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The Central Business District has yet to return to its pre-pandemic hustle and bustle, but that hasn’t stopped five entrepreneurial schoolmates (two from Vietnam, the rest from China) currently enrolled in Kaplan Singapore, along with one of their Singaporean housemates, from opening a minimalist chic cafe in Shenton Way called Hoo-Gah. It serves not-so-traditional takes on the Vietnamese French loaf sandwich, banh mi.

Expect fusion flavours like cheesy grilled beef and char siew, alongside other trendy fare like Instagrammable cheese foam-topped tea and coconut shakes. The cafe’s name, Hoo-Gah, is how one would pronounce hygge, the hip Danish word for cosiness and conviviality – a concept that the group wished to emulate.

8days.sg speaks to two of the young entrepreneurs - Pan Yuquan, 21, and his girlfriend, Ho Diem Huong (who goes by Yuri), 20, to find out more about Hoo-Gah’s journey.

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