Cafes To Try

Cafes To Try

Featuring The Populus Coffee & Food Co., Bao Makers (Amoy Street), 20F Specialty Coffeehouse, Roots Kitchen Bar, Suzette, Tiann's, Monniker, Birdie Num Num Gastrobar
Vanessa Tan
Vanessa Tan

Sunday afternoon's tête-a-tête:
Had an amazing seared salmon soba salad with poached egg, black sesame matcha tart, Suzette iced tea and iced chai latte.


More stuff coming up once they've stabilized. All food are gluten-free & sugar-free.
➊ [RA-RA S$6.80] - raspberry apple cold press juice

➋ [5oz White S$5]
➌ [A Chocolate Hazelnut S$9.80]

Jalan Besar has no lack of eateries, yet Roots Kitchen & Bar stands out as a unique spot in the area. It sports an industrial theme with unfinished red brick walls, with a touch of oriental flavour. Fitting for a teatime snack is the Egg & Truffle Mousseline ($4) featuring a smooth, creamy egg mousse spiked with truffle hidden in an egg shell, along with their special Ginseng Coffee ($7) that would perk up any weary soul. For something heavier, opt for the Seared Atlantic Seabass ($22). End your meal with the Citron & Passion ($12), which sees a delightful combination of tangy lemon and passionfruit curd with sweet Marshmallow Cookie ice cream. Come by after a long day, and wind down with a cold beer or glass of wine.

Navigation-themed (think compasses, globes and maps) Monniker has landed in the Balestier neighbourhood, offering residents yet another brunch option in a cosy, wood-accented environment. There is the requisite selection of items such as the Eggs Ben ($18) and English Breakfast ($21, Breakfast Fit For A Captain). Slightly more unusual is the decadent Chicken Waffle Stack ($19), with the two fragrant buttermilk waffles drizzled in maple syrup, sandwiching a slab of fried chicken topped with melted cheddar and a cheerful sunny side up. Cool off with their velvety smooth Iced Valrhona Chocolate ($7), decadently finished with more chocolate shavings.

There are days for sinful indulgences, and then there are days to treat your body to something clean (and tasty, of course). Tiann's is a refreshing addition to the burgeoning café scene, serving gluten-free savoury waffles, cakes and freshly-pressed juices in a calm and relaxing environment. Enjoy a Roasted Squash Feta Waffle (half waffle at $9.60, whole waffle at $15.80) packed with pumpkin, chia seeds and pine nuts. Get a table under the glass roof to enjoy streams of natural light in this minimalist space as you sip on a refreshing cup of Raspberry Apple cold-pressed juice ($6.80). Bring a book, this is the perfect space for some "me" time.

Just minutes away from Kembangan MRT Station lies family-run Birdie Num Num Gastrobar, a convenient laid-back neighbourhood hangout that serves simple, honest café-style fare. Go for the Miso Cod ($15.90) that brims with Japanese familiarity – a lovely miso-marinated cod sitting on rich, cheesy risotto. For a no-brainer option, go for Birdie's Burger ($15.90), a beef patty loaded with melted cheese and bacon. This is one of those casual spots you’d be grateful for, a place in your neighbourhood where you and your friends can knock back a few and have a good time.

Taking over the former space of Windowsill Pies at Horne Road, Bao Makers’ unique concept is centred on… baos! All you Instagrammers would love the minimalist decor here with both white and unfinished cement walls and the occasional splash of wood accents. While they do serve main dishes such as the Teriyaki Chicken Chop ($14.90), it is really the bao dishes you should focus on. The Salted Egg Yolk Shrimp ($15) is the one to go for — familiar local zi char flavours stuffed in a light and fluffy steamed mantou. Your usual Flat White ($5.50) order might sound like a strange accompaniment, but just give it a shot, ok? Their coffees are brewed from a blend supplied by Common Man Coffee Roasters.

Opened to much hype along Neil Road (a few doors down from The Lokal), The Populus Café might just live up to its name. The interior is industrial-chic, complete with wood finishings, black walls, and cement floors accented with gold. Started by the same people behind Department of Caffeine, and Two Degrees North Coffee Co, a specialty coffee roaster and wholesaler, this café aims to provide bold, inventive food. The Populus Scramble ($17) features creamy scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, and marinated feta in a crisp, buttery croissant — a substantial, tasty dish. Don't leave without trying a dessert, in particular the Lemon & White Chocolate Sundae ($13) that boasts a balance of tart and sweet with citron mascarpone, fresh lemon jelly, and rich vanilla soft serve served on a bed of more sweet goodies (think popping candy!). Pair it with their Cold Drip Coffee ($6) — it is rather stellar!

Taking over an old clinic space at 20 Foch Road (hence the name), 20F Specialty Coffeehouse in Jalan Besar boasts both day and night concepts. Passers-by would notice the fusion of old and new in both the facade and interior of the café — where old-school window grills and gorgeous vintage tiled floors meet industrial bronze fixtures and colourful chalk drawings on concrete walls. The Duck & Waffle ($22) is the signature item here, available for both lunch and dinner, featuring a harmonious marriage of crisp buttermilk waffles, savoury duck confit and berry sorbet. For a substantial brunch option, go for the Pulled Pork Flatbread ($17), a Mexican-inspired dish of spicy pulled pork, chipotle mayo, guacamole, an oozy sous vide egg, plus nachos on the side. Pair it with a latte ($5) pulled from Liberty Coffee's Speakeasy blend. Degenerate drinkers (yes, you) would be happy to know that they serve cocktails like the Red Sangria ($18). These vibes are just perfect for an after work chill-out sesh on Fridays (or Mondays...).

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