All right. My last café guide of the 2019!
December is typically the month when many F&B businesses chiong (rush) to open to get the Christmas crowd, especially in the Orchard region.
What we have seen in 2019 is the trend of many overseas food businesses setting up in Singapore, and this is likely to continue in 2020.
That is not to say that Singaporeans do not support local cafes and start-ups. They do. But perhaps they want to experience something different, and not just the usual Eggs Ben, Waffles and Sandwiches any more.
Poulet + Brasserie
ION Orchard #B3-21, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
French Fusion Restaurant-Café at ION Orchard
Poulet has opened a brand-new restaurant called “Poulet + Brasserie”, otherwise known as “P+” in the heart of town at ION Orchard basement 3.
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.
This specially curated menu, exclusively available at P+, offers you varied breakfast choices, alongside other exciting new French fusion dishes.
Go for hearty dishes such as the Truffle Mushroom Risotto, Jumbo Prawn & Garlic Pasta, Signature Duck Confit, and end off with a brunch-dessert dish of Nutella French Toast. Poulet + Brasserie (ION Orchard)
%Arabica Singapore – 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road #01-14/15 313@somerset Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Coffee Shop Has Opened At 313@somerset
%Arabica Singapore 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.
Not many may know that %Arabica is originally from Hong Kong technically, but gained more international recognition after the store moved to Kyoto.
Over in Singapore, 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.
Expect it to be crowded, especially since there will be more visitors to Orchard Road during this season of the year. %Arabica (313@somerset)
13 Stamford Road, #01-11, Capitol Singapore, Singapore 178905 (City Hall MRT Station)
Tel: +65 6977 7202
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Flor Patisserie Opens Japanese-Style Café With Brown Sugar Roll Cake
Fans of Japanese-style cakes and pastries should be familiar with FLOR Patisserie Café which has two branches at Duxton Hill and Siglap Drive.
It has recently opened its 3rd outlet with a slightly different concept, FLOR Capitol at Capitol Singapore (formally known as “Capitol Piazza”).
Something to note: This is the first FLOR Patisserie Café to feature freshly made desserts, and some of the recommended include the Signature Roll ($6 for slice, $22.45 for whole), Tiramisu in a Glass ($12), Warm Blueberry Pie with ice cream ($12), and Gula Melaka Crème Caramel ($10).
The one thing to get is the Gula Melaka Brown Sugar Roll Cake ($6) in which you can enjoy the interplay of play of two complex sugars in a single cake. And thankfully light and not too sweet as well.
In terms of texture, the sponge layer was fluffy and soft, while the cream inside was smooth and not too heavy. All in all, a delicious soft roll cake. FLOR Capitol (Capitol Piazza)
Apollo Coffee Bar
65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Tue – Sat), 9am – 7pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Mediterranean-Inspired Brunch Café Opens At Serangoon Garden
By the people behind Atlas Coffeehouse, Lunar Coffee Brewers and Columbus Coffee Co., the team have got their formula quite right with every venture, by coming up with variance of industrial chic dining environment coupled with creative food offerings to satisfy café hopper’s interest.
The food menu at Apollo are mostly new creations and inspired from Mediterranean origins. They are also categorized into SMALL and LARGE plates to promote communal dining.
I took a liking to the recommended Pork & Pear Tartine ($19.50) which came with roasted pears, bacon chunks, caramelized onions and ricotta cheese spread on a bed of fluffy ciabatta bread.
Exclusive to Apollo Coffee Bar is the Dark Chocolate and Miso Caramel Softserve ($7). I prefer the latter which has an interesting blend of salty miso and sweet caramel flavour. Apollo Coffee Bar (Serangoon Garden)
The Better Half
1 Everton Park, #01-43, Singapore 081001
Tel: 9248 7088
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Tues – Fri), 9:30am – 5:30pm (Sat – Sun), Closed on Mon
Bakery Café With Korean Vibes And Delicious Cakes
Established by two passionate individuals who also happens to be each other’s better half, the café aims to serve honest and real fare to everyone who visits.
All the bakes you see in The Better Half all made from scratch in-house. Even if you order a toast, the bread is made within the store and not from a supplier.
While I was thinking of what to get, the owners kindly suggested a slice of Rose Raspberry Cake ($8) which they were just about to display.
Essentially a rose sponge cake with raspberry cream cheese, the cake was fluffy in texture and not dry at all. The Better Half (Everton Park)
Micro Bakery & Kitchen – Red House
63 East Coast Road #01-06 Singapore 428776
Opening Hours: 8:30pm – 5pm Last Order 3pm (Wed – Fri), 8:30pm – 5pm, Last Order 4:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Bakery Café With Delicious Breads Hidden Within The Iconic Red House
The Red House is an iconic fixture along East Coast Building, now housed by Micro Bakery & Kitchen.
Their breads are naturally leavened using organic and sustainable flour, using natural ingredients and no additives.
Its brunch menu includes Big Breakfast ($18), Granola ($8), Smoked Salmon on Sourdough English Muffin ($18), Micro Club Sandwich ($14), Grilled 3 Cheese Sandwich ($12), Ricotta Tartine ($12), Smashed Avocado Tartine ($14) and Scrambled Free Range Egg Tartine ($14).
