Queenstown was named after Queen Elizabeth II to mark her coronation in 1952, and includes housing areas such as Strathmore, Dawson, Margaret Drive and Tanglin Halt.
After hip café areas nearby including the much-talked about Tiong Bahru, Redhill, to Bukit Merah, it is time to shed some light on the cafes in the Queenstown area:
(And don’t forget to visit Meiling Food Centre too.)
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee
170 Stirling Rd, #01-1133, Singapore 140170
Opening Hours: 8am – 4:45pm (Mon – Fri), 8:30am – 4:15pm (Sat – Sun)
50 years Heritage Of Roasting Quality Coffee
Probably the most famous coffee place in the hood, I still vividly remember the first outlet of Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee at Queenstown which started off as a coffee beans wholesaler, a vintage space that exudes coffee aroma the moment you step inside.
What I admired most is the enthusiasm and the dedication of the folks behind Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee, spending the time and effort to become a Q-grader (coffee industry’s most recognised and coveted certification system) so that they can continue to improve and serve better cups of coffee.
Their menu here includes items of Double Espresso ($3.50), Long Black ($4.50), Piccolo Latte ($4.50), Cappuccino ($5), Latte ($5), Flat White ($5) and Mocha Latte ($5.50) with add-on such as Ice (+$0.50), Espresso shot (+$1.20) and Oatmilk (+$1).
Their house blend is the same across all outlets, a 2 beans-blend of 50% Colombia and 50% Guatemala roasted in house.
The result is a well-balanced, smooth, medium bodied with a chocolatey, caramelised and nutty taste in a 6oz cup.
169 Stirling Road, #01-1149, Singapore 140169
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2pm, 5pm – 8pm (Tues, Thurs – Sun), Closed Mon, Wed
Chilli Crab Burger & Tofu Fries By MasterChef Runner-Up Leon Lim
Creatr. (pronounced “creators”) is a concept by Halal-ice cream shop Three’s A Crowd, located at Stirling Road near Queensway. (Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee is on the opposite block.)
MasterChef Singapore Season 2 runner-up Leon Lim has helped create the menu of this new café Creatr.
On the regular menu are items from Ayam Penyet Burger ($19.90), Tofu Fries ($5.90), and Tempeh Fries ($5.90).
I had the Chilli Crab Burger with Tofu Fries ($29.90), though some may feel that the burger is on the pricey side.
It includes hand-crafted freshly-made crab cake patty and daily baked brioche buns prepared in-house. In between are rocket leaves salad, a tomato slice, and crispy egg floss.
Objectively speaking, the winning elements were the sauces. The warm, thick, sweet and slight-spicy Chilli Crab sauce complimented well with the savoury patty with a slight crisp. Creatr. (Stirling Road)
Sin and Savage Bakehouse
169 Stirling Road, #01-1153, Stirling View, Singapore 140169
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9pm (Tues – Fri), 9:30am – 9:30pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Stirling Road Cafe With Brunch, Pasta And Charcoal Dalgona Donuts
Sin and Savage Bakehouse is opened by chefs from Mixsense Private Dining, and looks like it is off to a promising start.
The name is a combination of both “Sinful” sweets and “Savage” treats for diners to indulge on.
While there is nothing too fancy about their interior with 5 tables indoors and another 5 tables outdoors, their menu is more extensive than the typical heartland cafe.
It focuses on a selection of Brunch ($18 – $33), Salad ($11 – $18), Appetizers ($6.90 – $16.90), Sides ($6.90 – $15), Mains ($17 – $19), Pasta ($15 – $19), Coffee ($3.90 – $5), Tea ($6), Cocktails ($6.90) and Juices ($4.90).
The Small Boi Breakfast ($18) is quite decently portioned with a choice of scrambled egg or sunny side up and a choice of spicy chicken sausage or smoked bacon, serve alongside toast, tomato pesto, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, tater tots and salad.
