Food Guides

20 New Cafes & Restaurants in Dec 2019 – $11.80 Army Stew Buffet, Coffee Cocktails & $2 Oysters

New cafes in December 2019 in Singapore

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We’ve finally arrived at the end of the year, but it certainly isn’t the end of new eateries. With everything from luxury Moroccan coffee to $11.80 Korean buffets, here are 20 hot new cafes and restaurants we’ve got coming our way this month:

1. Bacha Coffee – luxury Moroccon coffee room inspired by a palace

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The cafe scene has gotten a lot fancier with the newly opened Bacha Coffee, a luxury Moroccan coffee boutique in ION Orchard. This gorgeous spot decked in patterned woodwork and vases is inspired by Dar el Bacha palace in Marrakech.

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Essentially a caffeine addict’s haven, this place has over 200 different types of coffee beans from all around the world to choose from. Expect a fancy experience with your cuppa joe (from $9) served in a fancy gooseneck pot, cracked vanilla bean served in a grinder and Chantilly whipped cream.

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There are also meal sets (from $29) with mains such as Scrambled Egg with Black Truffle and  snacks like Raspberry Cinnamon Croissant ($3) if you’d like something savoury to pair with your cuppa.

Address: #01-15/16 ION Orchard Mall, 2 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6737 7788

2. The Whale Tea – quirky bubble tea that’s popular in China

Volcanic Sapphire Whale
Image credit: @cliffton_jt

Bubble tea stores never seem to stop emerging – but as bubble tea addicts fans, that’s hardly a problem. Among the many new finds, The Whale Tea is one to keep an eye out for with 3 new stores in Singapore at China Square, Lot One and City Square Mall.

Originating from Nanjing with more than 500 branches spread across China, this dessert and beverage store is is home to vibrantly coloured drinks such as the Volcanic Sapphire Whale ($4.50) and Blue Crystal Coconut Milk ($3.80) and desserts like ice cream and souffle.

Blue Crystal Coconut Milk – with blue crystal toppings
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If you’re looking for something different from the regular boba, the drinks here come with unique toppings like peach gum, a fruity tasting jelly, and crystal toppings made from aiyu jelly available in blue and black.

The Whale Tea City Square Mall
Address: 180 Kitchener Road, B2-K7 City Square Mall, 208539
Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM, Daily

3. Pano Kato – Mediterranean cuisine in a homely setting

Literally translated to “upstairs downstairs” in Greek, Pano Kato is a pretty garden-like cafe in Tanglin House. The space is is dotted with patterned tiles, rattan lamps, brass chandeliers and lots of plants, as a cosy home would be. 
Grilled octopus
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Dive into Mediterranean food with their Maria’s Moussaka ($32) comprising charred eggplants and wagyu beef mince, Sourdough Pizzas ($28) topped with prosciutto and mozzarella, and thick chunks of Grilled Octopus ($28) served with fava puree.

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Address: 163 Tanglin Mall #02-23 Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 9AM-5PM | Sun & Mon 9AM-10AM
Telephone: 6235 5056

4. Croquant Chou ZakuZaku – Japanese choux pastries from BAKE’s sister brand

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Originating from Japan as a sister company to BAKE, Croquant Chou ZakuZaku is a new establishment in ION Orchard where you can grab a sweet snack to-go in the middle of your shopping spree.

Zakuzaku Soft Serve – available in a cone or cup
Image credit: @feliciaaeatss

Their Croquant Chou ($2.80) comprises a fresh and airy forearm-long pastry stick piped with fresh cream filling. If you love Beard Papa’s cream puffs, you’re bound to fall in love with these as well. Sugarholics can also look out for their Zakuzaku Soft Serve ($6), made from creamy Hokkaido milk.

Address: #B4-33, ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, daily

5. Downstairs – void deck-themed cafe

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You’re definitely familiar with with the blue tiled tables and metal letter boxes that line our HDB void decks. Well, Downstairs has taken that and turned it into an aesthetic with their air conditioned void deck-themed cafe – now that’s something new. 

Expecting an uncle in a white singlet to walk by any moment now
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To go with the unabashedly Singaporean decor, the cafe also serves up a menu of local grub including the comfort Macaroni Soup ($5.90), Mi Tai Mak Soup ($5.90) and Chee Cheong Fun ($1.50).

