As the year-end is approaching and Christmas mood in the air, shoppers will probably head down to Orchard Road more often for their gift-buying.
Other than featuring on NEW Orchard Cafes & Coffee Places (near Orchard Road MRT Station), I thought of compiling a cafe guide for Somerset – those at Orchard Central, 313@somerset, TripleOne Somerset and surrounding areas. Enjoy!
Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro – Killiney
1 Killiney Road, Level 2 (Killiney Post Office Building) Singapore 239518
Opening Hours: 9am – 3pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Hidden Brunch Café With Scenic Views
Another day, another ‘hidden’ café. This is for those who want to find a relaxing, scenic brunch and coffee spot in the heart of town.
Some of you may be familiar with Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar behind Tanglin Post Office. The café is known for fresh bakery offerings, all-day-breakfast and hearty cakes.
They have a brand-new outlet (finally), at a not-too-surprisingly location – on Level 2 of Killiney Post Office. This concept operates from 9am to 3pm (except Mondays). This is supposedly a pop-up.
The Eggs & Mains brunch menu includes the standard stuff like Eggs Benedict ($19), Spicy Huevos Benedict ($20), Steak and Eggs ($24), Salmon Omelette ($19), Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles ($20) and Egg White Souffle Omelette ($20).
Brunch pasta and pizza options include Penne Chicken Rosa ($16, $21), Prawn Aglio e Olio ($17, $24), Potato Gnocchi ($18), and Personal Truffle Pizza ($14).
The recommended is the Chilli Crab Pasta ($17, $25 for full size) for those who like spice – with spaghetti cooked in glorious, housemade chilli crab sauce. Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro (Somerset)
True Breakfast 初早餐
Cuppage Plaza #B1-19/20, 5 Koek Road, Singapore 228796
Opening Hours: 9am – 2pm (Mon, Wed – Thurs, Sun), 9am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 8pm (Fri – Sat), Closed Tues
Taiwanese Breakfast Cafe With Jumbo Chicken Drumstick Rice
This Taiwanese food eatery gained some popularity after moving to Cuppage Plaza basement.
On its menu are the typical Taiwanese breakfast items of Meat Floss & Egg Omelette Pancake ($4.50), Cheese & Eggs Pancake ($4), Pork Chop & Eggs Sandwich ($5), and Ham & Egg Sandwich ($4). Nothing fanciful, but you know you are in a ‘right’ place.
The mains include Braised Pork Rice aka Lu Rou Fan ($4 for single order), Salted Pork Belly Rice ($8), Pork Chop Rice ($8) and Chicken Drumstick Rice ($8).
The one thing I would like to recommend would be the Chicken Drumstick Rice ($8) who came in a jumbo serving for its price, with the outer layer lightly crispy and moist, succulent meat. True Breakfast 初早餐 (Cuppage)
Dal.komm Coffee – The Centrepoint
176 Orchard Road #01-01/02, #01-03/04, #01-05/06, #01-102/103, Singapore 238843
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Korean Cafe Has Brunch Menu With Kimchi Pizza
While the Korean brand is known for its drinks and desserts such as Honey Grapefruit, Strawberry Cube and Injeolmi Bingsu, it has just launched a NEW brunch menu this year.
The new items are available exclusively at the Centrepoint outlet.
While there was previously a Kimchi Pizza ($13.90) on Dal.komm’s menu, this is the 2.0 version. You would find the base crisp and thin, great for a light meal on its own.
Italian meets Korean with this Kimchi Pizza, gathering toppings like the iconic Korean kimchi, Italian soft cheese Burrata for that creaminess and stretchy-gooey Mozzarella.
Determined to go easy on the calories this year? Get the ultra-light Red Ruby Salad ($9.90) with a mesclun base tossed with pinkish grapefruit segments, roasted pumpkin seeds and raisins.
The secret lies in the fat-free yet zingy dressing of apple cider vinaigrette.
If you want to jazz it up the dressing, they offer 4 homemade dressings to pick from: yuzu dressing, gochujang, honey mayo and apple cider vinaigrette. True Breakfast 初早餐 (Centrepoint)
At Tea 署茗職茶 – 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road, 313@somerset #B2-46 52A, Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Mon – Thurs), 11:30am – 10:30pm (Fri – Sun)
Singer Jam Hsiao Launches Space-Themed Specialty Tea Café
Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao’s specialty tea chain At Tea 署茗職茶 has opened its 2nd Singapore outlet in the heart of town at 313@somerset.
