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TCG 2020/2021 Directory

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11 Hamilton

It takes some effort to spot the café’s entrance, so here’s a hint: nose about the back alley and look for an unassuming doorway.

Decked out in shades of blue and gold, this is a hidden gem for an extensive brunch spread. Start with the signature Deconstructed Omelette with Salmon–served in a pan, the runny eggs are topped with chunks of salmon with piquillo mayo, wild rocket salad and grilled carrots.

Vegetarian options include the Umami Mushroom, with grilled oyster and shitake mushrooms plated on top of toasted sourdough bread, served with a side of fried enoki, wild rocket and tomatoes. For drinks, try the signature Matchaya Uji Matcha Latte with raw sugar. The drink is fragrant, and just the right balance of sweet with a hint of natural bitterness. A warm delight to sip on a cold day.

11, Hamilton Road, #01-00, S209182

A

Alchemist

FAVOURITE COFFEE

The folks at Alchemist take their coffee seriously. Take the Nossa Senhora from Brazil, which will win you over with its chocolatey aftertaste. Fancy a sweeter coffee with white chocolate and berry notes? Try the Lumos from Ethiopia. For those who prefer their coffee smooth and balanced, the pourover featuring the El Mirador beans from Colombia is a must-try.

Tucked away in what was once the Khong Guan Biscuit Factory building, this cosy café is also home to an impressive roastery where you get to see the coffee beans being roasted before the grounds are turned into your morning cuppa.

Not a coffee lover? There’s also hot chocolate and its iced version, or a delicious Cascara Tea-otherwise known as coffee cherry tea. Known for its high antioxidant content, this light herbal tea goes well with the pastries on display.

2 Mactaggart Road, Khong Guan Building, #01-01, S368078

Apollo Coffee Bar

FAVOURITE PANCAKES

Tucked away in the lovely Serangoon Gardens neighbourhood, Apollo Coffee Bar has a loyal crowd of regulars that fill the seats here even before noon on a weekday.

The food is a big draw- brunch features hearty yet healthy dishes such as Nori, Avo and Eggs, an umami-packed combination of seaweed, crispy kale and creamy avocado, with wobbly poached eggs. There’s also lip-smacking options such as the Chorizo & Octopus Risotto. Seafood-lovers will enjoy tucking into the buttery tender slices of octopus, cooked with spiced sausage and roasted capsicums for a little extra heart.

For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the fluffy pancakes. Top it off with a scoop of Miso Caramel soft-serve for a delightful contrast of sweet and salty, and wash it all down with a cuppa joe by the same folks behind Atlas Coffeehouse.

65 Serangoon Garden Way, S555961

Arteastiq

With three outlets across the island, Arteastiq has earned its reputation amongst aspiring artists with a penchant for tea. The outlet at Plaza Singapura, located on the third floor, features an expanded bar menu that now offers beer on tap to complement the bistro’s signature teas and coffee.

A crowd favourite is the Iced Lychee Tea, loved for its balance of sweetness, fruity-floral lychee notes and pretty presentation. Another crowd-pleaser is the Irish Cream Latte, a wickedly rich drink with a strong caffeine kick.

The food here is a fusion of East-meets-West, with each dish beautifully presented and showcasing a unique take on continental flavours and ingredients. Start with the Cheese Tofu, a light, silken cheese creation that comes served with toasted brioche, macadamia nuts and honey for a sweet contrast. Love meats? The French Affection is a good steak on the classic steak frites. The ribeye is flavourful, well-cooked and served with sautéed garlic spinach, accompanied by crisp sweet potato fries.

For a sweet ending, go with the classic Chestnut Mont Blanc Tartlet for a luscious dessert of rich chestnut cream and puree piped onto a buttery tart base. 

68 Orchard Road, #03-70/72, S238839

Artichoke

FAVOURITE SAVOURY PLATES

Just as the décor here is cool and funky, the Middle-Eastern inspired menu impresses with equal measure. Nestled in a quaint open garden, Artichoke is a café and restaurant that is bold with flavour.

Take the Crab & Bacon toast, with crispy salty bacon. The toast is crunchy and buttery, while the fresh crab cuts through the richness of the dish to give it some balance. The Cauliflower Kushari is another winner-think nicely charred vegetables tossed with Egyptian jewelled rice, smoked egg, bits of lentils, crispy shallot and corn puffs, drizzled with savoury mango amba and spices.

On weekends, the brunch menu features nine main dishes that are crowd-favourites. Love a good weekend roast? Try the Crispy Lamb, served with a side of hummus and sweet grapes.

161 Middle Road, S188978

Artisan Boulangerie Co.

ABC, a popular moniker for this bakery, started in 2013 as a small artisanal bakery near Orchard Road offering freshly baked breads, pastries and morning treats.

Coffee aficionados can look forward to classic coffees featuring Toby Estate’s specialty roasted beans. For something non-caffeinated, freshly squeezed juices like the Apple, Beetroot and Carrot combo promise to hit the spot.

We recommend starting off with the Fresh Fruit Almond Granola, brimming with bananas, berries and green apple. The Eggs & Avocado Open Face is a popular brunch classic, served with bacon and sautéed mushrooms atop sourdough toast. For a light gluten-free lunch option, the healthy Grilled Salmon Salad comes with a myriad of vegetables such as beetroot, corn and sweet pumpkin.

118 Killiney Road, #01-01, S239555

B

Bacha Coffee

Originating from Marrakech in 1910, Bacha Coffee pays homage to the time-honoured tradition of fine coffee selection and roasting methods, where the aromatic brew is prepared traditionally. Pick from a collection of over 200 varieties of 100% Arabica coffees, such as single-origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Heirloom Coffee, Yemenese Grand Moka Matari Coffee, and Jamaican Blue Mountain Gold Cup Coffee.

Enjoy hand roasted single origin, fine blended coffees, flavoured coffees and CO2 decaffeinated blends. The 1910 coffee is a perky brew with notes of strawberries, and pairs well with a chocolate croissant served with coffee flower honey and Chantilly whipped cream.

There is also an impressive selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, savouries and hearty mains. The luxurious free-range scrambled eggs with black truffle, coupled with the gourmet savoury Comté Croissant, and the smoked salmon French toast, are our favourites.

2 Orchard Turn, #01-15/16, S238801

Baker & Cook

Baker & Cook Chip Bee Gardens is the perfect spot for brunch. Founded by Kiwi native and well-known baker Dean Brettschneider, the sourdough bread here is tangy with a light crumb. Slather a slice of sourdough with their variety of house-made jams (you can buy a bottle home too!), or go for the full works with the B&C Savoury French Toast. Think thick slices of their signature German Vollkorn bread, dipped into an eggy batter and lightly pan-fried. This is best enjoyed with a spread of chilli and herb mascarpone, smashed avocado, and strips of crispy bacon.

For those looking to eat clean, the grain bowls and salads are a popular choice. At tea-time, sip on their gourmet coffee and tea (all from New Zealand, of course) and nibble on a slice of their signature Carrot Cake, made with five-spice for that surprising hint of heat.

44 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-56, S278116

Baker’s Bench Bakery

The whole ethos of the café is centred on the aforementioned baker’s bench, the heart of every bakery, evidenced by two large wooden benches-where the idea for this café was first seeded-flanking the entrance of this bakery.

All breads here are naturally leavened by sourdough-including their signature croissants-and accompanied by homemade jam and French butter. Sticky buns and homemade bagels are fresh out of the oven, and boiled in honey water for extra sheen.

Build your own plate with a choice of bread and eggs, sidecar sausages (free of preservatives, stabilisers and extenders). You can also enjoy brunch sandwich specials such as the popular Cheeky Chicken ($14) with Koji-brined chicken thigh. We tried the ham and cheese in simple pain de mie, and were impressed by its simplicity yet hearty flavours.

6 Bukit Pasoh Road, S089820

Bearded Bella

FAVOURITE PANCAKES

A cute, Melbourne-inspired café in Tanjong Pagar dining enclave, Bearded Bella brings the vivacious down-under vibe to bustling Singapore. Pair robust Aussie-style coffees (all sourced and roasted in-house) with hearty brunch plates and small bites.

For a strong caffeine kick, sip on the 22-hour White Cold Brew that promises a heady rush. But save some space for the Iced Chocolate (by Kennedy & Wilson, Yarra Valley). The silky, velvety drink is made from quality cocoa sourced from Ivory Coast and Ghana, infused with fragrant vanilla pods and topped with a dollop of citrus whipped cream for that finishing touch of indulgence.

And if you find yourself needing some food to go with the caffeine rush, the generously-portioned Scallops & Cold Pasta will work a treat. An absolute weekend favourite, though, is the Pancake. Bacon. Flight. Magic. If the name isn’t self-explanatory, then picture this: maple-infused pancakes, slathered with barbecue sauce-infused butter and onion jam, with three thick slices of bacon glazed in maple and spiced with paprika. Delish!

8 Craig Road, #01-01, S089668

Bee’s Knees at The Garage

GREAT FOR KIDS

One of the few cafes set in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bee’s Knees has a unique charm. It’s a fuss-free, self-service eatery with a sprawling kid- and pet-friendly alfresco area equipped with plenty of fans and coolers.

The cafe has a generous menu offering pastries, sandwiches and pastas tailored to different dietary requirements. Their standout item, Laksa Tiger Prawn Pasta, is a take on local laksa noodles sans the heavy coconut milk gravy. The Smoked Chicken Mayo Pizza can be a little too heavy on the mayo for some, but we did love the vegetarian Margherita option. For something other than the usual caffeine concoctions, the Orange Mocha gives a citrusy punch that goes surprisingly well with coffee. When it comes to milkshakes, only those with a particularly sweet tooth should attempt to drink one.

50 Cluny Park Road, Level 1, S257488

Belle-ville Pancake Café

Made to order fluffy meringue pancakes are the bees’ knees at this Osaka-inspired café located at Bugis Junction. The pancakes are served in stacks of two, four and oh my, eight-if you’re more than peckish.

What’s that you say, it’s sugary? Fans will turn a deaf ear to it because nothing but the mille feuille will do for the ’gram. Served with delicately light and luscious Hokkaido cream with assorted berries peeking between each layer of wobbly pancake, the mouthfeels from the Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake were all light, salty crunches between fluffy bites.

We recommend the Matcha Pancake with Azuki for its refined, Japanese textures and flavour complexity, thanks to a generous cascade of black honey, shiratama mochi and featherlight Hokkaido cream. Then top it off with a pot of Belleville Original Black Tea Blend from Okinawa for nutty, malty finish.

230 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction Towers, #01-01B, S188024

Ben & Jerry’s

Whether it’s your favourite late night fix or your afternoon treat to combat the heat, there’s always a reason to enjoy a scoop or two.

This iconic Vermont-founded name has made its way to the shelves of our local supermarkets, but there are exclusive combinations that can only be enjoyed at their brick-and-mortar stores. At 313@Somerset, you’ll get the Ice Cream Waffle, a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two crispy, golden waffles. Or the Cookie Cookie Sundae, an oversized ice cream sundae sitting cosy atop freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Popular flavours to go with the waffles or cookies include the perennial favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, with generous chunks of chocolate chip dough in vanilla ice cream. Love peanut butter? The Wake & “No Bake” is a newer flavour that boasts an unbaked cookie dough swirl with peanut butter cookies and fudge chips, in a generous wrapping of peanut butter and vanilla ice cream.

