It's never too late in the West
It's never too late in the West
- By Yee Xing
- | Oct 04, 2018
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 favorite 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 Assembly Coffee team, Atlas also offers decent coffees that are their own house blends, custom-roasted by local roasters, alongside matcha latte and an interesting toffee latte. For food, get their famous fluffy pancakes, slightly crispy at the sides and replete with cornflakes, the creamiest honey ice cream and a honey drizzle. Other favorites include scrambled eggs on sourdough, waffles with berry compote 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. 6 Duke's Rd.
Nestled within the Hillcrest estate, the chain artisan bakery & foodstore it 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. 77 Hillcrest Rd.
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. 607 Bukit Timah Rd.
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 smoked tomato soup and various grain bowl; if you can only choose one, make it the pork belly miso with onsen egg. For your sweet tooth, get the insanely creative artisanal mocha 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. 617 Bukit Timah Rd.
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, cookie cups and chocolate brownies. Hot foods include pasta in flavors like Tomyum Aglio Olio and the quirky “Asian flush penne” with curry leaves and chilli padi. The floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into lush greenery make for an airy space, something we urbanites desperately need. #01-09, 9 King Albert Park.
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, hearty milkshakes, chicken BLT and satisfyingly thick burgers. Parking is free. 51 Fairways Dr.
Located right outside the veteran Bukit Timah Plaza, Rise & Grind has its own little shop space. While you can expect there to be a bit of a wait during busy periods, you can also expect quality coffee and an extensive menu of sandwiches, vibrantly coloured salads, and pasta. Or get delightful brunch staples such as haloumi with confit tomatoes, pulled pork sandwich, and a Hangover Cure—a combination of sausage, bacon, wild mushrooms and poached eggs. All hot dishes are served with guac, and you can enjoy everything in their quaint, intimate al fresco seating. #L1-CA1, Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit.
Located in a low-rise heritage shophouse, SPRMRKT melds food, retail and art within a dining experience. It is also a favorite of expats, for good reason—its extensive menu includes pastas, grain bowls, salads, all-day breakfast & brunch and indispensable cocktails. With an alfresco dining option, the cozy SPRMRKT unfailingly dishes up homey brunch staples. Go for their baked eggs with the vine-ripened cherry tomatoes and eggplants, SPRGRN bowls, spicy prawn linguine, omelettes, or matcha and red bean tiramisu for dessert. #02-13, Cluny Ct., 501 Bukit Timah Rd