Café hopping which used to be quite the IN-thing in Singapore, has kind of dwindled down as new players are finding it hard to stand-out in this competitive F&B environment. (Also read: 10 Most Instagrammable NEW Cafes In Singapore 2018)
For this 2019’s “most instagrammable cafes” edition, there are still the usual shoo-ins of those with minimalist look and hipster-industrial space.
There are some unique ones, such as Singapore’s 1st African themed café and a floral-themed venue at East Coast.
With JEWEL Changi Airport being the most-talked about opening in Singapore, it is fitting to include some lesser-talked about names there.
12 Jiak Chuan Road Singapore 089265 (Outram/Chinatown MRT)
Tel: +65 6996 3937
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
1st African Themed Café In Singapore
Kafe Utu is listed first because it dares to be bold, different, and sticks true to its theme. How many African themed places in Singapore can you find?
The attention to details… from the menu design, sofa, cushions, decorations, paintings, doors to even the panels, you know a lot of thought has been put into the collection and planning of the space.
Many of the furniture (even the doors) used are specially imported.
Kafe Utu serves up brunch items, East and West African food, as well as specialty coffee. Owner Kurt Wagner grew up in Kenya and wanted to bring a piece of home to Singapore.
Food items on the menu include Swahili Fish Curry ($29) with red snapper, tamarind, coconut milk, house curry paste, habenero and coconut rice; Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew ($28); West African Spicy Greens ($28) with chicken thigh and smoked fish; and Caribbean Goat Curry ($28).
If you would prefer something safer and more familiar, go for the more ‘brunchy’ items such as Curried Avocado with Raw Garlic and Toast ($16) and Ricotta Hotcakes ($23). Kafe Utu (Jiak Chuan Road)
Cafe De Nicole’s Flower
224 Telok Kurau Rd, #01-01, Singapore 423836
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 8.30pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
Floral-Themed Café With Soufflé Pancakes
While many new cafes in Singapore has gone for a minimalist or industrial concept, Cafe De Nicole’s Flower focuses on a garden theme.
And this is not just about the aesthetical aspect but also through its presentation and scent.
Being a florist shop, an event space, a workshop venue and an animal playground (yes, it’s pets friendly too!), the interior is like a garden with its pleasing floral scent in almost every part of the space.
Something that caught my attention is the addition of flowers, be it dried or fresh flowers, in all the desserts and drinks that I ordered.
Even though the souffle pancakes may not seem as tall, wobbly or bouncy (worthy for a Boomerang shot), this plate of soufflé pancakes is a piece of art on its own, with sauces, fruits and flowers used for plating. Cafe De Nicole’s Flower (Telok Kurau Road)
2 Orchard Turn, #01-15/16 ION Orchard Mall, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Gorgeous Moroccan Themed Coffee Boutique & Brunch Place
This is the Moroccan brand’s first international outpost, specialising in coffee from single origins, coffee blends as well as flavoured coffee.
There are over 200 to choose from, and so you can come almost every day in a year if variety is what you crave. While the coffee selection may look overwhelming at first, they do include the taste profile and strength, and the serving staff can guide you along to make a preferred selection.
The décor itself is striking, designed to reflect the Moroccan Dar el Bacha palace in Marrakech. Some customers take the opportunity to strike a pose, some repeatedly and too many.
As for food, perhaps the more unique and Moroccan style dishes left a better impression, such as the Morrocan Chicken Pastilla infused with Rosenheim Coffee ($24), and Moroccan Kefta Meatballs accompanied with straw potato fries ($28). Bacha Coffee (ION Orchard)
Merci Marcel – Orchard
390 Orchard Road, #01-03/04, Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871
Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
French Lifestyle Cafe Opens At Orchard, With Beautiful Bohemian-Chic Outdoor Space
After successful outlets at Tiong Bahru and Club Street, the French restaurant-café has gone on to open a lifestyle concept at Orchard Road.
The newest Merci Marcel completes that picture – coffee, desserts, wine, food, place to Instagram and shop, and kids would probably feel comfortable here as well.
The all-day dining destination has quite a number of highlight dishes on its menu, including Ravioles de Royans ($18, $28)– French dumpling pasta filled with cheese & spinach, foie gras emulsion, Atlantic Wild Cod ($34), Barramundi Tartare ($23), Smoked Haddock Salad ($18), and of course the trending Impossible Marcel Burger ($28).
For desserts, there is the Crepe Mercel with tiramisu emulsion ($12), and Pineapple Carpaccio ($11) which my friend described as the best sweet thing she had in a while. Merci Marcel (Orchard)
Asian Rad Afters
33 Bali Lane, Singapore 189869
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 7pm (Wed – Sun), Closed Mon, Tue, Opened on PH
Insta-worthy Bubble Waffle From Osaka Japan
From Osaka to Singapore, Asian Rad Afters is one distinctive shop, in terms of its cyan-green colour and offering of Bubble Waffle. You can call this an “egglet”.
