What defines a Japanese cafe? Those in this list are a combination of cafes that originate from Japan, feature Japanese style food and desserts, and are helmed by Japanese chefs.
Another distinctive feature – Japanese cafes are comparatively quieter than their counterparts. You almost seldom hear Japanese having loud conversations in coffee places, that makes them a relatively comfortable place to read a book and have a matcha latte.
10 Japanese Cafes In Singapore おいしいです
Café & Meal MUJI Paragon
Orchard Paragon, 290 Orchard Road #04-36 Singapore 238859 (Orchard MRT)
Tel: +65 6735 0123
Opening Hours: 10am – 9:30pm (Mon-Sun), Full menu available only after 11am, Last order 9:45pm
Lifestyle Japanese brand MUJI has finally opened its first “Café & Meal MUJI” in Singapore at L4 Paragon Orchard. Die-hard MUJI fans will be sooooooo excited.
After shopping for those ‘no-brand’ home accessories, you can rest your legs at the café for some Caramel Pudding ($4.90) and Roasted Tea Pudding. There are electrical sockets if you need to work on your laptop.
For a filling meal, Japanese style ‘cai peng’ is available. A selection of 1 hot and 2 cold deli with choice of white rice or bread is at $12.90, while the 2 hot and 2 cold combination is at $16.90. An additional $1 can be topped up for Ten Grain Rice – Niigata Koshihikari Japanese white rice mixed with multi-grains. The dishes taste, em, healthy. (Read: Café & Meal MUJI Paragon Orchard)
Doutor Coffee 株式会社ドトールコーヒー
Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, #01-05, 12 Marina Boulevard Singapore 018982
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 9:30am (Mon-Fri), 8:30am – 4:30pm (Sat-Sun)
I suspect not many know there is actually Doutor Coffee in Singapore. Doutor is a popular Japanese retail company specialising in coffee roasting and coffee cafes, with over 1200 outlets around the world. My favourite branch being the one at Ginza.
CBD executives would come for breakfast with options of Ham & Egg Sandwich ($7.80), Pancakes with Choco Banana ($6.80) and localised Kaya Toast with Azuki or Egg ($4.80).
In between meetings, I like to wind down at a quiet corner here. Its Crepe Cake and Matcha desserts are great for a relaxing afternoon bite.
333A Orchard Road #04-16 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 91593177
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
Hashido Garo is the second venture by Chef Kenjiro ‘Hatch’ Hashida from Hashida Sushi, specialising in traditional Japanese sweets wagashi and Japanese tea. Try the Japanese sweets, which include Yuzu, Matcha and Hojicha Macarons ($3.50) each, Chocolate Yokan ($5), Hokkaido Cheese Cake ($3), and Kobosu Sorbet ($5).
You almost feel kind of stressed / out of place / calmed / relaxing here (option depends on your mood and perspective) Its highlight is the traditional tea ceremony, where the master would prepare top quality matcha ($30) in a U-shaped performance stage.
That is right. A sip down is $5 or so. But this is art. This is culture. (Read: Hashida Garo Mandarin Gallery)
Patties & Wiches
391 Orchard Road Takashimaya Shopping Centre #03-10A Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872 (5-10 min walk from Orchard MRT)
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 9.30pm (Mon-Sun)
We can imagine Japanese tai tais loving the space here. Patties & Wiches (the shop’s name comes from burger-patties and sand-wiches) serves an agglomeration of Japanese pastries from various Japanese F&Bs in Singapore such as Asanoya Bakery and Chef Yamashita. Plus a Western twist.
The highlights include a $55 Wagyu Burger, Chef Yamashita’s Mont Blanc, and the must-try Fumi Araya Chou-Pop ($3) which comes in 5 different flavours. I may have liked this place better if there are more unique bakes, also because I have always tried those from Yamashita. (Read: Patties & Wiches Orchard)
350 Orchard Road Shaw Centre, Swiss Cottage Estate, Singapore 238868 (Orchard Road MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon-Sun)
After Patties & Wiches, Japanese tai tais can take a stroll down to Shaw Centre for Watanabe Coffee. This is the second branch of Wa Café’s, which has been a well-kept ‘secret’ at the basement of Chinatown Point.
