I start March’s cafe guide by encouraging readers to support local food businesses you love and new establishments. Many of them are finding themselves in challenging situations in a time of opening.
Once things have become more ‘normalise’, head out and have a good meal. Here are 10 NEW Cafes in Singapore you can go to:
The Dark Gallery – Great World
Great World #01-117/118, 1 Kim Seng Promenade, Singapore 237994
Tel: +65 6235 4582
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Dark Chocolate Heaven With All-Day High Tea and Savouries
The Dark Gallery has pioneered crafting artisanal dark chocolate desserts, becoming Singapore’s first dark choco-centric café and boutique concept.
It has launched its first triple concept at the revamped Great World, which is worth a visit.
What’s welcomed is that there is spacious dining space for a relaxing day out, a takeaway counter and sit-down cafe area for a quick coffee or ice cream, and retail section for Ice Cream Cakes, Single Origin Chocolate Tablets, Bonbons and Macarons.
Also included is a new dine-in menu crafted by Brand Chef Kimberly Tan, with exclusive plated desserts and savoury dishes – after customers have requested for more brunch food.
This French-style Toasted Egg Brioche ($15) is coated with egg for a glossy appearance, and bathed with rich, golden butter to give it that distinct fragrance.
Then it is stuffed with creamy scrambled eggs, sliced ham and of course cheddar cheese for that satisfying brunch meal.
Other savoury plates to try are the Avocado Toast with Sunny-side Egg ($15) and Mushroom & Bacon Quiche ($15), which also comes with a side salad. The Dark Gallery (Great World)
583 Orchard Road, #01-18-19, Forum The Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Avocado And Beetroot-Centric Cafe With Pink And Teal Colours
From the folks behind the Over-The-Top Milkshakes at Benjamin Browns and Flying Noodles at Hana restaurant, one would expect their newest venture would be another Instagram hit.
True enough, the entire space at Brown Butter is full of Instagram spots; from a wall full of pink roses to an entire pink shelf, pink fridge and a dual tone wall decked in pink and teal for the perfect #OOTD shot.
A wide selection of Toasties (15 in total), are available on the menu, such as Beet Toastie ($15) and Shine Toastie ($15) topped with hummus and a beautiful avocado “flower” on a sourdough.
If cheesecakes are too mainstream as a dessert, check out their version which is literals shaped like a “Cheese”!
Coming in 3 different flavours: Lemon, Beetroot and Avocado at $8.90 each, each cheesecake is beautifully crafted to create the exact shape. Brown Butter (Orchard Road)
Raffles Hotel Arcade #01-12, 328 North Bridge Road Singapore 188719
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Tues – Sat), 8am – 6pm (Sun, Mon)
French Crepe Café With Kinfolk Vibes Opens At Raffles Hotel
Ronin at Hong Kong Street has said its surprise “Goodbye”, though fans may not be that sad as its owners has opened a brand-new café Gather at Raffles Hotel.
Gather is one of the more unusual French crepe specialty cafes, and also has a retail boutique section with a colour palette that is very “Kinfolk”.
The focus here is on the savoury galette, sweet crepes, though you can also find ciabatta sandwiches here.
The signature to get is called “Off The Bone” ($16) included with class ham, gruyere, cheddar and egg; and Parma Ham ($18) with Italian parma ham, gruyere, cheddar and egg ($18).
The outer layer was beautifully thin, wrapping within savoury and flavourful fillings that wasn’t overly cheesy.
On the sweet side, you get the Plain Crepe made with Bordier butter ($14), Burnt Caramel ($14) and Fig & Camembert ($16). Gather (Raffles Hotel)
32 Bali Lane Singapore 189868
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9:30pm (Wed – Mon), 6pm – 9:30pm (Tues)
Creative Croissant And Brunch Cafe With Minimalist Décor
Fans who were sad due to Stateland Café’s ‘closure’ need not be too disappointed, as the team has reopened with a two-storey “Brotherbird Coffeehouse” concept.
The lower level contained an industrial-grey minimalist look (reminding me of Lucid at Hamilton Road) of two sections – the pastry counter and the coffee side, with a small seating area.
There are basically four different groups you can expect – Twice-baked croissant, the regular croissants (some pumped with fillings), chocolate series, and Danish pastries.
Brother Bird continues to introduce seasonal bakes, such as the current Hae Bee Hiam & Cheese Danish ($5), “Tang Yuan” Pastry ($5) with coconut mochi and adzuki bean, “Nian Gao” & Yam ($5) with yam fillings, Mandarin Orange Meringue Croissant ($4), and Mango Sticky Rice ($5) with fresh mango fillings, coconut mochi in a croissant topped with coconut flakes. Brotherbird Coffeehouse (Bali Lane)
Baker’s Bench Bakery
6 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089820
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5pm (Wed – Mon, Closed Tues)
Bakery Cafe With Tasty Breads And Scandinavian Vibes
The latest addition to Bukit Pasoh Road is Baker’s Bench Bakery, (well, kind of opposite Shake Shack Neil Road), positioned as a “neighbourhood bakery” with an open-concept bakery.
All breads and puff pastries naturally leavened by sourdough are baked freshly in the morning, and even many of the ingredients are made in-house such as kimchi, pickles, sauces, jams and butter.
I was naturally drawn to the display of pastries of loaf cakes, scones, muffins, brownies, cookies, and quiches. They include sourdough breads: humble ($8), milk loaf ($8), fruit ($10), multi-seeds($10), 100% rye ($9) and pumpernickel ($8).
