[FOOD GUIDE] After visiting more than 100 NEW Cafes in Singapore this year, this is our guide to the Best NEW Cafes in Singapore for 2016.
Of course we all know “BEST” is subjective. Taste, price, service, ambience, the ‘cafe-feel’ all play a part.
Personally, we are also looking out for that X-Factor.
There are so many, many, many NEW cafes. Some are almost direct moulds from the other successful ones. Some try to survive on selling trendy instagrammable food. But got look, no taste. Or no look, no taste. Some still think eggs ben and waffles are very IN. Just saying.
Those cafes listed here, have that special edge or difference that makes them appealing. They may not be perfect, but they have the heart.
10 Best NEW Cafés In Singapore 2016
15 Duxton Road Singapore 089481
Tel: +65 6222 8055
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)
Japanese Inspired Rice Bowls and That Beautiful French Toast
While 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.
This is quite the chillax cafe to go to.
It does get very packed during lunch time, and we would recommend going slightly off-peak (if you can afford to). Get your hands on their Poutine Fries ($14) and Una Tama ($14) of yaki unagi and creamy scrambled eggs on toast. Ninja Bowl (Duxton Road)
391 Orchard Road #B1-56 Takashimaya S.C., Ngee Ann City Singapore 238872
Tel: +65 6694 1411
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
London Inspired Café At Takashimaya For Some Celeb Spotting
While there are already many cafés along the Orchard Road belt, friends still ask the same-old questions of, “Where to go for coffee in town ah?”
D’Good Café was my recommendation, and it turned out to be not too bad a choice.
Regular café-hoppers should be familiar with the brand, established in 2012 at a 2-storey shophouse in Holland Village.
We liked the garden-looking exterior with (fake) roses and swing-like chairs on the outside. Good for some mini tai-tai social gatherings.
Food wise, expect mains such as Ling Cod Fish and Chips ($22.00), The Scotch Egg ($13.00) and Poached Fresh Lobster pasta ($22.00), D’Lobster Roll ($22.00), Portobello Eggs Benedict ($14.50) and Maple Sea Salt Cheesecake ($9.00 per slice). Above the usual ‘town-standard’ (opps). D’Good Café (Ngee Ann City)
6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886 (Botanic Gardens MRT)
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm (Tue-Sun), Closed Mon
Assembly Coffee Opens A Sister Cafe At Bukit Timah. This, We Love.
Atlas Coffeehouse is helmed by the team behind Assembly Coffee, known for their Shibuya toasts, waffles and coffee to appeal to university undergraduates. This venture at Duke’s Road, a 5 minute walk from Botanic Gardens MRT on Downtown Line, takes on a rather earthy approach in both decor and food.
At las(t), not the usual repetitive brunch fares seen in the usual cafes. Presentation is straight-forward and you can tell they are not going for the bang-on-being-instagrammble direction. (Thank goodness.)
Think Salmon Soba Noodles ($17), Summer Chicken Stew ($17), Buttermilk Waffles ($12-$12.50) with various sauces and atas dishes (we mean Atlas dishes): ATLAS Super-Bowl ($17) and ATLAS Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18). Atlas Coffeehouse (Duke’s Road)
41 Rochester Drive Singapore 138582
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 11:00pm (Mon – Fri), 9:30am till late (Sat, Sun, PH)
Cafe + Bistro + Design Workshop In A Colonial House
DW Workshop houses several concepts in one location. It is hard to gasp at first glance what they encompass, but it is like a café, brunch place, healthy dining restaurant and design workshop studio all within a heritage house.
For weekdays, lunch bowls ($19.00 each) are offered, with options such as Savoury Grilled Chicken, Grilled Ribeye, Pan Seared Duck Breast, Salmon in a Bag and Sweet Potato Frittata.
The Weekend Brunch choices sound quite enticing, that I wished they offered this during weekdays as well.
Other than the Signature Potato Rosti with Poached Eggs ($21.00), my favourite was the Crab Salad Croissant ($24.00) with fresh picked sweet crab in Japanese mayo in a freshly baked butter croissant. DW Workshop (Rochester Drive)
32 North Canal Road, Singapore 059288 (Clarke Quay MRT)
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tue-Fri), 8am – 6:30pm (Sat-Sun), Closed Mon
This Cafe Packs A Punch
A courtyard in an open space with natural lighting, greenery, clean-contemporary look with Aussie vibes should be a big ‘punch’, I mean hit, among the foodies and executives working at the CBD.
