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Lifestyle

These Residential Cafes Are Singapore's Best Kept Secrets

Don’t miss out these ten awesome cafes that are probably a stone’s throw away from where you live.

While cafes are the go-to places for weekend brunches, those in town are often packed to the brim. The next time you feel like chilling out, instead of jostling with others for a coveted seat, go to these cafes tucked in little known areas of our heartlands instead. These residential gems are Singapore’s best kept secrets, and are no less in quality or ambience. Besides, you won’t have to travel a couple of miles just to get a good cuppa.

#1: Brothers in Fine Food
Opened by the same people behind Penny University, this unpretentious bistro which is tucked away at the second level of Tampines West’s Community Club has a brunch menu (from 9am to 5pm on weekends and Public Holidays) that serves mouth-watering yet affordable dishes such as Scrambled Peruvian Eggs ($8), Builder’s Breakfast ($15) — that comes with sausages, beef bacon, assorted veggies and toasted sourdough — and Peanut Butter Jelly Toast ($10). If you’re there for dinner, try the beef with beetroot thyme puree ($15) and squid ink rice ($17) for a hearty meal. The interior is basic, but the food is satisfying, given the price. Brothers in Fine Food is at #02-07, West Community Club, 5 Tampines Avenue 3, Singapore 529705, tel: 6909 0502. Opens 12pm to 10pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 9am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays, closed on Mondays. Image: Instagram (@brothersinfinefood) #2: Tipsy Penguin
Tampines residents will be familiar with this bar-slash-restaurant that we couldn’t help include in our list, because its retro interior is so worth the visit. Newly opened just this year, this spot prides itself on its co-op cuisine; that means their chefs specialise in different cuisine and are able to whip up anything from pasta to poke bowls to seafood stews to karaage with flair. You are spoilt for choice with their menu of international flavours, such as Steak Frites ($18), Korean Donburi Bowl ($14), Spam Youtiao ($10) and the ever favourite, Salted Egg Fish Skin ($10). Tipsy Penguin is at #01-02A, 300 Tampines Ave 5, Singapore 529653, tel: 8223 2983. Opens 12pm to 1am on Sundays to Thursdays, 12pm to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. Image: Instagram (@tipsypenguinsg) #3: Whisk & Paddle
If you’re one who’s looking to soak up the #weekendvibes with your partner away from the hustle and bustle of city life, head to this rustic veranda-style cafe. Situated near Riviera LRT station, Whisk & Paddle provides a gorgeous view that overlooks the Punggol waterway and scenic forestry — perfect for a romantic getaway. Complete your weekend brunch date with dishes such as the Whisk Breakfast Pan ($20.80), which comes with two eggs of your choice (sunny side up, overeasy, scrambled or poached) and thick cut bacon, the Eggs Benedict ($14.80) and Breakfast Quesadillas ($13.80). Or feast on hearty mains such as Coq Au Vin ($28.80) and Red Bass Fillet ($25.80) as you enjoy a leisurely afternoon together. Whisk & Paddle is at 10 Tebing Lane, Singapore 828836, tel: 6242 4617. Opens 3.30pm to 10.30pm on Mondays to Fridays, 9.30am to 10.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Image: Instagram (@zanthrea) #4: Atlas Coffeehouse
A mere five minutes walk from Botanic Gardens MRT station, Atlas Coffeehouse prides itself on having a team of passionate individuals who are coffee lovers themselves and who believe in delivering only high quality coffee to their customers. Using a mix of Brazilian and Guatemala beans that is custom-roasted, this fragrant blend — which evokes flavours of chocolates, nuts and caramel — is used in all their caffeinated drinks, such as the Mocha ($5 for hot, $5.50 for iced) and Espresso Macchiato ($4.50). Pair this brew with some delicious nosh from the cafe, such as the Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18) and Creamy Mushroom on Sourdough ($12, additional $2 for sunny-side up or $3 for scrambled eggs), to start the day right. Atlas Coffeehouse is at 6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886, tel: 6314 2674. Opens 8am to 7pm on Tuesdays to Sundays, Closed on Mondays. Image: Instagram (@evanezer) #5. Canopy Garden Dining
