TA Community combines an immersive retail and bistro dining experience – complete with creative cocktails and delicious food – in the heart of Singapore’s Little India.
You’re likely to walk by TA Community without a thought. The nondescript shopfront, the physical retail space of online gifting platform TA Gifts tucked among a row of similarly unassuming stores along Serangoon Road on one end of Little India, is easy to miss. And even if you do spot it, chances are you won’t realise that deep within hides a cosy bistro with its own little cocktail bar.
We almost missed it too, if not for a sign outside that loudly declared its very affordable – S$9(!!) – happy hour prices.
The retail section peddles a range of whimsical knick knacks, personal care products and craft items. They can occupy you for a while, if you’re looking to pick up a gift or two.
But we’re here at TA Community for a reason – to avail ourselves to the cocktails at the bar. That’s because here’s where seasoned bartender Knut Randhem and owner of Scandinavian bar and restaurant HEMLIG landed after it shuttered earlier this year (but not before we voted it as a finalist for favourite new bar in our awards for 2022).
The suitably comfortable bistro space boasts simple Scandinavian minimalism, with enough green accents to make things interesting. There’s a tiny back room with additional seating that’s quite a bit flashier if that’s more your vibe.
Cocktails at TA Community are more pared back compared to his previous gig, and suited to a wider audience. Most of them are classics – the Negroni and the Espresso Martini – for example, and some are simple twists to familiar cocktails as well. The Blood and Sand Highball is a lengthened version of the classic Blood and Sand, while London Buck is a buck made using a London Dry gin.
The Aperol Spritz is, well, an Aperol Spritz.
A little more interesting is the Allen Key, a rum-based Old Fashioned splashed with some apple juice, while the Copenhagen is an excellent Scandinavian take on the Singapore Sling. There’s also the lovely Peanut Butter Daiquiri, a ridiculously fun nutty version of the classic.
The food menu drips with Swedish influence as well, some of which are clearly a hangover from Randhem’s HEMLIG days. The Skagen Toast, in particular, the traditional Swedish open-faced shrimp sandwich, or the Swedish Meatballs, a popular favourite at HEMLIG. For something more familiar, the Beef Cheek is an excellent entree, featuring tender melt-in-your-mouth beef.
Prices here – for both food and drink – are very reasonable for the quality you get. We can see why it gets busy during lunch. Our friends at Parched also approve.
The star of the food menu has to be Smörgåstårta. This is Swedish sandwich cake, a savoury confection of white bread slathered with copious amounts of butter and cream cheese and then moulded into a shape of a cake. It can come with a variety of ingredients; TA Community offers seafood or ham versions, the former laden with smoked salmon and prawns, while the latter is effectively a reimagined ham and cheese sandwich in cake form.
It’s absolutely delish, and a treat that’s hard to find anywhere else in Singapore.
We’ll totally come back for this. And most likely during happy hour.
Address 594 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218208 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 11am to 10pm Tuesdays to Saturdays; 11am to 8pm on Sundays; closed on Mondays
Tel (65) 9151 3072
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