My café hopping friends and I are compiling a list of new cafes in Singapore, and were startled at the sheer number of new openings just in 2014 alone. Here are 20 recent ones, and there are very very new.
For those planning to be café owners, 3 quick tips for you: Have a strong different theme to stand out from the local competition, and keep the theme running from the menu, décor to all finer details. Eggs ben alone isn’t going to save you. Not anymore.
The first two months are very crucial. This is when the media, bloggers and cafe hoppers would come searching for you. A foul-up and the name may be swept under the carpet. Be at least 90% ready even before you open. (I went to a new café and its ‘barista’ wasn’t sure how to prepare coffee. Would you go back again?)
Build your café identity early in the game. Never never never save on marketing. A facebook page alone doesn’t count. But at least there is something. If you start inviting the media 6 months after you are in the business, even though you still think it’s very new, chances of them featuring you prominently is close to nil.
While most of my posts are targeted at readers, here is my part of giving you – new café owners, the publicity that you may need. Presenting 20 new cafes in Singapore…
The Cafes Rise In The EAST
Coast & Company
54 Siglap Drive Singapore 456176, Tel: +65 64487608
Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm (Tues-Thurs), 9am – 10pm (Fri-Sun)
This is bicycle shop, workshop, and café rolled into one – a collaboration between Coast Cycles and Papa Palheta. Coffee will remind you of Chye Seng Huat’s. Local celebrity chef Willin Low acts as food consultant, offering creations such as Beef Rendang Hotdog ($14), Almond Peanut Butter Toast ($7) and Green Curry Stew ($15). (Read Coast and Company)
NOM Bistro & Bakery – No Other Meaning
Macpherson Community Club Level 1 – 400 Paya Lebar Way, Singapore 379131
Tel: +65 67473839
Opening Hours: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
NOM is most known for their rainbow cake ($7.90). It is one of the prettiest and most photogenic around, coming with outer layers of chocolate, oreo or salted caramel. The sponge is moist and soft, probably better than half of the rainbow cakes out there. Very sweet. (NOM No Other Meaning)
Carvers & Co
43 East Coast Road Singapore 428764, Tel: +65 6348 0448
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
A new bistro at Katong featuring meat dishes, sandwiches and craft coffee. Food is quite substantial here, from Chicken liver with red wine reduction, 63 degree egg and brioche to Bacon and Thyme roasted turkey.
55 Siglap Road, Siglap Centre, B1-11/12, Tel: +65 98596214
If cakes are your thing, Comestivel (it means ‘edible’) does it differently – with strawberry balsamic basil and lychee rose scented Pavolova Rolls (already sound so good), peanut butter jelly cheesecakes, and kinder pies. The thing is, many of their signatures come in very limited quantity, so it is first come first serve.
Craftsmen Speciality Coffee
2 First Street Siglap V, #01-01 Singapore 258278
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 8pm Daily
The retail arm of Dutch Colony Coffee Co, this café at Siglap V specialises in different types of brewing method from V-60, Chemex to Siphon.
136 Bedok North Avenue 3, #01-152B Singapore 46013, Tel: +65 82590316
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9:30am (Mon), 10:30am – 9:30pm (Wed-Fri), 9:00am-9:30pm (Sat-Sun)
Percolate feels like an honest, unpretentious, cosy café, and certainly sets to bring more life to the Bedok neighbourhood. Try their Red Velvet Cake, that does not taste artificial, and interestingly taste fruity and feels slightly wet. (Read: Percolate)
Journey To The WEST
2 Craig Road, Singapore 089662 (Tanjong Pagar MRT), Tel: +65 62222671
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 11:00pm
Miss Molly’s at Tanjong Pagar puts a twists on favourite Singapore food classics, with home-style Western cuisines and local favoured sandwiches. Expect “Har Jiong Gai Sandwich”, “Sambal Belachan Shrimp Pasta” and “Kiam Chye Aglio Olio”.
Curbside Cafe & Wine Bar
21 Biopolis Drive, Nucleos, #01-21 Singapore 138567 (15 min walk from Buona Vista MRT)
Tel: +65 81811805
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm Daily
Curbside Cafe & Wine Bar joins in the One-North neighbourhood which makes this ‘ulu’ research and development district kind of cool. Their Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie ($8) was awesome, the type of dessert that can single-handledly define a café and make people return for more. (Read: Curbside Café & Winebar)
1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-04, Nexus@one-north, Singapore 138542 (5min walk from One North MRT), Tel: +65 67104005
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 6pm (Mon-Fri, closed weekends & PH)
For those seeking a respite away from office, Envy Coffee provides free WiFi and a few power points. Try their Smoked Duck Miso Spaghetti ($12.90 nett), handcrafted coffee and their signature mocktail Cloudy Twist series ($3.50 – $6.50 nett).
