Tanjong Pagar may be known for its office buildings, Korean BBQ restaurants and hawker centres such as Tanjong Pagar Food Centre, but there are many up-and-coming cafes which are becoming popular with cafe goers.

Here are 10 ‘chio’ (beautiful) ones, many of them serve gorgeous desserts and brunch:

[Moved to East Coast] Five Oars Coffee Roasters
39 Tanjong Pagar Road Singapore 088462 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)

Five Oars Coffee Roasters has sealed to be one of the most instagrammable cafes at Tanjong Pagar, with effective use of greens and a square-shaped seating arranging to create an illusion of space. Chio, chio, chio.

And the kitchen starts early enough for the early risers at 8:30am.

For the menu, there is an extensive list of brunch items, followed by a couple of pastas and rice bowls.

The recommended items include Sea-salt Ricotta Avocado Toast ($16), Corn Fritters ($18), Baked Eggs ($19), Crab Scramble ($18), Salmon Rosti ($22), Beef Hash ($19), Pork Cheek Benedict ($18), and Chicken and Pancake ($16.50).

Good coffee, hearty brunch items, and beautiful minimalist space. Easy to see why it has become so popular. Five Oars Coffee Roasters (Tanjong Pagar)

Bearded Bella
8 Craig Road, Singapore 089668 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 5pm (Mon – Thurs), 7:30am – 10:30pm (Fri), 7:30am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)

Melbourne-inspired brunch fare, white and spacious interior, glass rooftop with natural sunlight, are some of the promising pull factors for Bearded Bella – a brunch and coffee place at Craig Road.

Plus, one of the owners is a Singapore National Barista Championship winner in 2016.

Bearded Bella is a 40 seaters cafe complete with greenery, wood and industrial-like brass elements in its interior design.

The name may sound catchy: union of a Bearded man and a Bella, which represents the fun and quirkiness here.

Look out for its mains which includes Big Brekkie Our Way ($25), Scallop & Cold Pasta ($22), Smashed Avocado ($24), Brie Min ($24), Spiced Scrambled ($18), Crab Croissant ($24), and Mushroom & Hummus on grain toast ($20). Bearded Bella (Craig Road)

53 Amoy Street, Singapore 069879
Opening Hours: 12pm – 6:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 12pm – 9pm (Fri – Sat), Closed PH

LUNA Patisserie is known for the selection of pretty, quality cakes from Orh Nee (best-selling), Matcha White Chocolate, Vanilla Cheddar Cheese (office crowd favourite), to Carrot Cream Cheese.

The Orh Nee Cake ($8) is my favourite of the selection, made of pumpkin sponge layered with a mixture of yam and ginkgo paste.

The surprise came from the textural contrast in the yam and ginkgo paste, a mixture of smooth and velvety puree and bite-sized chunks of yam.

The Orh Nee is then topped with whipped cream frosting and dollops of yam cream with a touch of desiccated coconut that enhanced its sweetness.

The overall combination is well-balanced without overly sweet, yet packed with different textures.

Also look out for 2 NEW Japanese inspired cakes of Houjicha Tiramisu (inspired by the trending waterfall cake), and Goma Kinako Mochi Roll to be introduced in October. LUNA (Amoy Street)

53 Tras Street, #01-01, Singapore 078992
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), 12pm – 6pm (Sun)

“Nesuto” means “Nest” in Japanese. The interior is painted in pastel pink and white, giving a sense of comfort and minimalism which could be a pull-factor for the tai-tais and OLs for an afternoon respite.

Signaure cakes include the Yuzu Raspberry, Konichiawa Hojicha, Japanese Matcha Azuki, Japanese Goma, and C3 Cheesecake.

I couldn’t keep my eyes off the ‘attention-seeking’ Yuzu Raspberry Cake ($9), coated with a bright pink whipped ganache.

While the portion of the cake might seem bigger than the rest, the Japanese sponge was extremely light and fluffy, perhaps like biting through cotton.

Made with yuzu meringue mousse and chunks of fresh raspberries, the citrusy and tanginess of the fruits cut through entire combination, making the cake light and refreshing. Nesuto (Tras Street)

Parallel Coffee Roasters
39 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089617
Tel: +65 9750 8997
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 5pm (Sat), Closed Sun

Parallel Coffee Roasters started with the objective of serving affordable artisanal coffee, as the owners “couldn’t find a good cup of coffee in Singapore for less than $5”.

Therefore looking at its menu, I was surprised to find an Iced Long Black for $2.90 and Iced Latte for $3.90.

There is a lean menu with Sourdough Sandwiches, Pastries, Acai & Chobani Yoghurt Bowls, and Super Smoothies.

The recommended Sourdough Sandwiches are the Smoked Turkey, Classic Honey Chicken and New York Pepperoni (each $11.90), though I was enticed by the Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($6.00).

