Tanjong Pagar in Malay means “cape of stakes”, a buzzling area located within the Central Business District in Singapore.
When there are CBD workers, there is always coffee (and now health food).
This is THE place to find food – from the Korean restaurants and cafes along Tanjong Pagar Road, atas restaurants at Tras Street, hipster places located at Duxton Hill, to a variety of eateries at Tanjong Pagar Plaza, 100AM Mall and Icon.
These are some 11 NEW Cafes At Tanjong Pagar, opened for last than a year in duration. Of course, let me know if I missed out any.
100 Tras Street, 100 AM Mall #01-03/04 Singapore 079027
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 8pm (Sat – Sun)
Think of Grain Traders as an ’ang moh’ chap cai peng shop, a Westernised version of the familiar local economical rice. Except that this bowl may not be as economical.
For $16, you get a basic bowl of 1 grain choice, 1 protein, 1 hot veggie, 2 cold veggies, 1 sauce and 1 topping. Most friends comment that this is one of the tastiest rice bowls around. You can get their servers to recommend, but do be reminded that CBD lunchtime can be pure madness. (Tell me about it.)
Coffee is at the other side of the shop – beans are from Papa Palheta, while homemade snacks and muesli are from The Edible Company.
#01-72 Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street, Singapore 078877 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon-Fri), 10am – 7pm (Sat-Sun)
Located at the extended (and ulu) wing of Icon Village, Matchaya is more like a takeaway kiosk (unlike the usual cafes) with a clean, minimalist, wooden shopfront (so Japanese!).
Not just limited to matcha (as their shop name implies), the menu is divided into the drinks (milk tea, ceremonial tea, clear tea, choco) and desserts (macaron, roll cake, toast, ice cream).
Ingredients are sourced from different prefectures of Japan. Matcha and Houjicha (roasted green tea) latte from the Kyoto prefecture, Royal Milk Tea from Hyogo prefecture and Kuromitsu (unrefined black sugar) latte from Okinawa.
Our favourite was the “hou-jiak” Houjicha, with a distinct roasted tea leaves flavour and balanced sweetness.
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 opens at a corner unit of International Plaza in the heart of Tanjong Pagar. Blink and you may miss this coffee shop with white-washed walls and minimalist décor.
However, the perpetual lunch time queue will give you the indication that the coffee is probably more than respectable.
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. Great place to get a quick caffeine fix.
15 Duxton Road Singapore 089481
Tel: +65 6222 8055
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)
Department of Caffeine at Duxton Road has said its goodbye, and Ninja Bowl came flying in.
While my friends initially had the impression that Ninja Bowl just serves “healthy bowls”, there are other intriguingly sounding brunch items such as Gyu & Tama ($17) – mushroom scrambled eggs with 24-hour braised beef cheek, Tonkotsu Spirit ($16) of aburi cha shu and poached eggs (no tonkotsu or spirits in this one), sandwiches, bites such as Bacon Tempura ($10) and Poutine Fries ($14), and cakes at the display counter.
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.
83 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088504 (Tanjong Pagar MRT. Note: It has moved from its original location at Orchid Hotel.)
Tel: +65 6444 3868
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon-Thurs), 12:00pm – 10:30pm (Fri-Sat), Close Sun)
So Cake Spade has moved from Orchid Hotel to 83 Tanjong Pagar Road. A 1-2 minute walk from the previous location, this patisserie café has a much bigger space, painted in a baby pink on the exterior.
Cake Spade’s proudest cake is perhaps the Strawberry Tofu Cheesecake ($6.50 per slice, $49 for whole 7”) with fresh strawberries encase in jelly with digestive biscuit crust at the bottom.
Think Jelly Hearts in cake form, with strawberry, peach and mango (seasonal) flavours.
Socks and Pan
7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-108 Singapore 081007 (Tanjong Pagar MRT, along Craig Road)
Tel: +65 6536 3310
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
This is a cafe that offers this unusual pairing of Western cuisine with local coffee & tea brewed using the traditional coffee sock.
You can tuck into Socks & Pans’ freshly-made pizza with interesting flavours or pastas topped with jiggly soft-boiled egg.
Asian influence can be seen in their menu items. Besides the popular Pepperoni Pizza, other items include Asian Pulled Pork, Bacon Onion, and Hebi Hiam & Tofu Pizzas (from $25 for a Large-sized pizza). Newly added items include Thai Basil Pork Pizza and Stromboli ($16.90).
Bingki Korean Desserts
Blk 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-106 Singapore 081007 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6443 5435
Opening Hours: 11am – 2am (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 4am (Fri – Sat)
This Korean dessert cafe is popular among youths and working executives as it is opened till late.
More than 10 different bingsu varieties are available, including Red Bean ($12), Injeolmi ($13), DaBang Coffee ($16), Peach ($15), Mango ($15), Melon ($18), Watermelon ($15) and Papaya ($15).
The Green Tea Bingsu ($14) came with a scoop of ice cream decorated as a monkey (or bear?), with red bean and random ingredients of pepero, kit-kat and Hello Panda cookies. “Isn’t this Japanese?”
The shavings were fluffy, soft on the touch and sweetly-flavoured. But of course, Bingki imported some mighty bingsu machines from Korea, and the resulting texture won’t be as coarse.
Elements & Co.
137 Cecil Street #01-02 Singapore 069537 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon-Fri)
Elements & Co. themes themselves as a lifestyle space, bringing together all the different elements from the owners’ travel adventures.
Think Australian coffee, Morrocan Kebabs, Piri Piri Chicken and Risotto.
For a “lifestyle café” which focuses on serving healthy food, their coffee served here was unexpectedly not bad. Turns out that the Genovese beans they use are sourced directly from Melbourne.
Dabang and Don’t Tell Mama
52 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088473 (8-10 min walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Tel: +65 6221 2007
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 5:00pm (Dabang) and 5pm – 12am (Don’t Tell Mama )
This concept by the Chicken Up people has two faces: Dabang, an Australian brunch and dessert café with a Korean twist by day; and Don’t Tell Mama, Korean – Mexican fusion bistro with interesting cocktails by night.
A ‘dabang’ refers to a Korean coffee house which primarily serves prepared coffee, tea or other beverages.
Dabang offers safe choices for its brunch menu, from Korean-inspired Panini, the ever-popular Bingsu, Twist Potato, and Nacho Cheese Omelettes.
124 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088533 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm
Churn Creamery took over Restore Living Café at 124 Tanjong Pagar, and is located right opposite another ice cream café 5 The Moments.
The offerings are artisanal gelatos, along with waffles, brownies and profiteroles. Flavours include Pineapple Sorbet, Matcha, Moscato Peach, Banana Nutella, Black Sesame, Valrhona Manjari, Strawberry Cheesecake.
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