Nestled on the 11th Floor of Pico Creative Centre with a great panoramic view, lies the charming 5 Little Monkeys Cafe. It is truly a hidden gem. A unique cafe with creative decorations and great atmosphere – it is spacious and serves good coffee and a nice range of food. It may feel like a visit to a friend’s penthouse. You may be tempted to linger.
As you take the lift up to the 11th Floor of Pico Creative Centre, you overlook a great view of the Kallang Basin and the new Singapore Sports Hub. The lift door opens up to an expansive foyer which leads into the beautifully decorated 5 Little Monkeys Cafe. The first thing that you will notice is how spacious the cafe is. It is a nice change from the recent slew of hole-in-the-wall cafes or those in old narrow shophouses. Interesting chalk drawings on the walls is another fascinating feature of the cafe.
There is an area at the foyer that is behind glass panels which presumably can be used for power lunches or private events. The main hall of the cafe is divided into 3 sections. There is the main dining hall section where there are regular dining tables as well as long communal tables. There is a section on a low platform next to the full height glass windows with sofas and arm chairs placed around coffee tables – a wonderful cosy setup for enjoying a leisurely afternoon tea. The third section is a large empty space next to the glass doors leading out to the rooftop garden. That space is probably designed for events – it can be used for a podium or maybe even a dance floor.
5 Little Monkeys Cafe serves breakfast from 9.30 am offering pancakes, eggs and muesli. For lunch and early dinner (they close at 7 pm), the menu is quite extensive. There are the usual soup, salad, burgers, sandwiches and wraps. Steaks, chicken chop, fish & chips are also available in addition to pastas and pizzas. What is particularly interesting is the Peranakan section which offers nyonya standards like Ayam Buah Keluak, Sambal Prwans and Chap Chye.
We had stumbled upon the place and decided to try their Peranakan dishes. We were told by a helpful and friendly waitress that each of the Peranakan dishes was meant for sharing and that 2 dishes should be more than enough for 2 persons. We ordered the recommended Peranakan Curry Chicken ($5.80) and Nyonya Assam Pedas Fish ($5.80). We could not resist the Chap Chye ($4.50) and ordered that as well. White rice ($1), served with achar, or french loaf ($2) were available to go with the dishes.
The food arrived after only a very short wait. The pot of curry had two large pieces of chicken. The chicken was well cooked and succulent. The curry was rich with complex flavours. It was not too spicy nor greasy. The curry went very well with the rice and achar with its mix of sourness, spiciness and sweetness.
The spicy assam fish was excellent. The portion was quite generous with 3 large pieces of fish fillet. We liked the spicy tangy taste of the dish enhanced by a mix of spices. The chap chye was what you would expect. It was well stewed and flavourful and quite enjoyable eaten with a bit of sambal.
We had a latte ($4.20) to round off the meal. There was no room for desserts even though tempting cakes were available.
The name of the cafe is inspired by the favorite nursery rhyme of the cafe owner’s daughter – the one that goes “five little monkeys jumping on the bed…”. 5 Little Monkeys Cafe is really a gem of a find. It is spacious, has great atmosphere and the prices are very reasonable. Free iced water is available. No GST and no service charge was added to the bill. The Peranakan dishes we have tried were very good. We will definitely be going there again to try other items on their menu. It can also be a very pleasant place to while away a lazy afternoon over a cup of coffee. It is a pity that they are not open on weekends.
5 Little Monkeys Cafe
20 Kallang Avenue
#11-00 Pico Creative Centre
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm
Closed on Sat & Sun.
Nearby Stations : Lavender