Seven cafés in the neighbourhood to get your fix of coffee, sweets and local fare with a modern twist.
If you’ve already tried all our local cuisines, take your taste buds on an adventure at eateries that rouse all five of your senses. We’re talking about food courts that resemble a lush English garden, cafés modelled after those in TV shows, and even restaurants whose dishes bear the likeness of cute cartoon characters. Here are a dozen eateries where you—and your palate—will never be bored.
Eat with your favourite Japanese characters
Gudetama Café Singapore
Mascot cafés make you feel, even if only for a few hours, like you’ve entered the universe of your favourite Japanese icons. At Gudetama Café, you’ll have the famous ‘lazy egg’ look back at you as you tuck into the wafu (Japanese-style Western food) fare served here—Gudetama’s portrait adorns most dishes, like the Angus rib-eye steak (S$28.50) and eggs Benedict (S$26.90).
Suntec City Mall. 3 Temasek Boulevard #01-361, Singapore 038983. +65 6677 6195.
If plump, beret-wearing puppies are your idea of cute, then drop by POMPOMPURIN Café. The wafu eatery is devoted to the namesake Sanrio character, and his likeness decks the entire space—from the gate at the entrance to the seating booths that feature his cheerful expression.
Orchard Central. 181 Orchard Road #04-08, Singapore 238896. +65 6509 8672.
Hello Kitty Orchid Garden
Here’s one mascot that requires no introduction. The petite feline gets her own restaurant in the form of the Hello Kitty Orchid Garden, whose décor is inspired by our national flower. The dishes here, most of which bear Hello Kitty’s iconic shape, run the gamut from sandwiches (S$16.50-S$17.90) and nachos (S$15.90) to beef rendang (braised meat cooked in coconut milk and spices, S$24) and pandan-flavoured panna cotta (S$16.90).
After chowing down, check out the retail area that stocks Singapore-exclusive merchandise like plush toys, tea blends and postcards. This café might just be a good reason to arrive at the airport earlier than usual.
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3. Arrival Meeting Hall Central #01-22, Singapore 819663. +65 6241 6127
Daily 24 hours.
Dine with Hollywood stars
Central Perk is a stunningly accurate replica of the café found in F.R.I.E.N.D.S., down to the plush orange couch where the gang from New York would gather. In fact, you’ll see Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross all over the décor and menu. Dishes here borrow references from the hit TV show, so fans will be able to spot the Moist Maker sandwich (S$18) and that famous cheesecake (S$12).
Central Mall. 1 Magazine Road #01-01, Singapore 059567. +65 9025 2524.
It’s not an official Harry Potter café, but it won’t take a diehard fan to spot the many references to the wizarding world in Platform 1094. Long wooden tables, chandeliers, wands and witches’ hats adorn the space. The menu is equally magical, with dishes like Bloodberry (S$18)—a dessert of tomato mousse, passion fruit and white chocolate soil—and mocktails such as Elf’s Dream (S$8), a potion of orange, pineapple, ginger and banana.
Platform 1094. 1094 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 328192. +65 6204 6003.
Tue-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun 10am-10pm.
DC Comics Super Heroes Café
If you lean more towards Gotham and Metropolis, then DC Comics Super Heroes Café might be more up your alley. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, among others, are heavily featured here. Order the Batman’s Dark Knight (S$28.90) to really get into the heroic mood—the burger comprises a charcoal bun that’s crowned with melted cheese in the shape of the Bat Signal.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. 2 Bayfront Avenue #01-03, Singapore 018972. +65 6688 7610.
Mon-Thu & Sun 10.30am-11pm; Fri & Sat 10.30am-11.30pm.
Ever wanted to share a meal with Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America when they’re not busy fighting villains? You’ll get the opportunity at Hungry Heroes. This superhero-themed café is bedecked with figurines and posters of characters from both the Marvel and DC multiverses. Food-wise, expect hearty American dishes such as ribs (S$18-S$34), burgers (S$16) and fries (S$3-S$6).
Hungry Heroes. 33 Tessensohn Road, Singapore 217656. +65 6295 5401.
Tue-Fri 4-11pm; Sat & Sun noon-11pm.
All roads lead to good food
Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafè
Two-wheelers, of a different sort, are the stars of Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafè. Handsome vintage bikes hang on the walls of the café, which also serves as a meeting point for local cycling enthusiasts. Thanks to its location further out from the city centre, you’ll be able to spot planes taxiing across the Seletar Airport runway while you tuck into a medley of Western, Japanese and local dishes.
MAJ Aviation Building. 80 Seletar Aerospace View #01-01, Singapore 797563. +65 6659 6124.
Tue-Thu 10am-1pm; Fri & Sat 10am-11pm; Sun 10am-10pm.
Go on a wild ride at Handlebar, a restaurant, bar and biker’s wonderland. This hangout is fitted with modified vehicle parts, like a pool table fashioned out of a used car body, and bar stools made from parts salvaged from Vespa scooters. The highlight here, however, is the frozen margaritas (S$12-S$50)—Handlebar shakes these up with a repurposed motorcycle engine. But of course, nothing screams “biker bar” more than the brotherhood of burly, leather-jacketed men who frequent the joint.
Gillman Barracks. 10 Lock Road, Singapore 108938. +65 6268 5550.
Tue-Thu noon-midnight; Fri & Sat noon-1am.
Cafés caught in time
Revisit a Singapore of yore in this vintage-themed restaurant. The dining area is reminiscent of a living room from the 1960s, with antique décor and furniture littered around the comfortable space. The food at Sinpopo, likewise, harks back to a simpler time—try the Nonya Kiam Chye Arg! (S$16), a take on itek tim (salted vegetable duck soup), and the gula melaka (palm sugar) jelly (S$8).
Sinpopo. 458 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671. +65 6345 5034.
Tue-Thu noon-10pm; Fri & Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm.
Everything about Colbar café is old-fashioned—and that’s because it genuinely is. The Hainanese eatery served as a canteen for British troops back in the day, and has retained much of its rustic charm. Nestled in the lush foliage just off Portsdown Road, Colbar’s al fresco area is perfect for whiling away a lazy weekend over craft beers and local nosh.
Wessex Estate. 9A Whitchurch Road, Singapore 138839. +65 6779 4859.
The Coastal Settlement
With traditional ice kachang (local shaved ice dessert made with red beans, jelly and syrup) machines, Vespa motorcycles and typewriters on display, The Coastal Settlement can easily double up as a vintage museum. The food is worth travelling to the eastern end of Singapore for, with the Big Breakfast (S$24), steak and eggs (S$36), and roasted chicken with truffle fries (S$25) among its signature dishes.
The Coastal Settlement. 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529. +65 6475 0200.