First post of the brand-new year.
If the trend of 2019 continues, what we can see are more overseas brands heading down to Singapore. A couple of the head-lining ones have already descended, though we can expect more varied products being introduced in time to come.
The indie coffee shops on the other hand, have perhaps reached saturated point, and we do not see many coffee-specialty cafes and even that many hipster brunch places in the radar anymore. Still hoping to see more of them though.
Carmen’s Best Ice Cream
Capitol Singapore #B1-32, 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178905
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Fri, Sun), 11am – 10pm (Sat)
Premium Ice Cream Brand From The Philippines Opens In Singapore
Premium ice cream brand Carmen’s Best from The Philippines has opened its first overseas store, setting camp at Capitol Singapore (previously known as “Capitol Piazza”).
Every flavour is inspired by real stories from Paco’s global travels, from the signature flavour “He’s Not Worth It” to seasonal ones like Cheese, Strawberry, Ube, and Brazilian Coffee.
Other popular must-taste flavours include Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Butter Pecan, Cookies & Cream, and Cookie Dough.
Start with a single flavour at $4.90 per scoop, or go for 2 scoops at $5.90 (you can pick two flavours). Want a freshly-made waffle cone to go with your ice cream? Just add $0.60 and you’re good to go.
To mark this first international store, Carmen’s Best offers specially crafted limited-edition sundaes such as 3riple Treats Special, Best Friend in Good & Bad Times, Singa-Pour, and Pure Indulgence. Carmen’s Best (Capitol Singapore)
183 Upper Thomson Road, The Longhaus #01-03 Singapore 574429
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5pm (Thurs – Sun), Closed Mon – Wed
Popular Bakery Cafe Well-Missed Makes Its Return At Upper Thomson
Fans of Woodlands Sourdough were probably devastated upon hearing the closure of the previous outlet located in Serene Centre. (That shop has been replaced by Microbakery Bakery & Kitchen.)
But good news, owners Chalith and Nur are back at a brand-new location in Upper Thomson.
Woodlands Sourdough is known for their sourdough bread and brownies, which we argue may probably be one of the best in Singapore.
Apart from the usual brownies such as the Rye Hazelnut Almond Brownie ($5.50), some new items include the Tartine ($8) which is essentially a slice of their signature sourdough bread topped with fresh mozzarella, pesto and salad greens served alongside some roasted tomatoes. Woodlands Sourdough (Upper Thomson)
Wells Café 井井咖啡
75 Bras Basah Road NTUC Income Centre Singapore 189557
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm, (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
Specialty Coffee from Taiwan Opens In Singapore
All the way from Hsinchu in Taiwan, Wells Café 井井咖啡 has set up a temporary pop-up store at the NTUC Income Centre. You might have also come across its other outlet at Jalan Chow Thye, Georgetown if you have been to Penang.
For a start, the place is small as it is mainly a takeaway kiosk.
However, the baristas are more than happy to explain to you how their beans are roasted, and the different notes of the coffee that you’ll be expecting. The passion they have for coffee is admirable.
I was recommended the Cappuccino (Hot $4.50, Cold $5.50) for something with a higher coffee content.
True enough, it was smooth and had hints of chocolate and orange peel. I appreciated that even after a while, the coffee was not too “stale” to swallow.
According to the barista, all the coffee beans are brought in directly from Taiwan. Wells Café (Bras Basah)
Commons @ Jewel Changi Airport
#B1-289/290 78 Airport Boulevard Jewel Changi Airport Singapore 819666
Tel: +65 6242 9542
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Halal Asian-Fusion Restaurant And Brunch Fare At Jewel Changi Airport
The halal-certified Commons is a family-friendly place that also caters to vegetarian guests. They have just revamped their menu.
Food selection is diverse as they specialise in specially crafted Asian-Fusion delights, from appetisers to desserts. And with its all-new, fully revamped menu just launched, you can expect more unique items to choose from.
Be ready to tease your palate with their signature dishes such as the locally-inspired Satay Chicken Griller. Go Thai-style with their Sticky Lamb Ribs, or try a fusion of Mexican and Asian flavours with the Lamb Wanton Tacos.
