While the attention has usually been for Jalan Besar and Lavender when we are looking for cafes along the North-East line, avid café goers will know that Farrer Park has been turning into a haven for cafés in the recent years.
Along Rangoon Road and Owen Road, many cafes with distinctly creative concepts have popped up. Look in the entire area and you’ll find even more.
They do bring diversity in style and flavour, so it is a great thing for those of us who love to explore this charming neighbourhood (plus it is near Pek Kio Food Centre).
Here are 10 cafes to check out when you are at Farrer Park:
129 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218407
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Daizu means “大豆” in Japanese and can be reflected in some of the items on their Japanese-Western fusion menu with the use of soy products.
Double-storey cafes are uncommon in the space-constrained Singapore but at Daizu Cafe, they can accommodate up to 58 people in their 3 sitting areas: alfresco, level 1 and level 2.
The mini alfresco dining area in the front area of the cafe has ample natural sunlight, perfect for people watching; whereas the indoor seats are more homely and cosy.
For brunch items available from opening till 3pm, there are items of Tamago Ikura Sando ($16), Bratwusrst Kare Roll ($16), Chilli Soft Shell Crab with Brioche ($15), Philly Cheesesteak Roll ($18), Gyuniku Sando ($21) and Daizu Brunch ($22).
I loved that there is a Petit Breakfast ($12) meant for smaller eaters, with chicken sausage and ultra-creamy scrambled eggs with brioche toast.
There are also Japanese dishes and rice bowls to look out for, such as Salmon Belly Ikura ($18), Bara Chirashi ($19), Soy Glazed Salmon Belly ($19), and Chilli Soft Shell Crab Rice Bowl ($18).
Read more at: Daizu Cafe (Rangoon Road)
79 Owen Road Singapore 218895 (Farrer Park MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon – Sun)
The idea of SYIP came about as the owners (who are two sisters) wanted to create a minimalistic lifestyle concept cafe for people to syip (sip!) and dine during these unprecedented times.
The sisters first started with Soft Peaks Bakery, a home-based bakery focusing on tiramisu, and gradually gained experience and confidence in starting out a café with physical space.
Lovely space that is clean, white and cosy, but can be possibly echoey with the hard surfaces – so do talk softly there.
Apart from serving an all-day brunch menu, they offer their own in-house desserts, specialty coffee and other signature drinks.
There are a number of brunch items, including SYIP Big Breakfast ($18), Burrata Open-Faced Toast ($22), Avocado on Toast ($14), Creamy Chicken Scrambled Egg Croissant ($16), and Steak on Eggs ($26).
There are also mains of Wagyu Beef Rice Bowl ($20), Ikura Kombu Capellini ($16), Mentaiko Scallop Linguine ($25), and Black Truffle Cod ($23).
The Creamy Chicken Scrambled Egg Croissant ($16) created with a flow-down effect with croissant covered with creamy chicken and scrambled egg, was pretty appetising.
Read more at: SYIP (Owen Road)
Old Hen Coffee Bar
88 Rangoon Road #01-03 Singapore 218374 (Farrer Park MRT Exit B)
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 6:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Located along Rangoon Road and opened since 2014, Old Hen Coffee Bar is a specialty coffee shop which sits on the quieter side of the busy Farrer Park district.
In terms of all-day fare, they offer BigBreakfast ($18.90), Avocado on Toast ($13.50), Truffled Mushroom & Cheese Toast ($11.90), Eggs on Toast ($9.90), to Apple Cinnamon Waffles ($12.90).
They work with local roaster Nylon Coffee Roasters, as well as highly regarded overXseas roasters Koppi Roasters (Helsingborg) and La Cabra Coffee (Aarhus) to showcase coffees of optimal quality.
They offer Black ($4.30), White ($4.80, $5.80), Mocha ($6) and Filer Pourover.
Old Hen Coffee is one of the first few cafes in Singapore to offer bottled cold brew coffees, offering Black Cold Brew ($6.50) which is unsweetened without milk, and White Cold Brew ($6.90) lightly sweetened with milk.
Other than the cold brew coffees, I also enjoyed the non-coffee bottled ones, especially the Cold Matcha Milk ($7.50) made using matcha powder directly imported and air-flown from Ippodo Tea Co. in Kyoto.
