Tiong Bahru is one of the oldest residential estates in Singapore. But in recent times, it has undergone a renaissance; the area is probably the hippest neighbourhood in Singapore right now. It all started with the opening of a coffee joint and an indie book store along Yong Siak Street. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here is a guide to Tiong Bahru’s restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.
This coffee house focuses on sustainably produced speciality coffee, stocking Fair Trade and Direct Trade coffee beans. Besides coffee, they also have a range of cakes, pastries and sandwiches on the menu. For those who are looking for a place to have brunch, 40 Hands Coffee has a brunch menu available all day from Friday to Sunday.
Spa Esprit Group should be credited with the revival of the Tiong Bahru area. They are the ones who started 40 Hands, and subsequently added Open Door Policy and the extremely popular Tiong Bahru Bakery.
Blk 78 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6225 8545
Tue: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Wed & Thu: 8:30am – 10pm
Fri & Sat: 8:30am – 11pm
Sun: 8:30am – 6:30pm
Books Actually is an independent bookstore specializing in fiction and literature which includes poetry, essays, literary journals.
The owners curate a great selection of books that you cannot find elsewhere. Besides stocking titles from various subjects – such as biography, current affairs, history, human sciences, music and film and travel narrative, Books Actually also distribute books under the imprint Math Paper Press and also hand-stitches notebooks and produces stationery under Birds & Co.
9 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6222 9195
Mon: 11am – 6pm, Tue to Fri: 11am – 9pm
Sat: 10am – 9pm, Sun: 10am – 6pm
Big Mama is a hole-in-the-wall eatery that has been gaining a strong following for its Korean home-style cooking. While some of the signature dishes are slightly more expensive, it has a ‘Big Mama’s Simple Menu’ with sets like Kimchi Fried Rice ($12), Pork Bulgogi with rice ($13) and Soyabean Soup with rice ($13).
2 Kim Tian Road
Tel: +65 6270 7704
Daily: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 11pm
Coq and Balls
Every trendy neighbourhood needs a cool bar, and at Tiong Bahru, you have Coq and Balls. This watering hole is a causal and chillout place where you can enjoy delicious bar food and a beer or two.
6 Kim Tian Road
Tel: +65 6276 6609
Daily: 5pm – 12am
Drips Bakery Cafe
If you are planning a cafe hopping adventure in Tiong Bahru, you should start from Drips Bakery Cafe. It is a charming place that offers cakes, tarts, savouries like quiches, salads and sandwiches.
82 Tiong Poh Road #01-05
Tel: +65 6222 0400
Mon, Wed & Thu: 10.30am – 9.30pm
Fri: 10.30am – 11pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 9.30pm
One of the newest cafes in Tiong Bahru, this coffee spot serves sandwiches such as Bacon & Egg ($10.90), Pork Cheek and Gruyere ($11.90), as well as breakfast food like Scrambled Eggs and Toast ($6.90) and French Toast Pancakes ($8.90).
78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-25
Daily (except Tue): 9am – 5pm
Helmed by executive chef Takuma Seki (formerly of Hide Yamamoto), IKYU prides itself as a “daringly different” Japanese restaurant that offers an unique dining experience. Definitely a great addition to the Tiong Bahru dining scene.
Nana & Bird
What started off as a pop-up concept store became a multi-label boutique that stocks fashion and lifestyle products. If you are looking for a gift, drop by Nana & bird and you might find something that you need.
79 Chay Yan Street #01-02
entrance along Yong Siak Street
Being under the Spa Esprit group, Open Door Policy – with the perfect Manhatten-chic vibe – certainly delivers as far as ambience is concerned. But it is more than that – it is a bistro with a difference. Everything is prepared with the freshest ingredients and when you get to dine in such a buzzy yet intimate atmosphere, I promise you will fall in love with the place.
My favourite cupcake bakery, Plain Vanilla has opened a second store in Tiong Bahru. They have by far one of the best cupcakes in town. Do visit them and grab a cupcake when you are visiting the area.
1D Yong Siak Street
Sat & Sun: 12pm – 6pm
As the name suggests, this cosy eatery specialises in potato-based dishes and tea. The best thing is most of the dishes at PoTeaTo are reasonably-priced. Main courses such as Fish & Chips and Louisiana Pork Ribs range from $13.80 to $17.80, while you can get a Pulled Chicken Sandwich for $9.80.
78 Yong Siak Street #01-18
Tel: +65 62212 488
Tue to Fri: 11am – 10pm
Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm
PS Cafe Petit at Tiong Bahru is a new takeaway concept for freshly made pizzas and wine. It has a very cool vibe, and I love the design of the shopfront and interior. On the menu, you can find pizzas (prices range from $21-28) such as PS Original Smokey Marherita, Bolognese, and Four Cheese Porcini.
78 Guan Chuan Street #01-41
Tel: +65 9226 7088
Tue to Sun: 11am – 10.30pm
Right next to Books Actually is SocialHaus, a casual little bar where you can enjoy western food – such as fish & chips, and pastas – with cold beers. If you are searching out a great after work spot for drinks with friends, check out SocialHaus. On ladies night every Wednesday, SocialHaus offers prosecco and Haus wines at $5/glass.
11 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6557 0286
Mon, Wed & Thu: 12pm – 11.30pm
Fri: 4pm – 12 midnight
Sat: 11am – 12 midnight
Sun: 11am – 10.30pm
Just a few stores away from Books Actually is Strangelets, a little design shop that sells bags, interior furnishings and all kinds of quirky stuff.
7 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6222 1456
Mon to Fri: 11am – 8pm
Sat & Sun: 10am – 8pm
Located just beside Tiong Bahru Bakery, The Orange Thimble is a space where art meets cafe. It is a place where you can grab an espresso and meet like-minded people and talk about anything under the sun.
The food at The Orange Thimble, however, isn’t exceptional. In fact, I wouldn’t come here just for the food. But I like the place. It has a nice vibe, I can definitely see myself coming back to chill out with a group of friends over coffee.
The Orange Thimble Cafe
56 Eng Hoon Street #01-68
Tel: +65 6223 8068
Tue to Sun: 11am – 9pm
Two Face Pizza and Taproom
This place has a similar concept as Bar Bar Black Sheep and Fat Cat Bistro. It is a coffee shop in the day, and when the sun sets, the space transforms into a cool spot where you can pizzas and beers.
56 Eng Hoon Street #01-48
Tel: +65 6536 0024
Tue to Fri: 5pm – 11pm
Fri & Sat: 5pm – 12 midnight
Sun: 10am – 10pm
Tiong Bahru Bakery, opened in collaboration with celebrity baker, Gontran Cherrier, took the local food scene by storm when it opened last year. Photos of their signature squid ink sandwich and croissants (touted as the best in town) appeared everywhere, from friends’ facebook timeline to magazines and newspapers.
Not everyone will love it on their first visit, but if you get the chance to sample more of their offerings, you will discover more favourites along the way that will then keep you coming back for more.
56 Eng Hoon Street
#01-70 Singapore 160056
Tel: +65 6220 3430
Daily: 8am – 8pm (closed on Tue)