Mi Tai Mak Soup
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For some variation, there are also fusion dishes such as the Laksa Spaghetti ($8.90) and Nasi Lemak with Har Cheong Gai ($7.60) available.

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Address: 6 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, #01-30 UE BizHub East, Singapore 486017
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 7.30AM – 7.30PM | Sun 9.30AM-3.30PM | Closed on Sat

6. Taikoo Lane Hotpot – unique broth flavours like pumpkin millet and green pepper

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Taikoo Lane Hotpot

Hotpots are the perfect way to dine this rainy season, but if you’re looking to avoid the long queues of the popular favourites, head to Taikoo Lane Hotpot at Chinatown. The Sichuan and Cantonese-style broths here vary from the usual, with selections like Chengdu Green Peppers Broth, Pumpkin Millet Soup and Fish Soup Broth with Fresh Milk.

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Opt for an individual pot, or go for the double or quadruple-split pot to get a variety to share. Ingredients are priced from $3.80 per dish.

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Address: Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Rd, B1-16, Singapore 059413
Opening hours: 11AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6970 0966

7. Farmers and Chefs – affordable cafe grub with alfresco seating at Shenton Way

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Farmers and Chef is a quaint enclave in the CBD with an outdoor alfresco dining area peppered with wooden decor, fairy lights and hanging plants.

Farmer’s Breakfast
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Among their menu options are their Aglio Olio Pasta ($9) and Farmer’s Breakfast ($10), served with sous vide chicken thigh, greens and a killer gooey scrambled egg. The affordable prices are a huge plus point, making the trip worth visiting especially if you’re in the CBD area.

Address: Singapore Conference Hall, #01-04, 7 Shenton Way, Singapore 068810
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8AM-8PM | Sat 9AM-8PM | Closed on Sun
Telephone: 8535 7555

8. Seoulid Korean BBQ – $11.80 army stew buffet

Westies are in luck as there’s now a super affordable army stew buffet by the new Seoulid Korean BBQ, in a coffee shop at Clementi. Priced at just $11.80 for adults and available all day, this 90-minute all-you-can-eat is a dream come true.

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In a quirky twist, despite that fact that this is a Korean rather than Thai joint, you’ll get a mookata pot to cook your items in – so you’ll get to have your ingredients both grilled and cooked in soup. Ingredients include luncheon meat, hot dogs, crab sticks, Korean fish cake, baked beans, instant noodles, eggs and toppoki – covering all the basics.

For a more exciting spread, you can also upgrade the meal to a Premium Buffet Weekday ($18.90), where marinated meat like spicy beef, garlic chicken and honey pork collar will be unlocked. The Premium Buffet Weekend ($22.90), a third tier, comes with all of the above plus seafood like crab and crayfish – still a total steal, considering the spread.

Address: Blk 328, Clementi Avenue 2, #01-220, Singapore 120328
Opening hours: 5PM-12AM, Daily
Telephone: 8368 8566

9. Yanmi Yoghurt – purple rice yoghurt drinks

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“You are what you eat” – if that were true, half of us would be boba pearls right now. Bubble tea – although seriously addictive – isn’t the healthiest option out there and if you’ve been searching for a wholesome alternative to perk up your day, Yanmi Yoghurt is it.

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Located in Funan, this yoghurt drink cafe serves up beverages such as Purple Rice Yogurt ($4.30) which is rich in protein and calcium and aids digestion. Just like pearls, their rice bits also have a chewy and QQ texture. Fruity variants like Man-mango Yogurt ($4.90) are also available for those who’d like a more refreshing drink.

Unlike bubble tea kiosks, there are also seats available for you so sit and enjoy your drink.

Address: Funan, #02-03, 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179105
Opening hours: 10.30AM-10PM, Daily

10. BTM Mussels & Bar – Belgium-style mussels and fries

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Just as how chicken and beer are the perfect combo of Korean cuisine, mussels and fries, aka moules-frites, is Belgiums’ – and that’s what BTM Mussels & Bar brings to the table. The dish is available with mussels soured from 2 origins – juicy Spanish Mussels (from $28 for 500g) and sweet Bouchot Mussels (from $32 for 500g) – with a side of straight cut French fries.