383 Bukit Timah Road #01-98, Alocassia Apartments, Singapore 259727, Tel:+65 6836 2948, +65 6735 5068
Opening Hours: 7am – 10pm (Mon-Fri), 8am – 10pm (Sat-Sun)
This café, located opposite Singapore Chinese Girls Schools (teachers, parents know where to go for your caffeine) said to be inspired by both Japanese and Korean cafes, therefore the cutesy kawaii 3D animals (or Disney characters) on their drinks. 3D artist may not be in all the time, so check their facebook for updates. Other items on menu: Mix and match your rice, pasta, wraps and breads with different meats and sauces. (Read: Brew Maison)
The Café Hotspots Arab Street and Jalan Besar
1 Jalan Pisang #01-01 Singapore 199069 (Just next to Haji Lane, 10 min walk from Bugis MRT), Tel: +65 6299 5681
Opening Hours: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Sun, Mon, Wed & Thurs), 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm (Fri & Sat), Closed Tues
7th Cylinder is all about – food, coffee and motorcycles! The cafe aims to provide a welcoming space for both bikers and café-goers. Their specialties include a Class 2A breakfast ($15.90) and Red Velvet Drink. Who says familiar red velvet can’t be a drink?
36 Dunlop Street Singapore 209364, Tel: +65 62922642
Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Mon, Wed-Thurs), 11am-11pm (Fri-Sat), 10am-7pm (Sun), Closed Tues
Housed in a tall, dark grey three-storey shophouse, and one of the hottest new cafes at Jalan Besar, this has all the qualities of ‘hipster café’ ticked – industrial look, converted from electrical shop, cakes (from faithiscakes) and coffee (beans from Dutch Colony) and brunch items such as Beef Wrapped Asparagus on pumpkin mash with poached egg. Food is also halal.
46 Owen Road #01-277 Singapore 210046. (Farrer Park MRT Exit D)
Opening hours: 12pm – 8pm (Tues-Thurs), 12pm-11pm (Fri-Sat), Closed Mon
aBite specialises in customised celebration cakes, home made whole cakes and tarts at affordable prices. Their signatures include Tofu Cheese Cake ($4.90/slice), Carrot Cake ($5.80/slice), Chocolate Cake ($5.50/slice) & Earl Grey Loaf ($3.50/slice).
70 Dunlop Street Singapore 209398 (Little India MRT), Tel: +65 63417843
Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm (Tues to Thurs ), 11am to 11pm (Fri-Sat), 10am-5pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Flee Away is both a café and ‘flee market’ shop. You can rent box displays to sell merchandises, and customers can shop around with a mini flee mart. Other than coffee, food consist of local traditional bites with a twist such as Beef Hash Pie Tee and “Le Char Kuey” Baguette. (Read: Flee Away)
Way Up North
Blk 94 Toa Payoh Lor 4 #01-32 Singapore 310094 Tel: 62582254
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Sun-Thurs), 10am – 11pm (Fri-Sat)
There was Creamier, and now there is Shrove Tuesday at Toa Payoh. Waffle lovers will know where to head. Shrove Tuesday offer handcrafted gelatos, pastries, frozen desserts, and their signature waffles are the light and crispy kind. Coffee beans are organic and air flown from Italy.
22 Lim Tua Tow Road Singapore 547772 (Btw Kovan station & Serangoon station. Take bus 136 to Lim Tua Tow Road if alight at Kovan station. Talk a 8 mins walk to Lim Tua Tow road if alight at Serangoon station.) Tel: +65 6287 8880
Opening hours: 3pm – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 1pm – 11pm (Fri), 11am – 11pm (Sat – Sun)
Sunday Market wants to be not merely a café but a lifestyle, with emphasis in selection of music. Their menu can be said to comprise of Asian style comfort food which are not quite the same as elsewhere. Expect Roasted Duck with Garlic Hoisin Crispy Eggs ($12.90), Sirloin Rendang Toast ($15.90) and Bangkok Toast ($10.90) served with Thai milk tea ice cream.
Back In Town
Dulce and Sucre
#B1-01 Orchard Gateway, 218 & 277 Orchard Road (Somerset MRT), Tel: +65 65091255
Dulce & Sucre by the Twelve Cupcake couple – Daniel Ong and Jaime Teo, can be said to be a dessert café. Opened at Orchard Gateway, it sells a variety of items such as puddings, crunchies, whoopies, parfaits, tarts, and granola cups. (Read: Dulce & Sucre)
POMO 1 Selegie Road #01-22 Singapore 188306 (Dhoby Gaut, Bras Basah MRT)
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9:30pm
Offering Belgian waffles, with choices of waffles: Liege, Brussels and American waffles. Wafflewiches are also available (cheesy ham, carbonara tuna and egg mayo) with sets at reasonably priced $6.90.
Three Hands Coffee
One Marina Boulevard OMB B1-04/05 Singapore 589825
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm, 9am – 5pm
The other meaning for Three Hands – it means one hand for coffee, one hand for pastries and one hand for wine. Oh, there are 3 owners. Note: They moved from Bt Timah to One Marina Boulevard. (Read: Three Hands Coffee)
I may have left out some as I have limited resources. (Also apologies to owners who have extended their invitations, I do get multiple tastings per day and have to decline.)
If you know of any new cafes to recommend that were opened in the last 1-2 months, leave a comment here. Good food is meant to be shared!
* Special thank you to fellow foodies for recommendations and instagrammer @ElaineGirlGirl for a number of the photos.