What’s noteworthy about the 313@somerset outlet is it comes with a seat-down café concept offering more than just beverages, also featuring Tea Gelato and Planetary Cakes.
This café is space-themed with a gigantic rocket in the middle, a nod to Jam Hsiao’s hit 薩哈星球 ‘Planet Sa-Hah’. (The rocket has “17N9” printed on the exterior, a phonic play on “一起很久” meaning “together for a long time”.)
If you are looking at what to order, the At Tea best-sellers include Cream Cheese Foam Jam’s Oolong Tea, Cream Cheese Foam Genmaicha Assam Black Tea, Zesty Grapefruit Green Tea with Aloe Vera, Cane Roasted Black Tea Au Lait with Pearl, and Once Upon A Milk Tea with Pearls. At Tea 署茗職茶 (313@somerset)
Burgs – 313@somerset
313@somerset #05-01/02/03 Stall 25, 313 Orchard Road Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Home-Grown Burger Shop At 313@somerset
While there are a number of new burger shops opening up in Singapore, it is heartening to see a home-grown concept expand.
A Classic Cheese Burger goes at $6.90, while a new Marinara Burger is at $5.90, which is pretty value-for-money considering town prices.
Burg’s classic burger starts with handcrafted beef patty, American cheese, lettuce and tomato, with a local spin by the addition of pickled green chilli and crispy fried shallots.
Let’s start with the buns: they are customed made and freshly baked from an original recipe. The buns are soft and slightly crunchy on the outside.
They also use the “smashed” style of cooking for their patty. This methods starts with the ball of ground meat flattened on the hot griddle with a spatula. The “smashing” helps create extra browning and flavour on the outside, while maintaining the patty’s juiciness. Burgs (Somerset)
%Arabica Singapore – 313@somerset
313 Orchard Road #01-14/15 313@somerset Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Coffee Shop At 313@somerset
Not many may know that %Arabica is originally from Hong Kong technically, but gained more international recognition after the store moved to Kyoto.
Depending on the season and availability, you can find coffees from Japan, Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Panama.
Over in Singapore, Caffe Latte is priced at $7 for short, $8 for tall, while the iced version is priced at $8. Not considered cheap.
If you prefer something sweeter, also available is the Spanish Latte ($7.80. $9.00) which is included with condensed milk. %Arabica Singapore (Somerset)
Dont Yell At Me 不要对我尖叫。日常茶间
Orchard Central #02-24 / #02-12A, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Bubble Tea Shop By Taiwanese Personality Yako Chan
Not the conventional name for any Bubble Tea shop (in fact any shop), Dont Yell At Me (不要对我尖叫。日常茶间 which hails from Taiwan has opened a Singapore outlet at Orchard Central.
Known for its Instagram-worthy look, hand-shaken layers, and unusual logo, the brand is co-founded by Taiwanese variety show personality Yako Chan (丫头). It has more than 380 stores worldwide.
The “Top 5” choices included Winter Melon Chrysanthemum Tea with sweet potato & taro pearls ($5.60), Cherry Blossom and Lychee Sparkling Water with honey white pearls ($6.30), Osmanthus Oolong Tea with cheese cream top ($6.40), Osmanthus Thé Au Lait with black sugar pearls ($6.70), and Grapefruit and Lychee Tea with coconut jelly ($7.30).
Other signatures are the Roselle Honey Chrysanthemum Tea, soothing Four Seasons Green Tea, to dessert-inspired Tiramisu Café Au Lait. Dont Yell At Me (Somerset)
TripleOne Somerset, 111 Somerset Road #01-K1, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
White Dessert Cafe With Delicious Strawberry Shortcake At TripleOne Somerset
Joining Glyph Supply Co., Hvala, Maison Kayser and Halfpipe Skate Bar, GLAZE is the newest addition to town at TripleOne Somerset.
With the majority of the space occupied by their kitchen, GLAZE offers only 8 seats for dine-in customers, and a selection of pastries daily.
Diners can look forward to their signature Jardin ($8.50 per piece, $65 for whole 6 inches cake), a strawberry shortcake which was the very first cake created on the menu.
