Top 5 brunch places in Singapore


After some time in Singapore, I have grown really fond of brunches. It’s just the perfect way to start off (or continue) a lazy Sunday…

Of course I am not pretending to surpass food bloggers like ladyironchef here, but I thought I’d share with you my top 5 brunch places so far!

1. P.S. Cafe at Ann Siang Hill

Brunch at the counter

P.S. Cafe is well known in Singapore for great quality and healthy food in wonderful settings. I love the one at Ann Siang Hill (just uphill from Club Street), because it is surrounded by a little greenery and the counter area is both simple and sophisticated. All in all, it’s a wonderful place to relax! And their meals are always healthy, with a fresh spinach salad or avocado on the side to green up your brunch! To note that it may be a little pricy for the average budget you might have for brunches.

2. Strictly pancakes

The perfect start to your day if you have a craving for pancake and a little tight budget! Strictly Pancakes is affordable and yummy, and the service team is young and smiling. You may think pancakes are overrated… in which case you can get creative and add on scrambled eggs and bacons! Yes, it may seem like a strange sweet-savoury combination at first but you grow into it ๐Ÿ™‚ย And they have a good sense of humour too !

Strictly Pancakes

Strictly Pancakes

There are 2 outlets currently in Singapore, one in Siglap and one on Prinsep Street.

3. Group Therapy

One of my favourites too! Located on Duxton Road (lots of good coffee places there!), Group Therapy is not easy to find the first time you go there. You have to spot the sign outside on the ground floor, showing you the way up the stairs, and there you go! A hidden brunch paradise…

Group Therapy

To be honest, at first I was a little put off by the name of this place “Group Therapy“. I found it odd to have a brunch in a “therapy” place! But once you step in, you will love the decor and ambiance here, and their menu is quite long so you’ll be sure to find you perfect brunch.

One minus point though, this coffee place is so successful that more often than not there is a queue on week-ends and the staff does not take reservations. But try your luck! If it’s not too many of you, you should be able to get a table within 15 minutes!

4. Toby’s Estate

Toby's Estate

Excellent coffee at Toby’s Estate! And I like the fact that they are located by the Singapore River, near Robertson Quay area. If it’s not rainy, choose to sit outside and enjoy a nice cup of coffee while watching passers by. Food-wise I remember the brunch as decent, however not top-of-the-chart so far.

5. Selfish Gene

Last by not least on my top 5 is Selfish Gene Cafeย on Craig Road. Inside you will find a stretch of tables leading to the counter where you can order your meal. I love the glass ceiling that lets the daylight come through! I enjoy the food there, however there is often a long waiting time (average 20-30 minutes from my experience!) and some of the menu items are overpriced. My recommendation would be to stick to one plate each and don’t order sides or add-ons, they’re a bit too expensive for my taste.

Selfish Gene Cafe

 

I hope you liked my top 5 so far! Brunch places in Singapore are ever-changing so please comment and leave us your thoughts on the trendiest brunch spots now !!

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Char Siew… Yumms !!


You know how Singaporeans’ favourite topic is oftenย FOOD ?ย I’m sure you’ve heard Singaporeans say:

hey! there’s this new place who just opened! great food! you should try it out!

… or…

remember that place there, well I went last week and they changed owner! Yea I know right… but the food is still good though! shall we go together sometime?

Well, here’s one for you: Where is the best Char Siew in Singapore?

Let me rewind a little – what’s “char siew” you say? Yes, Char Siew stands for “cha shao” in Mandarin pinyin, which literally means “fork roast”. However Char Siew is most commonly known as a barbequed pork Singapore delicacy.

Char Siew in Singapore

Yes, that’s Char Siew!

You’ve probably seen Char Siew around without knowing the name of the dish… It’s white pork meat in a sweet barbequed sauce, often served with rice or noodles. Very often too it is served together with delicious crispy roast pork…

Singapore Crispy Roast PorkYummmms !!

Now the real question is…. Where is the best Char Siew Roast Pork dish in Singapore?

