Do you know that Thomson Road is also known as ”Chia Chui Kang” meaning “fresh water stream”
Other than the ‘iconic’ Thomson Plaza where parents sent their children to tuition and music classes, the Upper Thomson Road stretch is peppered with eateries from The Roti Prata House, Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Meng’s Kitchen, and Thai Hao Chi Mookata.
Not forgetting that Sin Ming’s popular kopitiams are just a short walk away.
The only thing is, a lot of rich families around, don’t know where to park!
There are also many brunch and coffee places where hipsters can literally café-hop an entire afternoon away. Or parents can choose want to have desserts, while waiting for your children to finish those never-ending enrichment classes.
Here are 10 cafes to visit at Upper Thomson Singapore:
Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters Singapore
185 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574333
Tel: +65 6397 5564
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Talk about Upper Thomson’s cafes, and Pacamara may just be that most famous name that people talk about.
Part of it is due to its vibes, primary white interior (especially with natural daylight), the barista bar, relatively good coffee, and cool little people. Okay, except that it can get rather noisy and echo-y.
Pacamara Coffee was first established in Changmai, finding more fame after opening its boutique café at Bangkok. As for its name, “Pacamara” came from El Salvadorean Pacamara Arabica coffee bean.
You will find this casual café at a few minutes’ walk from the Marymount MRT station. It has a minimalist set up, with hearty servings of Western fusion cuisine. They serve a full day breakfast and coffee menu, along with lunch and dinner special entrées.
For the Brunch which lasts till 5pm, go for the Breakfast Platter ($23), Avocado & Eggs ($16.50), and Mushroom & Cheese Omelette ($17.50).
Do leave some space for the Salted Caramel Banana French Toast ($18.50), or the Blueberry Pancake ($17.50) served with fresh berries, vanilla sauce and berry compote – a dessert that satiates the sweet tooth. Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters (Upper Thomson)
4 Jalan Kuras Singapore 577723
Tel: +65 8411 7565
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Its location is not the most accessible, at 4 Jalan Kuras at Upper Thomson, of walking distance from Sembawang Hills Food Centre.
There are a few elements that would draw people to this humble establishment.
They micro-roast their own coffee, and the owners and staff sound very sincere and down-to-earth (hope they can remain that way!) I cannot vouch for its entire menu as it changes regularly, but online feedback has been positive.
Its main offerings include Hearty Chicken Stew ($16), Baked Eggs & Toast ($14), THUS Breakfast ($19), Salmon & Kale Toast ($17), Salmon Grain Bowl ($18), and Wagyu Beef Grain Bowl ($20).
The Creamy Chicken Leg Stew with herbed potatoes, carrots and zesty lime, served with toasted multigrain bread has been a crowd favourite.
This is not your everyday instagram-favourites, but should appeal to a certain generation who would like your soft potatoes and carrots with fall-off-the-bone drumstick. Thus Coffee (Jalan Kuras)
Columbus Coffee Co.
220 Upper Thomson Rd Thomson Garden Estate, Singapore 574352
Tel: +65 6253 6024
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Tues – Sat), 9am – 7pm (Sun), Closed Mon
It is a bold step to open a new café in an area already swarming with a dozen others, but it definitely stands out. You should find yourself liking the general vibe as soon as you step in. It has a spacious seating area, looking chic and neat.
There are no so-called recommended items, but some dishes that appealed included Mushrooms on Sourdough ($14), Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($14.50), Mussels with Coconut Lemongrass & Ale ($17), Heart Meatballs On Toast ($18), Brown Butter Sardine Crumb Pasta ($18), to sweets of Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18.50), Peanut Butter & Berries ($14) and Earl Grey Caramel Waffle ($12.50).
The Summer Chicken Stew ($18) seemed like an obvious choice.
This dish had a slight Asian-take as it reminded me of a home-cooked meal with roasted potatoes and carrots, except that the gravy was not as creamy as I imagined. Columbus Coffee Co. (Upper Thomson)
223 Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574355
Tel: +65 6456 2567
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Habitat Coffee is one of the main-stayers along Upper Thomson Road.
If you are looking for hearty food servings with fresh roasted coffee, artisanal cakes and desserts, this should be for you.
It is a quaint little place just right for warm brunches and regular caffeine fixes. You will find a variety of Asian cuisines from Japanese fusion rice bowls to the Asian infused desserts and pastas.
For brunch, go for the Pulled Pork Benedict ($16) with 8 hours slow cooked pork shoulder and homemade citrus hollandaise sauce, Scrambled Chilli Eggs, Cajun Prawn Melted Toasties or Truffle Salmon Scrambled Eggs.
Apart from this, they have authentic Arabica coffee beans roasted locally and freshly grinded on demand, best paired with their home baked Matcha Molten green tea lava cake with green tea gelato.
215F Upper Thomson Road Singapore 574349
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs), 10am – 12am (Fri), 8am – 12am (Sat), 8am – 4pm (Sun)
Birdy’s is a newly-opened neighbourhood kitchen and bar at 215F Upper Thomson, which serves up breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, wines, craft beers and everything in between.
The strange name of “Birdy’s” comes from a fictional character who is peckish is all day, and the shop’s objective is to provide quality without the frills.