Named after a vibrant and beautiful town in the mountains of Colombia, the word “Jardin” means “Garden” in Spanish, reflected in the slices of strawberries neatly layered in between the sponge and cream.
The layered strawberry slices added a citrus punch to the overall taste, a pleasant contrast in textures to the fluffy cake. GLAZE (Somerset)
Halfpipe Skate Bar
111 Somerset, #01-15, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Skateboard & Snowboarding Themed Coffee Space At Somerset
Halfpipe at Triple One Somerset Orchard Road is opened by the folks behind The Ride Side, a Snowboarding Company in Singapore.
A retail and drinks concept that incorporates coffee, craft beers, snowboarding and skateboarding, Halfpipe wants to create a space for the board sports community to gather together.
Stepping inside, one will be greeted by the retail section displaying an array of various skateboards decks ranging from colours to the sizes.
A 2-beans-blend of Brazil and Colombia roasted by Penny University is used for their espresso-based drinks such as Black ($4) and White ($5) with additional top-up of $1 for Iced, Espresso shot or Otis Oat Milk.
Diners also can choose to bring home their houseblend (200g for $18, 1kg for $55) decked in bright red and loud colours.
My cup of White ($5) with double espresso shots was medium bodied, smooth and well-balanced, robust and slightly acidic in the aftertaste. Halfpipe Skate Bar (Somerset)
Glyph Supply Co
111 Somerset Road, #01-06, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:15pm (Mon – Sun)
Minimalist White Café at TripleOne Somerset
Glyph Supply Co. has been attracting quite a fair bit of customers, because it is an artisanal café with quite an “instagrammable” interior.
Although Orchard Road is peppered with mass coffee and local kopi chains, we do not get many of such indie 3rd wave coffee shops down town.
Glyph Supply Co is a cafe-roastery concept space serving up specialty coffees, teas and bakes.
Coffee is priced at $4.50 for the black, $5.50 for the white, Coldbrew at $6.00, while iced versions cost $1 extra. For non-coffee drinkers, there is also offering of Matcha ($6.00) and Chocolate ($6.00).
While the white was not as strong and robust as I would have liked, it had a smooth delicate texture, and not overly acidic. Overall, a decent coffee at this part of town that I won’t mind returning for. Glyph Supply Co (Somerset)
Hvala – TripleOne Somerset
111 Somerset Road, Singapore 238164
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Japanese Cafe At TripleOne Somerset With A Touch Of Zen
This space located at TripleOne Somerset has got almost full-white look with minimalist touch, natural daylight, and Japanese zen-like vibes.
In modern day terms, very instagrammable.
The teahouse is designed such that there are steps in which customers can sit on and sip on matcha latte.
In terms of desserts, available selection includes Belgium Waffles ($8.80), Chaffogato ($7.80), Lava Cake ($8.80) in flavours of matcha and chocolate.
A selection of cakes such as Goma (Sesame), Chocolate Truffle, Honey Earl Grey Hazelnut, Mango Lavender, Tiramisu, Red Velvet, Lemon Meringue, Sweet Potato, and Matcha Azuki are available.
I would generally recommend both the Goma and Sweet Potato, which are the more unique ones and pair better with say a Cold Brew Tea. Hvala (Somerset)
Cafe Ma Maison
333A Orchard Road #02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6235 6411
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Japanese Cafe With Pretty Fresh Fruits Shortcakes And Fruits-Sando
Ma Maison, known for their Japanese-Western cuisine, Tonkatsu and pretty Japanese fruit tarts has re-opened its café concept at Mandarin Gallery.
For those of you who remember, Café Ma Maison used to exist at Liang Court’s basement. The new space at Orchard Road replaces where gorgeous pastry shop Antoinette used to be.
Other than a seasonal Assorted Fruits-Sando, there are two styles of cakes served – Special Cakes and Fruit Tarts.
In terms of “Special Cakes”, there is an attractive display of Classic Strawberry Shortcake ($7.80), Chocolate Walnut ($7.80), Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake ($7.80), Earl Grey Tea ($7.80), Fresh Fruit Shortcake ($8.80), and Japanese Matcha Mousse & Red Bean ($8.80).