313 Orchard Road, #01-25/25A, S238895

Botany Robertson Quay

MOST INSTA-WORTHY

You’ll find the café conveniently situated in Robertson Quay, with calming waterfront views. The interiors are designed for Instagram moments and it’s perfect for a bar mitzvah or post-wedding reception party.

The two storey-high ceiling and cavernous white walls are punctuated by accents of gold, greens, and inspirational quotes. More reasons to drink up, we say. Start with the Otah Chips ($13), or find a familiar and comforting burst of heat and umami in the Signature Mentaiko Fries ($15). The Tofu and Tempe Fries ($13) are ideal for vegetarian lushes.

Our favourite mains are the Thai Basil Impossible Rice Bowl ($22) and the Uni Truffle Capellini ($28). The latter offers tremendous value for money-considering the amount of mouth-watering sea urchins for a single serving. Here’s to a toast-worthy brunch indeed.

86 Robertson Quay, #01-03, S238245

Boufé Boutique Café

A gem surrounded by the lush greenery of the Phoenix Park compound, Boufé Boutique Café is a quaint spot to catch up with friends away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Food portions here are hearty, such as the Pork Belly Adobo, a Filippino staple where the delectably marbled meat is slathered in a tangy soy-based Adobo sauce and paired with crispy rice noodles and mini buns. You’ll also find Insta-worthy dishes in vegan options like the Pink Impossible Burger. Here, the juicy meatless patty is sandwiched between two pretty-in-pink dragon fruit buns – made from infusing dragon fruit juice into the bread dough.

Cakes here are in a league of their own. The Milky Way is a crowd favourite, with a creamy white chocolate yogurt mousse layered with chocolate sable, calamansi jelly, and sweet, sticky honey.

308 Tanglin Road, Phoenix Park, #01-01, S247974

Bread & Hearth

This cosy café offers some reprieve from the bustling street outside. The owners’ passion for his craft is evident in the little details: rolling pin door handles on the main door and the tantalising spread of baked treats. Here, it’s all about artisan confectionery.

The breads, made by age-old European methods, go with coffee or a tall, blended drink such as a refreshing Caramel Coffee Frappe. There’s a large enough selection of teas, coffees, and other specialty drinks to please any crowd.

The extensive all-day menu serves up sandwiches, sweet cravings, pastas and hearty mains. We recommend the homemade Yogurt Granola Bowl and the signature Big Breakfast, which features bacon, egg muffins and mini Portobello mushrooms drizzled with cheese sauce. If you want something meatier, the Gourmet Beef Burger, with homemade beef patty and thick cut fries, should hit the spot.

18 Keong Saik, S089125

Brunches Café

FAVOURITE SAVOURY PLATES

Talk about vintage-inspired cool. Brunches Café steals the stage for retro-outfitted cafes with a vintage mini cooper right taking centerstage as a quaint dining booth, along with displays of relics from yesteryear.

The décor might be vintage, but the food is pure umami. Golden Risotto Ball, for instance, is deep-fried to achieve a crispy exterior, then simmered in a rich red wine beef stew. The beef is tender and tasty, while the crispy rice reminds us of the simple joys that comes with scrapping the bottom of a pot.

Try the Slow-cooked Pork Belly as well. The fork-tender is meat rich in collagen, and paired with buttery mashed potatoes. Wash it down with homemade sodas like the Blood Orange with Passionfruit Pulp.

96 Rangoon Road, S218381

Butterknife Folk

Starting a café these days is akin to fighting a battle with a butter knife. It was this train of thought that inspired the name of this gelato specialty café nestled in Funan Mall.

The gelato here is made fresh daily, with different flavours taking pride of place on a large two metre-long mirror hanging above the counter. Service is chirpy and cheerful, to make up for the fact that the gelato here sells like hot cakes. Come too late, and you’ll find yourself left with just a few choices–though still pretty good ones at that.

The Strawberries & Cream is a luscious milky treat made with fresh fruit that tastes just like sunshine, while the Matcha boasts a mild sweetness balanced out with a hint of bitterness. Popular hits here include a locally-inspired Chicken Rice gelato (made with rice puffs, soy, and a pinch of chilli) or a refreshing Chrysanthemum Calamansi.

107 North Bridge Road, Funan, #02-02, S179105

Buttercake N Cream

Buttercake N Cream bistro is homely and welcoming, decorated with plenty of foliage and warm lighting. Diners can choose to sit indoors (our preferred choice) or outdoors on the sheltered porch for a spot of al fresco dining.

The kitchen puts effort into making simple yet delicious dishes. The Wild Truffle Mushroom Soup, for instance, is silky and velvety, perfumed with the earthy aroma of truffles. Then, there’s the Hei Bee Hiam Prawn Burger. The patty is made from pure prawn flesh, expertly shaped and pan-seared before it is topped with cheddar and sandwiched between fluffy buns.

For drinks, try the Lemon Lime Bitter (salt-rimmed lemon cocktail with soda, lime and bitters) or the Peach Sparkler (peach flavoured sparkling water with a dash of apple juice and peach slices) if you’re after something refreshing.

106 Clementi St 12, #01-52, S120106

C

Café de Muse

One of the best things about Orchard Road is the midnight shopping, and Café de Muse is a one-stop shop to fuel up after lugging around all your shopping bags.

Located at street level of Isetan Shaw House, this 24-hour café serves up Korean-inspired bites. The Sous Vide Chicken Roulade is perfect to soothe those tired muscles. The meat is tender and packed with flavour, while the bed of silky mashed potatoes is like a welcome hug.

Save space for a sweet ending with the Chocolate Supreme, a sphere of rich dark chocolate theatrically drizzled with piping hot chocolate sauce that melts the cake when poured over. Or try the Fresh Melon Bingsu–finely-shaved ice flakes served in a carved-out half-melon and topped with melon balls.

350 Orchard Road, Isetan Scotts, Shaw House, #01-K5/K6, S238868

Café Melba

GREAT FOR KIDS

With two outlets island-wide (along Stars Avenue and at the Goodman Arts Centre), Café Melba has earned a loyal following of regulars who come back for the delicious food. The Yellowfin Tuna, for instance, is good for sharing or for a single diner. Cooked over medium-heat, the slab of fish is fork-tender and juicy, served with roasted potatoes and a sunny side-up egg on the side. Another main that is also good for sharing is the Mozzarella Stuffed Potato Rosti-beautifully crisp and golden on the outside, the Swiss pancake is filled with stringy cheese and garnished with chopped herb.

Café Melba is also a family-friendly restaurant, with a Kids Club that will keep the little tots entertained while their parents share a quick bite. Get the wood-fired thin crust pizza topped with ham and forest mushrooms, an easy and delicious choice.

1 Stars Avenue, #03-01, S138507

Carrara

Tucked away in Jalan Bukit Merah, Carrara Café is a secret gem waiting to be discovered. By night, the facade twinkles prettily with fairy lights, while the white-washed walls indoors give the café a homely feel.

Rosti, a popular Swiss dish of grated potatoes cooked in the form of a crispy pancake, is the signature dish of Carrara. Enjoy it plain with sour cream, or try the crowd-favourite: Sausage Cheese Rosti, topped with a layer of gooey cheese and a sunny side-up egg.

Also good here is the Signature Chilli Crab Pasta. Pair this with a refreshing glass of Lychee Osmanthus Shaken Tea, which is served icy cold and boasts lovely floral notes. For dessert, the Signature Homemade Waffles with Gelato is a must-try. The waffles are a perfect golden-brown, crispy yet fluffy on the inside, and heavenly when topped with a scoop of rich, creamy Midnight Chocolate gelato.

Blk 2 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-5148, S150002

Carrotsticks and Cravings

FAVOURITE AMBIENCE

GREAT FOR KIDS

Health nuts will love this Australian-owned gem tucked away in the leafy Dempsey neighbourhood, with a second outlet at Rodyk Street.

If the name Carrotsticks & Cravings isn’t enough of a giveaway, the menu certainly shows off a clean and green focus. The Acai Berry Bowl with berry coconut toppings is a good gluten and dairy-free starter, while the Happy Vegan Avo shows off a herby sourdough topped with smashed avocado. 

Fancy something a little heartier? The Spicy Gado Gado Bowl is perfect for vegetarians –packed with tofu, spinach, pan-seared tempeh and topped with chilli flakes for a hint of heat.

Carrotsticks & Cravings also pulls a mean espresso from Melbourne-roasted coffee beans that give a smooth yet balanced finish. Those sensitive to dairy will be glad for the variety of milk alternatives here, from oat and almond to soy and coconut.

75E Loewen Road, S248845

Cedele

Fast-food outlets are a dime a dozen in shopping malls. Which is why Cedele in Novena Square is a welcome breath of fresh air.

The local outfit is known for turning out healthy dishes, and can always be counted on when you’re looking for a wholesome and satisfying meal. From the menu, a popular crowd-favourite is the Grilled Beetroot Patty & Avocado Burger. Here, Cedele swaps out a juicy beef patty with a hunk of beetroot that is refreshingly sweet, especially when slathered with a generous layer of creamy avocado. A little chilli jam heats things up a notch. And while the Three-some Sandwich is cheekily named, the combination of tender and flavourful chicken with slices of ham and crispy pieces of bacon is one we’ll gladly hop in bed with.

For drinks, Cedele serves organic coffees and a good selection of Wellness Teas. Don’t leave without trying their Organic Lemongrass brew, or a tall refreshing glass of Iced Rooibos Lemon Tea.

238 Thomson Road #01-01-04 Novena Square, S307683

Châteraisé Café

Soft, fluffy, layered with clouds of light, airy cream. The Legendary Fresh Cream Cake at Châteraisé is the kind of cake that dreams are made of.

Over at the Toa Payoh outlet, you can enjoy the sweet treat in an al fresco dining area along with a cup of fresh Hokkaido Milk Latte-robust coffee mixed with creamy Japanese milk. For those who are allergic to dairy or wheat, there’s also a version of the Legendary Fresh Cream Cake here made with rice flour, strawberry compote and soy milk cream instead of fresh milk.

For something a little bitter-sweet, go for the Matcha Double Fantasy Cream Puff. The giant choux pastry is buttery and crisp, and holds a generous filling of double cream-milk and matcha. The texture is silky smooth, and the dessert is perfect for those who prefer their treats less cloyingly sweet.

Toa Payoh HDB Hub, #01-15, 490 Lor 6 Toa Payoh, S310490

Common Chefs Bistro

FAVOURITE WAFFLES

Sembawang isn’t usually the place that comes to mind for a weekend brunch. But Common Chefs Bistro breaks the norm with their cosy vibes, friendly service and quality food at pocket-friendly prices.

