The present area of Siglap was founded by Tok Lasam. He sailed to Singapore to escape the Dutch in the 1660s (irony that there is a famous Dutch Colony café around here now). Accordingly, dark thunder clouds appeared in the area which led to the name “Si-Gelap” – derived from the Malay word ‘gelap’ meaning “darkness that conceals”.
From Moroccan-style Brunch, the “Best Mee Siam in Singapore” to modern Indonesian-Chinese food, here are 10 cafes to check out at Siglap:
907 East Coast Road, #01-04 Springvale, Singapore 459107
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Tues – Thurs), 11am – 10:30pm (Fri – Sat), 9am – 8:30pm (Sun), Closed Mon
Muslim-Owned Pink Moroccan-Style Cafe At East Coast
La Fez is a Muslim-owned (pending Halal certification) Moroccan-style cafe that opened 2 doors away from Kota88 Restaurant at East Coast Road.
Inside, the entire 70-seater space is painted in rose pink and gold, equipped with rattan chairs, and exudes a Mediterranean charm with a unique dining experience.
Two different menus are available, namely an all-day brunch starting from 8am and Lunch & Dinner from 11am onwards, with the incorporation of Arabic spices and ingredients in most of their dishes.
For their all-day brunch menu, signature dishes include the Majorelle Shakshuka with Feta Cheese ($19.90), Ziz Latkes Potato Pancakes ($12.90), Maghreb Baghrir Pancakes ($15.90), La Sultana Pandan Pancakes ($16.90) and Kasbah Brioche French Toast ($18.90).
The Majorelle Shakshuka with Feta Cheese ($19.90) was my favourite, served in a traditional earthenware and two slices of baguette.
Coming with spiced tomato, poached eggs, mushroom, onions and pepper sauce, the Shakshuka was tangy and savoury, with the right amount of creaminess due to the poached eggs. La Fez (East Coast)
907 East Coast Road, #01-02 Springvale, Singapore 459107
Tel: +65 6242 2645
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 9pm (Sat – Sun)
Modern Chinese-Indonesian Food
The concept centres around Chinese cuisine with local Indonesian influences. Think zhi-char dishes but incorporating some Indonesian sauces (such as kecap manis), spices and other elements.
The cuisine type is also known as “Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia”, and the restaurant hailed from Glodok which is Jakarta’s’ Chinatown which brings along their authentic flavours.
The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Ben, who has over 40 years of experience whipping up roast, BBQ pork delights, and Chinese-Indonesian style cooking.
Nasi Campur Babi ($12.88) which literally means “mixed pork rice”, is the signature item in the Kota88 menu.
Simply put, it is a bowl of assorted pork with rice. In Indonesia, it is sometimes called Nasi Rames which means “mixed rice”. Nasi Campur Babi is the Chinese-Indonesian take on a combination pork rice platter.
Here’s what you’ll get when you order this: a serving of nasi putih (white rice) surrounded by small portions of Roast Pork, Char Siew, Braised Pig Ear, Sweet Pork Satay, Sio May (Siew Mai), and Ngo Hiang.
My favourite parts of the bowl were the Pork Satay; and Char Siew which was grilled and glazed over with a sweet-savoury over charcoal stove, resulting in smoky yet succulent pieces.
For drinks, have some Indonesian style Kopi Susu, Teh Tawar (tea without sugar), Teh Manis (tea with sugar) to Es Jerul – freshly squeezed Indonesian orange juice. Kota88 (East Coast Road)
Five Oars Coffee Roasters
6 Upper East Coast, Singapore 455200
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Melbourne-Inspired Cafe Reopens
Some of you may be wondering what happened to Five Oars Coffee Roasters, which has moved out of its 39 Tanjong Pagar Road unit earlier in the year.
The Melbourne-inspired cafe has moved to 6 Upper East Coast, closer to the Siglap side.
One thing that never changed is incorporation of plants and them being Instagram-worthy and charming in a different vibe, with multiple #OOTD spots.
Their Melbourne-inspired menu remains more or less unchanged, with a few additions to the old favourites.