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No European meal is complete without a good tipple so grab a beer pint from $10 or go all out with their free flow Stella Artois beer buffet from $48 per person.

Sausage platters are also available for those not into seafood
Image credit: @btmmusselsandbar

Address: 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 12PM-11PM | Fri & Sat 12PM-12AM | Sun 12PM-10PM
Telephone: 6690 7562

11. Amos Perfect Gelato – hip hop-themed gelato cafe in Serangoon

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Ice cream is our best weapon for combating Singapore’s sweltering heat and if you’re in Serangoon, you can head to the new Amos Perfect Gelato. The ice cream here is made fresh in small batches in flavours such as Honey and Cinnamon, Rum and Raisin and even a vegan Chocolate Sorbet.

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Veering away from the minimalist trend, the interior is super swaggy with walls lined with hip-hop style graffiti and neon signs.

Address: The Poiz Centre , Potong Pasir MRT Linkway #01-22, 51 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 347697
Opening hours: TBC

12. Two Cranes – affordable Korean-Western fusion dishes

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Joining the cafe scene at Hougang is Two Cranes, a cosy minimalist cafe that resembles one you’d come across while roaming Seoul. On the menu are affordable Korean-Western fusion brunch dishes priced $15 and under such as Spicy Dakgalbi with Scrambled Eggs ($13.50) and Boeuf Benedict ($15), which is basically eggs benedict with stewed Korean beef slices and toast.

Bingsoo (from $12) to end the meal
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Address: Blk 211 Hougang St 21 #01-291Singapore 530211
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 8.30AM-10PM | Closed on Tue

13. BBR by Alain Ducasse – Mediterranean restaurant-bar

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The elegant Raffles Hotel is now home to BBR by Alain Ducasse, a Mediterranean restaurant by renowned French chef Ducasse, who has more than 30 restaurants under his belt worldwide. 

Oven-cooked stuffed tomatoes ($21)
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The chefs here whip up a delectable tasting menu ($128 per person) which comes with an array of seafood, steak, stew and dessert. Ala carte fare prepared with their wood-fired oven and barbeque grill is also available from $21.

Pulpo a la Gallega (octopus)
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Address: Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
Opening hours: Mon – Thu 12PM-2.30PM, 6PM-10PM | Fri & Sat 12PM-2.30PM , 6PM-10.30PM | Sun 12PM-30PM, 6PM-9PM
Telephone: 6337 1886

14. Communal Coffee – rustic cafe with coffee cocktails

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Fitting right into the cafes and pubs at Prinsep Street is Communal Coffee, a rustic establishment where you can get a good sip of alcohol-infused coffee. Coffee Stout Affogato ($16.80) and Long Black Whiskey are among the few that you can expect.

Coffee Stout Affagato – with espresso, Guinness stout and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream
Image credit: Communal Coffee

Hungry folks can look forward to all-day breakfasts here with Classic Egg Benedict ($18.80) Sunny Egg Croque Madame, as well as ice cream waffles, available in both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety.

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Address: 60 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188664
Opening hours: 9AM-5PM, Daily
Telephone: 9664 1141

15. The Oyster Bank – $2 oysters

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Despite having opened mid-2019, the The Oyster Bank at Funan Mall has managed to, surprisingly, stay under the radar. Their urban chic aesthetic with large round backlit mirrors, hunter green walls and neon lights create the perfect vibe for after-work cocktails and snacks.

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Their fresh oysters, priced $3.90 onwards, are served naked, grilled, fried, in shooter form or with toppings like ponzu. But head down during Happy Shucking Hour for their naked oysters at almost half the price – $2 each for half a dozen – with the purchase of any alcoholic drink.

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Happy Shucking Hour is 5PM to 8PM on weekdays and 3PM to 6PM on weekends.

Address: 107 North Bridge Road #02-32 Funan, Singpaore 179105
Opening hours: Sun – Thu 11.30AM-10PM | Fri – Sat 11.30AM-12AM
Telephone: 6970 0487

16. Donburi King – overflowing Japanese seafood bowls

Expect #foodporn worthy dishes at Donburi King. The 18-seater restaurant at Paya Lebar Quarter might be tiny, but their donburis are definitely mighty, resembling the lavish bowls you can get from Otaru, Japan.