We were excited about their selection of matcha (finely grounded green tea leaves) desserts and drinks: Matcha and Ogura Shibuya Toast ($16.80), Japanese Matcha Parfait ($13.80), Matcha Pudding ($8.20), Matcha Shake ($9), Matcha Latte ($7.80) and Matcha Roll Cake ($8.20). The original branch seems better in terms of food and service though. (Read: Watanabe Coffee Orchard)
Capitol Piazza 15 Stamford Road, B2-55, Singapore 178906 (City Hall MRT)
Tel: +65 6384 5131
Opening Hours: 1030am – 10:30pm (Last orders 9:45pm)
Other branches at Plaza Singapura, Suntec City, Ion Orchard
Hoshino Coffee is already quite popular in Japan, specialising in hand-dripped coffee and fluffy soufflé pancakes. It is also sister companies with Doutor Coffee at MBFC and spaghetti place Youmenya Goemon.
This is one of those Japanese cafes that get divided views – some like its selection of Western-Japanese food, while others have feedback about the long waiting time and service.
Among some of my favourite to order include the Hoshino Pot-Baked Curry Rice ($15), Lobster Bisque Spaghetti ($16) and Tonkatsu Curry Rice ($17). An order of the Pancake Souffle Style with Matcha and Ogura Bean Paste will take that long as they are freshly made on the spot. Accordingly their oven can only produce a few at a single time. Must be patient loh. (Read: Hoshino Coffee Capitol Piazza)
100 AM, 100 Tras Street, #03-23, Singapore 079027 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10pm
One of those super under-the-radar Japanese cafes in Singapore. Okada Coffee’s base is in Kumamoto Japan, with a history since 1945.
Therefore, the interior can feel and look somewhat dated with its dark brown furnishing. The specialty is in its fresh roasted, ground, brewed coffee. Some blends can combine up to seven different beans. Japanese style meals such as Hamburg Steak, Tonkatsu and Curry Rice are available. Cakes looked somewhat dry though.
Nigiro Café Singapore
3 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec City North Wing #03-315, Singapore 038983 (Promenade MRT)
Tel: +65 6238 1669
Opening Hours: 11am – 10.30pm
Café Nigiro is a Japanese Italian café, its name being ‘origin’ spelt backwards. Serious.
This is the very first café concept by Chef Kensuke Sakai who once competed on Japan’s Iron Chef. Its signature dishes include Grilled Shrimp-Caesar Salad ($9.50 half size, $20 full size), Eggs Benedict ($16), NIGIRO Hamburg Steak ($24) and Deux Fromage Cake ($8.50).
Though the café is at Suntec City, finding it can be somewhat of a challenge. You first need to find Eat At Seven on Level 3, and walk all the way to the end. The good news is, the café is rather quiet. (Read: Nigiro Café Suntec City)
Nana’s Green Tea Café
The Atrium @ Orchard, Plaza Singapura 68 Orchard Road #03-80/82 Singapore 238839 (Dhoby Ghaut MRT) Tel: +65 6684 4312
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
With more than 30 branches in Japan, Nana Green Tea is sometimes termed as the “Japanese Starbucks”.
Although Nana’s Green Tea is known to be a café, it also sells several main courses such as dons, udons and sushi rolls, with a more localised menu quite unlike the ones in Japan.
Desserts such as its Matcha Anmitsu ($8.80), are definitely its strength. It may not blow you away but makes a decent afternoon tea-time treat, with its azuki red bean paste smooth and satisfying.
St. Marc Bakery & Bar
Parkland Green @ ECP 920, East Coast Parkway #01-09/10, Singapore 449875
Tel: +65 6342 1786
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tue – Fri), 9am to 10pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Other branches at Raffles City Shopping Centre, Vivocity, Marina Square
Japanese dessert Café Saint Marc has a few star items – Choro Cro pastry, Little Fuji and Geisha Waffle Cone. No doubt, I am a fan.
Few would know they opened a restaurant concept with much larger space at Parkland Green, East Coast Parkway. Dining at a Japanese café by the beach sounds like a great weekend activity. However, while The East Coast St. Marc may provide a fuller menu, the experience at other branches felt better. (Read: St Marc Bakery & Bar Parkland Green)
Other Japanese cafes in Singapore include: Wa Cafe, Dolce Tokyo, Dulcet & Studio, Maccha House, Tsujiri Tea House, Chef Yamashita, Flor Patisserie, Asanoya Bakery. Will complete the list when I find another 10. To be continued…