The Brownies ($5, $6 each) here are not to be missed – chocolatey, dense and moist, sometimes coming with interesting flavours such as cookies and cream, Bischof, and even miso with coconut flakes suitable for vegans. Micro Bakery & Kitchen Red House (East Coast)
896 Dunearn Road, Sime Darby Centre #01-11 Singapore 589742 (King Albert Park MRT Exit B)
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Tues), 8am – 10pm (Wed – Sun)
Korean Lifestyle Cafe With Honey Butter Waffles & Wings
This is a minimalist style Korean lifestyle café at Bukit Timah, which appears to be still quite under-the-radar.
The café is owned partially by a Korean artist and avid yogini, who felt that the Bukit Timah area needed a quiet and chill place where people could relax and enjoy themselves.
Due to her background, there are a number of Korean-infusions and treats for the health-conscious.
Some eye-catching items on the menu include the Honey Butter Waffles ($18), Bulgogi Sandwich ($17), Ban Ban Wings ($20 for 10), Korean Chicken Rice ($16), Bulgogi Pesto Pizza ($18), Ramyun ($14), and Tteokbokki ($14).
The Ban Ban Wings ($10 for 4) in choice of spicy & sticky or honey butter sauce, tasted quite authentically Korean.
39 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198487
Tel: +65 6291 7152
Opening Hours: 11am – 4pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 12pm – 4pm, 5pm – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
1st Indomie-Focused Eatery In Singapore
The first Indomie-focused eatery IndoBowl has opened in Singapore, located at Sultan Gate near Arab Street.
IndoBowl has made some waves online due to the offering of a mega IndoMie Mumbo Jumbo, priced at $49.90 meant for 3 to 4 pax. In true Insider-video style, the bigger, the better, the more viral.
Smaller dishes such as Indomie Ayam Bakar ($9.90), Indomie Sate Ayam ($9.90), Indomie Ayam Goreng Jawa ($9.90), Indomie Seafood Goren ($10.90), and Indomie Dendeng ($10.90) are available.
Each is available in two styles – Sambal Balado (indicated by a red “B” on the menu) and Sambal Ijo (indicated by a green “H”). The Balado refers to the hot and spicy sauce, while Ijo refers to Indonesian-style green chilli paste. IndoBowl (Sultan Gate)
Kamome Bakery かもめベーカリー
Goldhill Shopping Centre, 169 Thomson Road Singapore 307621
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
Japanese Bakery-Café At Novena
Kamome Bakery is a new Japanese bakery-café at Goldhill Shopping Centre, located near Novena MRT Station.
There are a couple of varied sandwich choices of Meat Loaf ($5.80), Croquette ($5.20), Tonkatsu ($5.60).
Breads are quite uniquely-Japanese, with the offering of Red Bean & Butter, Teriyaki Chicken Pizza, Yuzu Chestnut, Dark Cherry Tart, Cinnamon Roll, Banana Brown Sugar – all priced from $3 to $5 thereabout.
The Japanese Red Bean with salted butter bun was a moderate delight with its smooth paste and thick slab of butter. Kamome Bakery (Goldhill Shopping Centre)
Chun Yang Tea 春陽茶事
Jewel Changi Airport #03-207
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Taiwanese Bubble Tea Shop Opens At Jewel Changi Airport
Another day, another new bubble tea shop. And there are already that many BBT places there including The Alley Singapore, Woobbee at AC.Kafe and Signature KOI.
It seems like Taiwanese show host Blackie Chen aka Hei-Ren (Fan Wei Qi’s husband) is an ambassador / co-owner of the shop (Will he come here one day to grace the opening?)
The best-selling drinks at Chun Yang include Honey Lemon Oolong Tea ($5.90), Oolong Tea Latte with Pudding ($5.80), Brown Sugar Pearl with Fresh Milk ($5.80), Sugar Cane Fresh Milk ($4.90) and Cheese Macchiato with Tea ($5.50).
The boba pearls had a delightful caramelised-sweetness and chewy texture, though slightly on the expensive side and under-the-radar.
One more bonus…
We Bare Bears Pop-Up Cafe
Kumoya @ 8 Jalan Klapa Singapore 199320
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 9.30pm (Tues, Wed, Thurs, Sun), 12.00pm – 10.30pm (Fri, Sat), Last Order 30 minutes before closing, Closed Mon
We Bare Bears X Kumoya pop-up café from 4 January – 12 April 2020
The world’s first fully-themed We Bare Bears pop-up café will arrive early next year 4th January 2020, with art created exclusively for the pop-up café.
Kumoya Cafe is no stranger to character pop-ups, and will transform itself into the world of the Bear Bros. This includes a menu inspired by the popular Cartoon Network show and specially crafted by Shirley Wong (@littlemissbento) in collaboration with the Kumoya kitchen team.
You can look forward to mains such as the Ice Bear Arctic Cool Seafood rice with cream sauce ($26.90), and Bear-Bros Food Truck with Special Salmon Roll ($23.90).
For a more immersive experience, diners will also have the chance to take a small part of their experience home, with an exclusive range of specially-imported We Bare Bears merchandise.
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