Keong Siak Road - Tong Ah Coffeeshop

Done for the day.

From Wikipedia: "咖啡店 A kopitiam or kopi tiam is a traditional breakfast and coffee shop found in Southeast Asia. The word is a portmanteau of the Malay word for coffee (as borrowed and altered from the Portuguese) and the Hokkien dialect word for shop (店). Menus typically feature simple offerings: a variety of foods based on egg, toast, and kaya, plus coffee, tea, and Milo, a malted chocolate drink which is extremely popular in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia and Riau Islands." (

Tong Ah Coffeeshop at Keong Siak Road is one of such traditional coffeeshop that I love to visit for a nice cup of coffee and toast of white bread. There are numerous such coffeeshop in Singapore but it is now harder to find coffeeshops located in old pre-war shophouses dated a century ago. Tong Ah Building is more than 50 years old and it has been preserved since. It was also rumored that Jackie Chan bought this building not long ago and sold it again (no evidence but still interesting to know). Anyway I introduced my students to the place to makan (have a meal in Malay) and to sketch some of the preserved historical buildings there. They were thrilled at first but the hot weather drained part of their enthusiasm away. I decided to do a watercolor sketch / painting after finishing 3 other sketches on my sketchbook. This is one of them:

My palette.

And another:
Second sketch on my Muji Notebook with square grid

Then the first sketch I did over coffee just to warm up for the day:
First sketch washed down with teh.

I had fun and I believed the students did too. One of them tried to earn a quick buck but was futile to get any attention from passers-by.
A chance to earn some quick bucks

Thanks for reading.

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