The Mains comes with 3 options – Grilled Poulet ($17), Beef Stew ($19) and Fish & Chips ($18). The Fish & Chips ($18) ordered comprised of lightly-battered hake fish with thick cut fries. Sin and Savage Bakehouse (Stirling Road)
01-03 Queenstown Community Centre, 365 Commonwealth Ave, Singapore 149732
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 8:30pm (Mon – Thurs), 8:30am – 8pm (Fri – Sat)
Café Hidden Within Queenstown CC with Taiwanese Cold Noodles
Located within Queenstown Community Centre, this outdoor cafe is quite an interesting find, showcasing variety of items from from local delicacies, Taiwan-inspired dishes, acai bowls, coconut shakes, smoothies and more.
Good to know that this is a socially responsible business that encourages upcycling of blemished produce, nut milk pulps and more.
One example is their take on Taiwanese Cold Noodles ($4.50) which uses sesame sauce made with upcycled nut milk pulp and topped with blemished veggies.
Other than that, signature items include Coconut shake (Original, Espresso, Oreo), Berry Classic Acai Smoothie, Char Kway Teow, Scallion Oil Noodles with homemade dumplings, and Ham, Cheese, Tomato, Gherkins Croissant.
53B Strathmore Avenue, #01-01, Singapore 144053
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon, Wed – Sun), Closed Tues
Queenstown Cafe Has Cronuts, Croissant Sandwiches And Toasties
Dilly Deli (quite a cute name) is found at 53B Strathmore Avenue – also better known as “Forfar Heights”, which is of a 5 minutes’ walk from the Queenstown MRT station.
The focus here is on Toasties ($4.80 – $6.80), with options of fillings including brie, ham, dried cranberry; blue cheese crispy bacon, fuji apple; cheddar, spam, button mushroom; and ricotta, tomato and sweet basil.
There were also choices of Chicken and Brie Croissant ($6.80), Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Croissant ($7.80), Caprese Croissant ($6.80), Buffalo Chicken and Brie Cheese Bun ($7.80), Truffle Portobello Bun ($8.80), and Ultimate BLT Bun ($8.80).
I thought that the Chicken and Brie Croissant ($6.80) was pretty-decent, working like a sandwich using crispy croissant. Dilly Deli (Queenstown)
94A Dawson Road, SkyParc #01-04, Singapore 142094
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Pets-Friendly Cafe With Israeli Breakfast And Richie’s Crispy Curry Puffs
SkyCafe is a community cafe by Lau Di Fang, so named as it is located at SkyParc @ Dawson which is a group of three blocks of tall residential buildings. Would say it is about a 10 minutes’ walk from Queenstown MRT station.
This is quite a family and pet-friendly space (outdoors), situated next to a beautiful eco-garden, has a sheltered alfresco area, and has adequate space and slope for a wheelchair to move.
The menu may rather japalang (varied) for some customers’ liking, serving signature items from Richie’s Crispy Puffs, Israeli Big Breakfast, Singapore local-style breakfast, Chinese fusion meals, sandwiches, wraps, to desserts and cake.
A highlight would be the Israeli Big Breakfast ($19.90 for one, $29.90 for two pax), which includes Mediterranean-style herbs omelette, Israeli salad, bread and “tapas” such as avocado spread, hummus with chickpeas and feta cheese.
The Richie’s Chicken Curry ($6.90) which came with warm rice or toasted baguettes was a decent choice, with that home-style comfort that was mildly spicy, added with tender chicken legs and chunky potato pieces that were soft. SkyCafe (Dawson)
94A Dawson Rd, #01-02, Singapore 143062
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 9:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Artisanal Pastry Shop With Tarts, Cakes, House-Churned Gelato
Established in 2012, Patissier Woo is the brainchild of Melissa Woo who is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef who worked in finance prior to setting up her patisserie.
Having lived and worked in Singapore, Bangkok and London, Melissa’s bakes are also influenced by the culinary traditions of these gastronomic paradises.
