As a food blogger, part of the thrill comes from discovering some hidden places and letting you know about them.
Recently I found myself travelling to quite extreme ends of Singapore, but at least got rewarded with some surprises.
Head over to the west and there is Connect 71 within NTU (I miss school days sometimes); an interesting Acoustic Café at Ang Mo Kio; and somewhere more central there is Grace Espresso at River Valley.
Have a read and check out where you would like to head down.
Milksha – Paya Lebar Quarter
10 Paya Lebar Road #03-25 Paya Lebar Quarter Singapore 409057
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Ice Kachang Inspired Red Bean Ice Blend, NEW Outlet At Paya Lebar Quarter
Milksha has opened a new outlet at the latest trending mall in Singapore – Paya Lebar Quarter PLQ, offering exclusive personalised summer drinks.
For first timers and not quite sure what to order, the five signatures include Azuki Matcha Milk, Fresh Taro Milk, Valrhona 100% Cocoa Milk, Refreshing Orange Green Tea and Earl Grey Latte with Honey Pearl.
What you can look forward to is the Red Bean Ice Blend ($5.40). Initially launched as a seasonal drink during Singapore’s National Day, it got many positive feedback that they decided to make it a permanent item.
This is an ice kachang-inspired drink. Instead of the usual red beans, special Taiwanese azuki beans are included, said to have less ‘beany’ flavour with natural sweetness. Milksha (Paya Lebar Quarter)
10 Paya Lebar Road, #01-K5, PLQ Plaza, Paya Lebar Quarter, Singapore 409057
Tel: +65 6802 2321
Opening Hours: 9am – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat – Sun) (Soft launch opening hours)
Specialising In Cold Brew Coffee With Prices From $2.10
Also at Paya Lebar Quarter is Morphine. You probably won’t miss it if you walk in from the MRT station side.
This may look like another next-door coffee place, but how they brew their coffee is varied from the usual typical practices. Their drinks could therefore taste different from the norm.
First things first, they are leaving out the sugar, margarine, corn etc. in the roasting, so as to bring out a more natural coffee flavour and taste in the traditional local coffee.
They also use a higher-graded Robusta beans, which can be matched with the evaporated or condensed milk.
However, they recommend drinking the items straight black so that customers can appreciate them at its most natural state.
Even though there is an espresso machine in their store, their method of brewing is from filter and cold brew, so you won’t get that strong bitter coffee extraction flavour in any of their products. So, depends on what you are looking out for. Morphine Coffee (Paya Lebar Quarter)
Esplanade Xchange B1-12 1 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039593
Opening Hours: 10am – 8.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Bubble Tea Shop Opened By MediaCorp Host Vivian Lai
For those who watched MediaCorp Channel 8 variety shows, Vivian Lai is no stranger. She is now co-owner of Teabrary 小茶識, a takeaway tea kiosk at Esplanade Xchange – apparently quite popular with the lunchtime crowd already.
“Teabrary” is a combination of the words “tea” and “library”, to represent the brand’s emphasis on the different types of quality tea used in the making.
Raw materials are processed in plants and facilities in Taiwan, then imported to Singapore.
My personal favourite happened to be the Premium Taiwan Jin Xuan ($3.80) cold-brew tea served in a convenient take-away bottle.
This tea is sometimes known as “milk oolong” (or nai xiang) because the taste is light, flowery and yet also subtlety creamy.
If you are the type who loves kosong and crave for something healthier, then this is for you. Teabrary 小茶識 (Esplanade Xchange)
1A Kuo Chuan Avenue Singapore 426888
Tel: +65 9816 1877
Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
Cafe In The East Serving Cakes From The Cheesecake Factory
This is one cafe which is quite hidden. Mod Café is situated in refurnished pink-coloured single storey detached house (with ample outdoor parking space), right next to a hair salon.
The food menu at Mod Café is kept lean, with items of All Day Breakfast ($14.90), Eggs & Mushrooms ($10.90), French Toast ($8.90), Broccoli Soup ($6.90), Mushroom Soup ($6.90), Chicken Pie ($5.50), and Shitake Mushroom Pie ($5.50).
A highlight is that they also serve up Cheesecakes ($7.90, $8.90 a slice) from The Cheesecake Factory, in flavours of original, key lime and caramel.
The Caramel Cheesecake had a delightful soft creamy texture, dollop of slightly sweetened whipped cream, and a blonde brownie base. Take note, the space is quite small and so try to avoid peak hours. Mod Café (East Coast)
The Forage Café
30 Jalan Pari Burong, Singapore 488696
Tel: +65 8869 7131
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tues- Sun), Closed Mon
Honey-Themed Cafe With Waffles Sandwiches
The Forage Café incorporates food items in the menu with honey, with the honey sourced straight from their own farm in Malaysia.
What you can expect is an All-Day Menu serving Waffle Sandwiches, and Donburi bowls added with apple vinegar honey sauce.
