2016 will continue to be a year of specialty coffee houses, and some cafes experimenting (or copying) for more Instagrammable desserts In Singapore.
Here are some 10 New & Best Cafes In Singapore To Visit In 2016 – Some Popular, Some Off The Radar
PoMo 1 Selegie Road #02-25, Singapore 188306
Opening Hours: 8am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun) Food from 10am onwards
Montana Singapore which describes itself as an “urban chic coffee brew bar” has recently expanded and moved upstairs to Level 2.
Its waffles are more exciting than ever. The revamped Montana Singapore menu merges traditional flavours with creative twists – including a Assam Crab Waffle ($18.00) inspired by Chef’s hometown food of Kedah Laksa, and a Black Velvet Waffles ($14.00) with a black sesame base that would remind many of wander-lusting in Japan.
However, they still faced some consistency issues in the waffles. For example, the chocolate coating on the ice cream went MIA, and music was a tad loud during the weekends for our liking.
29/31 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198477 (Bugis MRT)
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Tue-Fri), 10.30am – 9.30pm (Sat-Sun), Closed Mon
A.R.C is a 3-in-1 Coffee Place with an Academy, Roastery and Café all in one place. Situated at Sultan Gate with a 3-storey high building, the 1st floor is a café concept with a cosy white bricked wall interior with a mini roastery site at the back.
The 2nd floor is used for as an academy for conducting classes, ranging from barista and latte art training to coffee appreciation workshops. Ms Andrea Tan, Champion of Singapore National Brewers Cup 2015, and her mentor Mr John Ryan Ting, Champion of Singapore National Barista Championships 2008, 2009, 2015, could be seen making coffee here. A.R.C Coffee (Sultan Gate)
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.
The Coffee Academics Singapore
Level 2, Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road, Singapore 228209 (Orchard MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm Daily
The Coffee Academics in Singapore looks like a café meets science laboratory meets working space. No expenses spared in delivering an impressive interior.
The Singapore flagship store has been designed as a 7 Sensory Station experience – something that has not been previously done in their Hong Kong outlets, creating a “Sensory Playground” that showcases their unique offerings as a brand. In the works… you can even choose a customisable packaging for the Custom Blend Concierge, to create your own bespoke coffee blend and have the chance to roast it on-site. The Coffee Academics Singapore (Scotts Square)
The Plain Jane
Blk 211, Serangoon Ave 4, #01-10, Singapore 550211 (Serangoon MRT)
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Thu-Tue), Closed Wed
We also wanted to highlight somewhere in the heartlands. Located within the heartlands at Blk 211, Serangoon Ave 4, the interior has a homely feel which reminds me of my growing-up years with a rattan chair in the living room.
The menu offers an assortment of bakes such as the highly recommended Plain Jane Swiss Rolls ($4.90) and Not So Plain Jane Swiss Rolls ($5.90) with flavours on a rotational basis, light meals ($8.90 – $12.90), coffee and tea. The Swiss roll we had was light and moist, generously filled with matcha cream with non- overpowering and slight lingering matcha bitterness. The Plain Jane (Serangoon)
Joe & The Juice
30 Raffles Place, Chevron House #01-35A Singapore 039803
Tel: +65 6221 2126
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 3pm (Sat)
For our CBD friends. The Joe & The Juice chain first originated from Copenhagen, founded by a former elite sports karate fighter who first wanted to design healthy delicious quick-fix meal options for athletes.
Joe & the Juice uses a unique blend of coffee beans, 100% organic, specially cultivated in South America. The one unique thing is, you can add ginger shots within – it adds an intriguing spiced, cooling ‘pop’ to the coffee. Don’t get confused with “Grey”, “Purple”, “Yellow” or “Pink” latte which cost between $5 – $6.50. They simply refer to the different cup sizes.
Oh, there is no extra charge if you want to up your caffeine intake with a double shot. Joe & The Juice (Raffles Place)
Orchard Shopping Centre, 321 Orchard Road #01-01/02, Singapore 238866 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 1:30pm – 1am (Mon-Thu), 10am – 1am (Fri-Sun)
Ice Lab has opened with a Big Bang (pun unintended) specialising in Bingsu (more), churros (more more) and toast. It is opened by none other than Korean Comedian Shin Jung-Hwan – famous for his comic dance and silly acts. This marks his first venture overseas.
We were impressed with the 1.5 storeys high, 80 seating capacity, snow making machine that created falling snow in the middle of a round table, 6 bingsu making machines to make 6 different flavours of bingsu (each machine is a 5 figure sum) and a clean, white and spacious interior. Ice Lab (Somerset)
15 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059385 (Clarke Quay MRT, near Song Fa Bak Kut Teh)
Tel: +65 68162494
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 10:00pm (Mon-Thu), 8:30am – 12:00am (Fri), 10:00am – 12:00am (Sat), 10am – 6pm (Sun)
This café is very centralised, but quite off-the-radar, and we couldn’t let it slip past us. Inspired by the Art Deco 1920s designs, WANNA CUPPA décor is unique, with a welcoming environment for customers to relax in an atmosphere of a secret garden.
WANNA CUPPA’s signature items include Enoki Mushroom Fries ($7.90), Picasso Panini Grilled Chicken ($8.90), Mushroom Cream Truffle Linguine ($14.90), and Soft-shell Crab Pasta ($15.90).
Sarnies @ PasarBella Suntec
Suntec City, 3 Temasek Blvd, #01-455 to 461 North Wing, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm (Mon – Sun)
Main outlet at 136 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068601
Started a few years ago by Aussie Ben Lee, Sarnies was a pumpin’ little café that is starting to reach out, opening up at PasarBella with a coffee and salad concept called Pimp My Salad.
Over at its main Telok Ayer branch, you can have a taste of Australian Cocowhip with vegan bio-fermented softserve. So cheem. In short, it’s dairy free, lactose free, fat free, gluten free. Coconut water based softserve with a refreshing and yet not icy punch. Choose from 6 toppings and 5 different syrups.
20F Specialty Coffeehouse
20 Foch Road, Singapore 209261 (Farrer Park MRT)
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon), 10am – 10pm (Tue-Sun)
20F pays tribute to its address at 20 Foch Road, formerly a family-run clinic for 60 years. A modern concept in a traditional setting, an old-meets-new chic café with vintage floor tiles, metal window and door grills.
We observed something interesting about its offerings – there are many sweet and savoury combinations in their food. The Recommended dishes for the brunch menu include the Orange Cinnamon French Toast ($15), and Duck & Waffle ($22), Pulled Duck or Pork Flatbread with Fresh Guac ($17) for the lunch menu. The Duck and Waffle ($22) is a spin-off of the Americanized Chicken and Waffles, added with sweet mixed berries sorbet and fresh strawberries. Weird but quite delicious. 20F Speciality Coffeehouse (Foch Road)
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* Compiled by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary & Nicholas Tan @stormscape. Here’s wishing you a Blessed New Year!