Egg-centric brunch offerings can be found here: poached eggs in Avocado Toast ($18), Corn Fritters ($18), Sriracha Chicken Benedict ($18), Pork Benedict ($19) and Bacon & Hash ($21); Baked Eggs ($20); scrambled eggs in Crab Scramble ($23) and Salmon Royale ($23) and sunny side-up for Hanging Tender Steak ($25).
If you are looking for something different from their previous menu, keep a lookout for Mushroom Scramble ($16) and Hanging Tender Steak ($25).
The former comes with an assortment of toppings such as soft and creamy scrambled eggs, crunchy cauliflower, feta and crispy kale on top of a single slice of homemade chewy sourdough, well balanced in textures. Five Oars Coffee Roasters (Upper East Coast)
Bayshore Park, 54 Bayshore Road, #01-01, Singapore 469979
Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 10am – 10pm (Fri), 8am – 10pm (Sat), 8am – 9pm (Sun)
Muslim-Owned Botanical-Theme Cafe Hidden Within Bayshore Park
Alto Cafe is a botanical theme cafe located within Bayshore Park Condominium at Siglap.
While Alto Café is located within a private condominium, the public can still gain access by informing the main guard house.
The 17-seater space is like a little oasis on its own, filled with potted plants and wooden furnitures in a comfortable setting.
Using meats from Halal-certified sources, the Muslim-owned cafe offers usual brunch food such as All-Day Brekkie ($14.90 – $16.90), Sandwiches ($15.90), Salads ($14.90 – $15.90), Pasta ($13.90 – $15.90), Croissantwich ($13.90) and Waffles ($15.90).
Some of the recommended dishes include Avo Smashed on Sourdough with Pomegranate ($17.80 with pomegranate add-ons), Papa Rosti ($15.90), Chickira ($15.90), The Funguy ($15.90) and Salmon Khan ($15.90).
Their Savoury Waffles ($15.90) caught my attention, and came with a choice of salmon, chicken or portobello mushroom.
2 slices of Belgian waffles are nicely stacked with crushed nuts, scrambled egg and pea sprouts. Alto Cafe (Bayshore)
2 First St, #01-02 Siglap V, Singapore 458278
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Siglap Cafe With “Eggless Egg Toast” And Refreshing Strawberry Ade
This café at Siglap is named after chanterelle mushrooms.
The space was quite inviting with many types of seats available. It was like entering a house due to its set-up (comfy chairs and low seats) and space between tables.
The menu is focused on mainly drinks for now. Other than the usual coffee, there are the more interesting offerings such as Strawberry Foam Milk ($6.50), Taro Foam Milk ($5.50), Royal Milk Tea ($5.50), Nutella Hot Chocolate ($6.00), and Strawberry Ade ($6.90).
While there are croissants and chocolate almond croissants sourced from a supplier, the main in-house food item available is an intriguing-sounding Eggless Egg Toast ($17.90).
If you are feeling slightly puzzled, the ‘egg’ is made of type of ‘superfood’ made up of ingredients such as chia seeds, turmeric, and shiitake mushrooms. Chanterelle Café (Siglap)
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee @ Siglap
2 First St, Siglap V, Singapore 458278
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 8:30am – 10:30pm (Fri – Sat)
For Specialty Coffee And Brunch
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee is local-brand of 3rd wave coffee shop serving brunch items, specialty coffee and cakes.
They source for single origin coffee beans from the best grower around the world, specifically from Brazil, Honduras, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Costa Rica and Guatelama; each with different aroma and aftertaste.
If you are thinking of having brunch items, then go for the Craftsmen’s Savoury Waffles ($22) with scrambled egg and salsa; or the Fried Chicken Waffles of cornfed chicken thigh, sriracha maple dressing on buttermilk waffles.
Also recommended are their “Craftmen Specials” pasta, such as Tom Yum Seafood Cremoso ($22), White Wine Prawn ($21), and Truffle Mushroom Cremoso ($21).
79 Lucky Heights, Singapore 467627
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 6:30pm (Mon, Wed – Sat), 9:30am – 5pm (Sun), Closed Tues
However, note that this is mainly for takeaways.
