While it is still uncertain if dining-in will be allowed from 21 June, here are some cafes which are newly opened in Singapore, and therefore can be quite under-the-radar.
Some of them can be near your hood, offering delicious brunch and dessert items for delivery or takeaways. Check them out, and show your support:
(Note: Do double-check on opening hours and takeaway menus with individual cafes, as some F&B may change menu/timing from time to time during this period of uncertainty.)
Matchaya – Takashimaya
391 Orchard Road #03-10A Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238872
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Chio Japanese Tea Flagship Store With Tea+sserts, Brunch, And Sando
Matchaya has opened a new flagship store with a “Progressive Tea Bar” is located on Level 3 of Takashimaya, opposite ABC Cooking Studio, and will likely attract shoppers to rest their legs and have a cup of tea (once dine-in resumes).
The interior design is based on the theme of artisanal tea they import – dark green to represent Matcha, orange to signify harvested Houjicha, and lamps designed to look like tea whisks.
Café goers can find an extensive range of Tea+sserts (tea+desserts) which are freshly bake in house.
The signature item is the Pate A Choux ($5 per pc, $28 for standard box of 6), coming in flavours of Matcha, Houjicha, Kurogoma, Chocolate, and Raspberry. I gave the more uncommon Kurogoma ($5) a go, pipped with roasty and earthy black sesame cream. The fillings were fresh and creamy, but not overly rich, with delightful taste of aromatic goma.
Once dine-in resumes, you can expect a spread of Japanese-inspired brunch items and Sando, alongside exclusive cakes like Signature Matcha Yuzu Cake, Hazelnut Dacquoise, Matcha Mousse, Matcha Sponge, White Chocolate infused with Sake, and Yuzu Mango Jelly. Matchaya (Takashimaya)
169 Stirling Road, #01-1149, Singapore 140169
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Hidden Cafe With 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 Seafood Oyakodon ($11.90), Tofu Fries ($5.90), Fried Cauliflower Wings ($7.90), Spinach-wrapped Otah ($9.90), Pan-Seared Seabass ($14.90), Seafood Tagliatelle ($15.90), Shrimp Ravioli ($15.90), and Ribeye Steak ($15.90).
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)
Blk 261 Waterloo Street #01-28, Singapore 180261
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Hidden Chic Cafe Near Bugis With Lovely Space And Maple Pecan Tart
As the saying goes ”It takes two hands to clap”, this café is opened by friends Frank and Annie who share a passion in coffee and baking.
This is their first attempt on cafe business and they created our menu from scratch. Annie was trained in Architectural Design, and not difficult to see why she is in charge of all design related matters in the cafe.
All the handcrafted drinks are developed in-house, with offerings such as Coffee Black ($5), Coffee White ($6), Pumpkin Latte ($8), and Ceylon Peach Fizzy ($9).
The coffee bean they use for the coffee is a blend from 4 origins, medium roast, smooth and slightly to the acid side. Recommended is the signature Pumpkin Latte ($8) is made from real pumpkin purée and spiced with cinnamon.
There are two cakes made in-house, which are the Maple Pecan Tart ($9) and Basque Cheese Cake ($8). Clap Café (Waterloo Street)
311 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208970
Opening Hours: 8am – 4:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Asylum Coffeehouse is nestled in a blue and red heritage shophouse along Jalan Besar (near Petain Road), though the inside is designed with the typical white and woody (well, MUJI like) interior, with natural daylight cast in.
Drinks-wise, there are choices of Black ($4), White ($5, $5.5), Filters and Pour Overs ($6), Mocha ($6), and Hot Chocolate ($5.50). $1 extra for iced, and switch to oat or macadamia milk.
In terms of food, you can look out for two sandwiches, the Cubano ($16) and the Turfoieken ($19). Interesting to note that they are both created by the now-defunct burger hawker stall Hambaobao – previously located at Beauty World Food Centre.
If you are questioning why a sandwich would be priced at the upper-tier of $19, that is because it includes turkey, chicken AND foie gras, with aioli and apple chutney. Asylum Coffeehouse (Jalan Besar)
Bali On The Cove
Sentosa Cove, Quayside Isle, #01-16, Singapore 098375
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Gorgeous Balinese Themed Cafe At Quayside Isle
Bringing a piece of Bali to Singapore, Bali on the Cove is the latest addition to Sentosa Quayside Isle located just few doors away from bicycle-themed cafe Crank n’ Chain.
Earthly colours such as white, brown and green are commonly used in various corners. There is also a retail boutique in the centre area displaying various sculptures and ornaments.
Their brunch menu features a selection of the usual brunch fare slightly on the pricey side such as Acai Bowl ($18), Mixed grain Bircher muesli ($18), Egg Benedict on Sourdough with Bacon ($25), Eggs on Toast ($18) and Chia Pudding ($16).
24a Circular Road 2nd floor, Singapore 049380
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
White-Minimalist Japanese Lifestyle Cafe With Own Tea Brand
WhiteTree is a Japanese wellness and beauty brand in Singapore, with their own tea brand created by medical herbalists.
It has opened a café concept located within one of the shophouses along Circular Road, on the 2nd floor above The Mask Restaurant and Bar.
Housing both a retail space and a salon under the same roof as their cafe concept, WhiteTree offer a wellness-centric menu that includes WhiteTree Herbal Salad ($18), Pink Vegetable Salad ($18), Minestrone Soup ($15), Acai (Small $7, Large $13) and Pastries ($3.90 – $5).