Old Hen Kitchen
127 Owen Road, Singapore 218931
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
Another concept from the “Old Hen” team, this other space is (much) bigger, equipped with a kitchen, a total of 30 seats: 20 seats at the dining area and 10 at the bar table.
There is a wider range of food available from 10am to 4pm daily.
For more brunchy type of items, there are the Breakfast Plate ($19.90), Avocado on Toast ($16.50), Shakshuka ($16.60), Pancake Stack ($16.50) and French Toast ($15).
Mains and pastas include Portobello and Bacon Aglio Olio ($17), Salmon and Soba ($19.90), Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($19.50), and Fried Portobello Burger ($16.50).
The Portobello Aglio Olio ($16.50) was included with anchovy, white wine, toasted almonds, and chilli flakes, and I enjoyed the overall slightly spicy kick.
Side dishes such as Truffle Fries ($9.90) and Chilli Crab Fries ($12.90) were available, and the latter stood out more.
96 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218381
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon, Wed – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat, Sun), Closed Tues
Walking into Brunches Café is like turning back time itself. Vintage furniture, old-style posters and dazzling birdhouses makes up the décor of the café. Look out for a very real Mini Cooper, converted into a four-seater sofa.
Impressively, the café matches its style with a truly international spread of food. Their all-day breakfast and mains are hearty fusion food, combining elements of European, Asian and American cuisine.
For a lighter bite, have an Acai Granola Fruit Bowl ($14.50), which is a mix of Greek yoghurt with acai powder, chia seeds, banana, dragonfruit and kiwi. If you’re looking for something much more filling, look no further than Pimp My Brekkie ($20.90).
The sumptuous breakfast includes an egg done your way, a choice between minute rib-eye steak and seared tuna, with sides including grilled tomato, sauteed mushroom, roasted potato and toast.
Not forgetting their namesake, Brunches Café sells 10 sets of the Brunches High Tea Set ($36.00) every day. An assortment of savoury and sweet bites is assembled by the chef, which comes with a pot of tea. All of it is stacked on a beautifully crafted three-tiered bird cage for your viewing pleasure.
Even if you are not hungry, you can drop by Brunches to check out their retail corners. They do retail genuine vintage collectibles and unique products around their shop, and anything with a price tag is for sale.
Mosanco Enchanted Cafe The Fairytale Garden
88 Rangoon Road, #01-04, Singapore 218374
Opening Hours: 24/7
Imaginatively decorated to the theme of an enchanted forest, Monsanco Enchanted Café brings you into the world of fairytales.
The corner of the café is sprouting with plants; a wall is filled with clocks and mirrors. The café is good for the ‘gram.
On their menu, the usual all-day brunch, mains, burgers and sharing sides are available.
Here, you get to teleport to Japan and Korea too, as you will find destination classics such as Japanese Garlic/Butter Fried Rice with a choice of chicken or salmon ($15.90/$16.90) and Korean Crispy Mid Wings in soy or spicy flavour ($16.90).
Still, an enchanted theme is only complete with their luxurious dessert spread. Get a single scoop ($4.50) or double scoop ($8.00) of ice cream, or have a Neapolitan Classic sundae cup ($12.90).
If that’s too little for you, The Goose That Laid Rainbow Eggs ($24.90) is a massive bowl of ice cream in vanilla, Belgium chocolate, strawberry, Hokkaido milk and mint chip flavours, topped with endless sprinkles, whipped cream and other sweet bites.
Magically, Monsanco Enchanted Café is also open 24/7, so you can visit the “garden” any time you like.
Cherry & Oak
93/95 Owen Road, Singapore 218907
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Opened by the folks behind Muslim-owned steakhouse ASAP & Co at North Bridge Road that focuses on grilled meats, Cherry & Oak is their latest cafe concept.
The specialty here is in smoked cuisine using cherrybark oak, and thus the name.
Using a firewood oven to smoke most of their dishes, a smokey aroma is infused within the ingredients, giving the food more depth, scent and flavours.
Their signature dishes include the Shabsouka ($16), Smoked Open Toasts ($16), Baby Dutch Pancake ($13) and the Nasi Lemak Bakar Platter ($5 – $288).