But what first caught my eye was the Sticky Bun ($5) which was majestic-looking compared to all the rest, with all that gloss from caramel and pecan.
It turned out to be better than I expected, with a delightful contrast of sticky, brown-sugary and walnutty toppings with soft and pillowy texture. Baker’s Bench Bakery (Bt Pasoh)
80 Stamford Road, #B1-61, Singapore 178902
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm Last orders 2:30pm, 5pm – 1am Last Order 10pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Hidden Cafe In SMU Serving $8 Omurice With Crispy Chicken
Canteen Bistro is a casual western styled cafe right in the heart of the university. Besides a simple lunch menu, it is also a pub at night which opens until 1am.
Great for students who looking for a place to chill and need a break from all those projects and tutorials.
The Lunch Menu is basically an Omurice as a base, with a choice of main such as crispy chicken, crispy fish, meatball, mushroom or beef stroganoff. Also offered is a soup of the day.
You can also choose from either cream, marinara or demi-glace sauce to be drizzled over your Omurice.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Crispy Chicken Omurice ($8) served with a generous portion of chicken.
While the chicken was juicy and lightly battered (and decent-tasting), it didn’t have that “wow” effect. But I can’t complain for this price. Canteen Bistro (Stamford Road)
PS.Cafe at Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-155, Singapore 237994
Tel: +65 6708 9288
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 9:30am – 10pm (Sat, Sun, PH), Last Order 9:30pm
Burnt Rum & Raisin Cheesecake And Spice-Inspired Menu
Local brand PS.Cafe has launched its latest addition at River Valley’s newly refurbished Great World (previously known as Great World City).
Spanning over 4,300 sq ft, the space can accommodate up to 125 guests, offering a comfortable space in the prime spot of the revamped shopping centre – loads of NEW F&B outlets there.
If you are a regular, you can look forward to a “Spice Route” menu special, with dishes added with house-blended Indian spices and herbs.
Exclusive items to this PS.Cafe at Great World include the Spiced Biryani Salad ($26), Masala Roast Chicken ($33), Lamb Pilaf Pie ($36), and Impossible Bombay Koftas ($28) featuring the Impossible plant-based meat.
PS.Cafe has also brought back its Burnt Rum & Raisin Cheesecake ($12), comprising of the quintessential burnt cheesecake recipe topped with macerated raisins, drizzled with burnt rum sauce. PS.Cafe (Great World)
Double Up Coffee
7 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199319
Opening Hours: 9am – 5:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
New Minimalist Cafe With A Touch Of Funkiness
It is of no coincidence that three coffee places with minimalist-industrial vibes have opened within two weeks from one another – Lucid, Brother Bird Coffeehouse, and Double Up Coffee.
There are two halves of Double Up Coffee. Outside, you would spot three chairs of solid colours of red, yellow and blue, along with a table repurposed from a skateboard. It suggests funkiness and young vibes.
The menu is lean, divided into “business” (coffee drinks), “pleasure” (non-coffee drinks), and “chow” (rotational pastry).
You sense that element of playfulness when coffee drinks are not named the conventional latte or flat white, but Spro with Milk ($5) and Double Up ($7).
“Spro” is actually a slang term for an “espresso”. (You can use it like, ”Bro, let’s grab a Spro”); while a Double Up is a piccolo with espresso.
Chow Zan Dessert
801 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198769
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Local Dessert Cafe With White Chendol
Chow Zan Dessert is newly opened at North Bridge Road, located near Heng Long Teochew Porridge and opposite Monarchs & Milkweed Gelato.
The name “Chow Zan” is a colloquial term which means “extremely good”.
The humble-looking dessert shop brings about a selection of traditional hot and cold desserts – some with modern twists, ranging from White Chendol ($4.00), Mango Sago, ($4.20), Black Sesame Paste ($3.50), and Peach Gum with Milk ($4.50).
I was recommended the White Chendol ($4.00), also available in Red Bean and Durian versions ($4.50, $5.50). Fairly interesting with a differentiating factor.
What you get are these white coconut strips with a firmer bite instead of the usual pandan ones. But they would also mean there won’t be that particular pandan fragrance and may not photograph as striking as the typical Chendol.
The shaved ice was quite smooth, topped coconut cream fresh-tasting with mildly-sweet red bean. Even though there was some gula melaka added, the dessert was thankfully not too sweet. Chow Zan Dessert (North Bridge Road)
Professor Brawn Bistro
Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru, Academy #01-17, Singapore 159053 (Redhill MRT 10-15 min walk)
Tel: +65 8321 2204
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Professor Brawn Officially Opens Largest Outlet At Enabling Village
Professor Brawn Café is a social enterprise by the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) which provides job and social integration opportunities to people with special needs and the disadvantaged in society.
Over the largest outlet at Enabling Village (near Redhill), the bistro employs staff with intellectual and hearing disabilities.
The space may be slightly hard to find, but do be patient and you will get to this cosy space with natural daylight, and warm, friendly service.
If you are looking for a fuller meal, some mains you can expect include Prof’s Signature Fish n Chips ($13.90), Pan Seared Norwegian Salmon ($18.90), Grilled Chicken with Truffle Sauce ($12.90), Pan Grilled Striploin Steak ($20.90), and Spaghetti Vongole ($14.90).
If not, a selection of desserts, waffles, cakes, croissants, and muffins are also available.
Also look out for The Art Faculty (TRF) which retails art and merchandise created by special talents with autism and related challenges. Royalties from proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will also go to the artists. Do show them some support!