Honestly it’s a really tough question. A lot of places sell Char Siew Roast Pork but the roast pork is not crispy enough or there is too much sauce on the Char Siew to really appreciate the taste of the meat…

One of my current favourites is next to the 328 Katong Laksa stall on East Coast Road, but it’s only good in the earlier part of the day. If you go there for dinner you will have the less tasty parts…

I want to know your opinion, so the debate is open !!

Click here for more Singapore delicacies.

Emerald Hill


A few weeks back, I was looking for a place to grab a beer with some friends visiting in Singapore. Someplace casual, easy to access, and not (too) expensive… so I scratched my head… and thought of Emerald Hill !!

I don’t know whether you are familiar with this area, but to me the first time I went there was really a good surprise and it has been one of my favourite spots in Singapore ever since.

Contrasted Singapore

Contrasts of Old & New Singapore

The first great thing about Emerald Hill is that it’s super conveniently located just off Orchard Road. It’s a few steps away from Somerset MRT and the mall 313@Somerset.

The second great thing is that as soon as you turn into this uphill street you forget that you’re on Orchard Road! The place is peaceful, green, quiet… and it’s only shophouses and traditional Chinese mansions. It’s truly amazing, in all honesty!!

Emerald Hill

Atmosphere on Emerald Hill

There are a few outlets here, mainly bars and restaurants. Their deco is also really nice. The one on the picture above is traditional Chinese with red lanterns lit, but there are also more Westernised places like Que Pasa, a Spanish tapas bar with a really wide selection of wines. I personnally like Que Pasa, with a quiet alfresco area, and a quaint deco inside, with wine bottles on the wall and authentic wooden tables…

Emerald Hill evening sky

Clear skies tonight

Overall, Emerald Hill is a good spot when you feel like trying something else for an evening out in Singapore. Clarke Quay and Club Street are great nightlife spots, but I feel after a while you sort of grow out of it…

I would strongly recommend Emerald Hill for a relaxing night out. However if you prefer sitting outside, it’s usually quite crowded so you should go there early!

Green Emerald HillGreen Singapore at night

Isn’t it nice to keep discovering hidden places… sometimes you think you’ve seen it all, and yet a new place is just round the corner! ๐Ÿ™‚

A slice of Mexico in Singapore…


Do you ever get tired of Asian food? Sometimes I do… Not that I don’t enjoy it (on the contrary!!) but just that after a while it’s nice to go for a change…

When I feel like having something different for dinner, one of my favourite places is Piedra Negra, a Mexican restaurant and bar on Haji Lane. “Piedra Negra” (which means “black stone”) actually has nothing to do with Black… it’s extremely colourful!! And I love it because the atmosphere is lively and very latino-like!

Deco at Piedra Negra

Deco at Piedra Negra

Deco at Piedra Negra

Some of the deco reminds me of Barcelona, some of South America… Actually the menu is not all Mexican, as you can have Spanish tortillas or South American empanadas! Hmmm yummy all my favourites! A luxury to have these in Singapore maybe?

Piedra Negra is also a great chill out place, and I recommend you try the nachos, served with guacamole, frijoles, jalapeno chili (careful there, it’s really spicy!!), and covered in melted cheese – see picture.

Tacos muy buenosAlso a good combination, have it with a glass of cool sangria, or frozen margarita (even though in the Singapore heat it will not stay frozen for long).

Prices are reasonable too, and the staff is really friendly. There is an outdoor area as well, right along beach road, which is very pleasant on a windy evening…

Go check it out and tell me what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

Seah Street Deli


Who says Singapore is boring and always the same? If you look hard enough, you might find a couple of surprising places… like this American Diner on Beach Road, incorporated into the Raffles Hotel building !

