Laze at these Bugis cafes on your rest days
It may sound sacrilegious, but my café haunts in Telok Ayer and Tiong Bahru have become mundane. I have since travelled around Singapore in search of the next bona fide café district. Bugis surfaced as my favourite. Here are eight Bugis cafes that I feel are the best in Bugis, serving Instagrammable and tasty grub.
1. Mellower Coffee
Because of how aesthetic it is, the Sweet Little Rain ($9.80+) from Mellower Coffee never fails to appear on my Instagram feed. A dreamy ball of cotton candy suspends over a freshly brewed cup of americano. Steam from the coffee melts the cotton candy, sending a rain of sugar to sweeten your drink.
If that strikes you as gimmicky, try their Matcha Latté ($6+) instead. It has a distinctive matcha fragrance that blends well with its milky consistency. For cakes, their Strawberry Cheesecake ($8+) and Matcha Red Bean Cheesecake ($8+) are safe bets. Both have a dense cheesecake filling with a buttery crust that easily dissolves in your mouth.
Address: 108 Middle Road, #01-01, The Prospex, Singapore 188967
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 9:30am to 8pm, Fri-Sat 9:30am to 9pm
Tel: 6255 0820
Mellower Coffee is not a halal eatery.
2. Twenty Grammes
Image credit: @twentygrammes
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy some desserts, Twenty Grammes dishes out waffles and ice-cream. Their ingenious Smores Waffle ($15) has a torched marshmallow, which imparts a pleasantly smoky aroma. Top it with their selection of home-made ice-creams that are dense and sticky. They melt onto the waffles, giving it a sugary oomph.
The Hojicha Soft Serve with Waffles and Brownie Cubes ($8.50) is a crowd favourite amongst hojicha lovers. A bed of brownie and waffle pieces rests below a towering swirl of hojicha ice-cream. The ice-cream lacks the bitterness associated with hojicha, making for an enjoyable dessert.
Address: 753 North Bridge Road, #01-01, Singapore 198721
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 12pm to 10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm to 1am
Tel: 9447 2020
Twenty Grammes is not a halal eatery.
3. Yummo Chow
Blended into the white-washed facade of Purvis Street lies Yummo Chow. Marvel at the gorgeous interior as you enter the café, with its plain white walls and colourful impressionism paintings.
The food is pretty too. The Beef Burger ($25++) is a juicy stack of thick beef patties, dressed in cheese and greens. Take it up a notch by ordering the Tempura Ice-cream ($12++). Cold vanilla ice-cream contrasts against the warm crunchy batter, which feels sublime in the mouth.
Check out our full review of Yummo Chow!
Address: 13 Purvis Street, Singapore 188592
Opening hours: Daily 10:30am to 10pm
Tel: 6873 1295
Yummo Chow is not a halal eatery.
4. Wan Wan Thai
Wan Wan Thai is a neon-lit dessert cafe that matches its pretty decor with equally stunning desserts. This includes fare like their Thai Milk Tea Bingsu ($10.90++), served with milk tea ice cream, and their Shibuya style thick Kaya Toast ($8.90++), accompanied by fragrant pandan jam and aromatic kaya. They are also open till 3am, making it a great spot to satisfy your sweet tooth in the wee hours of the morning.
Check out our Wan Wan Thai review!
Address: 127A Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189637
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 3am
Tel: 6336 8812
Wan Wan Thai Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.
5. The Masses
Image credit: @themassessg
The Masses was opened by Saveur’s co-founder. They aim to serve French fare at affordable prices. The CCCC Pasta, for instance, comes with crab, caviar, clams and chorizo from $14.90++. It’s an indulgent treat that gives an oceanic explosion in your mouth, with delicate notes of crab shining through. If you’re feeling rich, you could also add uni for $7++.
One of my favourites here is the Deep-Fried Camembert ($11.90++). It comprises a crunchy and slightly sweet batter that coats soft and gooey camembert. It’s accompanied by a dollop of yoghurt ice-cream that provides tartness, balancing the heaviness of the fried cheese.
Address: 85 Beach Road, #01-02, Singapore 189694
Opening hours: Sun-Tues, Thurs 12pm to 10pm, Wed, Fri 12pm to 12am
Tel: 6266 0061
The Masses is not a halal eatery.
Image credit: @symmetrysg
Symmetry is synonymous with quality brunches in Singapore. Their Symmetry Big Breakfast ($25++) is a signature, served with all the works—scrambled eggs, tater tots, smoked salmon, chicken cheese sausage, mixed mushrooms, maple-glazed bacon, sourdough, and berry butter.
For a sweet treat, the Symmetry Waffles ($21++) features a colourful plate of petals and fruits. The waffles have a dense centre that complements the velvety ice-cream. It’s a must-order for anyone looking for an indulgent morning treat.
Address: 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01, Singapore 199206
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am to 11pm, Sat 9am to 11pm, Sun 9am to 7pm
Tel: 6291 9901
Symmetry is not a halal eatery.
