Ham and cheese croissant
Salted caramel chocolate tart
A newly-opened whimsical cafe housed, somewhat unceremoniously, at the base of the Park Hotel and next to Ikea.
Pros: The staff are fantastic, the decor is charming and for the most part I really liked my food (coffee, ham and cheese croissant and the choc tart get full marks).
Cons: It’s small so it may be tough to get a seat and I didn’t really like their lemon tart – it was all curd and too light to pack a punch.
Verdict: Oh I loved it! I want to go back and eat ALL THE THINGS.
The Bakehouse by Carpenter and Cook
321 Alexandra Road #01-14
The brownie that got me to Jonathan’s
What: Gluten-free, super un-pretentious cafe, located in Little India, owned by the cutest couple in ALLTHELAND.
Pros: This is obviously a haven for all the gluten-intolerant (real and imagined) people in Singapore and their big breakfast (don’t actually remember the name) was delicious. And, AND they salt the eggs so that I don’t have to. What is it with unseasoned food in restaurants nowadays? It should be perfect on a plate, I shouldn’t have to do any work when I’m eating out.
Cons: Hard one to admit but though I visited Jonathan’s for their salted caramel brownie (my colleague had given me a regular brownie her niece aka the owner of Jonathan’s had baked and it was todiefor) – I didn’t like it that much. Their savory options win over the sweet.
Verdict: OMG visit them and eat and laugh and pretend to be healthy – you know you want to.
Disclaimer: My friend and colleague’s niece actually owns Jonathan’s BUT this review is unbiased. Even if I spent most of brunch chilling with the owners screaming, “I DON’T WANT TO SALT MY SHIT!”
17 Dalhousie Lane
+65 6291 3396
Yes, the eggs were dry as they look
What: A very hipster, very derelict (I’m using this the Zoolander way) industrial cafe that serves reasonably priced brunch options.
Pros: The wait-staff were quite polite and they let you sit forever. Like FOREVER.
Cons: Ok… well the food is very whatever. It’s really just like eggs and toast and you can probably make it better at home. And the coffee is also whatever. And their chairs have no backs. I must be getting old because stools are no longer acceptable forms of seating.
Verdict: No, NO. Go find another hipster cafe, there are so many more that do it so much better.
66 Horne Road
Their famous Avocado Coffee
What: A kitschy, quirky, cafe in Jalan Besar that seems to attract visitors based on how photogenic their food and furnishings are.
Pros: Really, REALLY good avocado coffee. It’s basically an avocado smoothie-milkshake thing with one or two espresso shots, depending on how you’re feeling. Two espresso shots – because who are you kidding?
Cons: The food is extremely underwhelming. My duck confit salad was first of all – not a salad, because five green leaves do not, a salad make, while the duck was dry and tough. BLARGH.
Verdict: If you’re in the neighborhood and want a great dessert/drink, pop in, get the coffee and take some pictures. Otherwise no, just, no.
111 King George’s Ave
The Sardouuuu (20 bucks ish?)
What:A lovely, lazy Western-ish brunch place in the middle of a not very beautiful mall.
Pros: The coffee is GREAT and their vibe, along with their very friendly and accommodating staff.
Cons: The food is actually a hit or miss, sometimes very good and sometimes very average. The sardou, pictured above, was a bit of both. As in amazing mushrooms/artichoke combo but kinda jelat spinach cream? But I’ve had better luck with their sandwiches and salads.
Verdict: Go alone and just get like a pastry/sandwich and a coffee and read one of the magazines they have laying around. It’s an amazing hangout place. But maybe bring your earphones. There are many children. MANY CHILDREN.
491 River Valley Road
Valley Point Shopping Centre
Crispy fish burgerrr (SGD14) with friesss (SGD9) – in the back
An ethical Jap/Western fusion-ish restaurant in the middle of NOWHERE.
Pros: Really, REALLY good fries. They were soft AND crisp and the mentaiko mayo dip was addictive. Also, the setting is beeyootiful.
Cons: Ok I know I ordered a fried fish burger and fries (to share ok?!) but everything felt really heavy and oily – and my eating mate had the same opinion when it came to her pasta.
Verdict: Go if you’re feeling like a beer with fried food. Also, please try the churros and tell me how they are. Thanksss.
510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1
A Hazelnut Financier – that I got free! Because I have one of those faces…
What: Arguably THE cafe that started the cafe hype in Singapore – it’s an expat haven in the now very chic/expensive Tiong Bahru area.
Pros: Some really good pastries (you gots to try their kouign-amman, almond-chocolate croissant and almond financier) and yummy coffee (I know this clearly means I don’t know good coffee, but I clearly don’t care).
Cons: The savory stuff is very so-so and I swear anytime I try and eat bread from that place, the roof of my mouth ends up a bloody mess.
Verdict: Dude I get at least one pastry a week from there. What do you think I’m going to say?
Tiong Bahru Bakery – many outlets but I go to:
56 Eng Hoon St., #01-70
Mocha Latte *shudder* – also forgive my horrifying picture
What: Serious coffee place. OK?
Pros: Really nice owner and FREE coffee!!! J/K it operates by a tipping system, so you can pay what you feel it’s worth. Also you can buy lots of different beans. If you’re into that kinda thing.
Cons: There is almost too many different coffees to choose from and their “serious coffees” are quite good. If you pick the right one. The “frou frou” coffees like their cappuccinos and the mocha latte that I tried was ohgodno.
Verdict: I can’t say I recommend it because I think maybe you have to be a real coffee aficionado to appreciate it. And there’s NO food.
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee
170 Stirling Road
#01-1133 Singapore 140170
Buttery goodness AND it was FOC
Apple crumble – it made my bus journey bearable
A chain bakery that should
be generic, but is anything but.
Pros: REALLY good quiches and REALLY good tarts and REALLY good service.
Cons: Unpredictable coffee (sometimes fantastic, sometimes just no) and very average sandwiches.
Verdict: I’m basically obsessed with ABC (the acronym – just go with it) and I didn’t want to do a post on it because I didn’t want everyone to know about it. But then I realized sharing is caring. So go ahead. Have the bacon and leek quiche and take home the caramel pecan tart thingy that they have for breakfast the next day. You won’t regret it.
Many outlets but I go to the one below:
artisan boulangerie co.
Great World City
+65 6887 4062
Chicken Curry Pie – SGD8.50
What: Neighborhood kopitiam masquerading as a hipster cafe.
Pros: Wonderful staff and nice ambience.
Cons: The food is, how to say it nicely… um… CMI (cannot make it). I have tried their toast set with lemon curd and to fair it was pretty good, but the bun was average and the coffee was insipid. On another day I went back to give the cafe another try and I had the chicken curry pie. All I can say is that an excess of curry powder does not cover up bad cooking.
Verdict: Don’t go because it’s not good. And if you like lemon curd then learn how to make it yourself here.
The Tastemaker Store
Blk 22 Havelock Road