long black, cappucino etc initially in nice fake China for a while too, but then switched to paper cups whether you dined in or not. But I do think the coffee there is rather underrated. So that’s become my go-to for an alternative to local kopi. Until today.

“I ❤️ Cafe Bistro” officially opened today with its range of coffees to suit your taste. It’s by no means a specialist cafe- it IS a bistro, remember, but they do serve coffee in befitting mugs, and a variety of coffee-based creations such as their signature Rose Latte. Their matcha and hot chocolate are equally tasty and rich. Good for minum panas malam-malam.

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But this being a bistro you’ll also find a lot of hearty standards on offer- the local favourites such as Mee goreng and Kuey tiaw, Nasi goreng belutak, Buttermilk prawn and so on. Tonight I had the Kuey tiaw daging, which was tasty with tender pieces of beef. Nyaman with cut chilli and soy sauce.

All in all, I’m glad that “I ❤️ Cafe Bistro” came along. Tutong needs an deserves a new makan place, as well as a new coffee place that serves good brew with cupcakes, which is what this new place does. You can sit outside and enjoy your drink while amidst charming original 60s/ 70s architecture of the old shophouses next door or surrounded by the swish of the lush Ara and coconut trees in the afternoon breeze.

The Tutong coffee scene won’t match Melbourne’s any time soon, but as long as I can get my brew fix on my doorstep, I’m happy. I’m also glad that despite dissenting voices saying “inda pedah” open a cafe in Tutong cos “aram bakas urang Tutong mumba ge cafe”, or “Tutong people don’t do cafes”, I ❤️ Cafe Bistro is willing to throw caution to the wind and bite the bullet come what may. It could well become the new place in town for young love and break-ups years down the line. And when that happens, Adele could write many more hit songs based on those heartbreaks and rake in even more millions. You’re welcome, Adele. Mumba dai ju situh! ☕️🍰

*This post is not a food review piece, but a post to celebrate a newcomer in Tutong town. I wish “I ❤️ Cafe Bistro” all the best! There’s a 10% discount voucher to during this early days. And while you’re there, get your car washed and polished at Winx’s Garage just next door, also launched today!*

Photo credit: Rose Sabtu of AxR Design & Professional Services.