A crowd favourite here is the Common Chefs’ signature Wazza, a double whammy dish that puts together crispy buttermilk waffle with pizza. The Full Breakfast Wazza is a breakfast for champions-strips of crispy bacon are lined up with sautéed mushrooms, a runny egg and plenty of melted cheese atop a fluffy, golden brown ‘wazza’ base. Also highly recommended is The Boss Burger, with your choice of homemade beef or chicken patties. The mince is doused in a secret marinade that yields tender, juicy patties, topped with caramelised onions and a fried egg. Swop your fries for the Truffle Tater Tots-crispy little nuggets of joy, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

8 Jalan Legundi,#01-13, S759274

Common Man Coffee Roasters

FAVOURITE ALL-DAY BREKKIE

It’s easy to see why coffee connoisseurs flock to this establishment on the regular. Located along 22 Martin Road, Common Man Coffee Roasters (CMCR) serves an excellent range of specialty coffees ranging from their signature CMCR espresso blend prepared on their custom Synesso espresso machine, to a manual brew of flavourful single origins and micro-lots, such as YirgZero from Ethiopia, specially prepared on their dedicated brew bar as a pour over.

The all-day brunch-style menu proffers sweet and savoury dishes, including the Organic Eggs Benedict—two poached eggs and braised ox cheeks served atop a bed of fresh rockets—and the Common Man Fluffy Pancakes served with caramelised bananas, walnuts, topped off with salted caramel sauce, nutty crumble and berry coulis.

22 Martin Road, #01-00, S239058

Common Man Stan

FAVOURITE ALL-DAY BREKKIE

FAVOURITE COFFEE

SUPERB SERVICE

Located in the heart of the CBD, Common Man Stan is the perfect pit-stop for your morning cuppa or to get your brunch fix.

Coffee here is a solid brew, made with Guatemalan beans that have become a trademark of the Common Man brand. Enjoy this in a Long Black, an aromatic cup of joe that yields chocolatey notes with hints of cherry fruit. For a refreshing drink, try the Nitro Iced Tea—the icy cold brew is made with strawberry yogurt cream tea and honey, and is a real treat on a sunny afternoon.

For lunch, the Common Man Burger sure packs a punch. Think two fluffy brioche buns sandwiching a juicy wagyu and bone marrow patty that is slathered with house-made tartar sauce.

11-12 Stanley Street, S068730

D

Dal.komm Coffee

Fans of Korean dramas will recognise the popular dal.komm COFFEE, a trendy coffee chain that makes a regular appearance in top Korean drama hits.

With an outlet now open at Funan Mall, the South Korean-founded café serves up Korean coffee culture in the heart of Singapore. Coffee here goes by three main categories–K1, K2 and K3, ranging from mild and chocolatey, to a citrusy brew and a deep, intense cuppa. If you like your coffee strong, try the K3 beans and balance it out in the form of a Rose Latte. The rich brew is enhanced with the aromatic rose syrup, good with a splash of milk. Purists will also love the Coffee Cube, a single large cube of frozen espresso that is melted down simply with milk for a concentrated cuppa.

For food, try the spicy Signature Ssamjang Chicken Cruffin available across all outlets. The spicy ssamjang chicken is drizzled with ssamjang sauce, sandwiched between the buttery and fluffy cruffins. The original Korean classic of Injeolmi Toast is also a must-try, featuring chewy rice cakes coated with a nutty soybean powder, then sandwiched between honey-infused slices of toast. Besides Funan Mall, Dal.komm Coffee can also be found at The Centrepoint, Marina Square, and Jewel Changi Airport.

107 North Bridge Road, #03-17, S179105

Da Paolo Dempsey

GREAT FOR BIG GROUPS

A brand-new concept by the Da Paolo Group, Da Paolo Dempsey Restaurant & Bar is helmed by group executive chef Andrea Scarpa, who has created delicious all-day dining menus.

Highlights from the brunch menu include the Spicy Italian Shakshuka with free-range eggs, homemade meatballs, chorizo, and charred eggplant. Also good is the Burrata Bruschetta ($24) complete with San Daniele ham and pesto.

The stars during lunch and dinner are the pastas and pizzas, prepared fresh from the live stations—the Braised Beef Cheek Pappardelle with a sumptuous red wine veal glaze and shavings of pecorino, as well as the Naples-style spilinga pizza showcasing the Da Paolo Group’s homemade tomato sauce prepared with Italian tomatoes.

8 Dempsey Road, #01-13, S247696

Da Paolo Gastronomia

A fuss-free Italian meal doesn’t always have to be pizza. At Da Paolo Gastronomia (Raffles City), the casual bistro offers an array of neatly-packed lunch boxes filled with pasta, salads and grain bowls.

The Bolognese Pasta is a classic done well; a generous scoop of rich ragu meat sauce spooned over al dente pasta noodles (choice of wheat or gluten-free available). Vegetarians can get the Spinach Lasagna; a bed made from layers of pasta, mozzarella cheese and cooked leafy greens.

Drinks here are no after-thought either. The Italian Hazelnut Coffee Shake is a wickedly delicious blend of smooth chocolate with bits of crushed nuts, while the Italian Chocolate is sinfully thick and luscious. Or opt for the classic Tiramisu, coffee with soft ladyfinger biscuits layered with mascarpone and dusted generously with cocoa.

252 North Bridge Road, #B1-45 Raffles City Shopping Centre, S179103

Dimbulah Coffee

Located within Raffles Hospital, Dimbulah Coffee offers nourishment in the form of comfort soul food.

The breakfast menu is healthy yet hearty at the same time. The Eggs Benedict breakfast comes as an open-faced sandwich with a perfectly poached egg, slices of ham and hash browns. There’s also an Aussie classic, Smashed Avocado, which is a typical avo toast with a side of scrambled eggs and grilled tomatoes. Portions are generous, so you might want to share if you’re not a big eater in the mornings.

Coffee here is top-notch, too. Try the Dimbulah Select for those who like their coffee with hot steamed milk and a slight hint of bitter notes. And if you’re in the mood for a little mischief in the morning, try the affogato. Thick and creamy thanks to a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, the double espresso-based drink is infused with a shot of kahlua for that extra kick.

585 North Bridge Road, #01-01 Raffles Hospital, S188770

Dutch Colony Coffee Co.

Coffee purists will love the idea behind Dutch Colony Coffee, known for its quality bean-to-cup brews.

And while the filter coffees here show off the individual profile of these coffee beans, the roasted beans are also put to use in creative concoctions. Take the Coco Brew, inspired by a trip to Brazil. The Brazilian coffee beans are roasted and extracted, before the coffee is made into cold brew ice cubes. The iced coffee cubes are then served over coconut water and sour plum juice, a unique combination that works like a charm.

Also available are hearty breakfast treats such as the Spinach & Mushroom Toast, with fresh assorted mushrooms and shiso sprouts crowning rye sourdough. There are a couple of chef specials to look forward to such as Slow-braised Beef Cheeks and Pan-seared Norwegian Salmon.

1 Fusionopolis Way, #01-01, S138632

E

Eleven Strands

FAVOURITE AMBIENCE

Located opposite Serangoon Stadium is this cosy café. We were pleasantly surprised by its Pinterest-perfect interiors with accents of warm wood, sputnik chandeliers and intricate rose gold bar stools.

Affordable lunch and weekend brunch menus are a draw, but the café also presents a good range of a la carte Italian and French offerings. We tried the Crab Meat Pasta, which is cooked with your choice of tomato or white wine sauce.

The tagliatelle done al dente goes perfect with generous chunks of sweet crab meat and hints of fennel. The deceptively simple sounding French Apple Tart is a dream. Toasty and modestly embellished with a dusting of powdered sugar, the crisp paper-thin pastry gave way at the lightest touch of our spoon, unveiling caramelised apple chunks with just the right amount of tartness.

66 Yio Chu Kang Road, S545568

F

Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro

The word “Fika”- (pronounced fee-ka) translates to “taking a break from work”. Trust the Swedes-who constantly rank among the world’s best employers-to uphold the tradition of a recommended caffeine break.

For something stronger than a cuppa, the ice-blended Basilika Breeze-brimming with cucumber, passionfruit and fresh basil-is a popular starter. Try the savoury Sill Tallrik, a pickled herring plate with rye crispbread and caviar; or the homemade, beef Swedish meatballs with baby potatoes and lingonberry jam. Another crowd pleaser is the Köttbullesmörgås, a traditional, chilled meatball sandwich served on tekaka bread with red beet salad. For a bit of everything, go for the Smörgåsbord ($69/2 pax).

Save some room for dessert though. The ice-cream topped salted caramel buttermilk waffle-light as air, and scattered with crispy feuilletine for crunch-is more than memorable.

257 Beach Road, S199539

Five Oars Coffee Roasters

FAVOURITE SWEETS

While the majority of Tanjong Pagar Road is dominated by casual Korean eateries, Five Oars Coffee Roasters offers a bright enclave smelling of caramelised beans. This brunch spot is characterised by strategically placed flora, and a crew that prides itself on proffering “black” or “white” coffee in ounces (hint: know your Brazil-Colombian house-blend coffee order).

The Salmon Rosti, served with runny, poached eggs and lightly smoked Norwegian salmon, hits the spot. Avocado & Eggs—served on toasted sourdough with poached eggs, and a generous dollop of guacamole—is a crowd-favourite. The Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast comes with a crispy crust that caves to a moist centre of whipped cream, cream cheese, and vanilla ice cream. By the time you’re crunching through the candied pecans, you’ll be planning a second date here.

39 Tanjong Pagar Road, S088462

Forty Hands

FAVOURITE ALL-DAY BREKKIE

Nestled in the hipster Tiong Bahru estate, Forty Hands serves one of Singapore’s best versions of an Aussie classic—smashed ‘avo’ on toast.

It’s easy to take a fork to a ripe avocado, but Forty Hands puts effort into the seasoning as well. Apart from the wobbly poached eggs in this dish, the smashed avocado is perfectly seasoned with a mix of cumin, coriander, black and white sesame seeds and feta cheese. A winning combination with a slice of garlicky buttered toast.

Another dish to sink your teeth into is the 40 Hands Cheeseburger. The patty here is a house-blend of ground meat and spices, mixed with bone marrow for that extra indulgence.

Coffee here (by Common Man Coffee Roasters) is excellent, but try the Avocado Smoothie—a sweet, silky drink that is light yet creamy.

78 Yong Siak Street, S163078

Free the Robot

FAVOURITE COFFEE

The cheeky name was inspired by the masses of “corporate robots” that flock there in the mornings to fuel up on caffeine. The venue transforms into craft cocktails bar Bitters & Love in the evenings. What a gentle reminder to live life!

Energise yourself with the Free The Robot Signature—a double-shot espresso, with milk and Aroozoo organic virgin coconut oil, best enjoyed on ice. The Green Monster Shake is a teaser for health buffs into liquid meals made with baby spinach, mint leaves, pineapple, coconut water, papaya, and yes, kale.

Since the café bakes all its breads on the premises every morning, you won’t go wrong with fresh croissants or sandwiches. The Big Brekky ($22) with scrambled eggs, Portobello mushroom, streaky bacon, spicy smoked sausage, mesclun salad and multigrain toast is a crowd favourite.

