Non-mainstream, non-ulu cafes near the MRT
Turning to the nearest food stall with the least amount of walking – even if it means eating mediocre food – is within our lazy DNA. Which is why we often find ourselves at the same old eateries at malls connected to MRT stations.
Venture beyond your comfort zone and go by foot along the road less travelled, to cafes so near the MRT you don’t even need to take a feeder bus!
– Under 5 minutes –
1. OMB! – 4 mins from Rochor MRT
Update: OMB! is now permanently closed.
This bacon-centric cafe might be a b(e)acon of hope for the almost homogenous cafe scene in Singapore. An acronym for Oh My Bacon!, OMB! translates their love for bacon into dishes drizzled in bacon’s porky goodness and even bacon-inspired everyday merchandise like tees and pillows.
If you thought bacon is only good for savoury dishes, wait til you’re blown away by Jekyll & Hyde ($2.50 for 1, $12 for 6) – a dessert of bacon dipped in dark and white chocolate. Also worth trying is their Bacon Brownie with Bacon Ice-Cream ($9), featuring smoky bacon bits perfect in harmony with sweet, gooey chocolate.
Jekyll & Hyde. Source: @suchafattyy
Address: 7 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209337
Opening Hours: Tues – Sat: 12PM – 10PM, Sun: 10AM – 6PM
Telephone: 6635 2633
2. PUNCH – 4 mins from Clarke Quay MRT
PUNCH Cafe is literally built for Instagram: with an open plant-filled courtyard, and contemporary decor, and Western fare that looks effortlessly delicious.
Beyond the aesthetics, their food actually packs a punch. Try their signature Poached Eggs with Smashed Avocado on Sourdough ($13) – with generous heaps of avocado puree on warm, crisp sourdough triangles. Soak your toast into the gooey goodness of the poached eggs – you’ll find that this is easily one of the best brunch meals you can find in the CBD.
Address: 32 N Canal Rd, Singapore 059288
Opening Hours: Fri – Sun, Tues: 8AM-6PM, Wed – Thurs: 10AM-10PM
3. The Clueless Goat – 3 mins from Novena MRT
Pamper your tummy and be kind to your strapped wallet at The Clueless Goat, where there’s nothing over $13.80 – with no compromise on taste. There’s no GST or service charge either!
Their British Breakfast Platter ($13.80) will have you starting your day right – with a grilled hotdog and streaky bacon served with creamy scrambled eggs and roasted tomatoes.
And if you’re into truffle fries, you’ll love the Truffle Tater Tots ($7) – mini truffle-flavoured hash browns with a zing of parmesan.
Address: 189 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307631
Opening Hours: Tue – Thu: 8AM – 6PM, Fri: 8AM – 10.30PM, Sat: 9AM – 10.30PM, Sun: 9AM – 6PM
Telephone: 8283 0885
4. Food Anatomy – 4 mins from Tanjong Pagar MRT
Get a pinch of almost everything on the menu without overeating with Food Anatomy’s newest brainchild – Food Cubes ($2.50/piece, $7.50/3 pieces). Fuss-free and bite-sized, each cube is layered with different ingredients of a dish – somewhat like sushi, but not limited to Japanese cuisine. Quell your hunger even on local flavours, from nasi lemak, to ba zhang and even laksa pasta!
Address: Tanjong Pagar Centre, #B2-04, 1 Wallich Street, Singapore 757492
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 7.30AM-10PM, Sat – Sun: 11AM-10PM
– Under 10 minutes –
5. Revelry Cafe – 5 mins from Beauty World MRT
Revelry Cafe scored on first impressions for us – with circus-themed elephant murals, brightly lit lanterns, and jewel studded teaspoons for an added playful touch.
Try their highly raved Chicken & Waffles ($16), a dish of juicy chicken chunks and crispy, light Belgian waffles – a top hit among return customers.
Also noteworthy is the O.K. Waffle Pizza ($16). These aren’t just any buttermilk waffles, but ones with a local twist – generously topped with otah chunks and chopped kai lan in baked mozzarella.
Super adorbs elephant latte art Source
During weekday afternoons, this quaint cafe welcomes students rushing assignments with open arms – offering free-WiFi and usage of power sockets. Find out more about Revelry and her other neighbours at Beauty World here.
Address: 21 Lorong Kilat, #01-02 Singapore 598123
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11AM – 10PM, Fri: 11AM – 11PM Sat: 10AM – 11PM Sun: 10AM – 10PM
Telephone: 9278 0466
6. Brother Bird – 6 mins from Bugis MRT
Nestled in the enclaves of Bali Lane, Brother Bird’s claim to fame is their Cookie Butter Softserve With Mochi Donut ($14), an upgrade from our plain jane ice-cream and waffles.
The inception of this ingenious dessert? The owner realised that plain flour-made donuts turned soggy easily with the softserve, which gave him the idea of using glutinous flour instead.
Brother Bird’s Tokyo Banana Softserve ($7) is another dessert that won’t disappoint. Made to taste like the Japanese snack, this soft vanilla sponge cake hides a flavourful banana paste, complete with a generous swirl of soft serve.
Address: 32 Bali Lane, Singapore 189868
Opening Hours: Fri – Sat: 12PM – 11PM, Sun – Mon and Wed – Thurs: 12PM – 10PM
Telephone: 9800 7628
7. Looksee Looksee – 5 mins from Bugis MRT
Next time you’re along the Haji Lane stretch, skip those overpriced cafes and pop by to nua on Looksee Looksee’s couches as you sip on tea – for free! Operating on a gratuity basis, this minimalistic cafe offers books and magazines for browsing too. If possible, don’t just look see and leave – say thanks by leaving a little tip or buying their tea and tea accessories!
This month, they’re serving different types of Japanese green tea with chocolate. Click here for their monthly menu.
