The year-end festive period is when Orchard Road starts getting really busy again, especially when the Christmas light (slightly ‘budget’ this year, it seems) are up and Christmas shopping starts.
While Singaporeans once again throng shopping malls such as Takashimaya and Paragon to get gifts for themselves and others (that they may not need), we are also in the search of coffee and dessert places to rest our feed.
Here are 12 relatively NEW cafes (less than a year) on the Orchard Road belt for your consideration. Enjoy!
Poulet + Brasserie
ION Orchard #B3-21, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
French Fusion Restaurant-Café With Duck Confit, Nutella French Toast, At ION Orchard
Fans of Poulet would be familiar with its Roast Chicken with mushroom Chardonnay, Diane sauce, or cranberry sauce; but Poulet + Brasserie presents quite an entirely different concept.
A menu quite unlike their existing one, this one takes inspiration from cuisines in different places – Melbourne’s café-hopping scene, a little bit of Thai and French fare, and Singapore’s own local dishes. You can expect to find Seafood Laksa Linguine and Kaya French Toast here.
Chef Joshua Khoo (one of the chef-founder of Saveur) now leads the kitchen brigade in preparing these dishes, combining local flavours with traditional French cooking techniques.
Get the Truffle Mushroom Risotto ($15++) which is infused with lots of umami flavours from combining different types of mushrooms – including oyster, button and brown shimeji mushrooms. You will also find bacon cubes and almond nuts for that multi-textural contrast. Poulet + Brasserie (ION Orchard)
%Arabica Singapore – 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road #01-14/15 313@somerset Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Famous Kyoto Coffee Shop Opens At 313@somerset
After quite a high profile (and delayed opening) of %Arabica Singapore at Arab Street, the famous coffee shop has opened at 313@somerset.
It has taken over the space previously occupied by Barrio by Mex Out. A rather prominent location, especially if you come out from Somerset MRT, or walk from 313 to Orchard Central.
The company strives to source all its beans directly from the origins.
Depending on the season and availability, you can find coffees from Japan, Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Panama.
The Caffe Latte is priced at $7 for short, $8 for tall, while the iced version is priced at $8. Not considered cheap.
If you prefer something sweeter, also available is the Spanish Latte ($7.80. $9.00) which is included with condensed milk.
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.
People think the concept is like TWG, but coffee version.
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)
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.
Quality coffee you can find at this part of town, plus it is considered slightly hidden. Glyph Supply Co. (TripleOne Somerset)
Hvala – TripleOne Somerset
111 Somerset Road, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Minimalist Japanese Cafe At Somerset
Hvala’s new Japanese teahouse is what I would describe as a little oasis in busy downtown.
The space located at TripleOne Somerset (do check out Coney Donut while you are there) 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.
What I appreciated was there are different sections with varying seating arrangements, so those who come alone can enjoy some ‘me’ time, while friends can sit around a table in a group.
I think Hvala has managed to carve out a niche for themselves, in finding that sweet spot between offering quality Japanese tea with some modern interpretation. Hvala (TripleOne Somerset)
The Alley Luxe
Orchard Cineleisure Level 2 Singapore 239695
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
This is first-ever premium concept aptly called “The Alley Luxe”, a lifestyle café that showcases their finest collection of beverages and bakes such as Croissants, Cruffins and Kouign-Amann.
This is where you can sit back and enjoy their drinks dine-in over scenic views of Orchard Road, or takeaway to reserve the tasting for later.
The Alley Luxe is the brand’s first in the world to feature a selection of classic European baked products, such as Croissants ($3.50, $5.00 for Almond Croissant, $5.80 for Sausage and Cheese), Cruffins – a croissant-muffin hybrid ($5) and Kouign-Amann ($4.50) which are literally “butter cake”.
The Cruffins ($5) come recommended due to the crisp layers of flaky pastry and lightly sweetened fillings, in flavours of the local kaya, salted caramel, lemon curd and chocolate. The Alley Luxe (Orchard Cineleisure)
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.
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)
Cafe de Muse
350 Orchard Road Isetan Scotts, Shaw House, #01-00 & #02-00 Singapore 228208
Korean Coffee and Dessert Place at Shaw House
It seems like Cafe de Muse is a “Korean” cafe, looking at the servers, customers (who are primary Koreans) and they serve up Bingsu as well.
The cafe serves up the typical brunch items such as Avocado on Toast ($22), Egg Benedict ($26), a couple of sandwiches such as Beef & Chimichurri ($20), and Pasta dishes ($20 – $24).
The seats by the window make it a place to people-watch, and a friend quipped there is a “hunky cute Korean server with a soft voice”. Otherwise, we thought that the menu could have more differentiating factor to match its higher than average price point.
Tsui Wah – The Heeren
260 Orchard Road, The Heeren #02-02 Singapore 238855
Tel: +65 6366 9270
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:30pm, Last Order 9:45pm (Mon – Sun)
2 Storey Outlet At Orchard Road, NEW Items Of Mala Prawns And Bottled Milk Tea
This Tsui Wah at The Heeren is a two-storey 192-seater establishment which features a quick service concept on Level 1 and a contemporary-styled restaurant on Level 2.
That means customers can choose to drop by for takeaways or dine-in alfresco without any service charge at Level 1; or they can also head upstairs to the full-fledged restaurant.
Tsui Wah The Heeren has included two new dishes, such as the Mala Prawns ($11) – mala soup of prawns in a broth laden with enoki mushrooms and stewed radish; and the Assorted Vegetables and Prawns Curry with Steamed Rice ($16).
Launched exclusively at Tsui Wah The Heeren is the Tsui Wah Bottled Milk Tea. Freshly brewed daily and served chilled, customers can choose to grab-and-go at Level 1 ($5.50) or enjoy it cold from an iced bucket at Level 2 ($5). Tsui Wah Singapore (Heeren)
Walking On Sunshine Cafe
Orchard Central #03-07
Tel: +65 8877 0088
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Garden-themed Cafe At Orchard Central
Walking On Sunshine or WOS, the newest beauty and dining hub in the block, is located at the 3rd floor of Orchard Central. It is one of the biggest you can find in Singapore, juxtaposing a salon and a café in one location.
If you could just pick one item from the food menu, make it the Instagram-popular Soufflé Pancake ($20.50).
Imagine a stack of three light and fluffy pancakes topped with a special cream, nuts, and fresh fruits like berries, grapes and strawberries. Good for sharing (or save all for yourself), this dish is loved by kids and adults alike.
Or have a savoury pancake for a change. The Crab and Kimchi Pancake ($20.50) is definitely on the other side of the flavour spectrum, but its spicy-sour taste is just as inviting.
Sip famous teas from Korea as you delight in the sight of beautiful flowers and plants around you, while enjoying time with your family and friends.
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