118 Telok Ayer Street, S068587

Fresh Fruits Lab

If you have ever wondered what dining in a school science laboratory would be like, this brunch hideout will bust all myths. Beakers, conical flasks and test tubes are used in place of basic plates and glasses. If that is not novel enough, the aesthetic within the café offers more chemistry than most. When was the last time you used a Bunsen burner, Einstein?

A slew of detox juices on the menu leads to more interesting finds-a Sweet Potato Latte, a Chendol Coffee served with strawberry syrup, pandan and grass jelly, and even a Lemon-Lime Raspberry Blanc Beer. The Fresh Fruits Lab Da Bomb Burger-served with a chunky homemade beef patty, sunny side up and crispy fries-stands out on the menu. If that’s not enough, the Classic Pork Chop with homemade garlic Thai sauce should hit the spot.

We recommend sitting outdoors to get closer to nature. The greenery is so mesmerising you won’t notice yourself ploughing through the rich dark chocolate blackout cake with mirror glaze.

351 Changi Road, S419818

Fuel Plus+

Sometimes you’d crave a quiet meal with some chit-chat. Tucked away in the charming estates of Mount Faber, Fuel Plus+ is a hideout in broad daylight. Radiating bright, warm tones with its Scandinavian-themed decor, this cafe is all about comfort brunch fare mad with the kitchen’s unique spin.

While the menu offers dependable brunch mainstays, it’s the Asian-inspired Soft Shell Crab Curry that steals hearts with its rich and spicy flavours. Try the Beef Ragu Pappardelle if you’re a fan of al dente thick noodles coated with a meaty sauce. Sip the fragrant cappuccino—made with Bianco coffee blends from La Ristrettos—and admire how it’s delivered with proper, barista-made coffee art.

For the caffeine-free, the namesake Ice Tea is a perfect thirst quencher. Pair it with the fluffy Salted Caramel Pancakes, which is as good as it sounds.

16 Morse Road, #01-207, S099228

G

Gallery & Co.

Visiting a museum sure is an underrated sport; all that walking about and standing on your feet to muse works of art can get tiring quickly.

Enter Gallery & Co, the National Gallery of Singapore’s answer to a hungry museum-goer’s call. Decor-wise, the space is chic and fits right in at the entrance of the museum. On the menu, you’ll find the likes of simple fusion grub done with some creative flair. The Crispy Chicken Burger is easy to sink your teeth into, a delicious combo of two potato buns sandwiching a wonderfully juicy and crispy piece of fried chicken. There’s also a Grilled Otah Taco, a local take on the Mexican classic. Here, slices of cured fish pate are topped with pomegranate and corn salsa, sandwiched between a crispy taco shell.

For drinks, recharge with a cup of Almond Pandan Coffee, cold-pressed juices, or even a glass of chilled wine if you so fancy.

1 St. Andrew’s Road, #01-17, S178957 

GentleBros Café

SUPERB SERVICE

Located within Nankin Row, GentleBros Café is a café emblematic of a renewed focus on fresh ingredients, vegetarian options, and inventive salad bowls.

Try the well-seasoned Boneless Chicken Thigh, served with warm quinoa, mixed cherry tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette, and fresh pineapple salsa. The signature drink offers both hydration and stimulation. It’s a double shot of espresso with coconut water, served out of a young coconut. The bitter kick of caffeine blends with the natural sweetness of the coconut for an interesting “coco-black”, if you will.

Their Baked Salmon protein is a mainstay. It’s made to order, and oven-baked to retain the salmon’s juicy moisture. Ask for the omega 3 bowl, which features the salmon with steamed brown rice and corn salsa. Then get a guilt-free vegan date smoothie to go.

3 Pickering Street, Nankin Row Shophouse, #01-43, S048660

Grounded by CMCR

Nestled above the hustle and bustle of their acclaimed sister joint, Common Man Coffee Roasters, Grounded by CMCR is a cosy, quiet spot that shares a space with Yoga Movement. The alfresco seating on the wooden deck is welcoming, as are the high stools that face their floor-to-ceiling glass window panels. If you’re not relaxed here, you’re not doing it right.

Based around a health-forward, clean-eating concept, Grounded’s menu does double duty with high-quality artisanal coffee and protein bowls that manage to be wholesome, tasty and most importantly, ‘Gram-worthy’.

Go for the Redemption Bowl-a naturally sweet combination of roasted veggies, nuts, seeds, and a poached egg served with a sun-dried tomato sauce. Who says eating green is boring?

22 Martin Road, #02-00, S239058

Group Therapy Café

Fluffy pancakes. Thick, buttery toast with eggs. A hearty plate of pasta. Oh, and a good cuppa too. When it comes to brunch food done well, Group Therapy Café checks all the right boxes.

Located in Cross Street Exchange along South Bridge Road, their newest outfit (their other outlet is in Katong V) is decorated in the group’s trademark quirky colours while food and drink are served in their signature bright cups and plates.

It’s hardly brunch without pancakes, and the Pumpkin Pancakes here aim to please. The fluffy pumpkin pancakes are layered with smoked salmon, a poached egg and a generous drizzle of creamy hollandaise sauce. Another breakfast favourite is the Croque Monsieur, a buttery toast filled with ham and cheese, and capped with a sunny side-up egg. To end, get the nutty Roasted Almond Latte.

181 South Bridge Road, #01-05 & #K1-04, S058743

H

Henri Charpentier

Beautiful packaging. Desserts that are light and sweet without being cloying. When it comes to crafting sweet treats, this Japanese patisserie checks all the right boxes.

Located in Orchard Central, Vivo City and ION Orchard malls (with a new outlet slated to open in summer at Great World), Henri Charpentier is a go-to for ladies who lunch or couples looking to indulge in sliced cakes and sweet bites. Their signature bite-sized financiers are highly addictive. Baked fresh daily, these pockets of buttery goodness have a moist and tender crumb, and come in an assortment of flavours such as tiramisu and chocolate.

But if there’s one definite star, the Double Cheese Cake here steals the show. Light as air, and filled with generous amounts of double cream cheese, the crushed cookies give this cheese cake an extra sweetness while a sprinkle of gold dust turns this classic into an extravagant indulgence. If you’re dropping by the ION outlet, take some time to sit back in the comfy seats and enjoy the Crêpe Suzette. The classic dessert was created when a young Henri Charpentier accidentally added alcohol into the dish, and it is a crowd favourite today. Each bite delivers contrasting layers of hot soft crepe and cold ice-cream, drenched in satisfying bursts of orange juice, Grand Marnier cognac and Cointreau.

2 Orchard Turn, #03-32/33, S238801

Huggs Coffeebar

Located on the fringe of Millenia Walk, Huggs Coffeebar is the go-to for the nearby working crowd in search for a good morning cuppa or a craft beer post-work.

Wake up and smell the coffee in the mornings with their range of specialty brews. The M White (Melbourne Flat White), for instance, is a generous double-shot espresso drink topped with frothy milk that will keep you powered up for early meetings.

Need some extra fuel? Grab a Croi-sun-wich –a hearty combo of eggs, ham and melted cheese with a layer of mayonnaise, sandwiched in a buttery croissant.

As Huggs Coffeebar is open until 9pm on weekdays, it’s no surprise that the café turns into a spot for after-work drinks come evening. On the menu are five types of craft beers, with a crowd favourite being the collaboration between Huggs and Saigon Brewery. The latter’s signature Heart of Darkness stout is infused with coffee beans from Huggs, to yield a bright yet intense coffee stout. Enjoy it ice cold as you wind down for the evening.

9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-92, Millenia Walk, S039596

Hoshino Coffee

If you flip out over pancakes and specialty hand-drip coffees, then this wonderfully unique Japanese-Western restaurant should entertain your palate.

Generous portions of pasta, tonkatsu curries and Angus steaks are just the beginning. The signature coffee here is brewed using only premium Arabica beans, handpicked by the chain’s coffee blend specialist.

Don’t leave without trying its signature pillow-y Japanese-style soufflé pancakes and fluffy omu-short for ‘omuretsu’, a Japanese lava-style omelette enveloping rice. Top it off with the soft Strawberry French Toast, served in a skillet and generously crowned with strawberries and whipped cream, and you’re good for the departure gates.

78 Airport Boulevard, #B1-260 Jewel Changi Airport, S819666

J

Jimmy Monkey Café

FAVOURITE COFFEE

Coffee buffs are going to love this place because it uses the proper machines—state-of-the-art Slayer and Mazzer for amazingly aromatic brews with definitive latte art. No such thing as a coffee snob, right?

Apart from potent cappuccinos and espressos, the unpretentious café is defined by high ceilings, interiors that’s homely yet chic, and music that takes you back to the good old ’90s. Its off-beat location and delicious brews are perfect for lingering conversations after a satisfying meal.

Meat lovers flock here because of popular mains like the generously sized Meaty Benedict, and the Angus Burger with medium doneness. For something less heavy yet just as tasty, try the JM Breakie Sandwich, stacked with bacon, rocket, roma tomatoes and avocado with an omelette. The whole thing is cradled in a toasted Italian hand-rolled ciabatta bun. Now we’re hungry again!

9 One-North Gateway, #01-51 One-North Residences, S138643

K

KARA Cafe & Dessert Bar

From its chic, pastel exteriors on Bukit Timah Road, you’d think it was
a lifestyle design store peddling the best of artisanal homeware. That perspective changes once you step inside, where a lush, vibrant tropical wallpaper and warm furniture greets you.

The signature Pork Belly Miso Grain Bowl is served with wonderfully braised, well-marinated kakuni pork belly, with sides of garlic Japanese rice and ramen chips for added crunch.

The Matcha Berry Homemade Mochi Waffles is essential for those with a sweet tooth. The waffles’ chewy mouth-feel pairs surprisingly well with the matcha and dark chocolate softie swirls.

Days in Singapore are mostly sweltering, so sip the Roselle Ice Tea for a refresher. Served with nata de coco on the side—the drink is not saccharine and brings a gentle tartness from the roselle juice. Yummy!

617 Bukit Timah Road, S269718

Konditori Artisan Bakes

The people here know a thing or two about tempting window displays. A parade of sinfully glazed, sugar-frosted baked goods, lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, will stop any innocent passer-by in their tracks.

A spin-off from popular Swedish café, Fika, this pretty halal bakery makes their gluten wares from scratch on the premises, and you’re invited into the experience. While a dine-in option isn’t available, there are a couple of seats outside for people-watching with your pastries. Most customers are happy just nibbling on the goods on the street outside.

Although the Lingonberry Semla wasn’t as soft and moist as we’d have liked, the Red Velvet and Black Forest Croissant were flawless. We enjoyed the Orange Peel Brioche loaf—sold only in loaves as they do with sourdough—which had sugar crystals sprinkled on top for a sweet crunch.

33 Bussorah Street, S199451

L

Lady M

Someone said cake is always a good idea, and it’s impossible to disagree when something like Lady M exists. Famous for their luscious handmade Mille crêpes, the brand’s latest outlet at Jewel Changi is a fine excuse to indulge before heading to the departure gates.