Its menu is divided into Day and Night, with the evening menu comprising of recommended dishes such as Charred Cauliflower “Steak” ($15) with semidried tomatoes, chives and hazelnut beurre noisette; Slow Cooked Pork ($25) of 12 hours braised pork belly in kecap manis, served with duck fat potatoes.
I would recommend the Eggs On Toast ($9). Not many cafes (even restaurants) in Singapore do the ‘simple’ Scrambled Eggs well, but Birdy’s got it just right in terms of the consistency, creaminess and fluffiness.
One Man Coffee
215R Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574349
Tel: +65 9658 1685
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
Simple and classy, One Man Coffee specializes in artisanal coffee.
One Man Coffee shares the same space with Garçons, operating in the prime working hours and bringing wholesome food items.
The café is simple with minimalistic, with classy furnishing and antique display cabinet with a variety of cakes and pastries.
They serve their specialty coffee with Nylon Coffee Roasters and their chocolate beverages are made with rich premium African Cocoa from Grounded Pleasures from Australia.
For their All-Day Brunch, go for the Croissant with Scrambled Eggs with Mixed Greens or Sweet Potato Fries ($10), Baked Eggs Cocotte ($12), Ham & Truffle Cream Cheese Coirssant ($10), or Furikake Mushroom Pasta topped with Onsen Egg ($12).
[Closed – Rebranding] Les Patisseries
222 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574354
Tel: +65 9744 0504
Opening Hours: 11am – 11:30pm (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 1:30am (Fri), 9am – 1:30am (Sat), 9am – 11:30pm (Sun)
Les Patisseries which started its operations at Toa Payoh, moved to Upper Thomson a couple of years ago.
There is a 60-seater area which is great for individual hang outs as well as gatherings and events.
While it is known for its pastries, tarts, cakes and waffles, there is actually quite an extensive all-day savoury menu which serves up Chicken Parmigiana ($16), The Ultimate Chicken Burger ($17), Signature Pork Burger ($19), Truffle Baked Mushroom ($14), and Carbonara ($14).
For those craving for risotto, there are offerings for it during dinner time such as Saltbush Lamb Shank ($24), Wild Catch Salmon ($20), Garlic Prawn ($17), and Wild Mushroom Risotto ($14).
Its two best-selling Waffles include the Houjicha Molten Pancake ($17) and Chai Tea Waffles with Double Scoop Speculoos Ice Cream ($17.90).
Their Waffle Ispahan ($15.90) is also like a work of art, essentially rose waffle topped with double scoops of rose and lychee sorbet, fresh and pureed lychees, and raspberries along with edible rose petals and macarons.
Nook & Cranny Café
9 Sin Ming Road #01-03, Thomson V One, Singapore 575630
Phone: +65 6452 7449
Opening Hours: 4pm – 10pm (Wed – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Nook & Cranny Café is hidden along the Thomson V One, and if you do not look closely you may completely miss it out.
Filled with natural daylight and wafting with the aroma of freshly prepared food, it is small but considered cosy.
Its menu though small, still includes no-nonsense classic comfort food from Truffled Mac & Cheese ($14.50), Truffle Fries ($8.50), Chicken Bleu served with Orzo Rice Pasta, and Portobello Beef Burger served with chips and salad.
215B Upper Thomson Rd, Singapore 574349
Phone: +65 9688 9211
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 11pm (Fri), 12am – 11pm (Sat)
Thrive is a concept by Boxgreen and An Acai Affair, and serves up signature acai bowls, smoothies, and toasts.
It is a slightly quiet place, and students seem to love to ‘park’ here to do their revisions.
Three types of toasts are available – Berry Crunchy ($5.90), You Butter Believe ($5.90), and Bravocado ($6.90) served on toasted sourdough bread.
The Triple A Acai ($5.90, $8.90, $13.90) come served with fresh fruits, granola, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut shavings, pumpkin seeds, almond flakes and goji berries.
All bowls come with a drizzle of honey, cookie butter, peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter.
Its acai bowls is said to be undiluted with liquids such as apple juice or coconut water, and therefore contains a higher concentration of acai pulp.
95 Soo Chow Walk, Singapore 575382
Phone: +65 9004 7827
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Tues – Thurs), 12pm – 11pm (Fri), 10am – 11pm (Sat), 10am – 10pm (Sun), Closed Mon
There are many decent cake and bread shops in Singapore, but I dare say few bake a decent pie. Especially one that is not too crumbly, stays firm without being hard, fruity yet not artificial tasting.
In which every taste is a surprise. Windowsill Pies got all the right ticks.
However, somehow people still think they are at Jalan Besar, or are gone, but they have actually moved to Soo Chow Walk (There is another outlet at 17 Haji Lane.)
They have a variety of more than 10 pies, from Grasshopper (dark chocolate ganache with fresh mint cream), Morello Cherry, Pecan & Pumpkin, Strawberry Lemon, Rum & Apple, Honey Macadeamia, to Sparkling Yuzu.
Each slice cost about $7 to $8.
The S’mores pie ($8.00 per slice, $68 for whole), filled with gooey milk chocolate pudding and sticky dark chocolate fudge, is one of my favourites for being smoothly-chocolaty yet not being overpowering rich.