The menu includes offerings of Bubble Waffle ($12 – $13), Iced Asian Tea ($4.80), Fruit Cup ($8.50) and Ice Cream (Single scoop $4.50/ Double Scoops $6.50).
The Bubble Waffle is prepared ala minute upon order, with multiple flavours of fanciful names.
Unlike the usual Hong Kong style egglet, the Bubble Waffle is crispy on the edges, with moist and fluffy texture on the inside. You can say the mouthfeel is almost similar to a cake. Asian Rad Afters (Bali Lane)
Hvala – TripleOne Somerset
111 Somerset Road, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Minimalist Japanese Cafe At Somerset With Steps
Hvala’s new Japanese teahouse is what I would describe as a little oasis in busy downtown. .
The space located at TripleOne Somerset has got almost full-white look with minimalist touch, natural daylight, and Japanese zen-like vibes.
The teahouse is designed such that there are steps in which customers can sit on and sip on matcha latte
A selection of cakes such as Goma (Sesame), Chocolate Truffle, Honey Earl Grey Hazelnut, Mango Lavender, Tiramisu, Red Velvet, Lemon Meringue, Sweet Potato, and Matcha Azuki are available.
Have a cake, read a book, and have a sense of peace in the heart of Orchard.
2 MacTaggart Road, #01-01 Khong Guan Building, Singapore 368078
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm Last Order 4:30pm (Mon – Fri); 9pm – 6pm Last Order 5:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun)
Hipster Cafe Within The Heritage Khong Guan Building
You may not have expected to find a hipster café within this interesting and nostalgic building located where MacTaggart Road and Burn Road meets.
As you look up to the top and read from right to left, you would notice the words 康元 which means Khong Guan.
Alchemist started out as small takeaway coffee outpost in the CBD. This 3rd outlet is their flagship store where they house the coffee roasters at the back, and an island-open concept coffee bar at the front.
They continue to source for their own coffee, roast them, and then focus on making it simple and approachable to our customers.
I also liked the environment, not as echoey as expected, with various seating arrangements, and decorative traces of the old heritage building. Just look at the flooring. Alchemist (MacTaggart Road)
Baristart Coffee Singapore
65 Tras Street Singapore 079004 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Hokkaido Cafe With Delicious Cream Puff
It is the first café here to offer coffee using the popular Brown Jersey Milk from Biei, a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.
This is matched with beautiful latte art; its food and desserts.
The desserts, all made in-house, are designed by the talented pastry Chef Emi Sasaki with the support of local chefs whom had spent several weeks of intensive training in Japan.
Most would head for the Shiro Kuma ($9.80). Shaped like a bear, Shiro Kuma is a shaved ice dessert is too adorable to destroy and eat. This much-talked about item is served with a glass of Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk, so you can drizzle a little or pour as much as you like.
You can also opt for other homemade syrups instead of the milk, i.e. Coffee, Strawberry, Mango, and Green tea for your preferred flavour.
Also, can I add that its Cream Puff is one of the best I tried in Singapore? Baristart Coffee (Tras Street)
9 King Albert Park, Kap Mall #01-11/12, Singapore 598332
Tel: Tel: +65 6904 3811
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Gorgeous Cafe Serving “Giant Macarons” Which Are Actually Gelato
Camaca specialising in Gelato, Coffee and Chocolate originated from Taiwan and this is the first store in Singapore.
Gorgeous space, I must say, with an upper storey complete with a coffee bar. Some people may just miss the 2nd floor, so head upstairs to enjoy some peace with natural light.
These ‘macarons’ are specially made capsules, which need to be placed in their custom made gelato machine before serving.
The gelato encased within would then be squeezed out, twirled onto a cup akin to a softserve ice cream.
The purpose of putting the gelato in the capsule is mainly for 2 reasons: for hygiene as it prevents unwanted particles from getting in; and preventing air and ice crystals so that the gelato gets an improved texture.
The gelato comes in flavours such as Musang King Durian, Pomelo Tea, Swiss Chocolate, Raspberry Mango, Coconut, Royal Earl Grey, and Roasted Oolong. Camaca (King Albert Park)
343 Jurong East Street 31, #01-59, Singapore 600343
Tel: +65 9183 8447
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 10:00pm (Thurs – Tues), 11:00am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Wed
Patisserie With Delicious Matcha Cake And Lime Tart
Lee’s Confectionery has recently attracted a lot of attention on social media, and it certainly has grabbed mine with its visually satisfying in-house made pastries.
Its space may not be considered insta-worthy as it is small, but the bakes certainly are.
Located near Chinese Garden MRT, the confectionery serves roughly 6 to 7 different types of tarts, with some varieties available on a rotational basis.
The best-seller here is the Dale ($8), which includes matcha included 4 ways – in a sponge, as crumble, matcha mousse, passionfruit compote with seeds on a tart sprinkled with… matcha powder.
A refined and polished version with multiple different textures.