Their signature item is their selection of Wellness Tea ($12 per pot) that focuses on the beauty and well-being of consumers.
The teas are differentiated by their functions such as Beauty, Detox, Calming, Whitening, Circulation, Warm Up, Energy, Shiny and for Nursing Mother.
Individual glasses of their Wellness Tea are also available at $5.50 for their hot drinks and $8.50 for their iced versions. WhiteTree Café (Circular Road)
Northpoint City, 930 Yishun Avenue 2, #B2-151, Singapore 769098 (Near to NTUC)
Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Specialty Coffee Place By Aroma Truffle At Yishun Northpoint City
Many people will be familiar with Aroma Truffle, known as the “World’s Strongest Truffle Brand” for their truffle chips. Whether you like their chips or not is another story.
Focusing on exploring the aromatic smell, the folks behind Aroma Truffle has started another brand – Aroma Coffee, located right in front of the escalator at Northpoint City.
Using specialty grade coffee beans sourced from different parts of the world, a single origin from Ethiopia (changes on a rotational basis) is used for their espresso-based drinks.
A 2-beans-blend from Brazil and Sumatra is used for their Spreeze (Hot $5.50, Iced $5.90).
Spreeze, aka “Yuan Yang” is a combination of both specialty single origin coffee and artisanal cold brew tea steeped for 4 hours, something exclusive to Aroma Coffee.
Available in 6 different flavours, their Spreeze comes in interesting options such as Summer Blossom, Perky Peppermint, Vineyard Peach, Dirty Earl, Crème Caramel and Mellow Mellon.
My favourite was the Iced Dirty Earl Spreeze ($5.90), smooth and aromatic with a distinctive earl grey taste and a fuller body due to the coffee beans profile.
Bee’s Knees Petite
9 Gallop Road, Singapore 259014
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 7pm (Sat – Sun)
Zen Glasshouse Cafe At New Extension Of Botanic Gardens
Cafe hoppers should be familiar with Bee’s Knees at The Garage, located within a conserved heritage building within Botanic Gardens.
The folks behind Bee’s Knees had opened another outlet within Botanic Gardens at the Gallop Extension. This is new nature-themed adventure playground along with two conserved black and white bungalows.
Here, you will find a menu similar to their sister outlet at Bee’s Knees at The Garage, more streamlined and concise, packed in disposable boxes and cups for both dine-in and takeaway.
2 breakfast items are served from 8am to 11am on weekdays and till 3pm on weekends: Ham & Cheese Sandwich ($17) and Bee’s Knees Petite Big Breakfast ($18).
Diners can expect a more extensive lunch menu that is available from 11am onwards, with Sandwich & Chips ($16 – $17), Snacks ($10 – $13), Salads ($7 – $18) and Pasta ($18 – $20).
Their desserts menu includes Macadamia Brownie Butter Blondie ($9), S’mores Brownie ($9), Tiramisu/ Carrot Cake/ Fluffernutter/ Strawberry Shortcake in a Jar ($10) and Berries Pancake ($14).
The Urban Hideout
The Brooks 1, 60 Springside Walk, #01-05, Singapore 786020
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Pet-Friendly Brunch & Gelato Cafe At Springleaf
The Urban Hideout is a new pet-friendly cafe (when dine-in resumes) located at The Brooks, just one block away from Cafe Bakeaholic opened by daughter of Hong Kong TVB actor Benz Hui at Springleaf.
The 25 seater space is decked in a warm and cosy setting, with ambient lights, cemented and red-bricked walls to evoke a homely touch.
Their Brunch menu items (for humans) include Starters ($4.90 – $8.90), Mains ($9.90 – $16.90), Gelato ($3.90), Waffles ($8.90) and Cakes ($5.90).
Mains include a decent selection that varies from Wholesome Breakfast ($16.90) to Rosti ($15.90), Jumbo Croissant (Egg Mayo $9.90, Ham & Cheese $9.90, Smoked Salmon with Egg Mayo $13.90), Smoked Salmon, Eggs & Avocado Toast ($15.90), Aglio Olio ($10.90) and Marinara ($15.90).
A favourite was the Swiss Rosti ($15.90) that came with either Pork Bratwurst or Chicken Bratwurst by the side, salads and a dollop of sour cream. The Urban Hideout (Springside Walk)
66 East Coast Road, The Flow #01-01, Singapore 428778
Opening Hours: 9am – 4:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Double Storey Modern Peranakan Cafe With Chendol Waffles
The name Ambling Turtle comes from 2 words: “Ambling” referring to a slow and relaxed pace and their geographic location at “Katong”, which refers to a species of sea turtle that is now extinct.
Stepping inside, the first storey has a huge tree on display in the middle of the space and natural sunlight pouring through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Offering a Peranakan-inspired menu with savouries options such as Nyonya Curry Chicken ($6.50), Satay Chicken ($6.50) and Pulled Beef Rendang ($8.50), with options of Croissant/ Sourdough ($3.50) for add-on.
The Pulled Beef Rendang ($8.50) came with Achar (pickled-spicy mixed vegetables) on the sides to add a refreshing tangy punch, with chilli, cucumber slices and lettuce added to for extra crunch.
With an in-house baker, diners can also expect a wider range of desserts and pastries on their menu such as Tarts ($6.50), Cakes ($7 – $7.50), Waffles ($12.50) and Soft Serve ($5.50). Ambling Turtle (Katong)
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