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Seafood lovers can dig into their Signature Kaisen Don ($58.80), a seafood extravaganza piled up with 9 different types of sashimi air flown from Japan including scallops, octopus, shrimp and oysters.

Unagi Don
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If the entire ocean on your bowl is too much to handle, there are also regular bowls like Salmon Ikura Kaisendon ($ 21.50) and Unagi Donburi ($25).

Address: 10, Paya Lebar Road #03-26, Paya Lebar Quarter, Singapore
Opening hours: Mon -Thu 11.30AM-3PM, 5PM-10PM | Fri – Sun & PH 1130AM-10PM
Telephone: 6611 6657

17. MAO Milk Bar – bubble tea with durian pearls

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Quirky durian-flavoured food is aplenty but we’ve yet to see durian bubble tea – until now. Durian lovers might be glad to know that MAO Milk Bar in Temasek Poly carries Durian Q Pearl (+$0.50), a chewy and creamy topping you can now add on to your favourite milk tea order. 

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For more sweet treats, check out their waffle ice cream and cakes.

While it’s situated within school compounds, the public is free to enter. Other unconventional flavours you can find here include Black Coffee with Brown Butter Foam ($5.50), a caffeine laden cuppa that’ll power students through sleepy lectures.

Address: 21 Tampines Avenue 1, #02-67, Sprout, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore 529757
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10AM-8PM | Closed on Sat & Sun

18. Mad Mex – Mexican food in town

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When I’m headed out for a meal with friends, the cuisine that always get a unanimous “yes” is Mexican. After all it’s relatively healthy and packs a flavourful punch. Plus, who can say no to guacamole?

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Rex Soriano

Head’s up CBD folks as there is a new Mexican store in the area: Mad Mex. Their menu ticks off everything you’d expect with Burritos ($8.90), Nachos ($12.90), Soft Corn and Flour Tacos ($10.90) and Quesadillas ($11.50).  

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Health-conscious peeps out there can also head to their website to check out the nutritional information on each ingredient. 

Address: 12 Marina Blvd Tower 3, #02-05 Marina Bay Financial Centre, 018982
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8AM-8PM | Closed on Sat & Sun

19. Malts – whisky bar with over 100 labels

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For an evening tipple with plenty of options, head to Malts, a whisky bar at Marina Square, with and a dimly lit ambience with clusters of cloud-like fairy lights lighting up the space.

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Whisky connoisseurs are in for a treat with more than 100 different labels for you to choose from. Options range from the nutty and spicy 16-year-aged Tomintoul to the Scottish Springbank which comes with notes of nuts and spices. 

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Sumptuous mains like their Salmon Roulade with Crab ($28) and Kurobuta Pork Chop ($32) are on the menu if you’d like to have dinner there as well. 

Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #01-07/08 Marina Square, Singapore
Opening hours: 11.30AM-2.00PM, 5PM-2AM, Daily

20. No Sleep Club – cafe-bar with home-brewed liquor

No Sleep Club, despite the name, is not a nightclub but rather a cafe cum bar located along Keong Saik Road. 

If you’re craving for a bite, they’ve got bar snacks like oysters, steak and fried cauliflower
Image adapted from:Gina Chan

You can step into the cosy shophouse to to grab a coffee and some cafe grub. But the real fun is in their liquor. While you’d find most bars lined with rows of commercial brands, the glass bottles here are all filled with home-brewed liquor which will are used to create cocktails such as Hay & Apples ($20) and Bloody Mary ($20).

Hay & Apples – a variant of whisky soda
Image credit: @anjdrinkstothat

Address: 20 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089127
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 8AM-12Am | Sat 10AM-12AM | Sun 10AM-6PM | Closed on Mon

New restaurants in Singapore

December, with it’s festive events of Christmas and New Year, is the time of get-together with family and friends. And now, you’ve got plenty of exciting new spots to host these catch up sessions at. 

This final month of the year also has plenty in store, and we’ve compiled them into a list of new things to do, and lobangs so no one will fall prey to boredom this holiday season!

Read our past monthly food articles here: 

Kezia Tan

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