Surrounded by the lush greenery of Bishan Park, Canopy Garden Dining is the cafe to visit if you’re living in the North. With an all-day brunch menu that offers really cool dishes such as Avocado Wraps ($15), Español Bomba Rice ($22) and Burger Benedict ($21) until 4pm, we dare say that this place, aside from the food and scenic location, is worth the travel. They’re also pet friendly, which means you can bring along your adorable little pooches and hang out with them all day. Fido will be so pleased. Canopy Garden Dining is at Bishan Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569931, tel: 6556 1533. Opens 9am to 10:30pm on Mondays to Thursdays, 9am to 11pm on Fridays, 8am to 11pm on Saturdays and 8am to 10:30pm on Sundays. Image: Instagram (@canopygardendining) #6. The Workbench Bistro
Folks living in Ang Mo Kio, you’re in for a treat. The Workbench Bistro is all about its unique and eccentric offerings, such as the Purple Sweet Potato Chocolate S’moreffles ($9.50) — which comprises purple sweet potato, chocolate and s’mores baked into a waffle — and Egg Lava Beef Burger ($16.90), which has a deliciously runny yolk in the middle of the patty. Salted egg lovers will not be disappointed with its selection of dishes cooked with the beloved ingredient, such as the mouth-watering Salted Egg Chicken Pasta ($16.90) and Salted Egg Chicken Burger ($16.90). Beverages include Chamomile ($3.90) or Summer Garden ($4.50, comprises of passionfruit and pineapple) tea. The Workbench Bistro is at #01-1881, 332 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 560332, tel: 6452 0810. Opens 12pm to 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays, 12pm to 11pm on Fridays, 10am to 11pm on Saturdays and 10am to 10pm on Sundays. Image: Instagram (@theworkbenchbistro) #7: Grub
Another spot located at the heart of Bishan Park, Grub is the destination to go to if you’re a food and music lover. Conceptualised by four young entrepreneurs, this cafe offers healthy delectables like the Grilled Chicken Salad ($14.80) and Portobello Salad ($13.80), as well as more hearty dishes like the Grub Double Cheeseburger ($19.80) and Har Cheong Gai Burger ($14.80). On certain Friday nights, treat yourself to a pint of draft beer after a week’s worth of hard work — Red Dot Monster Green Lager ($14), anyone? — while you unwind and groove to their live music. Check out their website for more details on their events line-up. Grub is at Bishan Park 1, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Singapore 569983, tel: 6459 5743. Opens 11am to 10pm on Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Image: Instagram (@grubsingapore)   #8: Paddy Hills
West-siders, head on over to Paddy Hills if you’re looking to populate your Instagram account with #foodporn. This contemporary cafe serves photogenic fusion dishes that will satiate both your tummy and your phone camera. Not your usual brunch offerings, their super-pretty 黑 Rice ($24), Croissant Brekkie Burger ($24) and Berry Ball ($17) serve up pretty intriguing flavours and are sure to make your friends famished and jelly. Dig in while sipping on a glass of Bubbly Yuzu ($8). How refreshing. Paddy Hills is at 38 South Buona Vista Road, Singapore 118164, tel: 6479 0800. Opens 10.30am to 5pm on Mondays to Wednesdays, 10.30am to 5pm and 6pm to 10pm on Thursdays to Fridays, 9am to 5pm and 6pm to 10pm on Saturdays, 9am to 5pm on Sundays. Image: Instagram (@travlim) #9: Fresh Fruits Lab
Looking to indulge yourself in a scrumptious, yet healthy meal? You’ll be able to get the best of both worlds at Fresh Fruits Lab. As the name suggests, its menu is crafted to incorporate fruity elements into its dishes for a less sinful experience. You won’t have to fear packing on the calories with their brunch delights (which is available from 10am to 3pm on weekends), such as the Blackstone ($14), which is an updated Eggs Benedict served with fruit salad, and Fruity Berries Pancake ($13). Or tuck into their lunch and dinner menu, which includes a vegetarian-friendly Forest Wrap ($18) and Salmon Steak ($19), for a cleaner diet. Fresh Fruits Lab is at 351 Changi Road, Singapore 419818, tel: 6677 6741. Opens 11am to 10pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays Closed on Mondays. Image: Instagram (@freshfruitslab) #10: South Union Park
Opened in 2016, you might miss this bistro if you’re walking by, due to its nondescript location. However, if you are looking for a quiet place to unwind, South Union Park’s modestly furnished interior in its quaint and discreet neighbourhood is definitely for you. While you sit back and enjoy some personal time, indulge in some of their dishes that are inspired by fine-dining, such as the Herb Crusted Barramundi ($24), Poutine ($11) and Duck Confit Tagliatelle ($22). All you’ll need is a new book to keep you company for the day. South Union Park is at 101 Jalan Kembangan, Singapore 419139, tel: 9061 8703. Opens 5:30pm to 9:30pm on Tuesdays to Fridays, 11.30am to 9.30pm on Saturdays and 11.30am to 8.30pm on Sundays. Image: Instagram (@southunionpark)