With more than 200 new cafes in Singapore this year, 2015 represents THE year of the café boom.
Finding some of the best cafés amongst them is tough. We rate them according to taste, ambience, service, attention to details and the X-factor – which I call the “café feel”. Some have it more than the others.
Also, we visited all these cafes incognito, most more than once, and they proven to be consistent or better with time.
10 Best Cafes In Singapore For 2015
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
Mad About Sucre is what a friend would describe as… “High level”. We ordered three different cakes, and were served one by one, like a 3-course meal in the restaurant, in order of intensity to the palate. The staff would be enthusiastic (okay, maybe occasionally overly enthusiastic I didn’t know how to stop them) in explaining every cake to you, to match one to your palate and personality.
Oh, the chocolate dome-shaped San Domingue. If this cake was a piece of jewellery, it would be a sparkling diamond. (Read: Mad About Sucre Teo Hong Road)
Montana Brew Bar
1 Selegie Road #02-25, Singapore 188306 (10 min walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT)
Tel: +65 98331790
Opening Hours: 8am – 9:30pm (Food from 10am onwards)
I thought “urban chic coffee brew bar” Montana offers some of the best waffles in Singapore in terms of both selection, and taste. The word ‘Montana’ could have given the impression that the offerings could have been steep. To my surprise, it was a humble looking space, with items suitably affordable for students.
They have recently expanded and revamped to serve waffles of traditional flavours with creative twists – including a Assam Crab Waffle ($18.00) inspired by Chef’s hometown food of Kedah Laksa, and a Japanese style Kuroi Black Velvet Waffles ($14.00) with a black sesame base. Montana Brew Bar PoMo)
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.”
Still in soft launch phase, the food is slightly uneven in terms of presentation and taste, but we are sure they will iron it out soon.
64 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188667 (5-10 min walk from Dhoby Ghaut MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Sun-Thurs), 9am – 12am (Fri-Sat) Closed Tue
Taking over the space where Play Nation at Prinsept Street was, Curious Palette is an offspring to the ever-popular Strangers’ Reunion, offering similar Buttermilk Waffle with various toppings options, Magic Coffee (a magical ratio of double shot ristretto to milk) and the uber-chio Berry Ricotta Hotcakes.
Ambience scores with the entire place is brightly-lit with natural lighting from the ceiling, painted with Kinfolk’s color tone of white, grey and brown and a menu of chio (ie gorgeous) and colourful Instagram-worthy food. Coffee is not that bad too.
Nunsongyee 눈송이 @ Bugis
534 North Bridge Road Singapore 188749 (opposite Bugis Junction, adjacent to Tan Quee Lan Street)
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
There are so many Korean bingsu places, that seriously, we lost count. But Nunsongyee’s offerings are probably THE best, with its fluffy like snow shaved milk (not ice) and quality ingredients.
My personal favourite flavours are Black Sesame ($18.90), Mix Berries ($15.90) and Snow White ($18.90) which had a sweet-salty taste due to the mix of cheese strips and white chocolate. The macadamia nuts added a complementary crunch to the smooth shavings.
Clinton St Bakery Company & Restaurant
31 Purvis Street Singapore 188608 (8-10 min walk from Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 6684 4845 (no reservations, parties above 6 may be split up)
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm
From NYC’s Lower East Side to Singapore, the iconic Clinton St Baking Company & Restaurant arrived at the gastronomic stretch of Purvis Street. While the Chicken & waffles ($21) was disappointing, the winner was the Clinton St’s famed fluffy Pancakes with warm maple butter ($18), being voted ‘Best In the City’ twice by New York Magazine.
True to its reputation, the pancakes were fluffy and fat, topped with wild blueberries, banana walnut or chocolate chunk toppings, which you can drizzle over with awesome homemade maple butter. We wished opening hours were longer though. (Read: Clinton St Baking Company & Restaurant Purvis St)
Keong Saik Road #01-04, Singapore 089109
Tel: +65 6221 5615
Opening Hours: 12pm – 12am (Tues-Fri), 9am – 12am (Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun), Closed Mon
I fell in love with the interior of Luxe Sydney immediately. So fond of it then I texted my Australian travel mates immediately, “Look at this. Don’t be envious.” We spotted some people having wine early in the morning too.
Luxe first started as a hole-in-the-wall at Bondi, and Singapore makes its first overseas outlet. Its Head-chef Chui Lee Luk is actually Singapore-born, and this makes a home-coming of sorts. With experience at Claude’s and with Kylie Kwong, Chef Chui promises modern Australian cuisine with a Southeast Asian twist. Some food took a long time to prepare, but they came tantalising and fresh-tasting. (Read: Luxe Sydney Keong Siak Road)
138 Market Street, #01-01/02/03, Singapore 048946 (Raffles Place, Telok Ayer MRT)
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon-Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
Grain Traders understands what its target diners, the CBD crowd wants – healthy breakfast, build your own bowls, bagels, cakes, coffee all in a single place. Ticking all the right boxes at the same time.
The food is laid out in huge bowls and containers. Just like in a marketplace, you get to choose your freshest ingredients visually, and make your payment at the end of the counter. For those looking for takeaway coffee, the usual suspects are available: Black ($4), White ($5), Small White ($4) and additional $1 for iced, soy, mocha, decaf are available.
Crown Bakery & Cafe
557 Bukit Timah Road, #01-03 Crown Centre, Singapore 269694 (5-10 min walk from Botanic Gardens MRT)
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 8.30pm (Sun-Thu), 7.30am – 9.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Located at Crown Centre along Bukit Timah Road, Crown Bakery & Cafe serves artisanal breads without the use of artificial food flavouring, colouring and preservatives. Under the guidance of Master Baker Katsuei Shiga who had more than 40 years of baking experience from Signifiant Signifié, Japan’s top- notch artisanal bakery, Crown Bakery offers a fusion of Japanese’s baking expertise and European- styled breads
We are excited about the idea of fusion between Japanese’s baking expertise and European’s baking heritage, European bakes with an Asian touch, and an agglomeration of like- minded local products to provide chemical-free food to everyone. (Read: Crown Bakery & Cafe Bt Timah)
FatCat Ice Cream Bar
Blk 416 Bedok North Ave 2 #01-25 Singapore 460416 (10 – 15 min walk from Bedok MRT)
Tel: +65 6241 0830
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs), 12pm – 11pm (Fri, Sat, Sun), Closed Tues, Last orders 30mins before closing
An innovative ice cream waffles place hidden in the heartlands? Everyone will love this story.
Not just waffles, but “Gourmet Waffles”, available in limited quantities. Plus “Gourmet Plated Desserts”… deconstructed desserts, till sold out. What distinguished Fat Cat from all the other ice cream and waffle cafes all there were the plated desserts, as though they brought fine dining to the heartlands.
Plus, they were probably the first to start with the Liu Sha Waffles, which sent quite many on a salted egg yolk frenzy. (Read: FatCat Ice Cream Bar Bedok North)
* Special thanks to Nicholas @stormscape who helped combed more than 95% of the new cafes in Singapore. Actually, I think we visited EVERYONE. His energy is amazing, so thank you. 🙂