Get the Salted Caramel Waffle with Apple Berry Crisp ($16), combining a stack of crispy-edged and fluffy waffles blanketed with apples, berries and crumbly oats. Commons (Jewel Changi Airport)
Cafe de Muse
350 Orchard Road Isetan Scotts, Shaw House, #01-00 & #02-00 Singapore 228208
Opening Hours: 24 hours (Mon – Sun)
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.
The Coffee Roaster Cafe & Academy
205 Upper Thomson Road, Yew Lian Park, Singapore 574345
Tel: +65 8661 1035
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 6pm (Tue – Sun), Closed Mon
Specialty Coffee Place At Upper Thomson
The Coffee Roaster is a specialty coffee company, and has opened a new outlet at Upper Thomson.
What is noteworthy that it was founded back in 2014 by Ang Swee Heng when he was 20 years old.
The Upper Thomson outlet also houses its production centre for handcrafted cookies by The Baker’s Gallery – baked with 60% less butter and sugar.
For coffee, go for the Honey Latte ($5.50 got hot, $6 for iced) which accentuates the chocolate notes of their house-blend coffee; or Pourover Coffee ($6.50).
Tiger Sugar Dessert Cafe
Capitol Singapore #B2-23, 13 Stamford Road, Singapore 178905
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Brown Sugar Bubble Tea Brand Opens Dessert Cafe Concept
Bubble Tea brand Tiger Sugar has opened a dessert cafe at Capitol Singapore, located within the same building as its flagship store (a short walk away).
There is no bubble tea found in this cafe with seating space for 10 pax or so.
What is featured are Taiwanese style desserts served in takeaway cups or bowls, such as Taiwan Taro Lava with Taro Pearl and Cream Mousse ($6.60), Fresh Mango with Golden Crystal and Creamy Sago Milk ($6.90), Red Bean with Taiwan Black Sesame Rice Ball ($7.80), Purple Rice with Red Bean Soup and Sago ($6), and Roasted Mung Bean Soup with Golden QQ ($6).
I personally thought that the offerings are not that exciting (or maybe current) to attract young customers over (also not many have actually heard of this concept). May need to fine-tune its menu a little to be more appealing to the millenials.
Tried the best-selling Fresh Mango with Golden Crystal and Creamy Sago Milk and the sugar level could have been lowered by a few notches.
Popular Hong Kong Mango Dessert Chain Making A Return To Singapore
Hui Lau Shan 許留山 is possibly Hong Kong’s most visible dessert store, known for their ‘kwai ling ko’ and mango treats.
Now… the good news is Hui Lau Shan is making its return back to Singapore.
The brand is best known for its Mango series made from Carabao Mangoes, with a huge range of mango puddings, mango sago, mango jellies, mango glutinous balls and drinks.
The drinks come in layers of coconut, hashima jelly aloe, aloe vera, red bean, ice cream or fruit puree depending on your selection.
But they have been known to be pricey, and there is much competition from similar mango dessert stores. Shall see how. Hui Lau Shan (Chinatown Point)
Jay Chou Endorsed Bubble Tea Brand Opening Jan 18 At Arab Street
Jay Chou endorsed-brand Machi Machi is opening Jan 18, 11am onawards.
Moving away from just offering the typical bubble tea, Machi Machi is known for its “’God of Cheese Tea” offerings, serving up cold tea with a layer of milk and cream cheese foam on top, somewhat like a dessert in a drink.
Over in Singapore, the recommended signatures include Fresh Strawberry Latte with Panna Cotta in a bottle ($7.00), Black Milk Tea with Cheese Foam ($5.50), Black Tea Latte with Panna Cotta ($7.00), Fresh Fruit Jasmine Green Tea ($6.50), and Black Milk Bubble Tea ($4.80).
The Fresh Strawberry Latte with Panna Cotta ($7) features caffeine-free latte made with fresh strawberry and soft panna cotta at the bottom of the bottle, packed in the pretty ‘Machi Machi Bottle’. Machi Machi Singapore
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.