Pasta dishes and mains are available from 5pm to 9:30pm, which includes Halibut Mentaiko ($26), Panko-Crusted Truffle Chicken ($20), and Baby Back Ribs ($25).
Dessert-wise, you can go for Waffles with Ice Cream ($10), Tiramisu ($8), Salted Caramel Cheesecake ($8), Crème Brulee ($5.50) and Yuzu Blossom Jelly with Passionfruit Pops ($3).
To be consistent with the theme, I had a Honey Cheesecake ($8), a typical New York style cheesecake with subtle sweetness of honey. Not bad. The Forage Café (Jalan Pari Burong)
315 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427566
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Tues – Fri), 10am – 8pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Humble Artisanal Bakery Found At Joo Chiat
A small, humble bakery has been making wave with the Katong community, with several of their bakes sold out before 2pm.
Breads and pastries are only available in small batches, free of improvers, preservatives and artificial flavours.
The Classic Croissant ($3) requires a 3-day process to produce.
I decided to have it fresh because the buttery fragrance was just too alluring. And there was that ”wow” moment upon taking that first bite.
Must say that Petit Pain’s take probably ranks top as the crispiest version I had in Singapore. Note: Many of the items are sold out by about 2pm – maybe even earlier now. Petit Pain (Joo Chiat)
Connect 71 Cafe
71 Nanyang Drive #03-23 NTU Innovation Centre Singapore 638075
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), By Reservations Only (Sat – Sun)
Legit Café Opens In NTU Selling Rice Bowls and Coffee
We now head to the far west. Good news for NTU students, there is a new Connect 71 Café or C71 located within Innovation Centre (previously SIMTech Tower Block).
The café is already packed with students and staff during its opening days, which can make you convinced that NTU is finally hip.
The interior felt really cosy, and doesn’t lose out to the cafes you would find outside.
Connect 71 currently serves four different bowls as mains, including Mazesoba ($8), Lor Bak Bowl ($8), Yakitori Bowl ($8), and Gyu Don ($9).
Plus a FREE drink, and NTU Students and Staff enjoy a further 10% discount. Connect 71 (NTU)
421 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-1159 Singapore 560421
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
Music-Centred Café At Ang Mo Kio Selling Brookie
Residents of Ang Mo Kio may not even know there is an Acoustic Café at Avenue 10. The name would suggest a café that is passionate about music as much as coffee.
The menu here at Acoustic Café is relatively simple, drinks you would find at typical cafes and some simple cakes.
Their recommended food and drinks include Brownie ($3.50), Brookie ($4.00, $1 more for Vanilla Ice Cream), Mocha ($4.70), Lavender Tea Latte ($4.50), and Acoustic Milk Latte ($3.00).
The signature Brookie ($4) is a 2-in-1 combination of a classic Brownie and Cookie.
The brownie part was chocolatey and crispy on the outside, while soft on the inside. This could do with an ice-cream pairing for that extra oomph. Acoustic Café (Ang Mo Kio)
428 River Valley Road #01-14 Loft@Nathan Singapore 248327
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 5pm (Mon – Wed, Fri, Sun), 7:30pm – 6:30pm (Sat), Closed Thurs
Hidden Cafe At River Valley With Good Coffee, Opens From 7:30AM
The name and logos of “Grace Espresso” may draw some topic for discussion with its biblical connotations.
The interior is done up simply with medium-blue walls, with most of the customers seated outside on the wooden bench.
The menu is quite rather lean for now, with items of Garlic Butter Baguette ($6), Avo Sourdough Melt ($12), Grapefruit Breakfast Bowl ($13), Queen’s Toast with Strawberries ($11), and Home-made Hokkaido Milk Tea ($7).
For drinks, they offer up the usual Flat White, Latte, Cappuccino ($5.50 each), Mocha ($6), Matcha Latte ($6) and option of Ceremonial Grade Matcha Latte ($7.50).
I enjoyed the coffee which was balanced and slightly rich due to the usage of Hokkaido milk. Grace Espresso (River Valley)
Sesame Street Pop-Up Café
Kumoya @ 8 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199320
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9:30pm (Tues – Thurs, Sun), 12pm – 10:30pm (Fri – Sat)
Pop-up from 26 Sep to 29 Dec 2019
1st Sesame Street Café In Singapore
Ah, childhood memories. Who’s your favourite? Elmo. Big Bird. Oscar the Grouch. Cookie Monster?
In celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary, Singapore has welcomed the 1st Sesame Street pop-up café at Kumoya Cafe – which is no stranger to character pop-up concepts.
The food is designed by the Kumoya team and the talented Shirley Wong of @littlemissbento fame, highlights include ABCD and E for Elmo Japanese seafood curry rice ($26), Cookie Monster’s OM NOM NOM Japanese Croquette Rice with cream sauce ($22.90), Oscar’s Teriyaki Chicken Katsu Burger ($24.90), and Big Bird Happy Slurpy-licious Udon Soup with Ebi.
Note: In order to create a better dining experience during this pop-up collaboration, dining time may be limited to 90 minutes. Enjoy!
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