22 Best Cafes At Chinatown & Outram – Some Of The Best Patisseries, and Revamped Strangers’ Reunion & Nylon
Some of the best restaurants and cafes in Singapore are found at Chinatown? Take a walk around Tanjong Pagar, Ann Siang Hill, Telok Ayer, Kreta Ayer, Keong Siak, Everton, Kampong Bahru and Bukit Pasoh and you will find a number of head-lining characteristic eateries around.
This cafe guide will include NEW promising names, and the familiar favourites Nylon and Strangers’ Reunion which have undergone a revamp.
47 Neil Road 088827 Singapore (Near to Outram Park MRT Station)
Tel: +65 9451 8873
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 1am (Fri – Sat)
Epiphyte is conceptualised as an infusion of food, art and nature. The owners believe that dining becomes a personal affair here, and they try to appeal to the 5 senses. (It is true, there was a light fragrance of jasmine when I entered the shop.)
Their signature items and desserts include the Pink Risotto ($22), Chicken with Indonesian Spices ($21), Grilled Striploin ($27), Twilight which is a ‘galaxy’ style chocolate cointreau mousse cake ($10) and Terrarium ($8, +$3 for shot of rum).
The Twilight was like how its name implied. The cake brought us out of reality and back. Reservations encouraged.
84 Neil Road, Singapore 088844
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Sun-Thu), 12pm – 1am (Fri-Sat)
Apiary, pronounced as “eh-pee-er-ee”, a place where beehives were kept, honey were contained and a place to satisfy your sweet cravings (literally) along Neil Road.
The cosy hideout would probably attract the hipsters. A Kinfolk interior with white walls, woody element and window ceilings with natural lighting for #OOTD shots.
While the menu is pretty simple at the moment, with Ice Cream ($3.80 for single/ $7.20 for double/ $10 for triple), Waffles ($4.50 for plain/ $5.50 for charcoal), Tarts ($6), Coffee and Tea.
50, Smith Street, Singapore 058958 (5 min walk from Chinatown MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tue-Thu), 12pm – 11pm (Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat), 10am – 10pm (Sun), Closed Mon
BiBing = Bibimbap + Bingsu. 진짜? Jinjja The BiBim ($18) was remodelled like a real bibimbap (Korean mixed rice) using fruits of various colours as toppings instead. The egg yolk was created using a slice of mango whereas the egg white was made from yogurt.
279 South Bridge Road Singapore 058828 (Chinatown MRT Exit A)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Thurs), 12pm – 11:30pm (Fr-Sat), Closed Sun
A Korean café set up by a family in Singapore. The local service staff was trained by a Korean dessert chef.
The Patbingsu is as their signature, in flavours of Red Bean, Sweet Potato, Oreo, Mango, Green Tea ($8.50 – $9.00), and toasts of ice cream, red bean, kaya butter, peanut butter or Nutella. Look out for some of their monthly specials.
#B1-51, Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road Singapore 059413
Tel: +65 6444 7646
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm Daily
A Japanese style cafe, hidden at the basement of Chinatown Point, popular for pasta dishes and Shibuya Toasts.
Before all the other local cafes started selling Japanese style toasts, Wa Café at the basement of Chinatown Point has already been quietly selling their version.
The oven baked golden broad toast is LARGE, thick and chunky. 3 of us had some difficulty finishing it. The Vanilla Honey Toast ($15.80) is topped with ice cream, mochi balls and red bean from Hokkaido. Loved the creamy toppings, but wished this could be more buttery. Too much carb perhaps. Burp.
333 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-14, Singapore 080333
Opening Hours: 1pm – 7pm (Mon), 1pm – 10pm (Tues-Thurs), 1pm – 10:45pm (Fri-Sat)
Cafe owner Georgina Sim, a graduate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris, hoped to bring smiles and enjoyment to people with her creations, thus naming the café, Les Délices, which means “The Delights” in French.
A total of 8 pastries were on display at any one time, including Choux of 3 different flavours, Earl Grey, Matcha and Valrhona Guanaja ($5.90 each). Instead of just limiting to coffee selection, there are Chinese tea offered such as Pu- Erh, Fenghuang Dancong, Tie Guan Yin, Shuixian ($4.20 each).
One type of Chinese tea will be served as the Cold Brew ($4.90). Truly an innovative East meets West fusion.
The Loft Café
268A South Bridge Road Singapore 058817 (Chinatown MRT)
Tel: +65 6221 2103
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 11pm (Tue – Sun)
Many might have missed this cafe, situated upstairs above Nanyang Coffee, serving freshly-made waffles, pancakes and all day breakfast in a quaint and cosy environment.
