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Singapore Eateries Beverage Coffeeshops 40 Hands (Forty Hands)

80%

(Good)
40 Hands (Forty Hands)

40 Hands (Forty Hands) Hot

 
(12 Reviews)
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#01-12 78 Yong Siak Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Singapore Singapore 163078
 
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Listing created by operationhazard on October 17, 2012    

40 Hands stocks Certified Fair Trade Coffee beans, and seeks to support Direct Trade wherever possible. All our beans are sourced from a variety of award-winning roasters. Our Baristas receive expert training and assistance, working in partnership with the Australian Barista Academy (ABA).

Additional Details:

Opening Hours:
Tuesday , Wednesday , Thursday , Sunday 8am to 7pm. Fridays and Saturdays: 8am to 10pm. CLOSED MONDAYS. We do not take reservations
Dress Code:
casual
Avg Price:
< $10
Speciality:


Photos

Cafe Mocha.jpg
Carrot Cake.jpg
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User Ratings Summary

User rating summary from: 12 user(s)

Good coffee, relaxing atmosphere

Being one of the 3rd gen coffee stores around (or so I've heard), 40 Hands serves pretty good specialty coffees, surely not one of those mass-produced cups you'd find anywhere else. The price point also matches the quality of the coffee - it's expensive, but not too expensive. Certainly not a price you would find at a kopitiam, but also not any more expensive than a cup at Starbucks.

Since I was there for the coffee, the main draw, I did not try the food at the same time. I went there on a weekday afternoon, looking to enjoy a lazy cup of coffee and a good book. My expectations were met - it was quite empty on the day I was there, although I've heard it's busy on the weekends. So if you're looking for a relaxing afternoon, I suggest going there on a weekday, if you can.

The service staff are quite friendly and did all they could to ensure that I was comfortable - they were exceedingly smiley and nice.

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Decent coffee

Speaking of being aromatic, 40 Hands' brand of coffee definitely meets the mark. Wafting towards me in a strong, oriential stream, the scent definitely took me by surprise as this was not how I envisioned a first meeting with the brand of coffee.

I would definitely recommend coffee from 40 Hands. From my own personal experience, I found the coffee strong, rich and packs a punch. From wandering sleepily into the cafe, I walked out feeling much more awakened. The name of the cafe itself moreover, epitomises the amount of effort put in to attain the quality that the coffee has reached, as approximately 40 hands are needed to produce coffee from planting to the cup.

Service-wise, I found the staff there helpful and polite. Indeed, one brightened up my day by greeting me with a 'Good Morning' as I entered the shop. Besides the coffee, I was impressed by the food, with items such as Eggs Benedict being available that are rarely found elsewhere. Hence, little wonder its popularity despite its hard to get to location in Tiong Bahru. However, the downside is that prices tend to be in the pricey range.

Moreover, 40 Hands actively endorses social causes. I remember reading about the cafe being one of those whom supported the Yellow Ribbon project and are willing to give ex-convicts a chance by giving them a job and allow them to start afresh in society.

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Good coffee & food, long queue

40 Hands is one of the cafes housed at Tiong Bahru. On weekends, the queue can be pretty insane as they only accept walk-ins. I went there on a Saturday afternoon and waited for nearly 45 minutes for a table. The moment I stepped into the cafe, the aroma of coffee, eggs and bread greeted me.

40 Hands is popular for the coffee and so I ordered a cup of cafe mocha for myself. The coffee taste was distinct and the sweet tinge of chocolate was well balanced in this cup of mocha. Lovely. We also ordered a serving of truffle fries to share. The truffle taste was pretty strong and well spread out. Not too salty but it can get quite sick after awhile. One of the better truffle fries around, in my opinion.

We also had eggs benedict served with steak and spicy roasted potatoes. Delicious! The steak was juicy and not too tough. Pretty decent standard for a cafe. And my first time having eggs benedict with steak. Interesting and I loved it. The side of potatoes were really good too!

Definitely would be back again to try their other dishes.

Optional Information:

Average Spent Per Person:
18
Best Part:
coffee
Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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Great food, but so crowded.

Maybe its the fact that I visited Forty Hands at brunch time on a public holiday but it was really really crowded. That being said we didn't really have to wait long for a seat but when we went in everything was really packed and cramped. I have this theory that when it comes to cafes, the more obscure the location and the smaller the space, the more people want to go there. This time, my theory was proven right.

Food wise, I was thoroughly impressed. I ordered the Eggs Benedict with Steak and although when I cracked the egg open the yolk didn't run like its supposed to, the dish still tasted amazing and the roasted potato on the side was heavenly. My friend ordered the muscle mary salad which I snuck a taste of and that too was divine.

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Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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a very unique ambience!

I just visited Forty Hands with a few friends this morning, at about 11am. Unfortunately, there was next to nothing that we could order. The breakfast/brunch menu is only available on weekends, and the sausage menu from noon onwards. With that, we were only left to choose between a couple of sandwiches and cakes, and thus left feeling disappointed.

Nevertheless, the cafe stands out for it's decor alone, which is somewhat eccentric and full of personality. The seating area outside has large metal plates for flooring, and worn wooden furniture, which gives it a very industrial feel. Meanwhile, the interior is warmer and cozier, and looks more like a typical cafe. I love how empty condensed milk cans are used to hold serviettes and sugar packs! Will definitely be back.

