There’s plenty of good food in the West
There’s plenty of good food in the West
- By Yee Xing
- | Aug 23, 2021
Bukit Timah is not all quiet leafy streets, chic destination restaurants and elite schools. On the contrary, it's a brunch haven brimming with independent cafes; so expect the cafes to be less vanilla than what you find in other central areas. Competition is intense but only a special breed have met the mark—promising great coffee with quality food. Here are our favourite few—worth the money, and with serving portions that are delightfully generous.
Atlas Coffeehouse—great food guaranteed, accompanied by long queues for good reason. Helmed by the team behind brands like Lunar Coffee Brewers and Columbus Coffee Co., Atlas also offers delectable brews that are their own house blends, custom-roasted by local roasters, alongside matcha lattes and an interesting toffeenut latte. For food, get their famous fluffy pancakes, slightly crispy at the sides and replete with cornflakes, the creamiest vanilla ice cream and a butterscotch drizzle. Other favourites include Scrambled White & Greens, Buttermilk Waffles and truffle fries that rival even P.S Cafe’s. Servings are generous so be prepared to share; though the communal tables and permanent bustle might not make the best place for a quiet date or family gathering.
Nestled within the Hillcrest estate, this chain artisan bakery and foodstore is warmly lit and welcoming, with a tempting array of pastries within its chic stone- and glass-encased displays. Think healthy indulgences with a serving of avocado and grains, all dressed up with a European flair. Many come for the chocolate banana cake, carrot cake, lemon tarts, egg and tomato quiches and raisin danish; but Baker & Cook also serves a list of hot brunch staples to ensure you have your fill of pancakes, omelettes and toasted bagels.
Artisan bakery and vintage home store Carpenter & Cook is a surprisingly solid spot for relaxing Sunday brunches. That isn’t just a testament to their warm, cosy interior but definitely their brunch menu as well since savouries like Croque Monsieur and Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict will delight. Pastas are served within the brunch timeframe too, in case you prefer some ragout and pesto pasta. But don’t forget to leave room for housemade sweets like tiramisu, fruit tarts, scones and other daily bakes.
Choupinette has long been the hyperlocal French bistro Westies turn to for a French tuck-in and pastries like eclairs, tarts, cheesecakes and macarons. Unassuming and quaint on the outside, the cafe is all homey interiors, with soft lighting and cushioned benches that will transport you straight to Paris. Ingenious touches include overhanging racks of breadbaskets with freshly baked breads and baguette. They also do a mean eggs benedict with perhaps the best Hollandaise sauce in Singapore. Other plates of eggy goodness include the Eggs Royal and Eggs Florentine. Do try the French toast with berries and then grab a couple of chelsea buns, ham & cheese brioche and Russian Stollen bread to-go. Every meal comes with a hot beverage and juice thrown in.
Cutesy Kara, with its pastel pink walls and low-slung wooden chairs, is Sogurt’s F&B extension, which has proven itself to be a hit with local dwellers. An all-day dining concept with friendly service staff, this place marries Western and Asian influences in their dishes. Dig into their classic grilled cheese and various grain bowls; if you can only choose one, make it the pork belly miso with onsen egg. For your sweet tooth, get the insanely creative artisanal mochi waffles. Sample the skillet cookies with either a soft serve ice cream—Maple Lavender or the Salted Speculoos are both fab—or their premium handcrafted silky froyos of the day.
This charming, kitschy cafe occupying two storeys in King Albert Park only opened in Nov 2017, but has already become popular with residents nearby. For days when you don’t really know what you want, Kindred Folk offers up unique grub—like a watermelon-kalamansi sorbet and an assortment of ice cream flavors like wasabi, matcha gao, and cereal milk ice cream. Don’t like your ice cream naked? The cafe thoughtfully offers pairing options including their waffles, fried mantous and chocolate brownies. Instead of hot meals, find addictive finger foods that will satiate you just as well. The floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into lush greenery make for an airy space, something we urbanites desperately need.
Incredibly popular as a brunch spot when it first started out in 2007, this brunch institution's main feature has always been its charming location ride next to Bukit Timah Saddle Club, where brunch-goers can while their time away watching horses lunching and being bathed. The airy cafe is pared-back chic, with exposed beam exteriors and French doors that are perpetually open, with no AC. From the contemporary menu, definitely get the sinful and popular Death By Chocolate Cake, creamy milkshakes, Crab Melt Sandwich and satisfyingly thick burgers. Parking is free.
Those looking to maintain a healthy diet with nourishing meals can head down to The Ritual Cafe and Bar, located along Stevens Road and Bukit Timah. The sister outlet of Robertson Quay stalwart Botany, the cafe’s menu is a perfect example of how wholesome eating need not be boring. Plant-based options include the Ritual ‘Butter Chicken’ Cauliflower Rice that sees chicken balls made with OmniMeat plus a dairy-free homemade masala sauce, while gluten-free dishes like the Ritual Acai Bowl will satisfy. Got a sweet tooth? Order up the Ritual Basque Cheesecake, another mouth-watering, gluten-free dish.