Café Colbar stands for Colonial Bar in short, and this cafe is the eminent elder of all the indie cafés popping out these days. You probably cannot find another similar to Colbar. Hidden deep in the recesses of Portsdown Road, Colbar serves authentic Hainanese-style Western food at very affordable prices.
It was first opened in 1953 as a canteen for the old British Army Barracks, and it's safe to say that it has retained it's initial character. This rustic little hideout, with their retro interiors and furniture, absolutely has the ability to bring you back to the days of yesteryear.
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Delicious, hearty, no nonsense food
Colbar certainly has a whole lot of history. Even though it’s been over 60 years since it first opened as a canteen for the British army, today it still attracts mainly expats who come for reasonably priced Western food. I had always heard my friends mentioning Colbar and how often they had been, so I’m surprised that it took me so long to actually visit.
It’s no 5 star restaurant, but everyone loves it for what it is. Cosy, basic, and serving delicious food, it’s stayed open for as long as it has for a reason. I ordered the simple English Breakfast, and it came exactly as I would have eaten it back home. Big portion and reasonable price, I didn’t feel as if I was hidden away in a small cafe in Singapore, it felt like a simple breakfast in my kitchen back home. The food options are basic, but exactly what you want. It’s comfort food at its best, you don’t come expecting michelin star food, just wanting hearty and comforting meals.
Eating next to the Welsh association of Singapore made clear who tends to eat here, but the Singaporeans around me proved that Colbar attracts those of all ages and races. It embraces what it is, and is successful because of this, and you eat knowing that you’re in a place full of significant history.