The Woods Second hand book store & cafe at Jalan Gajah Berang Melaka is this little hidden gem that effortlessly camouflages itself into the many run down workshop lots along this one way street. Tendency is very high that you’d missed it if you do not look carefully. (Look for it on the left immediately after turning into the road; the cafe is right next to a tuition centre with a comic cafe above them).
With the thriving cafe scene in Melaka town, it is no surprise to find new joints or coffee houses opening in various locations. This one however, has been around for more than a year but was surprisingly low profile probably because there isn’t much gimmick; instead the regulars would often visit for their light snacks and caffeine or non caffeine beverages while spending some quiet time.
Obtaining their beans from the Antipodean, only hand brews are available- mainly siphon and handmade drip. Their assorted single origins would make it hard for anyone to make up their mind, and if you have to order a drink then it should obviously be the caffeine ones.
Siphon brew for Mendehling (RM 8.50) sells at a fair price and accompanied with tiny cookies, making it sort of instagram worthy though I’d appreciate a little more if they were fresher.
Peppermint Lemonade (RM 4.90) has only lemon in it but mint was nowhere to be seen. As much as these sweet mix and concoction being a popular demand by the townsfolk, I really don’t see what’s so fancy in drinking sugar or syrup mixes. Same goes for this, it was all sugary and lack of the hint of refreshing lemon or mint so it definitely needs improvisation. And apparently, this isn’t the only thing that needs their attention. In the café, cakes are mostly chilled or frozen and were outsourced from home bakers. Between wanting to preserve the Cheese Cake (RM 8.50) and serving them chilled, it is a dilemma especially when the cakes taste like fridge when served to customers- another thing for them to consider. Time to get some bicarbonate soda in action (wiping the inner surface of fridge with it would keep them clean and odorless).
Anything fresh made is probably a safer choice and while the cafe currently serves light fare such as cakes, pizzas and sandwiches, they hosts supper club on a weekly basis (I think). The last I checked was an IndoChinese Dinner hosted by Chef Allan Ho (previously from Casa Del Rio Melaka). Supper Club is very rare in Melaka but perhaps a new trend could be emerging – tranquil and vintage shops hosting 5 star meals.
Jiun Wee the owner, preserves a very close-to-nature feel where customers can admire an artwork of old posters displayed upright on the brick wall, and with the café filled with racks decked in wood for books, the interior of the cafe evokes a rustic and homey feel. It was raw but clean and connects to a backyard spacious and filled with natural sunlight at the courtyard.
The interior isn’t the only thing to look at; their menu has very awesome doodling art.
The Woods Second Hand Book Store & Café is located in Melaka at:
35, Jalan Gajah Berang,
Tel: 016-622 7770
GPS: 2.201444, 102.2404
Click HERE for more photos on flikr.