Soft sponge cake, crispy crumble, creamy mousse, crunchy passionfruit seeds and sturdy tart base. Lee’s Confectionery (Jurong East)
JW360° (Japan Way Three Sixty)
78 Airport Boulevard, #01-223/224/225, Jewel Changi Airport (Nearest Terminal T1)
Tel: (Retail) +65 6242 8377 I (Restaurant) +65 6243 2466
Opening Hours: 9am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Legit Matcha Desserts At Jewel Changi Airport
If you are a sweet tooth or just needing a tea break while walking around Jewel Changi Airport, the JW360° café corner is for you.
Many travelers who walk by the shop would strike a pose with the sakura flowers at the entrance. Those are REAL flowers.
They have a range of cakes and gelato, with matcha and sakura specials, using Japanese ingredients like matcha, adzuki bean, and wasanbon, an expensive fine-grained Japanese sugar made from Shikoku sugarcane.
The must-get is the Japanese Gelato ($7.50) with 2 flavours topped with sweet potato. Flavours include Japanese Whiskey, Caramel Walnut, Soba-Cha (interesting), Matcha Milk, Sweet Potato, Hoji-cha and Black Sesame.
The Goma I dare say with its rich and intense flavour, is possibly THE BEST black sesame gelato I had in Singapore.
The picturesque Matcha Mont Blanc ($9.00) with Japanese chestnut paste is my personal favourite; while Matcha Mille Feuille ($9.00) with matcha butter, custard and sweet chestnut are both art-on-a-plate. JW360° (JEWEL Changi Airport)
MAISON de PB by Paris Baguette
#02-200 Jewel Changi Airport, 80 Airport Boulevard, Singapore 819642
Tel: +65 6743 7900
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
European Dining, Brunch And Prettiest Desserts At JEWEL
This is a double-storey space at Jewel Changi Airport.
On the lower level is a more casual bakery-café concept, where you can get your selection of salads, soups, savoury, and mains, pasta, and European-style breads and pastries.
The upper level is done up contemporary restaurant-style, where you can order mains.
Get the Pain Coeur ($5.50). It is a heart-shaped bread added ingredients like lemon peel, white chocolate chips and diced strawberry to add nuances in flavours.
If you have a liking for that unique melon taste, try the Melon Mountain Tart ($12) which uses the muskmelon variety. The mound of monochromatic chunks are mixed with fresh cream and a refreshing lime-flavoured jelly. Maison de PB (JEWEL Changi Airport)
The Affogato Lounge
55 Keong Saik Road, #01-02, Singapore 089158
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Affogato Specialty Cafe With Well-Designed Interior
The Affogato Lounge is a spin-off from The Affogato Bar at Cluny Court Bukit Timah Road, specialising in alcoholic infused affogatos, micro-batch ice cream, and Italian bites such as Paninis, Bowls and Baked Quiches (available from 8am to 5pm).
Beyond the attractive turquoise coloured façade, the interior certainly looked artfully-designed, with geometric wooden panelling, mood lighting, and contemporary vibes.
The Affogatos are certainly the highlight of the menu, but so is the pricing – from $14 to $20. The highlight being the alcoholic Tiramisu ($20) served with a double shot of Paramount and house blend liquor. The Affogato Lounge (Keong Saik)
Glyph Supply Co
111 Somerset Road, #01-06, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 8:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Minimalist White Café Found At Somerset
Glyph Supply Co. has been attracting quite a fair bit of customers, because it is an artisanal café with quite an “instagrammable” interior.
Coffee is priced at $4.50 for the black, $5.50 for the white, Coldbrew at $6.00, while iced versions cost $1 extra. For non-coffee drinkers, there is also offering of Matcha ($6.00) and Chocolate ($6.00).
This is slightly pricier than what you find in other hipster cafes in the neighbourhoods, but I suppose they have high rentals to pay.
Bakes are from Carpenter & Cook, and you get a rotational selection from Lemon Tart, Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Tart, Passionfruit Meringue Tart, Almond Croissant, Pain Au Chocolat, to savoury bites of Mushroom Quiche, and Ham and Cheese Croissant. Glyph Supply Co. (TripleOne Somerset)
Tanglin Mall #02-23, 163, Tanglin Road Singapore 247933
Tel: +65 6235 5056
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Sun – Fri), 9am – 10pm (Sat)
Grill, Pizza and Deli at Tanglin Mall
As I was a fan of House Of AnLi, it didn’t take me too long to head over to Pano Kato located just a level below.
This is a Greek and Mediterranean style deli, serving up dishes such as Greek Salad with Feta Cheese ($22), Calamari ($22), Grilled Octopus ($28), Burrata ($4) and selection of pasta and pizzas.
I loved the Grilled Octopus ($28) which though looked small for its price, had a incredibly chewy texture, flavourful and well-grilled.
As for its interior, it has quite a breezy Mediterranean feel, best if you come in during daytime with natural light coming in through the windows.
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10 Afternoon Tea & Weekend Brunch Places in Singapore
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