Snowball fights, hot chocolate, gift exchanges – these are what festive dreams are made of. But with travelling and large gatherings taking backseats, the next best thing that we Singaporeans can do is plan intimate meet-ups surrounded by whitewashed walls and minimalist aesthetics to replicate a white Christmas.
If you’re in search of a place to hang out at for Secret Santa exchanges, here are eight minimalist cafes to make a reservation for this year-end.
Image credit: Bearded Bella
Tucked away in Tanjong Pagar, Bearded Bella might be mistaken for a rustic cafe at first glance with its rattan chairs and wooden tables. But step further inside and you’ll discover a spacious seating area and a statement minimalist bar counter decked with gold accents – ideal features for an intimate Christmas gathering.
Aside from its interior, the cafe impresses with their food as well. It serves up brunch grub like the Crab Croissant ($24), that is a feast for both the eyes and taste buds. It comprises scrambled eggs, crab meat and charred asparagus, all topped with a butter croissant.
Dessert lovers who want something picture-worthy can give the Pancake. Bacon. Flight. Magic. ($23) a shot. This features a combination of bacon strips and maple syrup-drenched pancakes for a sweet and savoury mix. Shoutout to the next-level presentation for this one – the bacon strips are playfully pegged like laundry!
Address: 8 Craig Road, Singapore 089668
Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 7.30AM-5PM | Fri 7.30AM-10.30PM | Sat – Sun, Public Holidays 7.30AM-6PM
Telephone: 9880 0775
Bearded Bella’s website
You won’t need an IG filter at Glyph Supply and Co. Filled with white walls, counters and furniture, the interior screams “minimalist” all around.
You can get your coffee, cocktail or even sake fix here, but we recommend experimenting with their fermented beverage menu that’s specially brewed in-house. Try the Amazeke ($8) that’s made of polished rice, kome koji and cereal or Mead ($12), comprising honey, coffee chaff, elderflower tonic and saccharomyces.
Teatime is not complete without pastries, so you can pair your beverage with a creamy Triple Cheese Bagel ($4) or Chocolate Mochi Bagel ($4).
Address: 111 Somerset Road, #01-06 TripleOne Somerset, Singapore 238164
Opening hours: Mon – Sun 8.30AM-5.15PM
Image credit: Almost Famous
Nestled in CHIJMES, Almost Famous is actually super famous among cafe enthusiasts for its industrial-chic vibes. Featuring grey, aged walls and colonial columns, it achieves the perfect blend of old-world and modern.
Specialising in Western fare with an Asian twist, the cafe-bar serves up mains like the Chilli Crab Shrooms Linguine ($16) and Creamy Tiger Prawn Laksa Linguine ($18). If you’re visiting in a group, the Sriracha Wings ($12) will be great to share.
The festivities won’t be the same without a little alcohol so have your pick from their menu that includes beers, wine and sake. Some standouts are their seasonal crafts like the Velvets Are Blue ($21), a grape and pear Salson, or The Woodlands Circle ($55), a golden sour with peach and mango flavours.
Address: 30 Victoria Street, CHIJMES, Singapore 187996|
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 5PM-10.30PM | Sat 2PM-10.30PM | Sun 2PM-10PM
Telephone: 9772 1787
Image credit: @iamcassieong
Another industrial-esque cafe, Lucid sports a completely monochromatic ensemble of grey, metallic furniture and bare concrete walls and floors.
They serve cafe classics like Iced Black ($5) and Mocha ($6.50), with newer menu additions including Intense White ($4.80). There’s also tea like the Hojicha Latte ($5.80), and even coffee-based cocktails like the Irish ‘Rum’ ($16) with notes of espresso and rum for a midday boost.
Image credit: @lucidspace
Dig into both sweet and savoury treats like their range of toasts that include Egg Salad ($9), Smoked Salmon ($14.50) and Nuts and Banana ($9.50) while you exchange your Christmas presents.
Aside from that, you can opt for a classic Flourless Chocolate Cake ($7.50) or the Maple Scone ($6), that’s served with red miso butter and cream
Address: 38 Hamilton Road Singapore, Singapore 209208
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 11AM-6PM| Sat – Sun 10AM-6PM (Closed on Tue & Wed)
Image credit: Brawn & Brains Coffee Singapore
Think white walls, high ceilings and full-sized glass windows – that’s exactly what you can expect at Brawn and Brains. It’s right next to Onsight Climbing Gym – perfect for chilling at before or after a bouldering sesh.
