Ever heard of comments like ”There is nothing new at Orchard Road”.
Well, this month there are actually four NEW cafes to look forward there, from Moroccan-style Bacha Coffee, Merci Marcel with bohemian-chic vibes, retro-chic teahouse from Hong Kong Social Place, and Greek deli Pano Kato.
All of them are highlight instagrammable, and could enter your consideration list after Christmas shopping (yes, Christmas is just a month plus away).
Even if you are further away (well, far is relative) in Changi, you can always head down “Downstairs” for some Salted Egg Chicken Nasi Lemak and Lu Rou Fan – with 10% OFF.
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)
Social Place Singapore
Forum The Shopping Mall, #01-22, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Retro-Chic Tea House From Hong Kong Opens At Orchard Road
Founded in Hong Kong, Social Place is a retro-chic contemporary tea house imbued with nostalgic touches from olden Hong Kong days, which serves an innovative spread of Chinese fares and Dim Sum offerings.
Upon stepping into the restaurant, you will be greeted with sleek modern interior accompanied with fun vibrant elements such as, using ping pong table for dining and a whole mural wall made up of mah-jong tiles.
They were probably the OG innovators for the now already available dishes in Singapore such as Flaming Pineapple, Fried Chicken Pieces with Chillies served in Nest, and Truffle Mushroom Buns.
What left an impression was their Pork Sliders ($14.80) aka Chinese Kong Bak Pao which came with a slice of tender braised fatty pork meat sandwiched in between soft fluffy buns which literally melts in your mouth. Social Place (Orchard Road)
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.
However, after repeat visits, my friends and I thought both the food and service were fairly inconsistent, perhaps they are still trying to iron out operations.
Funan, #02-03, 107 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 179105
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
1st Purple-Rice Yogurt Drink Specialty Shop In Singapore
The first purple-rice yogurt drink specialty shop has finally arrived in Singapore.
You can get your hands on this trendy drink at Yanmi Yogurt, with its first-ever outlet in Singapore nested at Funan Level 2.
Reasons why the drinks were so well-received: they were fresh-tasting and refreshing; a healthier alternative to much sweet beverages; and helped in digestion after meals (all that probiotics in the yogurt).
Fresh yogurt made with Australian milk is then included, with options of including fresh fruits (look out for not common ones such as dragon fruit and jujube) and other nutritious ingredients such as oats, hawthorn, avocado and taro.
I would recommend going for the Yanmi’s Purple Rice Yogurt ($4.30) for a start, and refreshing Man-mango Yogurt ($4.90). Yanmi Yogurt (Funan)
The Whale Tea – Lot One
Lot One Shoppers’ Mall, 21 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, #B1-25 Singapore 689812
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The Whale Tea – City Square Mall
City Square Mall, 180 Kitchener Road, #B2-K7, Singapore 208539
Famous Bubble Tea Chain With Sapphire Blue Drinks & Soufflé In Singapore
The Whale Tea 琉璃鯨, one of the largest beverages and dessert stores in China, has arrived in Singapore and promises make a difference with its innovative signature drinks, soft serve with freshly-made cones, and fluffy soufflé desserts.
Taste-wise, you’ll find an array of unique, healthy ingredients such as peach gum, spirulina, and Wuliangye, a Chinese baijiu made with a variety of grains.
They are known for The Volcanic Collagen Series includes cups of Volcanic Sapphire Whale, Milk Tea Lava, Passion Fruit Lava and Grapefruit Lava, all featuring peach gum as key ingredient.
Peach gum? This is your alternative to the typical boba pearls. They are softer to the bite, somewhat like smaller pieces of jelly. The Whale Tea (Lot One)
Sweet Cheeks Gelato
37 Tai Thong Crescent Singapore 347862 (Potong Pasir MRT)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Sun – Thurs), 12pm – 1am (Fri – Sat)
Gelato Cafe Near Potong Pasir Has Delicious Crispy Waffles
Started by 3 fresh graduates from SMU and with an Italy-trained chef handcrafting fresh gelato flavours daily, I think Sweet Cheeks Gelato does have some differentiating factors.
Sweet Cheeks Gelato offer a number of classic favourites such as Hazelnut with Nutella Swirl and Honeycomb, Sweet Cheeks, and also stocks less conventional options like Cinnamon Brown Bread, Coconut Mango Sorbet, Ricotta with Pistachio as well as Honey Chrysanthemum with Cacao Nibs.
The Waffle ($5.80) was surprisingly delicious and fairly different. There was a pleasant sweet crisp exterior (crispier than usual), and the inside was quite fluffy. Sweet Cheeks Gelato (Tai Thong)
Blk 211 Hougang Street 21 #01-291, Singapore 530211
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun), Closed Tues
Korean Inspired Café In Hougang With Pulut Hitam Bingsu
Inspired by Korean Café Scene, Two Cranes is a neighbourhood café found in Kovan which serves a focused selection of Korean-themed food, bingsu dessert and hand-crafted beverages.
Apart from the usual latte and cappuccino suspects, there were a range of coffee and tea mocktails served in sleek beverage glasswares, which improves the visual aesthetics and Korean-ish vibes.
There were also some Korean-inspired brunch dishes such as Spicy Dakgalbi with Scrambled Eggs ($13.50), Poached Eggs with Flambé Champignons ($13.50) and Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings ($12).
What caught my attention was the locally inspired Pulut Hitam Bingsu ($12) which came with snow-like ice shavings topped with black glutinous rice, condensed milk, oreo and crushed almond bits. Two Cranes (Hougang)
60 Prinsep Street Singapore 188664
Tel: 9664 1141
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
Lychee Martini Waffles And Brunch Food, At Prinsep Street
Situated right beside Curious Palette along Prinsep Street, the new Communal Coffee is a café that operates during the day.
It occupies the same space as Stage Music Bar, which operates as a bar at night.
The All-Day Brunch Menu offered here is similar to most of the cafes in Singapore, such as a Big Breakfast ($22.80) and Classic Egg Benedict ($18.80).
Some of the other recommended food include B&B Waffles, Classic Carbonara, Sunny Egg Croque Madame, and Yummie Sarnie.
What you can look out for is the The Lychee Martini Waffles ($15.80). Communal Coffee (Prinsep Street)
6 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, #01-30 UE BizHub East, Singapore 486017
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 7:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9:30am – 3:30pm (Sun)
Hidden Nostalgic-Themed Hipster Café At Changi Business Park
This is a NEW nostalgic-themed local café hidden within UE BizHub East at Changi Business Park.
The team behind “Downstairs” also hopes to evolve the feeling of familiarity with fun, and thus put in quite a bit of effort in terms of its menu design and décor.
In terms of food choices, there are recognisable local favourites, but given a slight twist. Instead of the typical Nasi Lemak, you would find one added with salted egg chicken; the Mi Tai Mak soup is cooked with a home-made recipe broth to bring out the fragrance and delicate flavours.
The Lu Rou Fan is probably one of my favourites – as the alternating meat and fat in the strips of pork make this a succulent dish to add over a bowl of rice.
Slow braised for many hours, the pork belly achieves the right tenderness that make it fork-tender.
Order this rice bowl, which also comes with generous portion of salted pickled vegetables on the side, and a lava egg to mix with the rice. Downstairs (UE BizHub East)
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