Singaporeans… We just love to queue, don’t we? Blame the kiasu-ism or FOMO, but we deserve an award for all the willpower, perseverance, and sheer determination to get in with whatever the hype is. While some hypes might eventually prove to be worth the long hours of standing, others have taught us that good things don’t always come to those who wait.
Despite their ridiculous long queues, food crazes are often short-lived. Here are 9 food hypes we’ve all witnessed in 2016, and their queue time now – after the hype has died.
1. BAKE Cheese Tart
Arriving at the humble shores of Singapore in April this year, BAKE Cheese Tart came with an explosive welcome from the locals and netizens. The opening witnessed a massive crowd, with the queue of excited Singaporeans snaking around the basement of ION. Of course, we fell victim to the half-day long queue too!
We have read all about it’s fluffy insides, crumbly outsides, and warm Hokkaido cheese filling that has powers to comfort the soul. But like any other food fad, the hype for Bake Cheese Tart has subsided; there wasn’t much of a queue when I visited on a weeknight, and traces of those drool-worthy tarts have long vanished from my Instafeed.
If you haven’t had a taste of these highly-raved Hokkaido Cheese Tarts yet, now’s a good time to head down and see what the craze was all about. Better late than never!
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-33 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
Estimated waiting time: 5 minutes
2. Hello Kitty Cafe
Love knows no bounds; not even when you have to travel the extra mile, literally, to dine in the cafe of everyone’s favourite cat with an abnormally large head. Despite being located at the very edge of Singapore, locals and tourists flocked to Changi to join the hour-long queue at Hello Kitty Cafe.
But now that people have seen enough of the cutesy-wonderland aesthetics, the queue for Hello Kitty Cafe has shortened considerably. There’s hardly a wait now during weekdays, although the weekend crowd still remains on some occasions. If you have been waiting for the opportune moment to get a DP-worthy picture without some random auntie photobombing, head down now!
Address: Changi Airport Terminal 3 Arrival Hall, 65 Airport Boulevard, #01-22, 819663
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Estimated waiting time: 5-10 minutes on weekdays, 45 minutes approx on weekends
Being the first of its kind at a heartland, Vendcafe at Sengkang’s Anchorvale Drive drew a crowd – some of whom stayed within the neighbourhood and others who just wanted to join in the hype. Serving up hot meals through a vending machine, the Vendcafe intrigued all of us who were first time users of this contraption.
But sure enough, the hype died down when the novelty wore off, and those who remain are the ones who seek a convenient and quick meal.
Address: 320C Anchorvale Dr, Singapore 543320
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Estimated waiting time: 0-5 minutes
4. Llao Llao
It wasn’t too long ago when Llao Llao was the go-to dessert after every meal. The swirly, creamy, white yoghurt drizzled generously with chocolate sauce and served with fruits has gotten many addicted to it, hence the long queues at 313 Somerset or Plaza Singapura during weekends especially.
In the past year though, Llao Llao has expanded massively, with 25 outlets islandwide at last count – which makes it no surprise to see outlets with no or little crowd now. Customers are mainly regulars and loyal fans of this commonly mispronounced yoghurt, so don’t worry about getting stuck behind someone who can’t decide between the lotus biscuit crumbs or chocolate chip.
Estimated waiting time: 5-10 minutes
5. Dazzling Cafe
Hailing from Taiwan, Dazzling Cafe makes it into this list of food hypes with their 4-hour long queue during the soft launch. Apart from their fancy mains, their Shibuya toasts are often the centre of attention with the caramelized edges and exquisite flavours winning hearts of locals.
With other desserts such as salted yolk croissants and cheese tarts competing for the spotlight, the hype for the cafe famous for its Shibuya Toast has also died down along with the rest. This isn’t a place people would frequent regularly, but if you ever have the craving for thick and fluffy toast doused in various sauces and toppings, this would be your go-to cafe.
Address: Capitol Piazza, 15 Stamford Rd #01-85, S178906
Opening Hours: Sun – Mon 12 PM – 930 PM | Fri & Sat 12 PM – 10 PM
Estimated waiting time: 0 – 2 minutes on weekdays, 0 – 30 minutes on weekends
6. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice And Noodle
Many believe that good things come to those who wait, and these people brave the 60-90 minutes queue just to sample the chicken rice worthy of one-Michelin star. This chicken rice store has attracted tourists from all over the world as well, hence making the crowd even more ridiculous than it already was. Everyone wants a piece of the cheapest Michelin meal in the world, and the queue after the hype has died down is still long.
The same chef has also opened another eatery, Hawker Chan, serving the same soya sauce chicken too. If queueing at the hawker centre in the hot weather had you put off before, the aircon at this new eatery will solve your first world problem.
Address: Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street #02-126, Singapore 050335
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 7pm Daily
Estimated waiting time: 40 – 60 minutes
7. O’ma Spoon
It’s almost impossible not to know about the bingsu craze that has been taking over Singapore for the past two years, O’ma Spoon has also added to this hype with their two outlets in Somerset and Marina Square. With numerous bloggers and websites covering these gorgeous Korean desserts, most of us came to the conclusion that we simply had to try it someday or another.
When we visited on a weekend, O’ma Spoon was lacking the queue it used to have a few months back. No surprise though – despite how delicious those milky shavings and fruits/ice cream are, our wallets agree that bingsu is too expensive to be a regular affair.
Address: 313 Somerset, 313 Orchard Road #04-20/32, Singapore 238895
Opening Hours: 11.15 am – 10.30 pm Daily
Estimated waiting time: 5 – 10 minutes
8. Menya Takeichi
Piping hot ramen with a good runny egg egg is almost always enough to draw a crowd. Loved for their collagen-rich and tasty broth, Menya Takeichi was the food hype that made people crave authentic Japanese chicken ramen.
However, we went there on a weekday lunchtime and discovered that we could get in without waiting. Seems like their competitor next door has been stealing the show! But being one of the very few ramen restaurants which serve up a good bowl of chicken ramen, Menya Takeichi still gets busy on weekends.
Address: Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd #03-313, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm Daily
Estimated waiting time: 5 – 10 minutes
9. Tai Cheong Egg Tarts
The queue extends to outside the food hall.
Though last on the list, Tai Cheong Egg Tarts is one of the few that maintains a steady stream of loyal followers even after the hype died. Those who snagged a box of these to butter up to the mother-in-law, your efforts are not in vain. Up till now, the queue is still long and customers can expect to wait up to 30 minutes before getting their hands on the coveted egg tarts.
With a crumbly exterior and light, bouncy filling, one can never stop at a single egg tart. Maybe this is why even after the initial hype has died down a little, we just keep coming back for more.
Address: Takashimaya Shopping Centre, 391 Orchard Road #B208-5 (Food Hall), Singapore 238872
Opening Hours: 10am – 9:30pm Daily
Estimated waiting time: 15 – 20 minutes on weekends
Will queue for food
It may be an hour, or it may be hours, but nothing can faze us when it comes to waiting for food. While some might have fallen short of expectations, others proved themselves to be worth the wait and the raving reviews. As the years fly by, food fads also change fast – we’ve seen it all, from the ice cold and milky bingsu to the steaming hot and crumbly tarts.
If you’re one of the minority who never bothered to jump onto the foodie bandwagon and stake out at newly opened cafes to get the first bite of whatever hits Singapore, you can catch up with everything you’ve been missing out on now. With shorter queues and a smaller crowd, you can satisfy those cravings without a long wait.
Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.