Each layer cake is beyond beautiful, and features between 20 and 23 paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with light pastry cream, and gently caramelised on top until golden.

Signatures include Salted Caramel, where chocolate crêpes are layered with salted caramel pastry cream and garnished with cacao nibs, and the champagne mille crêpe boasting strawberry-accented pastry cream and topped with a gelée of fine champagne.

An interesting tea selection sets this cafe apart. Try the Crème de la Rose tea, Matcha Latte, or the Lady M Iced Coffee, all made with Japanese precision and exceptional French techniques.

78 Airport Boulevard, #02-253, S819666

Little Damage

This L.A.-bred artisanal soft serve brand is chic, confident, and thankfully devoid of lame monikers to compensate for flavour. The proof is in the richly dark, Goth-inspired ice cream prepared daily in small batches.

With flavours like Coffee Caramel, White Chocolate, Unicorn Tears and Vegan Cookie Butter served in their signature black waffle cones, you’ll want to try them all—because premium local ingredients from organic, dairy farms don’t source themselves.

A vegan flavour is on the board any day of the week, and everything is made without preservatives. There is a free, fun topping—fruity pebbles, desiccated coconut, chocolate balls, rainbow sprinkles or Oreo bits—with each cone.

Naturally coloured with activated charcoal—believed to remove toxins from the body—and hand-rolled minutes before serving, the black waffle cone will be a star on your Instagram. Like we said, we love the confidence.

2 Haji Lane, S189195

Little Farms Café

If you’re one for fresh whole foods, Little Farms at River Valley will be your idea of paradise. Known for importing fresh, organic produce into Singapore, this quaint outfit in River Valley doubles up as both a grocer and a cosy café.

The latter is brightly lit and decked out in minimalist yet chic furniture. Food, of course, is made from top-quality produce. The Vegetable Stack, for one, showcases layers of vibrant greens, orange and purples-think aubergines, carrots and leafy spinach grilled and stacked to form a ‘vegetable lasagne’. Fancy something a little meatier? The Rib Eye Steak is expertly cooked and basted with butter, while the Pork Rack is fork-tender and yields soft, flavourful meat.

You’ll also find a healthy selection of drinks and juices. Try the Acai Smoothie and Green Power-both are fresh and flavourful. For coffee lovers, sip on a milky Flat White or get a Long Black to bask in the vibrant fruity notes of the organic grounds here.

491 River Valley Road, #01-20, S248371

Little Part 1 Café

How about a brunch spot along a picturesque row of pre-war terrace houses at Blair Road? If you’re wondering the same thing, Little Part 1 Café is a neat little hideaway that serves up tabasco-laced sticky wings, thin crust pizzas, and fresh mussels to satiate the dreamiest cravings.

If you have a taste for blended seafood flavours, the Belgian Mussels with Chilli Crab Sauce is an absolute treat. Although the crab meat was scant, the side board of crusty thick-cut baguette slices were perfect for mopping up the hearty, rich sauce.

Other highlights include the ultra-thin Grilled Unagi Pizza, where fat, glistening unagi chunks are scattered on a crackling thin, leopard spotted crust. It’s surprisingly delicious. Best to close off the meal with a fresh pull of local craft beer from the tap; choose from a predominantly Belgian and German selection that includes Brewlander, Rye & Pint and The 1925 Brewing Co.

54 Blair Road, #01-01, S089954

M

Merci Marcel

SUPERB SERVICE

It’s tempting to think that entertaining is all about the cuisine. With French café Merci Marcel, located in the conservation neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, it’s certainly more than what’s on the plate.

Staffers greet you with a “Bonjour”, as you’re led into a quaint, warmly-lit dining room with tropical walls, a long bar, a display of fine wines, and access to a brighter alfresco area in the back.

An outstanding main is the Australian grass-fed angus beef. Nicely seared with the perfect doneness that was requested for and some light seasoning, the steak retained all its umami goodness, and the dish was topped with accompanying cream mushroom and homemade fries.

Just the right amount of chic with the food. Plus s’il vous plait!

56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68, S160056

Micro Bakery & Kitchen

No one wants to hear the words “commercial bakery” anymore. If you’re not dealing in “small batch” artisanal breads, it’s tough to get your café on the hipster to-do list.

Located at Serene Centre, Micro Bakery & Kitchen has all these and more—including gluten-free pastries. Ohmagawd.

Fans of sourdough bread will not be disappointed with the chewy and delicious selections here. There is also a dine-in menu featuring various tartines and open-faced sandwiches—the House Ricotta Tartine ($12) is a hot favourite here.

Other notable options include the Grilled 3 Cheese ($12), Charred Cauliflower Sandwich ($12), and Mushroom Tartine
($10). The sweet bakes are equally impressive—the Banana Walnut Bread, which is nutty, moist and moderately dense, is a crowd-pleaser.

Coffee beans are sourced from Common Man Coffee Roasters, with filter coffee from Artisan Roastery beans in Malaysia. What’s not to like?

10 Jalan Serene, #01-05 Serene Centre, S258748

Ms Durian

Fans of the undisputed King of fruits, you’ll love this chic little café located in The Poiz Centre along Upper Serangoon Road.

As its name suggests, this durian specialty cafe serves a selection of delectable desserts made with smooth, creamy durian flesh. The Durian Craquelin, a choux pastry, is piped with D24 mousse and dusted with sugar. For something a little lighter on the palate, try the Durian Coconut Milk Pudding. While most durian puddings lean towards a rich profile, the use of coconut milk here plays down the richness and yields a more subtle flavour. The texture is smooth as custard, and served chilled to enhance the flavour of the Mao Shan Wang used here.

If you’re craving a slice of cake for tea, be sure to try the MSW Durian Cake. Once again, Ms Durian manages to turn the King of fruits into a delicate and delicious dessert. Layers of pure blended Mao Shan Wang flesh is spread alternatively on layers of fluffy and moist vanilla sponge cake. Delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

51 Upper Serangoon Road, #01-70 The Poiz Centre, S347697

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Narrative Coffee Stand

If you’re a fan of under-rated third wave coffee bars, this hidden gem of a café in busy Bras Basah is definitely worth a trip. While the café is small in physical size, it makes up for it with a myriad of coffee (and tea) offerings and some rustic home-baked treats.

Coffee beans and cold brews are typically supplied by homegrown Nylon Coffee Roasters, but check out
the curated espresso from Norwegian Tim Wendelboe. The café specialises in filter coffee using the V60 drip method to extract full flavour from the beans. For a different type of caffeine kick, we recommend trying the E&T, where a double shot of espresso from Tim Wendelboe’s Kenyan Karagoto is poured over East Imperial Royal Botanic Tonic Water.

And if you’re an affogato fan, the version here is served with sweetened espresso granite. While the homemade treats change on almost a daily basis for quality and freshness, our top picks are the banana walnut and brownie.

Blk 231 Bain Street, #01-05, Bras Basah Complex, S180231

Nesuto Patisserie

FAVOURITE SWEETS

MOST INSTA-WORTHY

This Japanese-French patisserie on Tras Street is a haven for cake and entremets lovers, and you’ll need three to four visits to sample most of its offering.

We loved the Le Goma, layers of fluffy black sesame sponge with sesame diplomat cream (a combination of pastry cream and whipped cream). Another standout was the Yuzu Raspberry cake, a sponge cake with yuzu mousse and fresh raspberries.

Chocolate fiends can get the Hazelnut, a salted caramel hazelnut dessert enrobed in dark chocolate with a crunchy praline feuilletine base. Try these cakes with Lychee Oolong tea. The tartness in the cakes compliments the tea’s fruity notes.

53 Tras Sreet, #01-01, S078992

O

Oriole Coffee + Bar

Their maxim reads ‘Coffee by Day and Bar by Dusk’, and it’s surprising how well one concept blends into the other. No disrespect to local “sock-filtered” coffees, but connoisseurs will recognise the barista’s magic touch here.

Signature in-house drinks such as Death Cream-made with vanilla beans, espresso and cream and M.A.D. Milk-a dairy-free, cold-pressed nut milk made with macadamias, almonds and dates.

Diners can pair them with the all-time favourite Oriole Truffle Burger, a well-blended orchestra of grain-fed beef patty, sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onion, and melted cheese between buns.

Try the Capellini Crabmeat, where chunks of sweet crab bring a chewy bite to an Aglio-olio style capellini mixed with charred red peppers and chilli. The Ginger Ale Fish & Chips and Har Cheong Gai—shrimp-paste marinated chicken wings—were sinfully flavourful, but great for sharing.

96 Somerset Rd, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard (Next to 313), #01-01, S238163

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Park Bench Deli

Inside this standing room only nook on the busy intersection of Telok Ayer Street and Amoy Street, you’ll find homage to an all-American deli experience—big, hearty sandwiches served over hip-hop beats at a casual counter.

Dig into classics like the Cubano, a Cuban-American inspiration featuring tender carnitas pulled pork and smoked ham with gooey mozzarella, or the Pastrami Reuben, a sandwich made famous in the Jewish kosher delicatessens of NYC, theirs with house-smoked pastrami and a Russian dressing coleslaw on rye.

Indulge in the Pastrami Tater Tots, which is a perfectly crisp mountain of golden tots topped with all the highlights of the sandwich, but with zingy drizzles of cheddar cheese béchamel.

Other favourites include the incredibly juicy buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, and their unique rendition of PB&J, starring crunchy peanut butter, mixed berry jam, and a cornflake crusted milk and chocolate bread.

179 Telok Ayer Street, S068627

Patisserie G

FAVOURITE SWEETS

This Japanese-inspired café is located in a spacious city mall, outfitted with a minimalist interior, parquet floors, and accented with pretty gold dust. It makes cakes look like luxury accessories, blessing sugar lovers with tier after tier of superbly glazed creations.

One of the café’s richest talking point is its French Hot Chocolate, a decadent concoction of molten, dark chocolate perfect for dipping hand-torn morsels of its buttery, tender-crumbed Plain Croissant. The aptly-named G Spot is a sinfully beautiful dome of dark chocolate mousse, chocolate meringue, and dark chocolate hazelnut praline feuilletine.

9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-40 Millenia Walk, S039596

Platform 1094

Visiting this establishment requires a temporary suspension of reality. Appealing strictly to Harry Potter-heads who have rewatched all the movies, this cheeky, Hogwarts-themed restaurant is also open on non-Halloween nights if you’re so inclined.

This 40-seater has exposed brick walls, rustic-esque woodwork furniture, chandeliers and vaulted ceilings akin to the Great Hall’s. And with dishes like Cauldrons of Soup, Platform Wings, and Welcoming Feast’s Lamb Shoulder, you’ll be casting sleeping spells by the time you get to the rich Sleeping Draught Chocolate Blackout Cake.

We recommend Mr Lich’s Flaming Brew, composed of blue curacao liqueur, lemonade and Bacardi rum, with added cinnamon “magic dust” powder for a truly ’Gram-worthy drink. Equally popular is Mrs Lich’s Butterscotch Ale -essentially cream soda and butterscotch milk garnished with small edible coloured stars. You have been blessed.