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Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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Good coffee, even better ambience

40 Hands, and its surrounds, must be a hipster's utopia. In Singapore, you can get premium coffee at many locations, but the ambience at Tiong Bahru is the reason why its such a popular location. The combined synergy of surrounding cafes and bakeries (Open Door Policy, Flock, etc) coupled with boutiques like BooksActually screams retro.

40 Hands - the name derived from the number of hands involved in the coffee making process (from seed to cup) - is a small cafe, and perpetually full on the weekends. All their coffee is sourced from Certified FairTrade farmers. The coffee, high in acidity and body (at least in my opinion), doesn't really suit my tastebuds. I can see my die-hard coffee aficionados would like it though.

Go if you're looking for a chill out spot where you can sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and read a book.

Optional Information:

Best Part:
The Ambience
Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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all the paus, just order

I was on a cafe hopping spree around the Tiong Bahru enclave which is popular for the clan of cafes hiding at every nook of the estate.

We dropped by forty hands to fill up our stomach first before we load on the sugary sweets from other cafes. When at a cafe, not ordering a coffee beverage is akin to going to Mac's for a salad.

We got a mocha and an iced long black for me. Being famed for their ultra soft, flat, "atas" red bean paste steamed bun, how can we not try and judge? Moreover, I've been eating these buns for basically all my life, considering that I'm living in a typical chinese family who never fails to have frozen paus in the fridge or order from different chinese food stalls/ dim sum restaurants.

To go with the tau sar pau, we had more paus. We on a pau roll bab-eh!
We also got their Asian sliders with stewed pork belly and an order of truffle fries.

Basically we had kopi, kentang goreng and kong bak pau and tau sar pau la.

The truffle fries was served freshly fried, hot and crispy, but I would've preferred a tad stronger on the truffle taste.

All in all it was a satisfying lunch and we spend 14 bucks each per person which isn't too bad, considered we were rather filled up.

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(Updated: July 07, 2013)

Awesome Coffee, Really

This place has a pretty small interior which is rather dimly lit, as well as an outdoor area behind which is extremely simplistic. Small stools, makeshift lookalike tables and a metal flooring that reminds you of a cargo lift. Not the most comfortable chill out place ever in terms of environment, but since it prides itself on its coffee, it’s doing a pretty damn good job.

The hot cafe mocha I ordered was almost the best I’ve ever had. I don’t like stuff that is too sweet, and this was really just nice. An aromatic scent of bitter coffee with just a tease of saccharine – the skimmed milk I asked for did not downplay the awesomeness of the coffee. Yes, I am still craving for it even after 3 weeks.

Ordered a slice of carrot cake after I couldn’t decide what to get. The chocolate tart looked absolutely indulgent but ordering it with a mocha would be too much. The cream cheese was thick and sweet, so I scraped off the sides of it so as to lighten the calorie bomb. Some reviews thought the carrot cake was too dry but I liked it just fine. You can still see carrot bits actually, which made it slightly crunchy. Some people might not like seeing actual carrot bits though!

I'd definitely be back for its coffee again, anytime!

Cafe Mocha.jpg
Carrot Cake.jpg
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Truffle fries + Coffee

This place is very hard to find if you are not familiar with the Tiong Bahru area. It is a small shop tucked away amidst the old Tiong Bahru housing estate. 40 Hands can get quite crowded during peak hours and I was turned down a couple of times because there simply wasn't enough space for more customers. I went down on a weekday afternoon around 3pm and seats were aplenty!

My friend and I ordered a coffee each and a serving of truffle fries. I have heard a lot about their truffle fries and was really excited to try them. The food and drinks were served in about 10 mins. Coffee was freshly made and the fries were piping hot. The truffle smell was so aromatic. I really like black truffles so you could say I am being bias...! I've tried truffle fries from many places and I think the truffle fries here are slightly better than average. It was really aromatic and nice. A pity that the serving for $8 was quite small. Before we knew it, the whole plate was gone. Coffee was of good quality and smooth on the tastebuds. Good place for coffee lovers. If you are not into coffee, thee are always other options such as iced chocolate and so on.

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Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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Many Hands Make Good Coffee

I like to think that 40 Hands refers to all the people who helped to grow, roast, ship and brew the award winning coffee that 40 Hands is known for. They take pride in their directly sourced coffee beans, and the intricate and precise artwork in each of their lattes.

Being located in the quiet Tiong Bahru neighrbouhood, 40 Hands is perfect for a quiet breakfast, or just chilling throughout the day. I actually prefer the outdoor seating, though indoor seating is plentiful. However, peak periods can see 40 Hands become rather noisy indoors, as the front of the shop is rather cramped.

Service at 40 Hands is average, as they practice self-ordering at the counter. They will however, serve your food and drinks to your table, but this doesn't leave much room for interaction between staff and customers. They will however, greet you when you enter, or when you leave 40 Hands. Sometimes, they'll also hold the door for you if they happen to be standing there.

Food is rather good at 40 Hands, though the menu is limited. Generally, toasties, salads, and desserts are available thoughout the day, their gourmet hot dogs are only available at lunch, while brunch is only available on weekends. Food portions at 40 Hands are generous, and somewhat healthy as well. Prices are affordable, and in comparision, slighlty lower than other cafes.

While I like the tasty and flavourful dishes at 40 Hands, the true star is their coffee. Coffee beans are fresh and well roasted, from farmers who are empowered to produce sustainable crops through education. Baristas here are well trained, and produce beautiful, full-bodied cups of coffee, with nicely drawn foam art.

Optional Information:

Average Spent Per Person:
20
Recommend to Friend:
Yes
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