Punch at North Canal Road (opposite Kreta Ayer Police Post) is a short walk away from Raffles Place. The décor of the café is as important to the owners behind Ronin Café and The Plain, who also run an interior design studio.
We loved the bite-sized Doughnuts that came with 3 flavour options: Jam, Nutella, Custard.
Each of them had a golden brown crisp, fluffy texture and was generously piped smooth fillings that oozed out at the ends. Punch (North Canal Road)
238 River Valley Road Singapore 238296
Tel: +65 6734 7855
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 9pm, Closed Sun
Humble Cakes & Gelato Cafe With Arresting Bakes
While the shop boasts of a relatively small space and is mainly a takeaway concept (you can sit by the counter at the back which can occupy 3 to 4 people), there are glimpses that has reminded us of Adriano Zumbo’s bakes.
Top on the list is the Marletti’s Mountain ($8), the name a tribute to the owner’s favourite Pâtissier from Paris – Carl Marletti.
The show-stopper was the Fruit Loop ($8), looking like a glossy-donut version of the favourite cereal type.
The real surprise comes when you cut across the lemon mousse cake, revealing a strawberry jelly centre, seated on pistachio sponge.
Butterknife Folk is certainly very promising. we do think they can afford to be more experimental and fun to push that boundary. Butterknife Folk (River Valley Road)
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
Peranakan Café Next To A Temple, Within The CBD
Chong Wen Ge Café’s 崇文阁 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).
While service can take a while, and not all the noodle dishes are on point, the Nonya Kuehs are worth the walk in. Chong Wen Ge (Telok Ayer)
74 Neil Road Singapore 088839 (Outram Park)
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Tues – Sun)
Last drink order: 5.30pm
Last food order: 5pm
Brunch Classics In A Garden
Botanist is run by the same team behind Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters, Alchemist and Knockhouse Supply Co, so people would come with a certain expectation, especially for their coffee.
For seating areas, the garden part has a more outdoorsy, relaxing vibes, though it can be rather warm.
The Botanist offers Aussie-Melbourne inspired brunch classics of Baked Egg ($19), French Toast ($18), Maple Pancake ($18), Breakfast Platter ($23), Croque Madame ($18), Corn Fritters ($18) and Corned Beef Hash ($19).
The coffee, exclusively roasted in-house, can be described as a comforting cup – bold, low acidity, with sweet, chocolate undertones. The Botanist (Neil Road)
47 Neil Road 088827 Singapore (Near to Outram Park MRT Station)
Tel: +65 9451 8873
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 1am (Fri – Sat)
Garden Themed Café with Gorgeous Galaxy Cake
The owners believe that dining becomes a personal affair here, and they try to appeal to the 5 senses. (It is true, there was a light fragrance of jasmine when we entered the shop.)
There is an indoor vertical garden (lovely orchids) and art pieces from the co-owner’s personal collection.
Their signature items and desserts include the Pink Risotto ($22), Chicken with Indonesian Spices ($21), Grilled Striploin ($27), Crab Cakes ($13), Twilight which is a ‘galaxy’ style chocolate cointreau mousse cake ($10) and Terrarium ($8, +$3 for shot of rum).
The Terrarium, a floral-garden dessert which blends with the vibes and feel, is the most widely instagrammed dessert here so far. Not my favourite though.
Ollella and The Pourover Bar
Residence@Somme, 3 Petain Road, #01-01, Singapore 208108 (Farrer Park MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Wed-Mon), Closed Tue
Colourful Choux Pastries, With Pourover Coffee From The Pourover Bar
Opened by two sisters from Indonesia, Ollella is the combination of their names – OLLyvia and MarcELLA.
Ollella’s flavours include Vanilla ($4),Apple Cinnamon ($4), Raspberry ($5), Lemon Meringue ($4), Matcha Azuki ($4.50), Tiramisu ($5) and lastly Dark Chocolate ($4.50), listed in terms in flavours intensity.
Coffee is served The Pourover Bar with coffee beans from Ninety Plus Coffee, opened by fashion blogger Karen Ashley Ng (better known as @renzze) and Raphael Ou.
A cup of handpoured coffee will vary from $8 to $45 depending on the beans. Yes, $45.
Note: The Pourover Bar will be shifting to a new location. Ollella and The Pourover Bar (Petain Road)
Here’s my wish list for 2017: To see more cafes serving locally inspired food.
Other Related Entries
100 NEW Cafes in Singapore 2016
12 Cafes For PANCAKES In Singapore
10 NEW Best Cafes In Singapore To Visit In 2016
10 Best Cafes In Singapore 2015
10 Instagrammable Food In Singapore 2016