Here at Lucky Heights with a bigger kitchen, the shop is able offer artisanal coffee and a wider variety of bakes such as outlet-exclusive pastries which is a look back at their French culinary roots.
There were Blood Orange Tart ($10), Orh Blanc Tart ($8), Chocolate Banana Tart ($8), Strawberry Vanilla Tart ($8), Cognac Caramel Chocolate Tart ($8), Blueberry Rose Tart ($8), Passion Sesame Tart ($8), Bourdaloue Tart ($8), and Mixed Berry Tart ($9) during my visit.
The Passion Sesame Tart ($8) was well balanced with a citrus punch from the passionfruit and the sweet and earthly flavour of the sesame, the latter adding a grainy texture in contrast to the smooth passionfruit cream.
The tart base was crumbly and buttery, adding an aromatic fragrance. Patisserie CLÉ (Siglap)
The Royals Café
19 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455209
Tel: +65 8481 0080
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Rated “Best Mee Siam In Singapore”
The Royals Café has a bakery style setting, for diners to enjoy a nice spot at the Crescendo Building. Most people visit the place to buy baked goods such as whole cakes and breads.
The dining area itself is a bit small and cramped, but has a laid-back and causal vibe which is ideal to enjoy your meals in a peaceful setting.
The Signature Nyonya Mee Siam ($7.90) contains ingredients such as prawns, egg, bean sprouts, taupok chives and homemade sambal chilli on beehoon.
The paste itself is said to be made using 12 – 15 different ingredients to give it that richer and tastier flavour.
There was something unique about the gravy of this particular Mee Siam, mainly in the texture which was rich and creamy with semi-thick consistency.
Not forgetting a tangy punch to balance the savoury components of the dish.
Their Nasi Lamak ($8.90) is also quite popular, which includes fragrant Thai premium white rice cooked with coconut milk, and served with fried chicken wings, ikan bilis, fried egg omelette, breaded fish fillet and of course, homemade sambal.
Stamping Ground Coffee
87 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455223
Tel: +65 9070 7610
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Wed), 8am – 10:30pm (Thurs – Fri), 9am – 10:30pm (Sat), 9am – 6pm (Sun)
Good Coffee, Good Vibes, and Good Conversations
Stamping Ground Coffee is a great place in the east to chill the afternoon away with friends, provided the space does not get too crowded. (Note: they don’t accept reservations).
The name “Stamping ground” mean a habitual or favourite gathering place, and the choice of name for chic-contemporary coffee place is quite appropriate.
All-day brunch items include Omelette on Toast ($12), Avo Toast ($14), Span & Scrambled Egg Bagel ($14), and Garlic Truffle Mushroom Toast ($16).
For something heartier, available from 12pm onwards are sandwich and pasta choices of Hearty Burger ($14), Pork Burger ($16), Philly Beef Sandwich ($18) and Seafood Aglio Olio ($21).
Dutch Colony Coffee Co.
113 Frankel Ave, Singapore 458230
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Sun)
Roasting Specialty Coffee Since 2013
Dutch Colony Coffee Co. is one of the longest standing cafes in the Siglap area, having just celebrated its 8th anniversary this year.
The coffee selection includes a rotating selection of single origins – Finca La Loma (Colombia), Yirgacheffe Aricha (Ethiopia) and Fazenda Santa Clara (Brazil).
If not, an Espresso ($3.50) or Latte ($5.00) made from the signature “Dutch Blends” which has tasting notes of milk chocolate and strawberries (on white) should be a good choice.
Hearty breakfast items include Breakfast Platter ($19), French Toast ($16), House Pancakes ($15), Salmon Eggs Benedict ($15), Avocado, Bacon & Egg Bagel ($15), Pastrami Bagel ($15), to Shakshuka & Soft-Boiled Egg Toast ($11).
Also available are pasta dishes of Veggie Linguine ($16), Prawn Linguine Arrabiata ($18), Salted Egg Prawns ($18) and Chicken Pesto Cream Linguine ($19).