Neato, derived it’s name from various different influences. One of the reason was because of the slang word “neat”, which means cool or wonderful and the other was actually because of a song. Neato was started up by Chef owner, Huanni. She started out this business as a small bake shop and slowly expanded to the full-fledged cafe they are operating now. Huanni was in-between jobs and wasn’t sure of what she should do. She have been in the Food and Beverage Industry as a chef for the past 7 years and realised that the start up for a little pastry shop was pretty low cost, so she thought, why not give it a shot. They work with a cafe for their outlet at Burlington Square, with them only providing the pastries there, but the outlet at North Canal, it is a whole other establishment of their own.
Their shop at North Canal was bright, spacious and gave off a relaxing atmosphere with their white and wooden furnitures. Besides their super Instagram-worthy custard puffs, they also serve a range of pastries, hot meals and drinks. Huanni also shared that
“Although our pastries don’t look like much, but they are all homemade. They don’t have to look fancy, but they have to taste good. What matters is in the inside.”
We started out with their hot dish, Kimchi Pasta. This fragrant kimchi pasta had a runny sunny side up, crispy bacon and deep fried enoki served on top of it. The spaghetti was cooked al dente and the kimchi proportion used was just right, not too overpowering.
Next, we had to try their famous custard puffs. We had the Malted Milk and Matcha flavoured puffs. The puffs crust were thin, crispy and super fragrant! The Malted Milk Puff has a thick custard fill that was both sweet and slightly salty, a very interesting yet delicious combination. The Matcha puff had a more runny fill. The matcha used was not too sweet and gave off the nice bitterness of matcha. We learn that all the puff there are freshly baked, daily. However, not all puffs flow! The recipe for the puff were not made to flow. So if you get a batch that just came out of the oven and it flows, consider it a bonus. Else, the baked goods have to be refrigerated because of the custard and may not necessarily flow out. But nonetheless, the puffs are still superbly delicious.
Lastly, we had their Iced Nutella Mocha. The cup was taken out of the fridge as there was a layer of Nutella drizzled onto the cup. They used the hot espresso to melt the Nutella followed by adding in the milk. Lastly, they top the drink with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The whole drink was super yummy! The nutty flavour of the Nutella and fragrance of the coffee really matches well with one another.
Neato’s busiest times are from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on weekdays as there is a coffee and lunch crowd. As they are located in the CBD area, people often drop by for lunch, but after that, the shop becomes quieter. The crowd comes in again from 5pm onwards, where people start knocking off and they go down for a drink or two, or just to have a cup of coffee. Weekends are quieter as it’s the CBD, but they are still open on Saturdays because there are still students and teachers at the dance class upstairs.
Huanni would like say: “Come Neato to hangout. We just like the whole community coming together. Actually I started this place for us to build a community, to bring people here. The paintings here are actually on sale, it’s done by an artist friend of mine. So whatever proceeds we sell from here goes to children in need. So it’s just people coming in, doing whatever they feel comfortable with. We just try to keep it easy, try to keep it chill.”
So visit Neato today for a relaxing place to enjoy great pastries!
Where: 10 North Canal Road, Singapore 048823
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday – 9am to 7pm. Closed on Sundays.
Contact Information: 9188 0002 / 9848 5445