Considered one of Singapore’s oldest housing estates, Tiong Bahru has been transformed in the last decade where indie shops, small restaurants and hipster cafés have popped up.
The neighbourhood has found quite a number of cafes such as Chapter 55, Flock Cafe, PS.Cafe Petit at Tiong Bahru, and Caffe Pralet. Here are 10 more:
78 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 163078
Tel: +65 6225 8545
Opening Hours: 7am – 5:30pm (Mon – Fri), 7:30am – 6:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Forty Hands needs little introduction, as it is possibly the first 3rd wave coffee shop at Tiong Bahru which turned this estate to a hipster café area. (Aussie founder Harry Grover opened Common Man Coffee Roasters after that.)
The name “40 hands” is because it requires forty hands to produce a coffee from bean to cup.
Opened in October 2010, it is known for its specialty coffee, Australian style brunch, and well, Tau Sar Bun.
All Day Breakfast items include House Granola ($16), Smashed Avo ($20), Croque Monsieur ($15), Eggs Benedict ($19), Banana Bacon French Toast ($18), Eggs Cocotte (18) and Big Boy Breakdast ($25).
The Tau Sar Pau ($2.50) while not cheap, is somehow extra fluffy, not too sweet, and goes well with a Cold Brew.
Plain Vanilla Bakery
1D Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168641
Tel: +65 8363 7614
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
This flagship store of Plain Vanilla Bakery is where you can find their largest selection of bakes, a daily brunch menu, and full range of their grocer brand Plain Vanilla Foods.
The Plain Vanilla folks take pride in their products, using the best of ingredients: French butter, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, perfectly ripe bananas, no artificial preservatives.
Their cupcakes are popular and pretty, with the mainstay offerings including Carrot, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Cookies and Cream, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Milk Chocolate Chip, Red Velvet, Chocolate Hazelnut, Milk Chocolate Banana, Strawberry White Chocolate and Salted Caramel.
They do serve up weekday lunches as well from 11am to 4pm, offering Chicken Pesto Pasta ($22), Spicy Beef Ragu Pasta ($20), Truffle Aglio Olio ($20), Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($17), and Meatballs & Cheese Sandwich ($23).
Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee
78 Yong Siak Street, #01-18, Singapore 163078
Tel: +65 6221 1076
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee originated in Toa Payoh and has expanded with three ice cream cafés operating under the Creamier name—Creamier Toa Payoh, Creamier Gillman Barracks, and Creamier Tiong Bahru.
The Tiong Bahru café is nestled in a pre-war horse-shoe housing block built in 1939 along Yong Siak Street.
One of their must-haves is the freshly baked Golden Waffles with Ice Cream ($9.30 onwards), and recommended flavours are Sea Salt Gula Melaka, Earl Grey Lavender and Roasted Pistachio.
To celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday this year, Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream & Coffee has joined hands with local beancurd stall Pure Soya Bean, located at the Toa Payoh West Market & Food Centre at Blk 127 Lor 1, to develop a seasonal “Tau Huay” (Beancurd) ice cream flavour.
Pure Soya Bean’s products are freshly-made using organic GMO-free soya beans.
This results to a smooth, lightly-textured, and flavourful ice cream, with a nostalgic soya milk flavour.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70, Singapore 160056
Tel: +65 6220 3430
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Tiong Bahru Bakery offers a range of French pastries and artisanal breads made with 100% French flour and butter.
Other than their Kouign Amann, their Croissant is generally well loved, with choices of classic Croissant, Almond Chocolate, Almond, Green Tea Almond, and Pain Au Chocolat (my personal favourite is the Green Tea Almond.)
The Croissants are handmade, never frozen, and baked fresh every two hours with French flour and French butter – the butter itself is made from Normandy cow milk which gives the pastry more layered richness.
Coffee is brewed from Common Man Coffee Roasters beans.
56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68, Singapore 160056
Opening Hours: 8am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
There are different faces to the popular Merci Marcel – a French breakfast and brunch café spot in the day, chic restaurant and wine bar at night.
