My Singapore: Rayner Lim and Ave Chan of The Pigeonhole

I am a huge fan of The Pigeonhole, an indie book cafe and dynamic arts space on Duxton Road. After my first visit, I wrote: “[The Pigeonhole] is spacious and warm, eclectic and inviting. The Pigeonhole’s mission is to ‘promote Singaporean non-governmental organizations (NGOs), music, film, fine arts and performing arts.’ The Pigeonhole also brews a mean coffee and houses a thoughtful collection of second-hand and rare books.

“It’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon with other like-minded souls. I wish owners Rayner Lim and Ave Chan great things. The Pigeonhole is much-needed on this tiny island.”

Rayner and Ave are the incredible couple behind The Pigeonhole. A former film editor and litigation lawyer respectively, they left their jobs in pursuit of life, love, and a strong creamy cup of good coffee.

Today, I’m delighted to welcome Rayner and Ave to notabilia to share their Singapore with you!


The Garden Slug. We go there at least twice a month, which is very often considering we only have four rest days per month! For the longest time, Ave was hooked on the Runny Salmon Scramble-Up and wouldn’t eat anything else at the Slug. Imagine the runniest, silkiest scrambled eggs topped with a hefty portion of smoked salmon. Sheer heaven.

Noodle House Ken. Probably one of the few ramen-ya in Singapore that are open till 1am. When we’re out of ideas, ramen at Ken is our fall-back plan. The yolk in the ajitama (half-boiled egg) is soft and creamy (not unlike ear-wax, but in the best way possible) and the portions (even half-sized) are sizeable.


The Internet. Ave buys most of our clothes from this LiveJournal community called SGSellTrade. It’s a private community and you almost need to jump through flaming hoops to get posting access, but the bargains are fabulous. You can find dresses and bags (in brand new condition) for as low as $15. The sellers are all young females, so the variety of goods is as may be expected. Ave snagged a gorgeous Cheap Monday tee for Rayner at just $30!


The Garden Slug yet again! We like it that they have ample outdoor seating that is smoker-friendly and is also a great place to pet-watch after a hearty meal. They have two beautiful neighbourhood cats too, and we love cats, so that’s a big draw. Plus it’s close to Ave’s place in Marine Parade.

At home. We watch a lot of TV during our scarce spare time. (Ave: I suspect, to get away from our humdrum mortal existence…) At the moment, our obsession of choice is the remake of the BBC series Doctor Who. Chilling out at home is awesome because (1) we don’t get to be at home much, (2) it’s free, and (3) you can fall asleep whenever you like with little or no adverse consequences.

o o o o o

Follow The Pigeonhole on Twitter and conect on Facebook.

Need directions? Check out notabilia’s My Singapore guide!

Know a creative person who wants to share his or her must-stop spots with my readers? Please email all suggestions to me with the subject line ‘My Singapore.’

(Additional credits: Headshot by CaKe Images LLP. Additional photographs via The Pigeonhole’s Flickr stream. Used with permission.)

3 responses

  1. Nice! I’d love to visit this! We should go one of these days before I take my month-long leave. I would definitely enjoy a place that brews a ‘mean’ coffee and is selling second-hand bargain books! Would love to feature this as well on my website. When are you free? Email me, dearest.