We have reached the second half of 2016. While thinking of a theme for this month’s café openings, I have realised that many of these are off-the-radar and seldom talked about on social media.
There will be some which almost every single food or lifestyle media/websites will cover; while others are not as visible due to zero marketing or low visibility.
Just to share what the team (me @DanielFoodDiary and @stormscape) do: We basically, virtually COMB all around, everywhere for new cafes; look at the menu online to get a sense (sometimes give a call, write an email) then decide whether to go or not.
North, south, east, west, we will visit anonymously if we think it is worth the try.
So here are the 10 cafes, from next to a temple, to below the Treasury Building, to faraway Nanyang CC.
Chong Wen Ge Café
168 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068619 (next to Thian Hock Keng Temple, 5 minutes walk from Telok Ayer MRT Downtown Line)
Tel: +65 8688 3028
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 6pm, 9am – 6pm Daily
Chong Wen Ge Café’s location alone may raise a few eyebrows – right next to Thian Hock Keng Temple, and that is still within Singapore’s CBD we are talking about
There are no typical brunch and waffle items here, but local delights that can literally delight many locals (okay, pardon the pun) – Nyonya Laksa ($8.80), Nyonya Mee Siam ($6.80), Satay Bee Hoon ($8.80), Nyonya Curry Chicken ($9.80), Nonya Otah Sandwich ($4.80) and a selection of Peranakan Kuehs (cakes). Chong Wen Ge (Telok Ayer)
Il-Sole Korean Desserts
Jurong Point Shopping Centre #03-54/55, 1 Jurong West Central 2, Singapore 658886 (Boon Lay MRT)
Just to note: This is called Il-Sole Korean Desserts, even though it has a very similar logo to Sulbing Korea. [Updated] We have been informed by Jurong Point that Sulbing Singapore is a sub-franchise to the China franchise of Sulbing in Korea.
The Snow Ice variety range from the signature Red Bean with Milk ($12.50), Injeolmi ($12.50) to more fanciful Strawberry Cheese ($18.90), Mango Cheese ($18.90) and Grapes ($16.90).
The Treasury 100 High Street #01-03 Singapore 179434
Tel: +65 6694 2361
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
(Hot kitchen closed from 3 – 6pm during weekdays)
The BetterField has moved from its previous location at Waterloo to the Treasury at High Street, taking over the previous SHATEC restaurant previously known as Charcoal / RECIPES Bistro.
The pros of The BetterField moving to The Treasury: Much larger space, increased visibility (at least quite near City Hall), and the impending temporary closure of Funan Centre would mean nearby office workers have less choices for mealtimes.
There are also not many ‘indie’ coffee places around the area. Plus, it is opened at 8am.
Mains include Pulled Duck Burger ($21), French Duck Confit ($22), Mushroom Truffle Risotto ($22), and a selection of “premium selected beef” and spaghetti. The Betterfield (High Street)
#01-72 Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street, Singapore 078877 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon-Fri), 10am – 7pm (Sat-Sun)
Matchaya first made an appearance at various weekend pop-up events in Singapore to “test water” before committing themselves to a physical shop.
Located at the extended (and ulu) wing of Icon Village, it is a takeaway kiosk (unlike the usual cafes) with a clean, minimalist, wooden shopfront (so Japanese!).
The Milk Tea comes in 4 flavours: Matcha, Houjicha, Royal Milk Tea and Kuromitsu, and 3 options: Hot, Cold (additional $0.40) and Bottled (additional $0.90).
The other to-get is a Magnum lookalike Cha Cha Pop ($8), created in collaboration with the team of Nenepop. Matchaya (Tanjong Pagar)
International Plaza, 10 Anson Road #01-34 Singapore 709903.
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 3:30pm (Mon – Fri), 7:30am – 1:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun
The Alchemist, which may remind some of Paulo Coelho’s best selling novel, is an off-shoot of Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters at Upper Thomson – which is also related to coffee roaster and cafe Pacamara at Thailand.
Prices range from $3.00 from an espresso, $4.50 for a white or black, to $5.50 for an Ice White.
Two blends were available when I visited – Dark Matter which was bold and nutty, or Luminous with floral and fruity pineapple tones. Alchemist (Tanjong Pagar)
100 Selegie Road Singapore 188308
Tel: +65 6352 6651
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Tues – Sun (Closed Mon)
Rayz Bistro has set itself to a promising set. A Halal eatery serving Western fare with a dedicated pastry line.
Location is around the familiar supper haunts of Selegie Road right opposite Rochor Beancurd. There is a carpark behind. Check, check, check.
Everything but the price. For the mains, the Fish and Chips at $15 is probably the cheapest item. That is saying a lot.
The other items included Aglio Olio ($23), Penne Carbonara ($23), Chilli Crab Pasta ($26), Paella ($30), Braised Beef Ribs ($32), Spatchcock Morrocan Style ($32), Rack of Lamb ($35), Rib Eye Steak ($35). Rayz Bistro (Selegie Road)
Hashtag88 Café & Bar
88 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088509
Tel: +65 6222 2214
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Thurs), 12pm – 12am (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun
A super out-of-radar cafe, even though it is located at prime Tanjong Pagar.
Hashtag88, so called because it is on 88 Tanjong Pagar Road, serves up simple homely fare with homemade-cakes.
Food includes Smokey Salmon Sandwich, Baked Cajun, Spicy Bak Kwa Olio, Chicken Breast with Foccacia, Cheezy Baked Pork Ribs, and Bak Kwa Pizza. I had a Salted Egg Cheesecake. Okay lah.
The café really needs more marketing and social media presence for its own good.
114 Lavender Street, CT Hub2, Singapore 338729
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm (Mon – Fri), 10:00am – 4:00pm (Sat)
Another café that few on social media are talking about, but we shouldn’t let this go.
Not to be confused with Crown Bakery & Cafe at Bt Timah, Crown Coffee is a sandwich meets salad coffee place at CT Hub (next to a CrossFit studio). I know right? Some of you may be even asking where CT Hub is – it is near Lavender and Kallang MRT stations.
Owner Keith Tan told me VERY enthusiastically that his sandwiches were the best, and the place would be packed lunchtime. I listened half-skeptically because almost every café owners would tell me similar things. Keith did it with much more conviction though.
Yes, his sandwich – I had a chicken pesto, was fab. I would actually return again.
Pits & Pans
60 Jurong West St 91 #01-04, Singapore 649040
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tues – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat – Sun
A locally-owned burger joint serving a selection of gourmet burgers such as Salmon Ikura ($16.90), Mega Bello ($11.90), Camilla’s Flight ($12.90 – that is grilled chicken thigh), Baconator ($14.90 with bacon-stuffed pork patty) and Sir Charles’ Swiss ($13.90).
Located at the ground level of Nanyang Community Club.
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.
The recommended dish to order has to be the Debone Fried Chicken Wings ($3.90 for 2 pieces), the signature since ‘Granny’ days.
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15 New Cafes In Singapore May 2016
10 New Cafes In Singapore April 2016
10 New Cafes In Singapore March 2016
10 New Cafes In Singapore Feb 2016