Forty Hands Review - Coffee, Brunch Favourites and The Cubanos

40 Hands is a long-time player in the local cafe scene, located right in the heart of the bustling clave of cafes that is Tiong Bahru. The name is so-called as it is believed that coffee beans pass through 40 different pairs of hands before reaching the final consumer. You will find Forty Hands often busy because of its popularity, so it may not be the most conducive for chats. In our case, we found it quite hard to hear each other over the surrounding bustle and overlapping conversations. Still, the hustle and bustle of the cafe makes it a warm place to be if you enjoy the cosy atmosphere. However, the small space makes it harder for groups to fit, with the only possibility for 6-8 at the 2 high tables.

The menu includes the standard brunch items such as the all-encompassing Big Breakfast and French Toast, as well as also cafe favourites like truffle fries. The full menu, revamped occasionally, can be found online (click on direct link). 

FFT Dou Sar Pau
40 Hands Red Bean Paste Bun Tau Sar Pau ($2)
For anybody who likes Tau Sar Pau (chinese red bean paste bun) even a little, this is a MUST. The version at 40 Hands is about 1.5 times bigger than the usual size we see in other places, so it justifies slightly the more expensive price ($2). What really makes it amazing is the smoothness of the filling that isn't too sweet. At the same time, the bun itself is fluffy soft to a right. I dare say this is one of the best red bean paste buns in Singapore. A must for me whenever I visit 40 Hands.

40 Hands Cubanos
40 Hands Cubanos ($18)
Anyone who has watched the movie Chef(like me) will want to have a taste of the decadent Cuban sandwich that was featured prominently. 40 Hands' version comes with pork slices, ham, pickles and melted cheese sandwiched in between two toasted panini slices slathered with mustard and mayonnaise. There is a side salad served along. The portion was quite large for one. I had to takeaway the other half of the sandwich. Overall, the combination was pretty good and the bread toasted crisp, just the way I liked it. For a fan, this definitely satisfied the craving to try.

Eggs Cocotte
Eggs Cocotte ($16)
Hard to go wrong on this one. The eggs were up to expectations with the yolk flowing out nicely and runny when cut. However, we felt that the taste was a little flat - just poached eggs paired with toast. Perhaps the eggs/greens could be seasoned more. 

You can almost always count on 40 Hands to deliver a good cup of coffee, as this is what they pride themselves on. The latte art was very well done for my cup of Flat White. However, note that the coffee here is more for those who prefer it acidic.

A plus for those who intend to visit - menu prices shown are nett as there is no service charge. 

Forty Hands
78 Yong Siak Street, #01-12, S163078
Brunch, mains and drinks till 5.30pm daily.
Opens daily from 7.30am-5.30pm.
Tel: 6225 8545