Review: Penny University @ East Coast Road

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Penny University is definitely not a new name in this industry, yet they were the 223rd cafe/restaurant I’ve visited. I find it difficult to access the cafes at East Coast due to the absence of a particular MRT station. I have been planning to visit this area once I have my hands on my bicycle, and when I finally did, the boy and I spent our Sunday cycling from our homes to East Coast Road. Pretty much my ideal kind of date! 
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The Place

We instinctively rode to the more bustling side of East Coast Road, only to find out that Penny University was located on the other end of the long stretch of East Coast Road. What got me excited when we finally arrived, was the pretty exterior and the provision of bicycle stands! I was like, OMG THEY WERE EXPECTING US!

The place was bustling with cafe-goers like us, and even though we reached at 3.30, which was not exactly lunch time, we still could not get a seat for ourselves. They were having a bake sale on that day till 3pm though, so that could have contributed to the crowd.

Photo 30-11-14 3 23 04 pmWhen you enter the cafe, you would be greeted with the coffee machine on your left, with a pretty good looking barista, as well as a display of their selection of pretty cakes!
Photo 30-11-14 3 24 59 pmPhoto 30-11-14 3 21 19 pm
Photo 30-11-14 3 23 22 pmThere are ample of seats, in fact. So can you imagine how brisk their business is, since I heard that they are always packed on weekends? We managed to get ourselves a relatively large square table before we decided to place our orders, and the crowd was also beginning to subside when the time was approaching 4 in the afternoon.
Photo 30-11-14 3 24 54 pmThe bookshelves are probably there because it’s called Penny University, so it has got to look a little more intellectual. The entire place is actually pretty dimly lit, which makes it a great place to chill at, but a bad place to take pictures of our food. Hahaha! Besides they do have a number of available power points, and free wifi, so that’s another place which we can consider to get our work done at!
Photo 30-11-14 3 23 33 pmI particularly liked this and I don’t know why, so it’s on my post.

The Food
Photo 30-11-14 3 14 40 pm Photo 30-11-14 3 14 46 pm In my opinion, i thought the prices of the food and drinks at Penny University were pretty affordable as compared to many cafes out there, even though they have recently raised their prices for most of the food items. This is the actual menu from the cafe. The one on their website and most reviews are not updated, which gave us the false impression that the most expensive item they offered was only $12. Haha!

The boy ordered the weekend special, Moroccan Baked Eggs ($16+), while I was contemplating really hard between the Blat open-faced sandwich($9.50+), or their ever popular Eggs Benedict ($15+), which by the way saw a $3 increase in the menu. I eventually went for the former, because I decided that I needed my meat after all that cycling. I also requested to share a dish of Turkish Eggs ($8.50+), as our appetizer because it looked so… EXOTIC.

For the drinks, I got a Muddy Espresso ($5.50+)while he got a Salted Caramel Mocha ($7.50+), the christmas special.Photo 30-11-14 3 28 09 pm Our table number which I thought was very cute and couldn’t stop taking pictures of it. Now I’m just thinking, what the hell was I thinking. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Muddy Espresso with Cold Milk ($5.50+): A muddy espresso is basically a “reverse” latte, where the cold milk is added in first before the espresso. I can’t exactly taste the difference in this way of getting my latte done, except for the fact that the coffee stayed really cold and flavorful throughout.
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetSalted Caramel Mocha ($7.50+): This is just their usual mocha, with added salted caramel sauce. When the drink arrived, our jaws dropped at the seemingly half cup of coffee served. This was served in a usual short cup that usually holds your hot drinks, and only half of it was filled, not forgetting that it’s served with ice as well. What. It tasted pretty okay, but I thought starbucks could do the same rendition of a salted caramel mocha, and that says a lot. Initially we didn’t exactly know how much we paid for the drink as it was not stated on the menu, and when we checked and found out that it was $7.50+, I nearly hung myself. No shit, for reals?
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetTurkish Eggs ($8.50+): 2 poached eggs on lightly whipped yogurt, topped with homemade spicy moroccan harissa sauce, and oregano leaves, served with 2 slices of sourdough bread. Sounds exotic enough? Eggs on yogurt. I thought this dish was pretty unique, and tasted surprisingly good as well. The sourness from the yogurt was being neutralized with the poached eggs, and the moroccan sauce actually helped to elevate the dish a little, which made everything work in harmony on your palate. However, it may not suit everyone because yogurt is either a hit or miss based on individual preferences, and the sourness of the yogurt, if not taken with the egg, might be a little turn off, or a little gross since the dish is slightly cold. I would recommend this dish to shared, just in case it might be too much for you. A good dish to try though!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Moroccan Baked Eggs ($16+): Sweet Beef Chirozos with Moroccan spices, stewed tomatoes, topped off with a baked egg! The boy decided to order this just because it’s a weekend special and I believe, because chirozos. Hahaha! I thought the dish was a little too overwhelming for me, in the sense that it tasted kinda weird, and I don’t think I could finish the whole dish on my own! I would probably get bored of the taste after a few mouthfuls! A good experience though!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Photo 30-11-14 3 30 59 pm Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetHere’s my BLAT ($9.50+ $1.50 for a sunny side up): This is basically an open face sandwich with a beef patty, with guacamole and mustard spread, lettuce and tomatoes and cherry sauce, on sourdough bread. I thought this dish was a little underwhelming. I expected the bread to be served crisp, however, it was soggy and difficult to cut through. The minced beef patty did not come through to me, and $1.50 is probably too expensive for a sunny side up. It’s a pretty average dish. Get this only if you need your fix of MEAT.

I wanted to order an apple almond cake for dessert, however, it was sold out before we could get it. Please try it on my behalf!

Closing Remarks

Overall, the visit to Penny University was quite satisfactory! I had fun trying the egg items from the different cuisines! I would have loved to try their much raved Eggs Benedict though, and the truffle mushroom sandwich, only if the sourdough toast was crispier and fresher. The food on the menu is definitely affordable and they provide a wide range of choices too!

A plus point is definitely it’s free wifi and available power points, which I would recommend you to only visit during the weekdays, as the weekend crowd can get pretty loud and you may not get a seat for yourself. Judging from our experience, the crowd tend to subside at about 4pm when the kitchen is closed, that’s probably when you should visit them on a weekend to get a good cuppa coffee and a nice cake, if you wanna chill. I loved the design of their cafe and I’m so glad to be able to finally pay them a visit!

How to get there?

402 East Coast Rd
Tel: +65 9201 3959

Opening Hours

Mon – Thu: 8:30am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 8:30am – 10:30pm
Sun: 8:30am – 7:00pm

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