1094 Serangoon Road, S328192

Plentyfull

GREAT FOR BIG GROUPS

From brand narrative to ingredients, modern eateries now come with a golden halo of provenance. Take this Millenia Walk restaurant, which serves “healthier” lunch fares like salads and grain bowls during lunch, and heartier dishes for dinner.

Everything, they say, is locally sourced, made whole in the kitchen, and cooked without preservatives. Some takeaway options like health drinks, spritzers, fruits and lighter salads are on sale over the counter if you’re taking a lunch stroll from the office.

Their popular Avocado Toast comes with a thick dollop of mashed avocado spread on grilled sourdough. Add some smoked salmon to make it an even heartier treat. Among the vegetarian options, the Pumpkin Gnocchi with Seasonal Vegetables is winner, while seafood fans will love the umami of the chorizo spiced black mussels. Capers and butter broth pairings are made for recipes like these.

1 Kim Seng Promenade #B1-K119, Great World, S237994

Privé ACM

FAVOURITE AMBIENCE

The restaurant’s location is beautiful, shaded respite on a hot afternoon. Turquoise blue hues set against warm brown interiors with retro fittings, ceiling fans and rattan chairs next to the Singapore River, an icon among camera-toting visitors.

Privé’s menu offers a tantalising spread of Western to Asian flavours. The Spaghetti Aglio Olio presented a mild spicy kick from bird’s eye chilli, while served with roast pork belly and garnished with sundried tomatoes and sliced garlic.

The Middle Eastern Avocado Toast is a showstopper. The poached eggs went off-script when it was served with pomegranate, pumpkin seed dukkah, chilli flakes and chipotle-cumin hummus. The result? Indulgent textures that still feel healthy.

1 Empress Place, #01-02, S 179555

PS.Café Palais Renaissance

FAVOURITE AMBIENCE

A stalwart of café culture in Singapore, they do exactly as promised—great hospitality and comfort food.

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows, rattan chairs, and large ceramics housing fresh greenery present an aesthetic that complements its homely, sumptuous menu perfectly. Head to the alfresco area if you’re braving the humidity, and tuck into sourdough sandwiches, delicious pasta, and pancakes. The space encourages a languid idling that defines a weekend brunch.

Don’t leave without sampling that towering plate of truffle shoestring fries topped with grated parmesan. The food takes a while during peak hours to get to you, but the jovial service and chic atmosphere will be good company while waiting.

390 Orchard Road, #02-09A, Palais Renaissance, S238871

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Refuel Café

Hidden within a housing estate where friendly neighbourhood uncles clad in white singlets sit with their chirruping pet birds, Refuel Café is a secret gem serving up unpretentious food and good coffee. Decked out in distressed metal furnishings with a grunge-y, industrial vibe, this minimalist café serves a selection of all-day breakfast favourites such as pancakes and waffles.

The Porky Egg Waffle is a good dish to share if you’re here for a spot of brunch. The crisp waffles are fluffy within, and stacked with a gloriously messy heap of honey barbecued pulled pork, creamy fluffy scrambled eggs and mixed salad for balance.

Don’t miss the Creamy Shrimps and Mussels Pasta for an inspired and flavoursome twist on Thai Tom Yum, infused in an unassuming cream sauce, topped with meaty mussels and fresh prawns. Finish with the Nutella Milkshake for a heady chocolate and hazelnut blast, or the delicate Yuzu and Elderflower Soda for a brighter finish.

Blk 744 Bedok Reservoir Road #01-3029, S470744

Refuel Café II

If you’re looking for quaint heartland café vibes in Bukit Merah, this sister establishment of Refuel Café from Bedok is worth a brunch-and-coffee visit.

We suggest making reservations as space is packed to the gills during lunch. The Double Chilli Crab Pasta comes in a mildly spiced, creamy egg and tomato sauce, topped with a—you guessed it—crunchy soft shell crab. Another hearty option is the Pulled Pork Benedict, a crowd-pleaser where slow-cooked pork sits on crunchy toast, topped with poached eggs, hollandaise and greens.

Share the epic and rightfully named Sinfully Chocolate dessert—a double scoop of creamy dark chocolate ice cream sitting on a slab of homemade brownie and granola, and drizzled in salted caramel sauce. We think it’s served with a double espresso to combat the sugar high. Still, a fan favourite.

Blk 28 Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-4468, S152028

Royz et Vous

A stone’s throw from Amoy Street lies this halal-certified café. The menu features a dependable range of European-inspired dishes prepared with Southeast-Asian elements. Immensely popular with budget-savvy locals, this is one of the busiest spots in the Central Business District at dinner time.

Menu winners include the Prawn and Crayfish pasta, and the Brazen Striploin with Truffle Beef Jus. The latter will satiate any hunger pangs—it’s 230g of tender, well-cooked beef perched on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes, and served with mesclun salad on the side. What can possibly go wrong?

Another savoury favourite is the Rendang Duck Pasta, where the humble carb is piled with sliced grilled smoked duck, and drenched in a rich and mouthwatering homemade rendang cream sauce. When you’re done with that, the Three Bloody Merry mocktail should cleanse your palate nicely.

137 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, S068602

S

Sarnie’s

The white-collared, fitness-obsessed tribes that congregate
at Telok Ayer Street in yoga wear are no strangers to Sarnies. The coffee here is good, and regulars know that “orange mocha” is on the secret menu. Espresso is left to steep over citrus peels, resulting in a cup that’s fragrant, strong, and good
for burning through one morning’s worth of emails.

The Salmon Cauliflower is seared to smoked perfection, as the fish sits on a bed of fresh tomatoes, creamy hummus and crunchy cauliflower, matched with sweet pops of pomegranate. The Mexican Salad is packed with flavourful guacamole, red rice, spicy corn bits, greens and tender pulled pork. The succulent Grass Fed Steak tossed with tasty caramelised onions in a wrap is a quick lunch fix.

Those on clean diets should try one of the vegan superfood shakes—our peanut butter one came mixed with banana and goji bits in fragrant almond milk, making it a wonderful palate cleanser.

136 Telok Ayer Street, S068601

Settlers Café

If you love board games, this café will bring out your squad’s competitive nature. Opened in 2003, Settlers Café has a staggering collection of more than 600 different titles to play, like a real-life Nintendo compendium.

Couple that with a limited but delicious menu of small and main bites, desserts and cocktails, which complements the gaming. For instance, little nuggets of tender teriyaki popcorn chicken are served piping hot, easy to pop while rolling the dices. The Grilled Chicken with mushroom sauce, served with broccoli and fries, and other mains such as Fish and Chips or Cajun Chicken, great options too. The homely and generously portioned Chicken Sausage Pasta sautéed in aglio olio will serve two easily.

The friendly servers are happy to patiently explain game rules to customers. They are pretty much the best referees for preserving post-game friendships.

39 North Canal Road, S059295

Signature Koi @ Jewel

FAVOURITE TEA

Craving bubble tea, matcha or just a relaxing cup of tea? The premium KOI brand, Signature KOI, known for its extensive menu of handcrafted and hand-shaken tea beverages, should have something you crave.

Tea leaves are brewed in authentic metal kettles at controlled temperatures to extract every last ounce of natural flavour. There are three varieties of bubbles-chewy boba (most popular), mini bubbles (infused with brown sugar syrup), and konjac (tapioca pearls); and 4 different toppings for your beverage-oats, coconut jelly, coffee jelly and vanilla ice cream. The Signature Pearl Earl Grey Milk Tea, for instance, comes with a fun mix of both boba and mini bubbles.

Jewel Changi Airport, #01-K206, S819666

S L A T E .

FAVOURITE SAVOURY PLATES

Newly opened in February, S L A T E. is the latest addition to the row of stylish eateries and restaurants that line Purvis Street. Inspired by its namesake – the sedimentary rock that is formed with layers of minerals, S L A T E . aspires towards infusing familiar Asian flavours into innovative recreations of classic well-loved dishes.

Designed in cool tones of grey and blue, slide into welcoming plush sofa booths while a self-curated playlist of indie folk-pop including Kings of Convenience and Tame Impala gets your palate warmed up.

Sink into comfort food such as the Side Ways Omelette (only available during the day), a stellar twist on the classic breakfast eggs. Pan-fried to an even golden brown, each slice reveals generous fresh lumps of top-grade blue swimmer crab coated in luscious smoked crab fat within its folds, and topped with crunchy tobiko for extra oomph. Served with a refreshing side salad, house-pickled radish and house-made sourdough, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with this one and tear off chunks of bread to sop up all the umami crab juices.

S L A T E. is also a great spot for fans of all-day brunch. Try their pasta such as the Oxtail Ragout Rigatoni. The pasta is cooked al dente, and coated with a rich tomato and meat stew. For drinks, enjoy a cuppa after your meal with their hand-drip coffee or an iced cappuccino.

Menus change regularly, which is a good excuse to keep coming back for more.

24 Purvis Street, #01-00, S188601

Smoking Hot Coffee

FAVOURITE AMBIENCE

If what you’re after is a cup of joe away from the hustle and bustle of town, then you’ll want to seek out Smoking Hot Coffee.

Tucked away in a lifestyle concept store–Smoke Signature–this quaint café is decked out in industrial-chic fashion mismatched with eclectic furniture pieces such as a vintage couch where you can sink into while you sip on your cuppa.

Fancy a little something sweet to go with your coffee? The cakes here come in delish flavours such as Sea Salt Caramel or Chocolate Truffle, the latter a decadent dessert made from rich layers of rich ganache. Best paired with a Spanish latte or their signature Cold Brew Coffee.

Even non-coffee lovers will find treasures here in the form of the café’s signature Smoke Herb Tea. Made from a proprietary brand, the familiar scent of pandan is a lovely local touch to this whimsical outfit.

8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall, #02-29, S039802

South Union Park

Chef-owner Terence Chuah brings stellar credentials
to this unassuming café in the East. Having sharpened his knife in the kitchens of acclaimed restaurants Mugaritz and Narisawa, this is where his creativity comes to play.

Expect innovative dishes, such as the Duck Confit Tagliatelle. One of Chuah’s signature dishes and the first dish he created for the menu, it surprises with the use of masala cream and roasted whole hazelnuts in the sauce. Another unique dish is the Chocolate Pappardelle. Here, Chuah plays on the unexpected yet brilliant marriage between chocolate and beef, infusing the thick pasta noodles with dark chocolate and tossing it with red wine jus, braised beef and a hint of sherry.

Don’t leave without trying the Apple Crumble—the fruit is served in a creative fossilised form, plump and juicy, together with buttery crumble, yogurt, and vanilla ice cream.

101 Jalan Kembangan, S419139

Sweet Garden Dining Café

FAVOURITE WAFFLES

Helmed by a husband-wife team, Sweet Garden Dining Café is a humble heartland eatery serving moderately-priced Western food with a modern twist.

Chef-owner Barry Lok takes care of the kitchen, thanks to his decade-long experience of working as a chef in various hotels such as Four Seasons Hotel and the iconic Raffles Hotel. His wife leads the front-of-house.

