Tucked away on the 8th floor of Novena Medical Centre is a homey little cafe.
It’s name is not easy to recall and spell, so I decided to try to find out what it meant. And here it is – Ristretto (in Italian) refers to a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water.
Something like “espresso gao3” I suppose!
This was my first time there, and I found it really hard to locate. Basically, go to the Novena Medical Centre lift lobby, take the lift that brings you to the 8th floor, then turn right and walk straight. I nearly walked right by the entrance, which is in the photo above. The rest of the floor comprises specialist medical clinics.
I liked the warm interior decor though it is quite small for a cafe. Even though it was a Monday morning, and I had arrived around 830am (it opens at 8am, which is great cos many cafes only open at 11am!), the place was 80% full with a large group having some work planning retreat (taking up 8-10 spaces at the main table), and another group of French men taking up the rest of the table.
5 of the counter seats were taken up, so I was fortunate to secure one by the time I made my order.
For a cafe that is so small in space, it boasts an extensive menu.
I had a croissant with scrambled eggs…
And a chai latte, since I don’t drink coffee. It was a very quaint boutique gourmet style chai latte if I ever saw one, with its own strainer.
I suppose it’s a bit of a waste for me to go to La Ristrettos and not drink coffee, since from its name, it’s obvious that the place takes pride in its coffee. Friends who are very particular about their coffee constantly talk about how this cafe serves some of the best coffee around. So if you are very exacting about your coffee, this is the place for you. Take my (discerning friends’) word for it.
I hung around reading a book for a while, since I was actually looking for a quiet place to spend a quiet morning. However, the cafe was really bustling that morning, so I ended up observing the people who streamed in and out instead. Perhaps it was indeed because La Ristrettos is one of the rare cafes open in the mornings, and on a Monday too, since many cafes close on Monday.
The regulars were certainly well known to the boss and staff, and I overheard friendly exchanges. Some doctors are their regulars, which is not surprising given its location. Quite a few non-Singaporeans came and went, and a few other singletons like me seemed to come in search for a quiet cuppa.
I must say I really enjoyed the music selection. Tasteful, pleasant, easy listening that contributed in no small part to a very comfortable ambiance.
All in all, it was good to stare out into a small garden, which kind of makes you forget that you are on the 8th floor.
It would have been nice if the cafe had free wifi. But even though it doesn’t, it still makes for a good stop for food and drink. Prices are slightly on the high side, but at least one is certain that it translates to quality grub.
10 Sinaran Drive #08-37
Novena Medical Centre
Tel: 6397 7165
Monday to Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 8am to 1pm
Closed on Sundays
Note: Non-sponsored post.