If not go for the Parallel’s Acai Bowls ($11.90) which come with choices of Superstar, Antioxidant, or Amino Bowl. I was recommended the Amino Bowl with a blended açaí base served with strawberries, blueberries, goji, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.

Monument Lifestyle
75 Duxton Road, Singapore 089534
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 5pm (Sat – Sun)

Monument Lifestyle is a part retail store, part café. Many brands featured are exclusive in Singapore.

I liked how the entire space was done up, in a stylish yet cosy setting. The lifestyle store was at the front, while the café blended unobtrusively at the back.

While there were a number of office workers who walked in and out to grab a cuppa, the café remained relatively quiet, while staff would be friendly enough to make small-talks.

Like your neighbourhood café.

Coffee beans were from Four Barrel Coffee, known to be one of the best coffee roasters in San Francisco. Monument Lifestyle (Duxton Road)

Baristart Coffee Singapore
65 Tras Street Singapore 079004 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)

Baristart is known for using Hokkaido milk of exceptional quality for its coffee, matched with beautiful latte art; its food and desserts – such as the Shiro Kuma Hokkaido shaved ice is worthy venturing to Tanjong Pagar for.

The company name “Baristart” is a portmanteau of “barista”, “start”, and “art” as the business involves professional baristas who start in the company making coffees with art.

It is the first café here to offer coffee using the popular Brown Jersey Milk from Biei, a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.

Biei Jersey Milk is an ultra-premium milk prized for being rare, as there are only about 800 Brown Jersey cows left making up 1% of the total cow population in Japan.

Baristart’s Cream Puff ($4.50 for one and $12 for three) is filled with a decadent custard cream specially made with Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk.

The deep brown-coloured puff’s crisp exterior balances the rich and velvety interior, giving you that wonderful mouthfeel.

A piece is the size of a tennis ball, and served topped with crisps and a light dusting of confectioner sugar. Baristart Coffee (Tras Street)

Kreams Krafthouse
32 Maxwell Road, #01-07 Maxwell Chambers, Singapore 069115
Tel: +65 9620 7739
Opening Hours: 9am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun

Autumn-Themed Korean Café At Maxwell Chambers
When I visited this undiscovered café called Kreams Krafthouse at Maxwell Chambers (near Tanjong Pagar MRT station), I couldn’t help feeling how spacious, how well-decorated this space was. And the attention to details.

Beautiful space. The cafe just focuses on two items for now – coffee and scones.

Other than the usual Latte and Long Black, there are more Korean-café oriented drinks such as Dalgona Coffee (don’t have to whip yourself), Creamy Choco, Sweet Potato Latte, Vanilla Latte, and Cloud Latte.

The Dalgona Coffee was not quite like the typical ones circulating on the net or made at home, and was included with house-made toffee crisps.

Give it 5 minutes to melt before enjoying the sweet Korean candy taste and mild bitter finish. Kreams (Maxwell Chambers)

Cake Spade
83 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088504
Tel: +65 6444 3868
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Thurs), 12pm – 10:30pm (Fri – Sat), Closed Sun

Cake Spade which was previously at Orchid Hotel moved to 83 Tanjong Pagar Road. A 1-2 minute walk from the previous location, this patisserie café has a much bigger space, painted in a baby pink on the exterior.

Cake Spade’s proudest cake is perhaps the Strawberry Tofu Cheesecake ($7.20 per slice_ with fresh strawberries encase in jelly with digestive biscuit crust at the bottom. Think Jelly Hearts in cake form, with strawberry, peach and mango (seasonal) flavours.

Other popular cakes include the Lychee Rose ($8), Speculoos Cookie Butter Cheesecake ($8.90), Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake ($12.50), Mississippi S’mores Cake ($8.50), Cookies & Cream Red Velvet Cake ($7.90) and Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake ($9.80). Cake Spade (Tanjong Pagar)

Belle-Ville Pancake Café – Tanjong Pagar
100AM Mall 01-14b, 100 Tras Street, Singapore 079027
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)

Fluffy Stacks Of Japanese Pancakes
The pancake café is known for its meringue made-to-order mille-feuille (French for “thousand layers”) pancakes, included with homemade whipped Hokkaido cream, stacked from 2 to 8 layers.

Offerings include Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake, Mango Pancake, Grilled Apple with Homemade Caramel Pancake, Matcha with Rice Ball and Red Bean Pancake, and Chocolate with Grilled Banana Pancake, priced from $11.90 to $16.20.

What makes their pancakes so fluffy include the usage of fresh milk, and they are made fresh-to-order.

These pancakes were indeed moist and soft, with bananas blended into the batter, the interesting part was a half-cooked centre. Belle-Ville Pancake Café (100AM)

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