The menu here is extensive, but it is the Lok’s Skinny Pizzas that will have you coming back for more. Thin and crispy, the pizzas are generously covered with the likes of pepperoni, salami, sliced mushrooms and ham. For some local flavour, try the Tom Yum Squid Ink Spaghetti, a fiery bowl of pasta with assorted seafood. Or get the 24-hour slow-cooked Beef Cheeks, a classic rendition of roast with mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Blk 32, Cassia Crescent, #01-50, S390032

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tcc - The Connoisseur Concerto @ the pier

Best known for its art boutique caffès, The Connoisseur Concerto chain experience is synonymous across the island with cosy spaces to enjoy a leisurely brew, creative beverages and gourmet plates against a stylish, urbane backdrop.

tcc@The Pier delivers just that with its floor-to-ceiling windows, comfy seating and natural lighting. Coffee aficionados will love the range of premium blends here, such as the Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha ($19.80). The fruity, tea-like coffee is sourced from the famed Hacienda La Esmerelda coffee producer, prized for its intense flavour profile. Expect notes of sweet jasmine flowers and hints of bergamot.

Complement the drinks with healthy gourmet eats such as the Baby Crayfish Salad with avocado and tobiko, spicy Seafood Aglio Olio with prawns and Hokkaido sea scallops, or the very popular Grilled Salmon with Shiro Miso Cream sauce for an omega-3 burst. Equally enticing are the selection of cakes and pastries to end the meal on a sweet note.

80 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01/02, S239013

The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.

FAVOURITE TEA

Clipper Tea Co. The nautical theme runs deep at the 1872 Clipper Tea Co. at ION Orchard. Inspired by the historic Clipper ships that carried tea cargo across the world in the 1800’s, it’s an interesting pit stop that reminds you of souvenir cafés at theme parks like Disneyland and Sea World.

Sit on the bar stools for a closer view of baristas dispensing nitrogen infused- cold brews for that extra foaminess. We loved the lilac-hued Lavender Earl Grey Chiffon, a timeless flavour pairing elevated with the subtle tart fragrance of Yuzu-infused cream piped in the middle. Sample this with the crowd-pleasing Royal Milk Tea for a smooth, luxurious finish.

Fans love the Craquelin choux tea puffs-a Belgian brioche filled with nib sugar-available in six tea-based flavours. Spoilt for choice? The cheerful baristas are more than happy to make tea-riff recommendations.

2 Orchard Turn, #B4-07, S238801

 

The Assembly Ground

The next time you are in the Dhoby Ghaut vicinity, consider heading over to The Assembly Ground situated in The Cathay.

If you’re a fan of café food inspired by local favourites, then you’ll love the menu here at The Assembly Ground. Salted Egg Calamari Rings, for instance, is a delicious combination of savoury crumbly yolk tossed with squid rings and some curry leaves for a hint of sweetness. Love hae bee hiam (dried shrimp)? The Hae Bee Hiam Aglio is a must-try, with its crunchy dried shrimp bits tossed into the pasta with an abundance of seafood such as prawns and clams.

The star of the show, though, is the Laksa Pizza. Think a crispy crust slathered with a rich laksa gravy sauce, then topped with the usual hard-boiled eggs, sliced fish cakes, prawns and squids. Also good here are the Pulled Pork Burger and Rosti Benedict, the latter a take on the classic Eggs Benedict, but with a potato pancake base instead of thick toast.

2 Handy Road, #01-21, The Cathay, S229233

The Coffee Academics

Located on the second floor of Scotts Square, the Singapore flagship branch is dapper in gold accents and warm lighting.

Try the ice drip JWF Peaberry Kenya blend, with fruity blackberry and notes of red currant at the forefront. The Hot Pepper Agave is a favourite with the heat of freshly ground black peppercorns working beautifully against a sweetened backdrop of creamy latte.

Food here is delicious and portions are large, so sharing is definitely recommended. The Academics Breakfast is a great choice if you’re in the mood for a serious English breakfast, featuring juicy English Cumberland sausage, parma ham, and grilled halloumi cheese.

For dessert, don’t miss out on the Fried “Orh Nee” Nuggets with Gula Melaka. The crispy nuggets are filled with a rich yam paste, to be dipped into thick gula jawa syrup and enjoyed with a cool pandan gula melaka gelato.

6 Scotts Road, #02-01/02, Scotts Square, S228209

The Dark Gallery

FAVOURITE WAFFLES

From the owner of now-defunct Marble Slab, this chocolate haven takes cocoa very seriously.

Located at the basement at Ngee Ann City, you’ll enter Candy Wonderland the minute you step through the doors. All display cabinets are lined with an overwhelming selection of handmade chocolates, chocolate pastries, and rich luscious chocolate cakes.

Fancy a cup of rich hot chocolate? The Dark Gallery serves up a thick version reminiscent of the ones you’ll find in Paris.

If you’re staying in for dessert, the waffles and ice cream are a must-have. Think sexy dark chocolate waffles, topped with a generous scoop of artisanal chocolate ice cream. Our pick: the Sur Del Lago 88%, a single origin dark chocolate, as well
as Kinako, a milk-based soy flour ice cream.

391 Orchard Road, #B2-29, Ngee Ann City, S238873

The Glasshouse

MOST INSTA-WORTHY

Have your phones at the ready; this is one Insta-chic place to while away an afternoon (or two). The floor-to-ceiling glass walls are perfect for letting in streams of natural light, while the lush greenery outside makes for a good view.

Coffee is an art form here, with artisanal lattes to hand-filtered brews. Ask the friendly barista behind the counter for his recommendations, whether you’re looking for a milky coffee with nutty notes or a straightforward robust brew with fruity undertones.

For food, The Glasshouse dishes out a selection of open-faced sandwiches. The Classic Salmon toast is easy to love – sourdough bread topped with zucchini, smoked salmon, and a generous dollop of cream cheese. Some pickled radish at the side balances out this rich dish with a hint of acidity.

Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street, #01-03, S187996

The Lokal Singapore

For a good cuppa and brunch done Aussie-style, head to The Lokal. Tucked away in a corner of Tanjong Pagar, the vibe here is buzzy while the crowd is cool.

Coffee, for one, is a must. Stick with a classic Flat White-creamy, nutty goodness in a cup-and pair it with your choice of brunch. The Sunday roast is a crowd favourite, with a generous amount of smoked beef on the plate. The Lokal prides itself on smoking their meats in-house, and the result is tender, juicy slabs of meat bursting with flavour.

And if you have space for only one dessert, make it the toasted banana bread. Served warm with homemade vanilla yogurt, caramelised bananas and toasted macadamias, it is worth bursting your calorie quota for.

136 Neil Road, S088865

The Malayan Council

Another halal-certified restaurant with throngs of local fans, The Malayan Council is located at the refurbished Winstedt compound, and comes with expanded seating for 120 guests.

The adventurous Asian cooking here is the star of the show. The Baked Oyster Coriander tempers rich and briny tones with their special kicap manis dip, a flavorful Indonesian warung-inspired kicker.

Tandoori Surf and Turf, a North Indian twist on a familiar staple, brings out a brilliantly charred Boston lobster alongside thick, juicy cuts of wagyu. The Seafood Asam Pedas pizza is layered with a spicy cream cheese layered over moist dollops of crab meat, shrimp and squid. Order the Rose and Berries Sangria, a fizzy mocktail
that binds all the comforting flavours.

Try the Putu Piring Cake, which reimagines the traditional Malay delicacy as a moist vanilla cake, topped with frosted coconut cream and gula melaka syrup.

10 Windstedt Road, S227977

The Marmalade Pantry

Located at ION Orchard, the flagship outlet of The Marmalade Pantry has a cosy ambience with warm service. The open concept café keeps things fresh and light on its menu–think a Curry Barramundi that is fork-tender and delicate, heightened with a drizzle of aromatic curry sauce and crispy skin for that added crunch.

The café is also not one to shy away from flavour. Their Seared Scallop & Prawn Linguine, for instance, is a pure umami bomb. The scallops are plump and juicy, while the prawns are seared to perfection.

For desserts, the signature cupcakes are a must-try, along with special flavours such as the Salted Caramel Pecan Tart, S’mores and Mudslide.

2 Orchard Turn, #04-11A, S238801

The Populus

Opened in November 2015 by the group behind Department of Caffeine and 2degrees North Coffee Co., The Populus Coffee & Food Co along Neil Road has become a fixture in Singapore’s cafe scene.

Well-loved for its wholesome and hearty brunch dishes served in an unpretentious and cosy setting, the menu offers a good selection of sweet and savoury dishes like buckwheat pancakes served with berry fruit compote, passionfruit curd, cornflake crumb and thyme infused maple syrup. There’s also heartier dishes such as a luscious seafood linguine, featuring pasta cooked to al dente perfection, tossed in homemade seafood bisque and served with crab meat, scallops and butter-poached Boston lobster tail.

For those who prefer healthier options, try the grain bowls—the wagyu beef grain bowl, in particular, promises a good time with tender slices of thyme-seared wagyu lying on a bed of quinoa, bulgar wheat and pearl barley. Save some space for desserts—the dark chocolate sundae and sticky date pudding are crowd pleasers that are sure to hit the spot. 

146 Neil Road, S088875

The Providore

For a multi-concept cafe franchise embedded in the basement of one of the swankiest malls in the CBD, The Providore at OUE Downtown has designed an intimate gourmet’s refuge filled with artisanal produce, healthy-ish takeouts, and a comprehensive dine-in menu.

The large 100-seater venue comprises of a flagship grocer, a central bakery, a large walk-in cheese room and wine section, but that doesn’t stop the kitchen’s efficiency from serving gourmet meals quickly at lunch. Dishes are lightly seasoned and clean, catering heavily to the health-conscious. If you’re doing a juice cleanse, the packed shelves of imported fruits make a quick meal supplement.

The Pumpkin Lentil Salad came completely unsalted, as was the mayonnaise dressing, and the Woodbridge Smoked Salmon Bagel lacked bite and smokiness. The Crab Linguini Pasta, although adequately salted and spiced, was a tad too oily.

6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery, B1-07, S068815

Tiong Bahru Bakery

When Tiong Bahru Bakery moved into Chip Bee Gardens, it was a match made in hipster heaven. Because insiders know that Holland Village has a gourmet-sized hole that only premium, buttery croissants—at premium prices—can fill.

The homestead feel of its interiors are no less mischievous and fun than at other outlets—yet this TBB branch feels more communal than others. There is a notice board plastered with leaflets on rental apartments and furniture, a juice refrigerator at the back, and a shelf of potted plants for sale. A spoken word open-mic might just happen any day.

For caffeine connoisseurs, the Magic coffee is a real kick-starter, while milder brews like the Blue Pea Latte are also available. Your favourite go-to sandwiches, pastries—made with French techniques—and sweets are all here for your Instagram feed.

43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-74, S278115

Tipsy Penguin

GREAT FOR BIG GROUPS

Cafe by day, bistro by night, the Tipsy Penguin exists to provide comfort to Tampines heart-landers. Whether it’s pizzas, burgers or some deep-fried guilty pleasure, most portions are hearty and generous.