Good to know: They seek to bless the surrounding Chinatown community by channeling their service charge to the Loft Community Fund to help folk in need, especially seniors and ‘2nd-chancers’.
Mr & Mrs Maxwell’s / The Disgruntled Brasserie
The Club, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708
Tel: +65 6808 2181
Opening Hours: 7am – 11pm (Sun – Thurs), 7am – 12am (Fri – Sat)
Mr & Mrs Maxwell’s has been rebranded as The Disgruntled Brasserie recently.
It is designed as the cosy ‘living room’ of The Club, where the menu is inspired by a couple’s travels and adventures around the world.
The all-day lounge café on the ground level has different faces to it. On one side, it is like a living room with a lounge ambience, decorated with framed art pieces and ornaments.
For those who fancy a dessert to make it to your ‘Instagram-worthy’ list, go for the ‘Baked Alaska’ ($16), not quite like anything you have ever seen.
The baked ice cream is topped with cotton candy other than just the typical meringue (yes, bright green and blue cotton candy), then flambéed when served. Pretty dramatic, I must say.
Bread & Hearth
18 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089125 (10-15 walk from Outram Park MRT)
Tel: +65 65347800
Opening Hours: 8am – 8.30pm Daily
Walking in, I couldn’t help comparing this artisan confectionery to Artisan Boulangerie Co, which signature feature is rows and rows of breads, tarts and pastries displayed under glass shelves.
“No, no, no… we are not like them,” the answer I got when I told them the ambience reminded me of ABC.
Their Le Croissant is evidently their signature, made with unbleached flour from France to produce the croissant dough (detrempe) used to laminate the fats (beurrage).
Emphasis was placed on the lamination and folding technique to achieve the best honeycomb pockets within the croissant, in order to be “as European as possible”.
26 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089133
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tues-Sat), 12pm – 7pm (Sun), Closed Mon
The South Korean café chain is popular for its banana theme decorations, yellow and white clean look, and pretty potted plant desserts.
The signature desserts available included the Flower Paap ($6.50) – pudding in a flower pot, Oreo Bomb ($12), Pot BingSu ($12.50) and Som Som latte with candy floss toppings ($6.50). For the Instagram.
Keong Saik Road #01-04, Singapore 089109
Opening Hours: 12pm – 12am (Tues-Fri), 9am – 12am (Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun)
Sydney’s Luxe Brand has opened a café at Keong Siak Street, and I fell in love with the interior immediately. So fond of it then I texted my Australian travel mates immediately, “Look at this. Don’t be envious.”
Contemporary, clean, woody, wide spaces, the space exhibited the ‘Aussie café’ vibes for a noon of laidback coffee-drinking.
This is THE PLACE for a lazy-day-out for brunch and lunch with BFFS, indulging in an Aussie Brekkie with scrambled eggs, cumin roast tomato, pork and fennel sausages, avocado, mushrooms; and Dessert of Pandan Madeleines with Coconut Jam. Slightly on the expensive side.
The Daily Roundup
1 Keong Saik Road #01-02 The Working Capitol Singapore 089109
Formerly tentatively known as The Working Capitol Café, this space has a fixed name and identity finally – a modern crêperie. The cafe with rather Aussie-vibes serve sweet crepes and savoury galettes (round flat crusty cakes). The Yuzu Butter Crepe ($10, $4 more for ice cream) was fab. Popular spot with office executives for meet-ups.
Bt Pasoh, Teo Hong
The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
146 Neil Road Singapore 088875
Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm (Mon, Wed), 9am – 10:30pm (Thurs – Fri), 9:30am – 1030pm (Sat), 9:30am – 7pm (Sun), Closed Tues
This new café run by the team behind Department of Caffeine catapulted into our favourite café list. The interior design, the expensive coffee equipment, the attention to details, the good looking serving staff all in neatly-ironed slightly tight white long sleeved shirts… “Even the napkins are the expensive kind.”
Its popular items include Populus Scramble ($17) of soft creamy scrambled eggs, fresh herb melange, streaked bacon (too dry though) on a toasted croissant; and Buckwheat Pancakes with berry fruit compote and thyme infused maple syrup. Not all the food tried was fantastic though. More for the vibes.
136 Neil Road Singapore 088865
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon), 8am – 10pm (Tues – Fri), 9am – 10pm (Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun)
The Lokal (right next to Goethe-Institut Singapore) is about wholesome Western style comfort food made from scratch using fresh ingredients, served up in a friendly chilled out atmosphere.
The to-order dish is the signature Veal Schnitzel Burger, a whooping combination of red slaw, grilled pineapple, emmenthal cheese, lettuce, anchovy mayo on a sesame seed bun. Served with chunky chips.