While my heart told me to go for a Strawberry Shortcake, I thought it has become quite a regular offering in Singapore’s cafes and so opted for a more uncommon and colourful Fresh Fruit Shortcake.
Also included is a small savoury items menu, with Omu-Katsu ($20.80) of Omu-Rice with Pork Cutlet, Truffle-Flavoured Katsu Sandwich ($14.80), and Mentaiko Spaghetti ($18.30). Café Ma Maison (Mandarin Gallery)
Orchard Central #01-10, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 9am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Brunch Place With Instagrammable Interior At Orchard Central
Grain Alley falls into a strange situation where you would expect to find rice bowls in a place called “GRAIN Alley”, but it sells anything but that.
The menu features an all-day brunch with items such as Chorizo Shakshuka ($21), Duck Tagine with Truffle Mash ($25), Bratwurst Brunch Platter ($29), Great Greek Salad ($19), Smoked Salmon Croissant ($9, and Vegan Avocado Toast ($11).
Some of the cakes such as the Sea Salt Caramel Cake ($9) is worth a mention for is smooth texture, though one may hesitate to order due to its price.
Location is central, interior is welcoming, staff members are friendly. Grain Alley (Orchard Central)
Alchemist Design Orchard (DO)
250 Orchard Road, #03-01 Design Orchard, Singapore 238905
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
Hidden Café At A Rooftop Garden In The Heart Of Orchard Road
Called “Alchemist Design Orchard (DO)”, this is Alchemist’s fourth outlet, following branches at International Plaza, Hong Leong Building, and a flagship store in Tai Seng. (Okay, they must think I love them A LOT since I actually wrote 4 reviews for them.)
Alchemist DO will be to many, the ‘perfect Instagram spot’ with concrete interiors, a swanky terrazzo tile coffee bar along with stainless steel finishing, along with some natural daylight at certain angles.
Pastries are supplied by local micro-bakery Bakehaus, and you can expect Butter Croissant ($3.50), Chocolate Croissant ($4.50), Almond Chocolate ($5), Raisin Custard Swirl ($5), and Passionfruit Danish ($5). Alchemist Design Orchard (Somerset)
220 Orchard Road, #01-09 Midpoint Orchard Singapore 238852 (Somerset MRT)
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 9pm (Sat – Sun)
Ice Cream & Waffles Cafe At Somerset With $4.50 Wafflewich
Midpoint Orchard may be located in the heart of town right opposite 313@somerset, but it is not considered very in-the-radar.
Filled with colourful businesses such as manicure, fashion, beauty & slimming and tattoo shops, the mall may not be the first place you head to if you think about waffles.
Play Gelato is a gelato and waffles café painted in striking turquoise and white, founded by a married couple with the intention to offer memorable and flavourful gelato.
Interestingly, they are focused on single flavour profiles that are rich and creamy, as contrasted to mix of fanciful flavours which are quite popular in recent openings.
A scoop goes for $5 for classic, $6 for premium flavours.
Available choices when I visited include Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Rum & Raisin, Chocolate Mint, Pistachio, Matcha, Cookies & Cream, Hazelnut, Raspberry Sorbet, Double Belgian and Strawberry Marshmallow. Play Gelato (Orchard)
71 Oxley Rise, #01-01, Singapore 238698
Tel: +65 8222 0018
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 4pm (Mon, Tues, Thurs), 11am – 6pm (Fri, Sun), 8:30am – 6pm (Sat), Closed Wed
Minimalist Vegan Café Near Somerset With Korean Bibimbap
Lilac Oak Café is an extension of home-based business Lilac Oak, and has the simple objective of introducing the wonders of plant-based foods to customers.
This is a quaint, cosy, small and undiscovered space that looks like it is full of heart – with food cooked with a fresh warm taste of home.
No alliums are used as well.
These include rotational items such as Baked Maple Miso Vegetables on Sesame Rice ($14.90), Grilled Teriyaki Eggplant Donburi ($12.90), Simple Tofu Sandwich ($6.90), Peanut Tempeh Sandwich ($8.90), Mushroom Tofu Ciabatta ($8.90), and Kimchi Portobello Sandwich ($9.90).
I had the House-special Bibimbap with Sweet Potato Rice ($14.90) which came with a colourful spread of seasonal vegetables, grilled tofu, housemade sautéed kimchi. Lilac Oak (Oxley Rise)
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