Image credit: Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro
Serving halal Swedish dishes, Fika is a great place to experience Swedish cuisine that isn’t IKEA. Try their Swedish Meatballs ($19++) for a juicy meatball that has a profound beefy taste. The cream sauce used also has a herbaceous perfume that gives depth to the rich meatballs.
Having been there a few times, their Korvstroganoff ($15++) is my personal favourite. It’s a chicken sausage stew that’s simmered in a creamy tomato base. Rice is also served alongside, acting as a great starchy accompaniment to your stew. Do note, however, that their menu is seasonal, so some dishes might not be available when you visit.
Address: 257 Beach Road, Singapore 199539
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs11am to 10pm, Fri-Sat 11am to 11pm
Tel: 6396 9096
Fika is a halal-certified eatery
Belle-Ville serves up fuwa fuwa Japanese pancakes. They are basically a wobblier rendition of traditional pancakes, quite similar to castella cakes. To achieve this fluffy consistency, they used a meringue base. This also means that the pancakes are light—so you can eat more!
Opt for the Millefeuille Pancake (from $7.90++ for four) to taste its unadulterated flavour. Buttery and eggy notes are very apparent, with the maple syrup giving a subtle sweetness. You could also try the Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake (from $11.90++ for two). It has a nice tartness that cuts through the meringue’s eggy flavours, making it a good choice for those who aren’t too keen on plain pancakes.
Address: 230 Victoria Street, #01-01B, Bugis Junction Towers, Singapore 188024
Opening hours: Sun-Fri 11am to 8pm, Sat 11am to 8:30pm
Tel: 6255 5456
Belle-ville is not a halal eatery.
9. Tolido’s Espresso Nook
Image credit: Tolido’s Espresso Nook
Sandwiched between Bugis and Lavender, Tolido’s Espresso Nook regularly draws long queues for their twists on cafe fare. Enjoy dishes like Stout Glazed Bacon French Toast ($18++), a sweet-and-salty spin on classic french toast, Rosti ($19++), served with a sunny-side-up-egg and cheese sausages, or 462 Prawn Laksa Pasta ($19++), a crowd favourite. Try to make reservations in advance by calling them so you can avoid the queue.
Address: 462 Crawford Lane, #01-63, Singapore 190462
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Thurs 8am to 4pm, Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat 9am to
Tel: 6648 0178
Singapore has witnessed a small boom in durian desserts, as well as standalone cafes serving the King of Fruit. One such cafe is DurianBB, run by the folks behind a prominent durian farm in Malaysia. Their menu stars all durian desserts, coffees, and bakes, including a MSW Polo Bao ($4.80) and I’m Burnt St. Sebastian MSW Cheesecake ($8.80). They currently also have a free-flow durian buffet for different cultivars, available all throughout durian season for $36.80 per person.
Check out our DurianBB review!
Earlybird serves a menu of all-day breakfast fare, but they are best-known for their Chicken And Pancakes ($19), where a towering hunk of fried chicken is served on maple-dressed pancakes. Apart from the signature, expect the likes of Salmon & Avo ($22), a salad of miso salmon and avocado, or Chilli Scramble ($18), where spicy eggs meet thick-cut bacon and sourdough. Apart from the food, Earlybird also has a pretty alfresco area, decked in sunny yellow, with monochrome furniture that’s great for the ‘gram.
Address: 17 Jalan Pinang Singapore, Singapore 199149
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 9pm
Tel: 9788 6856
Earlybird is not a halal-certified eatery.
12. Brotherbird Coffeehouse
You may know Brotherbird for their sold-out flavoured croissants sold at their flagship Brotherbird Milk & Croissants bakery, but they also have a cafe, Brotherbird Coffeehouse, located in the Bugis ‘hood. Though temporarily closed due to COVID-19, they have planned a reopening come 2 January 2021, bringing soft-serve ice cream, doughnuts, mochi croissants, and more to the table.
Find out more about Brotherbird Coffeehouse’s reopening.
Address: 32 Bali Lane, Singapore 189868
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 6pm
Brotherbird Coffeehouse is not a halal-certified eatery.
13. (working title)
Image credit: (working title)
Halal-certified cafe (working title) also doubles as a burger bar, serving hand-ground gourmet burgers all under $20, including a side of fries. Choose from the likes of Classic Beef ($14.90++) or Magic Truffle Mushroom ($15.90++), and enjoy it with other sides, such as Truffle Tater Tots ($9.60++) and Ribena Wings ($10.40++). Apart from their burger offerings, they do brunch classics, available from 9am to 3pm daily.
For more on burgers, check out our guide to the best burgers in Singapore!
Address: 783 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198751
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 9am to 10;m, Fri-Sat 9am to 11pm
Tel: 8768 0463
Café hop around Bugis
If you enjoy café hopping as much as I do, you can also check out the newly opened Baristart Coffee for some cute bear shaved ice. There’s also an uber minimalist Lee’s Confectionary in Jurong if you are looking for a nice café in the West!
This article was originally written on 15 February 2019.