Mad About Sucre
27 Teo Hong Road, Singapore 088334 (near Bt Pasoh, Outram MRT)
Tel: +65 62213969
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 10:30pm (Tues-Thurs), 12:30pm – 11pm (Fri-Sat), 12:30pm – 5pm (Sun), Closed Mon (Note: May close earlier on some days)
Some of my friends describe this café as “madness” – a good way. The staff take time and effort to explain each and every one of their cake, knowledgeable about every ingredient that goes into it, and which tea pairs best.
All cakes are handcrafted on-site. One of my favourite is the Coco Citron ($9.80+) – a coconut sablée tart with light coconut mousse, lemon curd and crystal drops on top. Note: cakes are produced in limited quantities, do get sold out fast here.
8 Café & Bar
8 Bukit Pasoh Road Singapore 089822
Tel: +65 6220 4513
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:30pm – 11:00pm (Mon – Thurs), 11:30am – 3:00pm, 6:30pm – 1:00am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
I digress a bit. I know there are customers who visit 8 Café & Bar because the “boss is very handsome”. *cough cough*
Let’s not discount his food, yah?
There are offerings of both Western and local dishes, say Crispy Boneless Chicken with Mushroom Sauce, Nasi Lemak with Crispy Lemon Grass Wing, Teppanyaki Beef Rice, and Premium Prawn Yong Tofu. I am usually there for the Laksa.
331 New Bridge Road #01-02 Dorsett Residences Singapore 088764
Tel: +65 6538 3518
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tues – Thurs), 11am – 12am (Fri), 8:30am – 11pm (Sat), 8:30am – 10:00pm (Sun)
Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar at Dorsett Residence s actually not too bad a place to hang out at.
The menu is largely American influenced, though they change their items quite frequently.
Comforting brunch items. Some of the previous standouts included Crab Cake Benedict ($23), Truffle Scrambled Eggs On Waffles ($18), Truffle Potato Foam with Croissant ($21) and Churros Waffle ($12).
5 Teo Hong Road Singapore 088323 (Near Outram Park MRT)
Tel: +65 6224 9368
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 9:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Remember the Sugar Granny Café known for its Asian and local style desserts?
It has converted to be called Café 3, which we all think is a nondescript, unmemorable name for a café. The signboard in a casual-looking font and yellow base didn’t help.
Café3 serves local delights such as Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Mee Rebus, Prawn Noodles and Curry Chicken.
Blk 7 Everton Park Singapore 080007
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon-Thurs, Sun), 12pm – 10pm (Fri-Sat)
Handcrafted gelato in the neighbourhood. No preservatives, no added colourings, no added chemicals. The creamery experiments with interesting flavours such as Avocado Gula Melaka, Cayenne Chocolate, Black Sesame with White Sesame seeds, Rockmelon with Vegetarian Bacon, and Whiskey Cream.
Sing HK Café
Blk 4 Everton Park #01-42, Singapore 080004
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 8.30pm (Mon-Fri), 9.30am – 8.30pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Taking over defunct-Batterworks (if it doesn’t ring a bell) beside Nylon Coffee Roasters at Everton Park, Sing HK Café reminded us of a HK-styled Cha Chan Teng.
Menu recommendation includes Hong Kong style breakfast such as Classic French Toast ($5.80), Scrambled Egg ($3.80), Classic Beef Brisket Rice ($11.80) and Western dishes such as Sirloin Steak ($18.90) and Red Wine Ox Tail Stew ($18.90).
Nylon Coffee Roasters
4 Everton Park #01-40 Singapore 080004
Tel: +65 6220 2330
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri), 9:00am – 6:00pm (Sat – Sun)
Nylon Coffee Roasters has undergone a revamp, with 3 brand new countertop islands (no more coffee cart).
They also invested in the latest state of the art Mahlkonig Peak grinders as well as a customised La Marzocco Linea PB ABR. WOW. Time to make a return visit.
33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road Singapore 169354
Tel: +65 6222 4869
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Sun), 9am – 12am (Fri, Sat), Closed Tues
After Strangers’ Reunion announced their “Come bid goodbye… We will be closed… till further notice,” some fans were obviously upset with their ‘closure’.
Emmmm, they are back in 3 weeks with a new look. O…kay. We thought that it looked similar to sister café Curious Palette at Prinsep Street.
There are a few new additions to their menu, such as Aburi Mentaiko Spghetti ($21.90), Pumpkin Saffron Risotto ($18.50), and Pesto Chicken Tagliatelle ($17.90). We liked the pink-looking Mentaiko Pasta ($21.90) – creamy, al dente, generous servings.
October 21, 2016