Address: 267 Beach Road Singapore 199545
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 10AM – 6PM
Telephone: 6338 8035
8. The Daily Roundup – 7 mins from Outram Park MRT
It boils down to the nitty-gritty details – from using 100% organic buckwheat flour to artisanal homemade butter by Jean-Yves Bordier, crepe cafe The Daily Roundup certainly wins an A+ for effort.
Among their choices of chewy sweet and savoury crepes, a popular choice is their Yuzu Butter Crepe ($12), slathered in slightly salty and tangy Yuzu-infused artisanal butter.
Note: Their crepes are just nice for a tea break, but not filling enough if you’re looking for a hearty lunch.
Address: #01-02, 1 Keong Saik Rd, 089109
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 9AM – 9.30PM, Sun: 9AM – 7.30PM
Telephone: 9780 2920
9. Builders at Sims – 8 mins from Aljunied MRT
Builders at Sims sure knows how to zhng up breakfast time with their French Toast ($9.80) – thick brioche cubes ladened with generous serving of berry coulis and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. I wouldn’t mind skipping the traditional kaya-butter French toast for this any day.
Keeping up with food fads is how Builders at Sims constantly draw customers – they’re one of the pioneers of the Coffee Cone Latte ($7) in Singapore.
Patience is a virtue: wait for its chocolate to melt into the latte for optimum goodness. But do finish your coffee within 10 minutes of being served to avoid a soggy, coffee-leaking cone!
Address: 53 Sims Place, #01-160, Singapore 380053
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 11AM – 9PM, Sun: 11AM – 4:30PM
Telephone: 6747 1837
10. Fuel Plus+ – 8 mins from Telok Blangah MRT
Ulu enough for chickens to roam around outside (#truestory!), but still a stone’s throw from the nearest MRT, Fuel Plus+ may ward off lazy bummers, but that doesn’t stop true food connoisseurs from gracing its doors.
Seemingly unimpressive compared to others on their menu, their humble Bacon Aglio Oglio ($15) may take you by surprise. Burst the poached egg on top and the runny yolk will coat the pasta ribbons, blending well with the olive oil and bacon fat for an ultra smooth dish.
Address: #01-207, 16 Morse Road, Singapore 099228
Opening Hours: Wed-Mon: 11AM – 9PM, Closed on Tues
11. Sunday Market – 9 mins from Serangoon MRT
The matcha craze is beyond control, and Sunday Market adds to that with their signature Bangkok Toast ($10.90) – a thick cinnamon brioche glazed with caramel, with a viscous custard within. Served with green tea puree on the side and handmade Thai milk tea ice cream, this concoction is absolutely divine.
For more brioche goodness, try the Sirloin Beef Rendang Toast ($15.90), a Western take on our nasi rendang with buttered brioche toast strips . Dunk your toast in the creamy rendang gravy for maximum satisfaction.
Address: 22 Lim Tua Tow Rd, Singapore 547772
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 12-10PM, Sat: 10-10PM, Sun: 10-9PM
Telephone: 6287 8880
12. CAN Cafe – 9 mins from Serangoon MRT
CAN Cafe gives the rustic Yeyley Building an additional dimension of nostalgia with her retro interior – with Elvis Presley’s records framed on the walls, and posters of Hendrix in his heyday.
Dishes here are pretty no-frills, but seemingly ordinary, their good ol’ Fish & Chips ($10.90) serves to impress with crisp, light batter coating fresh fish fillet pieces.
Address: 730 Upper Serangoon Road, #01-01 Yeley Building, 534613
Opening Hours: 3PM-1AM, Daily
Telephone: 6396 5561
13. Black&Ink – 9 mins from Eunos MRT
Update Dec 2017: Black&Ink is no longer in operation
Black&Ink transports you back to the retro 50s, with monochrome titles, white marble tables, and the wafting aroma of their house blend coffee.
Get a good coffee fix with their Latte ($5) – with a good balance nutty flavours, it’s not too heavy-handed. Poured into double-layered glasses, your cuppa will be kept warm without being too hot to hold.
And if caffeine in your dessert is your thing, try their Matcha Affogato ($8), with bittersweet, creamy matcha. The warmth of the matcha drink coupled with the coolness of the vanilla ice-cream will create a unique tingling sensation in your mouth!
Address: 168 Changi Rd, Singapore 419730
Opening Hours: Wed – Fri: 12-9PM, Sat: 10AM-9PM, Sun: 10AM-6PM, Closed on Mon and Tues.
Telephone: 9620 1022
14. Mellower Coffee – 5 mins from Bugis MRT
Give up dashing to the National Library just to snatch a golden seat to cram. Just 2 roads away from NLB, next to Bugis+ is Mellower Coffee. Serving up freshly brewed coffee and boasting an abundance of power sockets, I foresee this will be students’ next fave mugging haunt.
Probably flooding every nook and cranny of your Instagram feed is their Sweet Little Rain ($9.80): candy floss suspended over a cup of americano. Let the steam from the piping hot coffee rise and melt the candy “cloud”, which will then drip into your drink and sweeten it.
Exclusive to this Shanghainese cafe’s Singapore outlet is their Ondeh X Latte ($9.80). Tasting exactly like the kueh, this drink has a sweet burst of creamy coconut flavours with gula melaka. A slight bitterness from the espresso balances out the sweetness and gives a good kick.
Address: 108 Middle Road #01-01 The Prospex Singapore 188967
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri: 8AM-7.30PM
Telephone: 6532 2436
Cafes conveniently near MRT stations
A less-than 10-minute “exercise” is your ticket to sedap cafe food – minus the crazy mall crowds. Within easily walkable distances, such good eats are never too far away. But of course, remember to gear up with sunscreen or have an umbrella in hand before you brave the sun!