11 Wonderful Tiong Bahru Cafes to Laze the Weekend Away
Besides offering delicious hawker fare, Tiong Bahru has become quite a hipster area in recent years, with the popping up of many cafés in the neighbourhood. Some of these cafés boast a really tranquil and cozy ambience, which make you feel like snuggling in a corner with your desired novel while others are vibrant and lively, making it an ideal place to chill your weekend afternoon away. No matter what food you desire, here is a list of 11 cafés in Tiong Bahru that is bound to satisfy your particular craving.
Sin Lee Foods
Tucked in an old neighbourhood on Bukit Ho Swee, this café is converted from an old coffeeshop. They have kept the name and original signboard, but modernized the menu that many people love. You can expect bestsellers like Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12) that’s made with salted duck’s egg sauce and Beef & Grain ($25) featuring seared marbled striploin served with wet orzo ‘rice’, runny free range hen’s eggs, ginger, furikake and scallions. The striploin is tender and the orzo rice has bold flavours. Sin Lee Foods also offer their specialty – Fried Chicken & Waffles ($21.90) which is topped with a seasoned, juicy leg piece, accompanied by a creamy homemade slaw. We’re impressed with how Sin Lee Foods try to be creative in combining different ingredients together to create unique yet delicious dishes.
Sin Lee Foods
Address: #01-164, Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, Singapore 162004
Phone: 6377 3170
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat 11am to 9pm. Sun 9.30am to 6pm. Closed on Mondays.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
Founded by master baker Gontran Cherrier and operating under the Spa Esprit Group, Tiong Bahru Bakery is an artisan bakery that serves coffee and a wide variety of freshly baked premium quality breads and pastries. They are famous for their croissants, which you must try fresh in the bakery. It’s buttery and light, with very crispy and flaky skin. First bite into the croissant, you get a chewy yet soft texture. For the savoury, there is the Mozza & Ham Focaccia ($8) which is so colourful that it puts you in a good mood instantly. It’s one of the rare few cafés that is open on Mondays! Avoid going on weekends as it can get very crowded and too rowdy for relaxing.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
Address: #01-70, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Singapore 160056
Phone: 6220 3430
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu 8am to 8pm. Fri&Sat 8am to 10pm.
Cream and Custard
Resident baker, Melissa, started with home-baked brownies before moving on to higher order recipes supplied by her aunt, who had received training at Cordon Bleu. She was previously from The Pattisier on Mohamed Sultan Road as head of the section for customized cupcakes. The team at Cream & Custard believes in using top-quality ingredients so they have scoured the region and beyond for the best such as Valrhona dark chocolate feves, President full-fat cream and 100% pure fruit puree. They bake their cakes from scratch in-house fresh daily and make limited quantities, offering only five to six servings per cake flavour. We had the Galaxy Cake ($8.80) which captured our attention immediately, with its shimmering coat of glitter on the exterior. The interior consists of a rum-soaked, mildly sour cherry which was a refreshing contrast to the bitterness of the dark chocolate and blackcurrent jelly.
The serene interior with sofas makes one feel at home at Drips Bakery. It’s a perfect place for afternoon tea as you sink your sweet tooth into the bakery’s dainty tarts that are freshly prepared daily. We were delighted by the wide variety of colourful tarts on display. Whether you’re looking for a fruity, nutty, sweet or savoury tart, you’ll be spoilt for choices at Drips Bakery. We had the Special Seasonal Mix Fruit Tart ($9.20) which is a wonderful combination of raspberries, blueberries, custard and crunch all put together perfectly into one big yummy treat. The custard was light and fluffy while the tart was not too hard like those you get elsewhere and the berries were refreshing, with a subtle sweetness. Simply enjoyable!
This indie café has indoor and outdoor seats so take your pick but we prefer the indoor ones due to the scorching hot weather. They had 4 new items on the menu when we visited and Fish & Pancakes ($16.80) sounded unique to us so we had to give it a try. 2 tiny fillets of crumbed dory fish are served atop 2 savoury pancakes with mesclun salad and a side of French fries. The fish fillets are fried to a crisp golden brown and we love biting into the crunch before we reach the fork-tender meat. Our only complaint about the fillets was that the portion was too stingy. As for the pancakes, we felt that they were mediocre, nothing impressive to shout-out about.
Address: #01-25, 78 Moh Guan Terrace, Singapore 162078
Phone: 6536 3938
Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm daily.
