Unwind at these Japanese cafes in Singapore
This statement might make you feel old: Singapore’s cafe-hopping culture has been around for more than seven years. And it’s after these seven long years that many of us have finally grown tired of the usual eggs Benedict, truffle fries, and English breakfast. This is perhaps why there is a sudden rise in Japanese cafes in Singapore. From Muji-esque minimalist cafes to modern tea houses, change up your Sunday afternoons by hanging out at these cafes instead.
1. Grids And Circles
Grids and Circles’ interior is super basic, with only wooden tables and chairs decorating this space. Their food presentation might also score low, but the taste of each dish definitely warrants a 10/10. This is especially so for their Tamago Sando ($13++), where hidden between soft bread and a thick omelette is a thin layer of house-made pear sauce and kombu mayo. A tantalising sandwich we would gladly have over and over again.
Address: 200 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058749
Opening hours: Sun-Thur 8:30am to 6:30pm, Fri-Sat 8:30am to 12am
Tel: 6935 3546
Say what you like but the Japanese do pancakes best; their pancakes are thicker and fluffier than their Western counterparts! And a great place to score legit Japanese pancakes in Singapore is Belle-Ville. Hailing from Osaka, this famous pancake cafe is best known for their Millefeuille Pancake ($7.90++ for four, $11.90++ for eight pieces), which uses meringue as one of their main ingredients.
They also have other flavours including Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake ($11.90++ for two, $14.40++ for four pieces) as well as Matcha with Rice Ball and Red Bean Pancake ($12.20++ for four, $16.20++ for eight pieces).
Address: 230 Victoria Street, #01-01B, Bugis Junction Towers, Singapore 188024
Opening hours: Daily 8am to 8:30pm
Tel: 6255 5456
3. Hvala CHIJMES
Image credit: @wishuponatart
A modern teahouse, Hvala CHIJMES’s interior boasts earthy tones and clean lines. There is also plenty of natural light streaming in, making it a great place to take photos for the ‘gram. Their drink menu is longer than their dessert, with four pages of drinks to choose from. When you’re there, order the Matcha Houjicha Latte ($5.80) and Goma Cake ($7.50). The latter is dense, moist with an intense black sesame flavour.
Address: 30 Victoria Street, #01-04, CHIJMES, Singapore 187996
Opening hours: Daily 9:30am to 9:30pm
4. Chef Yamashita
Image credit: Chef Yamashita’s Facebook page
Look no further than Chef Yamashita if you’re hankering for delicate Japanese cakes. Occupying a shop on the second floor of Tanjong Pagar Plaza, this cafe is small, with only a few seatings out front. This underrated patisserie is frequented by Japanese expats for their Mille-Feuille ($6.80). The dainty cake features layers of puff pastry and topped with raspberry jam.
Address: 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-44, Singapore 082001
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 6:30pm, Sun 10am to 4pm
Tel: 6604 9709
5. Katasumi Koohii
Hidden within a hipster Chinese bookstore is Katasumi Koohii. The quaint cafe gives off a really homey vibe, with calming music playing softly in the background.
The menu is small, with only two cakes on the menu when we were there. Highly recommended is their Salted Caramel Roll Cake ($7), with its pillowy soft cake and delicate creamy centre. Drinks wise, get the Iced Brown Sugar Latte ($6.50), which comes in pretty layers of white and brown, as well as a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Address: 25 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089839
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Thur 12pm to 8pm, Fri-Sat 12pm to 9pm, Sun 12pm to 6pm
6. Kagurazaka Saryo
Image credit: @haru_00_0208
Known to attract long queues in Japan, Kagurazaka Saryo serves up an array of Japanese matcha treats. The menu is not limited to just green tea ice-cream and matcha latte, and features interesting options like Matcha Fondue with Assorted Sides ($14.90++), which blends ceremonial-grade Uji matcha with white chocolate. Those with a sweet tooth will fall in love with the Matcha Frozen S’more ($9.90++), comprising torched marshmallows and a tray of vanilla and matcha ice-cream.
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-59, VivoCity, Singapore 098585
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 9pm
Tel: 6376 9978
7. Kamone Bakery
Image credit: @kamome_bakery
Located along Thomson Road at Goldhill Shopping Centre is Kamone Bakery, which specialises in fresh Japanese bread. The Japanese cafe screams Muji, as it is simply decked out s in all things teak. A must-try is their Kamone Toast Bread ($4) that takes five hours to prepare. It’s pillowy soft yet chewy, and has a nice milky tang to it. Alternatively, you can try the bread by ordering their Kamone Breakfast ($9.80 with cup of coffee or tea) and French Toast ($10.80 with cup of coffee or tea), which are only served between 8am and 11am daily.
Address: 169 Thomson Road, Goldhill Shopping Centre, Singapore 307621
Opening hours: Daily 8am to 7pm
Tel: 8134 3635
Minimalist Japanese cafes to check out
Get your coffee or matcha fix at these Japanese cafes in Singapore! Share with us in the comment section below if you know of any other joints like these.