Their signature products include Tarts ($8), Choux ($10 for 3 pcs), Sables (from $8) and Gelato ($4 for cup, $15 onwards for pints).
The tarts are made from scratch with premium Belgian butter and have a very distinctive crunch and fragrance.
Some of the best-selling flavours include Meyer Lemon Tart, Passionfruit Tart, Seasonal Fruit Tart and Coffee Tart.
The best-selling gelato is the Sables & Cream, incorporating crushed dark chocolate sea salt sables in a creamy milk-based gelato.
93 Dawson Road, #01-02 Sky Terrace @ Dawson Singapore 142093
Tel: +65 69090198
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Cafe With Scenic Park View, Serving Healthy Meals At SkyTerrace@Dawson
Qi Philosophy is nestled within the compounds of SkyTerrace@Dawson, an award winning Build-To-Order (BTO) HDB development located at 93 Dawson Road.
What you get is a cafe set right in the middle of a scenic park environment next to Alexandra Canal Linear Park, with green communal spaces and a park connector just steps away.
So while you are having coffee, you can see families, joggers, and cyclists around.
For Asian delights, there are offerings of San Bei Ji or Traditional 3 Cup Chicken ($8.80), Nyonya Chicken Curry with Achar Pickles ($8.80), Ayam Ponteh ($8.80) or Stewed Chicken & Potato in fermented soy bean, Nasi Goreng ($8.80), Nyonya Dry Mee Siam ($8.80) and Qi Healthy Basmati Nasi Lemak ($12.80).
As for the Western menu, there are the Signature Laksa Pesto Pasta ($9.80), Rainbow Mentaiko ($9.80), Grilled Vegetables Marinara ($9.80), Miso Chicken Warm Bowl or Salad ($9.80), and a selection of Wraps, Sandwiches and Burgers.
Dishes served are generally lower in calorie and sugar. Qi Philosophy (Dawson Road)
501 Margaret Drive, Singapore 149306 (located within Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School)
Tel: +65 6817 9414
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 1pm (Sun), Closed Sat
Beautiful Café With Beautiful Heart
It is heartening to see the Singapore society getting more inclusive, and I make it a point to help cover some of these hidden gems that go beyond to help others.
Seeds is another undiscovered café that is full of heart.
Its location may provide some indication of its mission, as it is found within Rainbow Centre at Margaret Drive School.
Therefore, Seeds is a vocational training ground for persons with disabilities so that they can transit to open employment, and a platform to advocate for a more inclusive community.
There is a small selection of pastries such as muffins and brownies, while the coffee is made from the Gachala blend roasted by Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee.
I like the name of the place. You help plant a seed, which can grow to a tall and strong tree, or even a harvest. Seeds Cafe (Margaret Drive)
Rookie’s Coffee Shop
124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-144, Singapore 150124
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Tues – Fri), 10am – 6pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
Artisanal Coffee Shop At Bukit Merah Lane 1, Near Alexandra Village
Owner and barista of Rookie’s Coffee Shop Junior who was previously from Kurasu, mentioned that this area (nearer to the Queensway side) used to be his favourite hang-out place during Singapore Poly days, and therefore has nostalgic value, and he sees potential in the neighbourhood.
The Rookie’s menu is kept lean, with offerings of White ($5), Black ($4.50), Chocolate ($5.50), Aeropress ($6, $6.50), with iced and oat milk options at a dollar extra.
The espresso-based coffee beans are currently sourced from Little Big Coffee Roasters (at Biopolis), with mellow acidity and tropical fruity and orange notes. I would say it is medium-bodied and balanced.
The focus of Rookie’s is still on coffee, and therefore the food choices are kept limited to a tangy and pretty delicious-sour Lemon Bar ($5) and Chocolate Chip Cookie ($3.50). Rookie’s Coffee Shop (Bt Merah Lane 1)
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* Compiled by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Nicholas Tan @stormscape.