For the Smoked Open Toasts, they are available with options such as Brisket ($16), Salmon ($16) or Portobello Truffle ($16).
Served on a slice of sourdough bread with mesclun salad in a metal tray, various toppings were smoked prior to adding to the toast.
The Portobello Truffle Smoked Open Toast ($16) comes with portobello mushrooms smoked with cherrybark oak, topped with running scrambled eggs, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and parsley before drizzling truffle oil as a finishing touch.
Read more at: Cherry & Oak (Owen Road)
152 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218429
Opening Hours: 5pm – 1am (Mon, Wed – Fri), 12pm – 2am (Sat), 12pm – 11pm (Sun), Closed Tues
Located near Farrer Park MRT and right next to Legendary Bak Kut Teh, noon Café can be considered a minimalist café serving primary gelato, waffles, light brunch items, coffee and drinks.
But do note that it is opened from ‘noon’ 12pm onwards only during the weekends, from 5pm on other operational days.
Available ice cream choices when I visited included Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Matcha Green Tea, Thai Milk Tea, Earl Grey Lavender, Hazelnut Rocher, Speculoos, and Yuzu Sorbet.
A single scoop goes for $5, and a double for $9.
The café also serves up light bites and savouries including Mac & Cheese ($10), Avocado Toast ($13), Waffle & Wings ($14), Sesame Wings ($12), Eggs Benedict with Parma Ham ($16) and Breakfast Dog ($14). Prices are nett, with a couple of vegetarian options.
Read more at: Noon Cafe (Rangoon Road)
Gather the Misfits
217 Rangoon Road Singapore 218457 (near to Farrer Park MRT Station)
Tel: +65 9298 7291
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (Fri – Sun), Closed Mon – Thurs
This is a space which desires to see friendships and collaborations fostered, and opens only for three days a week.
The location may be slightly hard to find, near Mrs Pho House and (Old) Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant, diagonally opposite Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh.
The menu is kept rather lean. In terms of the food aspect, mains include Grilled Cheese Waffle ($13), Kimchi Grilled Cheese Waffle ($15), Pesto Grilled Cheese Waffle ($15), Parma Ham Grilled Cheese Waffle ($18), and Easy-Does-It Breakie ($16) with scrambled eggs and parma ham.
The highlight of Gather the Misfits is Waffle with Pandan Ice Cream ($9).
What was kind of special was that the waffles being round and flat looked like one of those old-school ones sold at the neighbourhood shops (I don’t mean this in a bad way), with a pleasant chewy bite in the middle.
The house-made pandan ice cream added a delicate sweetness and fragrance.
Read more at: Gather the Misfits (Rangoon Road)
The Good Boys @ Farrer Park
1 Marne Road, #01-26 Farrer Park, The Citron, Singapore 208380
Opening Hours: 8am – 5:30pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 6:30pm (Sat – Sun)
At The Good Boys, the minimalist layout conveys the focus of the café, which is simple and healthy food.
Superfoods dominate their menu. A healthy selection of oatmeal, yogurt, chia and sandwiches are done in interesting ways.
The TGB Oat Porridge ($11.00) comes with oatmeal and tofu, paired with avocado, cherry tomatoes, corn, mushroom, chia seeds, sesame oil and sriracha. While the combination is unusual, the porridge has the TGB name for a reason.
For those looking for a drink, The Good Boys has a very extensive Coffee Bar and Juice Bar. There is the usual Flat White ($4.50), Hojicha Latte ($5.00) and Iced Caramel Macchiato ($6.00). Tropical Zest ($5.00) is packed with tropical flavours and Fantasia ($6.00) is made with acai and other fruits.
Smoothies, frappes, milkshakes and protein shakes are also made here with the same healthy ingredients. Love Like Lychee ($5.50) is a refreshing blend of watermelon, lychee and lemon sorbet. Oaty Brekkie ($7.50) is a nutritious mix of barriers, rolled oats, banana and milk.
A big draw of The Good Boys is how their menu is highly customisable. The TGB Hearty Brekkie (From $6) gets you a base of Greek yogurt, hot oatmeal or chia seed pudding, with two fruits, 1 “crunch” and 1 sauce. Every additional selection of extra fruit or crunch is only a dollar.
The same concept goes for their The Good Sandwich and TGB Hearty Bowl.