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 🙂 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 Cafe 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 often FOOD ? 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.

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? 🙂

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 🙂

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!! 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 🙂

Chinatown


How can you go to Singapore and not go to Chinatown?

When Sir Raffles organised the city of Singapore, he determined zones for each ethnic minority. The Indians have what is today Little India, the Malays have the Kampong Glam area with Arab Street… and the Chinese have Chinatown.

Today, Chinatown is still mostly populated by Chinese people. You can go there very easily by MRT and experience a China-like atmosphere. If you really want to see the way some locals live, have a stroll around People’s Park Complex. It is a huge shopping complex – not very beautiful, but at least it will give you a taste of locals’ daily lives.

What is there to do in Chinatown?

Visit the area to begin with. When you step out of the MRT, simply walk around. Do not stay only on Pagoda Street (which is the most “touristy” street), but instead do feel free to take a turn and go into Mosque street, Temple street… Among Chinatown’s must-do, do not miss out on the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple (an Indian temple in Chinatown! That’s Singapore’s melting pot!), and of course the Chinatown Heritage Center – a wonderful Museum that will tell you everything about how Chinese migrants settled in Singapore. Also don’t forget to look up once in a while to admire ancient shophouses and Chinese lanterns!

Eat of course!! Hawker food in chinatown is not bad, I particularly enjoy their noodles. Try “food street” (which is actually Smith street) at night, or you can also go further to Maxwell Center too, where they serve excellent Chicken Rice !! However if you prefer to sit in a restaurant and enjoy the aircon, there are many restaurants in the area that you can choose from. A personal favourite would be Kok Sen Coffee Shop, on Keong Saik Road – their Chicken Claypot is simply to die for !!

Food street at night

And shop!! In Chinatown you will find lots of decorative objects and fun things for tourists to bring back to their home country… chopsticks, key chains, small buddha statues, scarves and so on. But you can also find Chinese medicine and herbs (check out Eu Yan Sang for instance), or refined jewellery and antiques on South Bridge Road. Other shopping options include chinese dresses (“cheong sams”) or tea. There are also a few designer boutiques if you go further to Ann Siang Road and Club Street, not too far away.

So don’t just walk through Pagoda Street and say there is nothing to see in Chinatown… you will soon find out this area is more interesting than you thought!

Singapore drinks


Singapore is famous for its large variety of food delicacies. But drinks in Singapore are also quite specific to the place. If you want to go local, try out some of my favourite drinks 🙂

Non alcoholic drinks:

Milo: The local instant chocolate drink. It is actually from Australia but is immensely successful in Singapore. It’s quite sweet, and ideal for a snack at anytime of the day, be it hot or iced! A personal favourite.

Teh Tarik: It’s a hot drink from Malaysia made of black tea and condensed milk, famous for being “pulled”. Check out this guy! The taste is quite bitter but you can add sugar. Definitely an interesting beverage to try when you’re in Singapore.

Soya Bean Milk: Also called Soy Bean Juice, Soya Bean Milk is a drink made out of Soya beans (it has nothing to do with actual cow milk) that originally comes from China. It’s best if you can get it fresh from the market in Singapore, although it exists in canned version but it’s often very sweet.

Kopi-O: That’s Singaporean for “black coffee with sugar” !! “Kopi” comes from “Coffee”, and “O” means a little sugar and no milk. Try not to get mixed up with Kopi-C (coffee with milk and sugar) or Kopi-O-Kosong (coffee with no milk and no sugar)!

Sugarcane Juice: I bet you didn’t know such a juice existed. It’s actually very good and not as sweet as it sounds. Try it out in a food court where they can prepare it before your eyes by pressing sugarcane in a machine. To me, it’s an ideal cooling off drink.

          

     

Alcoholic drinks:

Singapore sling: Probably the most famous and iconic drink in Singapore. It was originally created in the Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar by a bar tender named Ngiam Tom Boon. It is made of Gin, Cherry Brandy, Cointreau, Benedictine, Grenadine, Pineapple Juice and Lemon Juice. Dee-licious. And even more so if you try it in the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel to experience the only place in Singapore where you can throw Peanuts on the floor!! Simply a must.

Tiger beer: The local beer. I don’t think it’s really the best beer ever but you cannot come to Singapore and not try it out. And given the heat, a beer is always welcomed 🙂

                    

Little India


Among Singapore’s must do areas, Little India is absolutely worth visiting. To me, Little India is the perfect place if you want to have a taste and feel of India! Here are my favourite things to do around colourful Serangoon Road.

1. Have dinner at Khansama restaurant, at the junction between Serangoon Road and Norris road. The food is excellent, the staff very friendly and prices are affordable. If you cannot really eat spicy food they can tune it down for you. And if you do not live in Singapore and are used to Indian best sellers only (like Butter Chicken or Tandoori) you will be amazed by the length of the menu… Go on, try new dishes!!

2. Wander inside Mustafa department store and hunt for bargains. Mustafa centre sells books, CDs, DVDs, electronic goods, footwear, clothing, food, house appliances… basically everything. And this is precisely what makes it fun, you can find anything there!! It’s clearly a low budget department store, so I wouldn’t recommend to go there if you are looking for high-end quality objects. However, you should go there at least once to feel the atmosphere.

3. Experience the Indian crowd on a Sunday night… if you are looking for a real foretaste of India, Sunday night is the best option. Crowds are out, shops’ products are on display in the streets, fragrances invade the streets, women wear colourful sarees…

                         

4. Visit Hindu temples and learn more about Hindu deities! Check out Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman or Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India. But there are many other hindu temples in Singapore of course.

5. Take a stroll around the area when Deepavali lights are out. What a treat!! Deepavali (or Diwali) is the Indian festival of lights. It is a public holiday in Singapore which takes place at the end of October.

6. Enjoy an Indian breakfast! Dosai, chapatis, dahl… served altogether with masala chai, and there you go, a typical Indian breakfast right in the heart of Singapore!!

Of course when strolling around Little India you have to be ready to step into the Indian atmosphere for a while 🙂 But then again, Singapore is diverse and has a lot to offer, so you might as well go for it and live different types of experiences!!

And you, what are your favourite places in Little India?

Holland Village


One of Singapore’s well hidden places is Holland Village. Not sure you’ve heard of it? I’m not surprised!!

Holland Village (“Holland V”) is a nice spot for shopping, restaurants and bars. It is quite calm during the day and very lively at night, especially after working hours when office people meet up for a refreshing beer. It is usually packed with both locals and expatriates, which makes it a great spot to meet new people and blend in with locals if you’re an expatriate!

Best outlets in Holland V include:

1. Restaurants : you can find basically anything! European, Thai, Lebanese, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Australian, Mexican food … you name it! You will find famous restaurant chains like Crystal Jade or Sushi Tei as well as less well-known places like the Cha Cha Cha Mexican Restaurant or La Nonna Italian Restaurant.

2. Bars : Of course, the most famous one is Wala Wala bar, a two-storey bar with a terrace, usually very very packed. Harry’s bar is also always a safe bet for cocktails. But mostly, Holland Village is full of pubs and bars with live music and happy hours, so really you can just walk around and choose your favourite!

3. Shopping places : In Holland Village you will find smaller shops usually specialised in one type of product, like antiques or IT items. There is also a Shopping Mall but I think that’s less charming…

I think Holland Village is a good name for this area, as it really does capture the spirit of a “village” 🙂