It’s 9pm and you are looking for a place to hang out and chill with friends, a quick search on the internet shows that many cafes close at 10pm the latest. For ages, I have been lamenting the lack of a nice chill place on Fridays with the exception of drinking pubs or lounges. Recently, I tried my luck at searching for a place that opens till late when I had an impromptu meet up and Cook & Tras Social Library popped up.
Located within Six Senses Maxwell, which is a luxury boutique hotel refurbished and conserved from old heritage shophouses, the Cook and Tras Library has 2 entrances. One is through the hotel lobby and the other from the side pathway from Tras street.
Cook and Tras Social Library eludes an old-world European charm with opulent light finishings and huge comfortable armchairs.
The moment you step into the place, you get transported to a European private library with many private corners and areas. If not for the constant use of books around the cafe, the entire feel reminds me of a classy cigar saloon.
In case you were wondering of all the books are just there for decorative purposes, there are some areas of the bar with real bookshelves and you can actually pick up any of the books to read and chill with your selection of cocktails, coffee or tea.
This is one of the many enclaves of the place which is highly instagrammable and you can take many creative pictures here. The place tends to be quieter as the night proceeds so that is the best time for the pictures.
The main hall area is where the long bar is situated. Fashioned like an old European bar, dark wood and velvet chairs are used generously throughout the property.
The menu has more than beverages as they serve a variety of local hawker delights and the usual sandwiches and burgers. The prices, however, is on the higher side with a soup costing approximately SGD 14. You can find the full menu here
The tea selection was pretty limited but had a few choices which were pretty unusual like the Lapsang souchong which is one of my favourite tea. The tea was served in a standard English porcelain teapot but the cup was typical Chinese tea porcelain cup. It was an interesting mix of East and West. The tea was light and perfumy but the ridiculous thing was any top-up of hot water costs SGD 3. My jaw dropped when I saw it in the menu as Siz Senses water top up – $3. Luckily I managed to keep to my pot and did not need any additional hot water.
The coffee was quite general and nothing too out of the ordinary
My broccoli and spinach soup came blended with herbs and drizzled with olive oil. The serving itself is quite standard in the porcelain soup bowl but the price is on the higher side of the bar. I was expecting the soup to be very raw in taste with the combination of broccoli and spinach but I was pleasantly surprised as the soup was very creamy and smooth. The vegetable taste is in fact quite mild with nice fragrance from the clever use of herbs and pepper.
My friend ordered the Reuben sandwich which comes stacked with swiss cheese, sauerkraut horseradish aioli, arugula & fries. The meal came served on a wooden serve board with the items nicely stacked. The sandwich was quite delicious and the whole serving was very filling for one person. Personally, I didn’t like the salad that was served as the side so much as the sauce did not really complement the vegetables.
Overall, Cook and Tras Social Library is a perfect place to hang out with friends till late and is quite enough for a serious conversation or just chilling together doing your own things. The entire place has an old-world charm that entices me and is a great backdrop for great pictures. The only downside is the price tag is on the slightly high side but at least the food is not too bad.
Address: 2 Cook St, Singapore 078857
Operating hours: 6.30 am to 12 am