Image credit: @brawn_and_brains
Chow down on the Grilled Chicken & Avocado on Rustic Sourdough ($17) at the East Coast branch, or nom on the Beef Pastrami Sandwich ($17) at the Guillemard outlet. As both branches offer varying dishes, do check out their different menus online to see which better suits your preferences before heading down.
If you’re game for dessert, end your meal with their Earl Grey Glazed Croissant with Toasted Hazelnuts ($4.50) – a modern twist on the standard croissant.
Address: 100 Guillemard Road, #01-02, Singapore 399718
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 8.30AM-5.30PM | Sat-Sun & Public Holidays 8.30AM-6PM (Closed on Mon)
East Coast Outlet
Address: 218 East Coast Road, Singapore 428916
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 8AM-5.30PM | Sat – Sun & Public Holidays 8.30AM-6PM (Closed on Mon)
Some may claim that the West side of Singapore lacks aesthetically-pleasing haunts, but Venture Drive Coffee begs to differ. Located just a stone’s throw away from Jurong East MRT Station, the cafe features vast white walls, an open concept brewery area, and even has their lean menu displayed on the wall for that classic “coffee counter” photo.
Specialty coffees are roasted in-house here to impress true coffee aficionados. You won’t go wrong with the Espresso ($4.50) or the White Coffee ($5). There’s also the Specialty Hot Chocolate ($6) if you wish to dial down on your caffeine intake.
Address: 2 Venture Drive, Vision Exchange #02-41, Singapore 608526
Opening hours: Sun – Thu 12PM-6PM | Fri – Sat & Public Holidays 12PM-9PM
Image credit: Hvala Singapore
Minimalist cafes call to mind the eccentric ones I’ve seen in Japan and Taiwan, and for something similar to those, visit Hvala located right in the heart of town. Known for its Japanese-inspired interior, it draws crowds of teens and office workers alike. The steps also provide a conducive spot to HTHT with your buddies.
Matcha lovers should prepare to splurge, since their menu has got matcha everything to satiate cravings. One highlight is the Tea Latte ($5.80) that’s available in matcha, hojicha and a matcha-hojicha hybrid.
Pro tip: choose to top off your beverage with the Hana Matcha ceremonial-grade powder if you’re all for bitter and umami flavours.
Matcha lava cake
Image credit: Hvala
To fill your tummies, order the Matcha Lava Cake ($8.80) that oozes matcha ganache with every bite and comes with a scoop of matcha or Hokkaido milk ice cream. The Honey Earl Grey Hazelnut Cake ($7.80) is a less rich alternative to consider.
Address: 111 Somerset Road, #01-10, Singapore 238164
Opening hours: 12PM-9.30PM, Daily
Image credit: Knockhouse Cafe
Knockhouse Cafe is a cosy enclave for intimate Christmas celebrations, decorated with fairy lights on the ceiling and peppered with shelves of goodies like cookies that you can purchase off the rack.
Image credit: Knockhouse Cafe
If you’re up for some hearty brunch fare, the Breakfast Platter ($24) complete with toast, bacon, greens, eggs and baked beans is available daily until 5PM. Otherwise, heading down for dinner will give you options like their Jumbo Chicken Leg ($20) or Salmon Confit ($26).
Address: 185 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574333
Opening hours: Wed – Mon 9AM-6PM (Closed on Tue)
Telephone: 8121 8904
With the five-pax rule still in place when we’re out and about until 28th December 2020, a minimalist cafe will be an ideal setting to celebrate our small gatherings this year.
Amidst the pandemic, going cashless is also a safer way of making transactions. With NETS Contactless ATM Cards, not only is it more hygienic, but also a fast and seamless way to pay. Plus, you’ll also get rewarded when you choose this payment method.
Image credit: NETS
From now till 31st December 2020, NETS is giving you the chance to win $50 – all you’ve got to do is to spend at least $30 with a NETS Contactless ATM Card in a single transaction to be eligible. Keep your eyes peeled for the NETS tap icon on your card, or apply for a NETS Contactless ATM Card at participating banks.
‘Tis the season to be giving and receiving, so be sure to get spending and let NETS reward you with an extra Christmas gift this year. Plus, all cafes* mentioned above accept NETS tap payments, so you can volunteer as tribute to foot the bill first during your gatherings!
*Only Brawn and Brains Guillemard accepts NETS payments
This post was brought to you by NETS.
Promotions listed in this article may no longer be valid.
Originally published on 16th December 2020. Last updated by Josiah Neo on 23rd December 2021.
Cover image adapted from: Glyph Supply Co, Bearded Bella and Venture Drive Coffee.
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