In terms of decor, the 1,450 square feet restaurant has 3 spaces of the Lounge, Café Chic, and the Garden Patio. A fairly photogenic place.
For something sweet for brunch, go for the French Toast Brioche ($17) with berries, honey, almonds, and homemade whipped cream.
During the evening, Merci Marcel introduces a French social dining concept with a dinner ‘tapas’ menu, created for sharing in good company.
It is recommended that diners start with 2 to 3 plates, then continue “depending on desire”.
The Duck Rillettes ($18) is their signature, where the silky paste is served up with delicate melted camembert cheese and marinated pear.
71 Seng Poh Rpad, #01-35, Singapore 160071
Tel: +65 6222 1369
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
TIANN’s specialises in “real good food” that is all made in house.
Their creations are all made “sugar conscious” and gluten-free, so that they are both healthy and tasty. Good for those looking for a lower sugar or even keto meal.
The signature TIANN’s waffles ($19) offer choices from specialty scrambled eggs with sun-dried tomatoes; Italian fresh mozzarella with house-made pesto; or organic maple syrup with French butter.
Little House of Dreams
58 Seng Poh Road, #01-15, Singapore 160058
Tel: +65 9030 4959
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 8am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Not many may know that Little House of Dreams moved from Dempsey to Tiong Bahru, right opposite the popular market.
If you love all-things pink, the café is hallmarked by a signature pink façade and floral doorway.
Menu wise, it offers a selection of favourite brunch and deli items such as Honey Soy Salmon and Soba ($21.90) marinated in their special homemade sauce; and Pulled Pork with mixed spice Brioche ($10.90).
For the sweet-tooth, go for their Everyday Chocolate Cake ($7.90) which is moist and decadent with chocolatey goodness, frosted with chocolate ganache for added smoothness.
Privé Tiong Bahru
57 Eng Hoon Street, #01-88, Singapore 160057
Tel: +65 6776 0777
Opening Hours: 8am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Also located right across Tiong Baur Market, Privé is a casual venue with both indoor and alfresco seating for all-day dining and drinks.
Their Ultimate Signature Breakfast ($21) is quite popular, for a plate of 2 eggs of any style, 6-inch pork Bratwurst (nitrite-free), maple-glazed housemade bacon, baked beans, roasted Roma tomato, sautéed button mushrooms, potato rosti, and housemade wholemeal toast.
One of their notable dishes is the award-winning Heura plant-based Hainanese Chicken Rice ($18) which has garnered a strong following from both vegans and carnivores for its striking similarities to regular chicken rice, but with a healthier skew.
Drips Bakery Café
82 Tiong Poh Road, #01-05, Singapore 160082
Tel: +65 6222 0400
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Sun – Fri), 10am – 12am (Sat)
Drips Baker Café has been in the Tiong Bahru estate since 2010.
The one item that has remained as a best seller over the decade is the Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tart ($11.90).
They use a secret recipe to create a French butter tart shell paired with freshly made in-house custard infused with Madagascar vanilla beans.
The tart is then topped with freshest seasonal fruits available.
During a recent visit, I found its Avocado Tart ($9) quite delicious, paired with Spanish avocados and French white chocolate curd, topped with served of meringue and dark cocoa power.
There is a surprise in the middle, which I would keep a secret. This Avocado Tart is only available during weekends and public holidays though.
249 Outram Road, Singapore 169048
Tel: +65 6223 2490
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tues – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 12am (Fri, Sat), Closed Mon
With years of experience at several fine dining restaurants, Chef Jonathan hopes to present quality plated desserts and cakes to people without having them to worry about the cost.
The name “Voyage” represents both his passion for travelling, and for customers to “journey” through a delectable food experience with the team.
The signature cake is the Cynthia ($9), a petite gateau featuring rose chantilly cream, lychee bits, raspberry compote and genoise sponge shaped like a rose.
Interesting note: Chef created and named this cake after his girlfriend, as it is the first “rose” that he has given to her. So sweet…
The good-looker looks like a shoo-in to the best-seller of the café.