Coffee lovers should be comforted to know both Brazilian and Ethiopian beans are served, and their signature Frosty’s Framboise Latte is an iced rendition of the common cup of joe, just elevated with strawberry cream. Your niece will squeal with delight.

We like how the Roasted Pumpkin Soup is served with savory crumblings of truffle bacon croutons. Emperor Prawn Aglio Olio is an easy win with its gently charred scallops and prawns so huge they could be mistaken for crayfish.

The Accidental Cheesecake is warm and crumbly on the sides, with a moist core. Served with honeycomb ice cream, it’s mild enough to win over those weary of rich desserts.

300 Tampines Avenue 5, #01-02A, S529653

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters

Another coffee specialist popular with brunch seekers, this cafe located in a quiet nook off Martin Road comes with snaking queues-anyone from dog-walkers in flip-flops, to housewives holding novels. Seriously, reading in a crowded cafe?

Its wide selection of specialty coffee beans, from local blends to single-origin coffees from across the globe, will impress any caffeine nerd. Have an espresso before working your way through the Breakfast of Champions-basically a small feast of poached eggs, maple bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, sausages, and brioche toast. There is also a French Toast served with “espresso bacon”, which tasted like a gimmick to our reviewer-in other words, “normal bacon”.

The Crispy Chicken Burger-off the lunch menu-is a hearty patty of fried buttermilk chicken served with a side of rainbow fries, ready to be dipped into a delicious comeback sauce. Highly recommended.

8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04, S238216

Twenty Eight Café

Located along quiet Wilkie Road, this café operated by Italian restaurant and bar 28Wilkie serves specialty coffee and hearty brunch items in a modern and chic space.

Notable highlights include the Crab Meat Linguine and the aptly-named Pig Out Sandwich. The former features chunks of sweet crab meat tossed with marinara sauce. And if you’ve worked up a hearty appetite, the Pig Out delivers with tender pulled pork, ham, and a strong cheddar. Most portions from the menu are generous and worth sharing.

If you are craving something sweet, the berries-laden pancakes, boasting fluffy pancakes served with sliced strawberries, summer berries compote, honey Greek yoghurt and toasted coconut flakes will provide a pleasant sugar high. It’s hearty enough on its own as a snack for the sweet tooth, of course. Bring a good book for some post-lunch relaxation in this pretty space.

28 Wilkie Road, #01-01, S228051

TWG Tea on the Bay

FAVOURITE TEA

This classy tea salon boasts a vast collection of over 800 single-harvest teas and exclusive blends from around the world.

We suggest you browse the in-store retail boutique for a box of your favourite teas, tea accessories, and tea-infused chocolate bonbons and macarons, then complete the indulgence with a sit-down sampling.

Tea flavours are cleverly infused into each recipe to enhance recipes. For instance, the exquisite starter of Lobster Avocado Timbale pairs chilled Maine lobster in a spicy citrus and honey dressing with a 1837 Green Tea infused vinaigrette. For a delicious main, order up the hearty pan-seared Black Cod & Asian Gremolata, where the delicate fish sits atop a ginger butter emulsion with Gyokuro Samurai tea leaves.

2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-122/125, S018972

Two Hana

K-dramas are all the rage in Singapore, so it makes sense that from our sunny shores springs a Korean-Western café that will indubitably please all fans of Korean culture.

The Kimchi Mac & Cheese, for one, is an easy winner. Plenty of gooey mozzarella is mixed in with baked pasta, with bits of diced kimchi to spice things up a little. The kicker is the chilli sauce that comes with it. Made with sesame oil, kimchi jiggae paste and chilli padi, this mind-numbingly fiery sauce sure packs a punch.

The Korean Cauliflower Fritters are another must-try here. Fans of KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) might even be fooled by this dish, as the cauliflower easily passes for chicken coated in a crispy batter flavoured with a secret spice mix. Get the Melona Melon Calpis Float for dessert, a tall glass of Calpis puree, Sprite, and a stick of Melona ice cream. It’s the perfect thirst-quencher after a spicy meal.

2 Tampines Central 5, #01-21, Century Square, S529509

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Voyage Patisserie

GREAT FOR BIG GROUPS

Located just a hop and skip away from the hip Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, Voyage Patisserie is more than meets the eye.

While sweets are definitely a treat here, the savoury offerings are what makes this café a hidden neighbourhood gem. The Wagyu Oyster, for instance, is a winning combination of prime Japanese beef (aged to perfection and sliced thinly) wrapped around a fresh plump Canadian oyster. It’s a great way to whet your appetite, and get you ready for more stunning dishes such as a refreshing Heirloom Beetroot Salad that is sweet and crunchy, or a hearty Country Style Oxtail. The latter is a rustic dish that looks right out of a farmhouse kitchen, and features chunks of tender beef cooked in a rich stew.

End your meal on a sweet note with the Coffee Tart, a bittersweet dessert that comes in the form of a buttery tart base, topped with expertly piped coffee crème and a little crumble.

249 Outram Road, S169048

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W39 Bistro & Bakery

Simplicity can be overrated. The fancy drinks at this Clementi family-joint are designed for precious attention. With names like Teriyaki Avocado Latte, Beetroot Rose Latte, and Bacon and Orange Café Mocha—how can “content creators” resist them? The Instagram feed doesn’t feed itself, guys.

We enjoyed the refreshing Luo Han Guo-based W39 Liang Teh, served with lychees and passionfruit-scented whipped cream. The PB&J is a creative espresso, served with milk laced with peanut butter syrup, with a homemade PB&J cookie on the side.

If you’ve ever wondered what deep fried crab meat served with sambal mayo tastes like, the Chef’s Speciality House-made Crab Cakes will satiate your curiosity. Other hearty options include the Chef’s Special Assam Seabass and Fragrant Rice; and the Fisshu-and-Chippusu for tempura fried tilapia served with vege chips.

39 Jalan Mas Puteh, S128637

Walking On Sunshine Café

FAVOURITE PANCAKES

For a hair-and-nails spa treatment in an urban nursery while sipping on fancy café drinks, make a beeline for this café in Orchard Central.

The menu is equally photo-worthy; you’ll find colourful salads, all-day brunch plates, open-faced toasts and pretty desserts. The beverage list includes blooming teas, cotton candy drinks, fresh juices, and even beer on tap. We loved the Butter Cream Latte and the blue pea-tinted Flower Ade, refreshing for a hot day.

Food is a fusion of East and West cuisines. Their Coal Roasted Chicken with Miso Pesto and Striploin Steak, served on a bed of cheesy, gooey mashed potatoes and charred asparagus, didn’t disappoint.

Don’t leave without trying the airy Signature Soufflé Pancake, an absolute sinful winner topped with vanilla whipped crème, mixed berries, citrus, granola and nuts.

181 Orchard Road, #03-07, S238896

WANNA CUPPA

This is where you can have your cake and eat it too—if you order some more, of course. Inspired by the design and aesthetics of the roaring 1920s, this cafe on New Bridge Road has turned an Art Deco theme into a homely party.

The cosy space is ideal for parties and intimate get-togethers. For salmon lovers, the go-to menu favourites are the Eggs Royale, a combination of poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and Norwegian smoked salmon served on toasted slices of sourdough, and the delicious Sakura Mentaiko Smoked Salmon.

The coffee is brewed using award-winning Signature Blend beans from Justin Metcalf World Barista JudgeTM, resulting in balanced and smooth pick-me-ups. We highly recommend the White Chocolate Mocha, which is more of a dessert than a coffee. But we know you’d understand.

15 New Bridge Road, S059385

Wheeler’s Estate

Set within Seletar Aerospace Park, Wheeler’s Estate is a multi-concept dining destination comprising a café, restaurant, bar, grill house and picnic lawn.

For those who enjoy al fresco dining, they will love the café on the first floor, surrounded by lush greenery and outfitted with wooden rattan chairs and white tables. There’s ample natural light during the day, while modern chandeliers cast a warm glow at night, making it the ideal spot for romantic dates.

On the food front, the menu offers well-executed modern Australian cuisine prepared with quality produce—we highly recommend meat lovers to try the Wheeler’s signature 1kg “Tomahawk” steak served with a side of housemade lap cheong (cured Chinese sausage) potato salad. The meat, grilled to medium-rare perfection, boasts a buttery seared crust with plenty of flavour. Another notable highlight is the BBQ pork jowl served with Sunomono-style cucumber and a citrus and wasabi dressing. Wash it all down with one of their signature cocktails like the Monkey Shoulder Raspberry Sour.

2 Park Lane, S798386

Wild Honey

What started in 2009 as a popular brunch spot has grown in scale and offerings in recent years to include flavours, cooking styles, and vintage knick-knacks from all over the world.

The Turmeric Latte-lightly sweet with a good amount of spice-definitely works as a nice “healthy” coffee and conversation starter.

The Korean Salad presents nicely seared steak paired with kale, avocado and brussels sprouts kimchi with a light sesame oil dressing. A tasty vegetarian option will be Flinder’s Lane-crispy filo base topped with poached eggs, grilled asparagus, avocado, feta, cured lemon, and completed with a few side dips like spicy Schug. What a party!

For dessert, pair your gossip with the Pavlova-a meringue made with passionfruit, lemond curd and mango shelled in a crispy crust with a soft, light and creamy centre.

333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, #03-01, S238867

Wildseed at The Alkaff Mansion

This all-day, pet-friendly floral cafe and patisserie located at The Alkaff Mansion is a godsend for nature lovers. You’re surrounded by an abundance of rustic colonial architecture, lush greenery, and options for both indoors and alfresco dining. This venue at Telok Blangah Green is one of the most peaceful brunch spots in the Southwest of Singapore.

The menu offers a hearty selection of brunch items, freshly baked cakes and luscious pastries. For savouries, we recommend the Kelong Tiger Prawn and Scallop Pizza featuring fresh sweet cherry tomatoes and rocket pesto; and the Wildseed Garden Arrabbiata, consisting penne pasta cooked to al dente perfection, tossed with an aromatic and spicy abalone mushroom and tomato sauce. The desserts are outstanding, prepared by 1-Group’s executive pastry chef Jasmin Chew. Don’t leave without trying her signature creation, the tender Coconut Pea Flower Shortcake.

10 Telok Blangah Green, S109178

Workspace Espresso Bar

Serving up artisanal-grade caffeine brews, baby brioche sandwiches, and customisable hearty grain bowls, Workspace Espresso aspires to be a refuge for the everyday urban warrior.

There are frequent promotions for daily protein specials and cakes. Grab a seat amongst high stools, booth seats or low tables perfect for casual chats or business coffees.

A crowd favourite is the Evergreen Bowl, served with a half avocado and generous dollop of hummus nestled atop fresh greens and lemon mustard dressing. The Load-up Signature Bowl packs a flavourful punch in every bite with goji organic brown and red rice, grilled flank steak, smoky charred broccoli, and a tender sous-vide egg. The Classico Affogato is a serving of caffeine comfort, with hints of cinnamon and orange peel speckled biscotti to keep you alert post-lunch.

109 North Bridge Road #01-11 Funan, S179097

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