What makes for memorable dining? Good food is a must, but great aesthetics also elevate your experience, plus lend themselves to fab photo ops.
These new cafes in town boast gorgeous interiors, from garden-inspired concepts to retro spaces, that make for fodder for your Instagram feed, too.
The Great Mischief
Previously nestled within boutique hotel The Great Madras, halal cafe and restaurant The Great Mischief has reopened its doors at The National Gallery.
The elegant space is doused in pastel hues, and sports terrazzo tables, quaint window and booth seats, and wall art. Large windows also offer views of the outdoors, and let in lots of natural light that bathes the cafe.
Catalan-inspired and brunch fare is served here, from small plates of patatas bravas ($9++) and poached pear crepes ($12++), to mains of fried chicken and waffles ($20++), lamb mezze with mashed potato, berry- and plum-topped brioche with custard and yoghurt, as well as battered snapper.
The Great Mischief is at #01-17 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road, Singapore 178957.
If you've fallen in love with the floral-themed Cafe de Nicole Flower, you'll be enchanted by the new Le Jardin, which is helmed by the same folks.
The spotlight is on French and European cuisine, which you can savour indoors or at its al fresco dining area. Outdoors, the vibe is casual with a vintage touch, and dotted with rattan chairs, marble tables, and patterned tiles.
Head inside, and you'll find an elegant Victorian-inspired space with crystal chandeliers and foliage overhead. Botanical murals further add to the mood, and it's hard to the miss the table of fresh flowers.
You can bring home some of the magic too; in-house floral bouquets are available for sale.
And just like Cafe de Nicole Flower, the establishment welcomes pets as well.
Le Jardin is at 5 Cox Terrace, Level 2, Fort Canning Arts Centre, Singapore 179620.
Dewgather Coffee House
Pining for the cafe scene in Australia?
Make your way to the Star Vista, where Dewgather is located. Sip on Australian speciality java while you chill amidst contemporary surroundings with subtle peach tones and a clear ceiling that bathes the cafe in natural light.
The food, inspired by the grub found in Melbourne's cafes, looks just as aesthetically pleasing here too.
For one, there's the pretty French Toast ($18), which is topped with Crème anglaise ice cream, brown sugar crumble, berry compote, berry compote, candy floss, and edible flowers.
But if you're up for something savoury, get the Chicken and Waffles ($20) piled high with crispy chicken, garlic aioli, kimchi and pickled daikon.
For a light snack, there's an array of toasties, given the cafe's own twist. Think options like Triple Cream Brie with Vegemite, Pulled Pork with Sauerkraut, and Nutella with Peanut Butter.
Dewgather Coffee House is at #01-46 The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, Singapore 138617.
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
After shuttering in 2018, old school confectionery Chin Mee Chin recently reopened to much fanfare.
Its iconic blue facade with mosaic tiles and metal grilles is as Instagram-worthy as they come, but it also sports an updated look, together with a retro-style mural (great for photo backdrops!) at the al fresco seating area.
Classic menu items like the charcoal-grilled toast and kaya, as well as old school pastries remain.
But the second-gen founder has also teamed up with Tigerlily Patisserie's Maxine Ngooi to concoct new treats such as Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart ($2.20), and Gula Melaka Coffee Chiffon Cake ($2.20).
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery is at 204 East Coast Road, Singapore 428903.
It's pretty to hard to miss the entrance of Breakfast Club in all its colourful retro-style glory when you stroll by at Holland Village.
That, as well as black-and-white checkered tiles underfoot, and a jukebox that's parked near the door.
As its name suggests, it's dedicated to breakfast classics and at affordable price tags too, like fried chicken and waffles ($11.90), shakshuka ($7.90), rosti (from $6.90), and an All Star Plate laden with the works ($12.90).
It also has an original outlet at Kovan, but this one's a hawker stall rather than a standalone diner.
Breakfast Club is at 17A Lorong Liput, Singapore 277731.
Coexist Coffee Co.
Hidden within an industrial building in Bukit Batok is Coexist Coffee Co., a hip new joint that opened earlier this year.
The draw of its interiors is in the stark contrast, with the minimalist cafe split cleanly into white and burgundy.
Food-wise, you can expect the usual brunch suspects, including some with a local twist, like smoked salmon toast ($16++), a loaded breakfast platter ($22++), rendang wagyu beef burger ($22++), and chilli crab shakshuka ($16++).
Coexist Coffee Co. is at 48 Hillview Ter, #08-00, Singapore 669269.
Carrotsticks & Cravings
Dishing out Australian-inspired brunch option, Carrotsticks and Cravings has unveiled its third and newest outlet on Stanley Street for those in the Central Business District after healthy and tasty grub.
The pretty coastal-style interiors nod to tropical beach clubs, boasting soothing pastel colours, botanical prints, and rattan furnishings.
If you're there with a fellow diner, go for the Stanely Platter ($46, good for two), that is filled with Mediterranean-style bites like labneh cheese, roasted eggplant with hummus, bite-sized falafel, avocado with feta, cream cheese puff pastry, and more.
We also recommend the Dukkah Salmon ($28), starring honey-marinated fish that's firm but moist and tender.
Carrotsticks & Cravings is at 5 Stanley Street, #01-01, Singapore 068724.
The Keong Saik enclave has its fair share of idyllic cafes, and here's another one to put on your to-go list: Chez Suzette.
The double-storey establishment has a quaint al fresco patio, characterised by large arched windows, rustic rattan seats, and potted plants that beckon diners to hang out and watch the world go by.
You can expect good food here - the husband-and-wife founders both had a stint at three Michelin-starred restaurant, Joël Robuchon, where they also met (the cafe's named after the wife, Suzette Simon).
The menu comprises a melange of French classics and all-day breakfast items, from duck leg confit to crepes, eggs benedict and egg mayo croissant, alongside freshly baked pastries, and artisanal coffee.
You'll get a more home-y vibe when you head up the stair; there's a couch and "library" for lounging, as well as a bar and retail space with curated items from local artists and craftsmen.
Chez Suzette is at 5 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088383.
If the heat is getting to you while you're at Gardens by the Bay, grab a cool creamy treat at the new gelato cafe, Mylo's.
Sitting on what was previously Fennel Cafe, this 90-seater space is outfitted with full-height glass windows that afford views of the greenery outside while you enjoy air-conditioned comfort. It also offers al fresco sitting.
You'll get a choice of over 20 gelato flavours ($5 for a single scoop, $8 for double), from Coconut Pandan to Jasmine Oolong and Lychee Raspberry Rose, to boozy ones like Margarita and Gin Tonic. There are also pastries and cakes too.
Apart from being a pet-friendly cafe, Mylo's also has various dog treats for your pooch too, such as Pumpkin & Oatmeal biscuits ($2), and Yogurt & Fruit Popsicles ($5).
Mylo's is at 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-01, Singapore 018953.
This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.