Seah Street Deli is a very surprising restaurant to find in the Raffles Hotel. While you might be expecting fancy European food or beautifully served Chinese meals, Seah Street Deli will serve you typically American food! Interesting for a restaurant located in an iconic hotel of Singapore right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Their menu includes salads, burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, pizzas and snacks… basically anything you might be in a craving for if you are American and miss your home country. The portions are huge too, so make sure you don’t eat too much during the day before you go there ๐Ÿ™‚

I must admit the food is sometimes a little oily or fat… However one of the reasons why I love this place is because of the atmosphere! The decoration, floor and furniture really make you feel like you are in a whole other place. There’s even a jukebox in a corner!! And even though I’m not American, I love to be able to “travel” while still being physically located in Singapore. Well, actually, located in the HEART of Singapore!!

That is yet another great thing about Singapore, it’s that it is truly global and connected to the world, and not only to Asian countries!! I guess that is why so many Foreigners choose to settle down in Singapore… not only are there great career opportunities, but it’s also a place where you can feel at home, no matter which country you are from!!ย And from my point of view, it is very rare to feel at home in another country… so if you are American and need a taste of home, do try out this restaurant! And let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

Make a joke with Bakkwa


Have you ever heard the term “Bakkwa” (or bagua) ? It’s a very local term in SouthEast Asia, and in particular in Singapore…

Bakkwa is a Hokkien term for barbecued meat. It is usually pork meat, but has been declined into beef, mutton and chicken versions too. It’s basically sliced barbecued meat, which looks a little like beef jerky. Mmmmmmm yummy !!

In Singapore, people snack on it during the day, and even queue up for it during Chinese New Year. You can find some either in established shops (one of the most famous shops is Bee Cheng Hiang) or sometimes in hawker centers.

The last time I went to Singapore I saw Bakkwa on sale at People’s Park Complexย hawker center in Chinatown, on the ground floor.ย If I remember correctly it was labeled Kim Hua Guan, which is another reliable brand for Bakkwa (but there are many other brands too!).ย It’s actually nicer to buy some in a hawker center because you can watch the cook barbecue the meat for you. Plus, you can be sure it’s super fresh ๐Ÿ™‚

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Personnally, I simply love Bakkwa. But what I love most is making jokes with it to my non-Singaporean friends !! Try this one out for fun:

Step 1: Buy packs of Bakkwa from Singapore, pack them individually and fit them in your suitcase. Make sure there is no ingredients description on the package.

Step 2: Give them out between your friends when you come back from Singapore and say it’s a Singaporean delicacy. Serve some on a plate for them to try. Cut it into pieces so that the meat is not recognisable.

Step 3: Tell them it’s DOG MEATย … and watch their reactions !! I can guarantee you, you are in for a good laugh !! ๐Ÿ˜€ See how many of your friends agree to actually taste it and bring back some home.

Do let me know if you try it out ๐Ÿ™‚

Dialects and Teo Chew food


Singapore is a real melting pot… And there are four official languages : English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. So most important signs are translated in all 4 languages!! Don’t you just love it when announcements in the MRT are translated into all 4 languages? I know I do ๐Ÿ™‚

To these four, you might want to add Singlish, even though it’s not a real language…

However, if you do go to a local food court or hawker center, you might be surprised to hear languages which are none of the 5 above… They are dialects!! In the streets of Singapore you might hear people talking Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese…

Most dialects would be Chinese dialects, as most of Singapore’s population is of Chinese origins. Here is a video to give you a glimpse of what the Hainanese dialect sounds like for example …

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But in Singapore dialects are more than just languages. They are a culture of their own. Which explains why some restaurants specialise in Teo Chew cuisine for instance.

In Teo Chew restaurants in Singapore, you will find very “simple” food, in the sense that ingredients are usually served without too much sauce covering it so you can really enjoy all the flavours. Teo Chew food also includes a lot of seafood (steamed fish, oyster omelet, cold crab…) and their Yam dessert is super good too !!

One of the Teo Chew restaurants I would recommend in Singapore is SWA Garden Restaurant on MacPherson Road. It’s small, local and cosy, and not too expensive either ๐Ÿ™‚