Forty Hands first opened in October 2010 before the café was given an entire facelift and reopened in April 2014. It is created by Harry Grover, in collaboration with Spa Esprit Group, as one of the very first coffee joints in Singapore to offer a taste of Third Wave Coffee. Nowadays, the brunch crowd packs this café on weekends for their tasty menu offerings. Some of their desserts are unique such as the Bacon Cheesecake ($8) that we tried. The cheesecake is infused with purple sweet potato flavours and topped with roasted walnuts and caramelized bacon. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for us as our tastebuds were confused with the mixture of sweet and savoury flavours.
Plain Vanilla Bakery
The culinary talents behind this café hope to provide customers with childhood-reminiscent flavours made from seasonal ingredients worthy of a home kitchen. The cupcakes are always baked fresh daily and they only use tip-top quality ingredients from French butter to pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, bittersweet Belgian chocolates and perfectly ripe bananas, just to name a few. No artificial preservatives have been added and they purchase from local suppliers to ensure that their eggs are always fresh and their coffee beans newly roasted. They use a different cake recipe for each flavour offering before pairing the sponge with their delicious frosting. We had the Vanilla Bean cupcake ($3.90 / cupcake) and really enjoyed the fluffiness of the sponge. It was so good we finished it within minutes. If the frosting was a tad less sweet, the cupcake would’ve been rated a perfect 10!
The Orange Thimble
The Orange Thimble has many nice corners for you to relax with a book or gather with a group of friends and family over the weekend. You can also take some time to admire the art pieces that have been hung on the walls within this café. We shared a Ondeh Ondeh cake ($8) which looked really pretty with the clearly-defined layers. The gula Melaka cream was light yet flavourful while the sponge had a hint of pandan-coconut flavours to it. Their menu also has savoury items, which is perfect for a weekend brunch.
The Orange Thimble
Address: Blk 56, Eng Hoon Street, Singapore 160056
Phone: 6223 8068
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11am to 9pm. Closed on Mondays.
Drawing inspirations from European interior designs, the white minimalistic café is hard to miss – you can even spot it from afar! Besides being in the limelight for their sweet desserts, baked pastries and savoury food, we had a wonderful afternoon catching up over a cup of Latte ($5.50) and Hot Chocolate ($6.50). The former was smooth and featured a strong aromatic taste while the latter was our favourite. The hot chocolate had the right amount of thickness, not too overwhelming such that it becomes ‘gelat’ after a few sips and it also had the right amount of sweetness, just enough to make you yearn for more, especially on rainy days.
Address: #01-15, 58 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 160058
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 9am to 7pm. Fri&Sat 9am to 11pm. Sun 9am to 9pm. Closed on Mondays.
As its name suggests, this café is marrying potatoes and tea, which might sound a bit unusual for most of us. Well, it’s not that bad as you have the clean, soothing element from a good pot of tea to cut the heaviness from a potato dish. We paired the PTT Platter ($16) which includes truffle fries, sweet potato fries, wedges and hash browns, with the Honeydew Green Pot O’ Tea selection ($6.80). The truffle fries are really amazing as the strong truffle flavour has been well brought out. Our PTT Platter also came with our desired choices of three dips – wasabi mayo, nacho cheese and Thai chilli. We felt that the wasabi mayo hit all the right spots while the nacho cheese will make cheese lovers out there scream for more. The Thai chilli however, tasted very ordinary.
Chapter 55 is a spacious café, with a wide food offering and dessert choices. They have an ongoing 1-for-1 lunch promotion that is available on weekdays between 11.30am and 3pm which we felt was super value-for-money. We shared Buffalo Wings appetizer (Usual Price $16) and the Bonito Thin Crust Pizza (Usual Price $23) and paid $23++. The buffalo wings are marinated with a tasty spicy herbs buffalo sauce and it was really fiery hot when devoured. The Bonito Thin Crust Pizza took us by surprise as it was superb and contains ham, button mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, tonkatsu sauce and generously topped with savoury bonito flakes and Japanese mayonnaise. There are too many items on the menu so we have made a date to return to Chapter 55 to try other dishes.
Address: #01-37, 55 Tiong Bahru Road, Singapore 160055
Phone: 6221 2219
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 11pm daily.
Tiong Bahru is really full of hipster cafés and has numerous food choices to satisfy whichever craving you have. It’s also a good idea to have your meals at the hawker centre or coffee shops before making your way to one of the cafés just to relax and have a dessert. Hope our Tiong Bahru café guide will be useful for you.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the stalls featured here.