The Tiny Roaster reminds us of Omotesando Koffee and Nylon Coffee Roaster – small, humble, and homely. It started with a tiny outlet on the ground level of a HDB in the West Coast neighbourhood, and it has since shifted to a new space in Sunset Way.
Few things are more therapeutic than enjoying some alone time and have coffee while reading a book on a quiet afternoon. One of the cafes in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood that we go to regularly is Drury Lane.
Another neighbourhood gem that has been around in the East is Percolate Coffee at Bedok, and we only visited recently. But never too late, because now that we have fallen in love with it, we will definitely come back when we find ourselves in the neighbourhood.
A few years ago, the idea of cafes opening at residential neighbourhoods was simply farfetched and almost impossible. Fast forward to today, cafes are sprouting in these unassuming neighbourhoods – mainly because of cheaper rental – and we are certainly not complaining because everyone has its own charm and they are lovely and cosy in their own rights.
Here is a guide to 21 cafes that have opened in the quaint residential neighbourhoods around Singapore.
Like going back in time and stepping in to an old Singapore; so surreal, with hints of nostalgia.
Tian Kee & Co is nestled within the old estate of Dakota, and its rural setting exudes an old charm that is so rare in the present Singapore. When we first drove past the unassuming block of low-rise flats, we saw a lovely sight – simple but traditional-looking monochrome signboard, wooden high table and seats, and ceiling fans. We knew we were going to like this retro concept.
The Tastemaker Store is like a mix of new and old. Sitting within the old estate of Bukit Ho Swee, it is a clean space that is well-utilised and furnished with a very understated flare. Long lamps and potted plants hanging from the ceiling spell the character of the cafe, and light retro tracks fill the lovely space with a comforting touch of the 70s.
The cafe scene in Singapore is thriving with many new cafes opening every month. However, there are many places that do not last long because they lack real substance to build a following. Oftentimes, new cafes are more style than substance, and serves mediocre food with lacklustre service.
Habitat Coffee at Upper Thomson Road deserves a mention for the great work that it has been doing. The bistro has been around for a few years, and despite the tough competition, it shines and remains a favourite for many. Habitat Coffee is worth visiting because it serves good coffee and well-cooked dishes at sensible prices.