August 10, 2016
Farrer Park has yet to be recognized as a cool or hip place to hang out, so I usually get puzzled looks when I suggest heading there for a meal. I suspect this is largely because Farrer Park is more commonly associated with the life-changing megastore that is Mustafa Shopping Centre than the long, quirky streets in the area.
Sure, many people know of Farrer Park’s popular old-timers like Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pigs Organ Soup and Kok Kee Wanton Mee. However, I’m quite pleased to report that in recent times, Farrer Park has acquired more great eateries, adding to the list of places to check out.
Icebox Cafe, a halal bingsu cafe, is the first of its kind in Singapore. The open-air joint is brightly coloured and funky, though the lack of air-conditioning may vex some. Some interesting finds at Icebox include the Durian Bingsu ($15.90, pictured above), an addictive combination of rich durian puree atop an airy mountain of shaved ice, and the Avocado Bingsu ($15.90) which comes with vibrant chunks of creamy avocado.
Icebox Cafe: 89 Rangoon Road, Urban Lofts, #01-02, Singapore 218375 | Tel: 9155 4720 | Monday to Friday, 2:00pm-11:00pm | Saturday and Sunday, 12:00pm-11:00pm | Website
The crazy delicious Sarawak Pan Mee comes to Singapore in the form of Face to Face Noodle House. A bowl of House Specialty Soup Pan Mee costs $8.90. Admittedly, that’s steeper than your average bowl of Pan Mee, but its exceptional taste should more than ease the pinch. Their noodles are freshly made every day, and outstandingly smooth. You’ll be bowled away.
Face To Face Noodle House: 180 Kitchener Rd, City Square Mall, #02-23/24, Singapore 208539 | Tel: 6509 0182 | Monday to Sunday, 11:00am-10:00pm | Website
Lasagna with Soya Mince & Spinach (NOG) ($15)
Being vegetarian doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good food, at least not with Cafe Salivation around. With a really extensive menu containing the likes of pizzas, mexican food, acai bowls, eggless cakes and desserts, Cafe Salivation has probably got something even the pickiest of vegetarians will enjoy.
Cafe Salivation: 176 Race Course Road, Singapore 218607 | Tel: 6298 1412 | Monday to Friday, 10:00am – 10:30pm | Saturday and Sunday, 10:00am-11:00pm | Website
Ask around for Pig Organ Soup recommendations and Cheng Mun Chee Kee will definitely be one of them. It’s a rather popular spot for supper and hanging out with kakis. The protein-packed bowl of Pig Organ Soup ($4/6) is warm, comforting, and not to mention refillable!
Cheng Mun Chee Kee: 24 Foch Road, Singapore 209263 | Tel: 6297 5068 | Closed Mondays | Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00am – 5:00am | Sunday: 9:00am – 12:00am
Nestled in a quaint shophouse along Jalan Besar, Wednesdays Food Company is a muslim-run cafe that serves Western food. The fare here is rustic, hearty and generously portioned, and I personally appreciate this reprieve from over-priced, pretentious cafes. Wednesdays Food Company also makes for a great event space for private gatherings!
Wednesdays Food Company: 279 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208943 | Tel: 98188573 | Closed Wednesdays | Sundays, 10:00am-5:00pm | All other days, 11:00am-9:00pm | Website
Beer is good, but beer alongside grub is better. Thank goodness the 1925 Microbrewery also doubles as a restaurant, and a dang great one at that. At 1925 Microbrewery and Restaurant, you have the option of guzzling freshly brewed beer straight from the 2400-litre microbrewery or ordering intricately crafted cocktails, and savouring these alcoholic concoctions alongside savoury items like the Beef Paddle ($28), a 250-gram serving of Prime Ribeye, and the indulgent, secret-spice-rubbed Pork Belly ($15, pictured above in sampler size).
The 1925 Microbrewery & Restaurant: 369 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208997 | Tel: 6294 9215 | Monday to Saturday, 10:00am till 12:00am | Sunday, 10:00am till 10:00pm | Website
I fancy myself quite a carnivore, and Char is completely meats my expectations. Started by two brothers from the UK, Char is a modern take on Cantonese roast meats, incorporating Western techniques to offer a totally unique taste to the traditional Char Siew, Roast Pork Belly and Roast Duck.
Their incredibly soft, melt-in-mouth Char Siew and other meats are served alongside interesting British ales and ciders that are specially brought in to compliment the roasts.
Char: 363 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208994 | Tel: 68427759 | Closed Mondays | Tuesdays to Sundays, 11:30am-2:30pm and 6:00pm-10:00pm | Website
Eggs Benedict ($15)
Brunches is such a cute cafe that it caught my eye while passing by, and I absolutely had to pop over for a second glance. The interior of the cafe follows a vintage-retro theme, rather elaborately done up so I was really impressed.
Food-wise, they have quite a large selection of mains and brunch items to choose from, all quite reasonably priced too!
Brunches Cafe: 96 Rangoon Road, Singapore 21838 | Tel: 8685 8488 | Closed Tuesdays | Weekdays, 10:30am-9:00pm | Weekends, 9:30am-9:00pm | Website
Kok Kee Wanton Mee has long been declared Singapore’s best Wanton Mee. Of course, ‘best’ is quite subjective and detractors will be quick to label their char siew as dry and papery. Still, I maintain Kok Kee’s title is quite well-deserved for their mystifying Wanton Mee sauce that is far superior to all other Wanton Mee joints.
Paired with their small and crispy Fried Wantons, a bowl of Kok Kee’s ($4.50/$5.50) is immensely comforting and delicious. Just the thought of it fills me with wanton desire (not in that way, ya nasty).
Kok Kee Wanton Noodles: 27 Foch Road, Singapore 209264 | Monday to Sunday, 12:30pm-10:00am
Choux (pronounced as ‘shoo’) pastry has always been an integral but understated element in French pastries. Ollella, however, takes the humble Choux to the next level.
Their Chouquettes (pictured above) are gorgeous choux spheres filled with luscious cream and assorted ingredients, playing with a variety of flavours and textures to give the simple choux pastry a glamorous makeover. You really choux-d pop by and get a hold of one.
Ollella: 3 Petain Rd, Residences@Somme, #01-01, Singapore 208108 | Tel: 9139 9871 | Closed Tuesday | Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 12:00pm-6:00pm | Friday, 12:00pm-9:00pm | Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am-9:00pm | Website
Former blogger Jessica Loh (who goes by the alias Shiberty) has turned her attention from the online world to the kitchen with her new cafe Shiberty Bakes. With her keen eye for aesthetics and a strong hand in baking, she delivers expertly crafted desserts, ranging from macarons and customized cakes to thick toasts and waffles.
Shiberty Bakes: 46 Owen Road, #01-277, Singapore 210046 | Tel: 6291 5221 | Closed Monday | Tuesday to Sunday, 1:00pm-10:00pm | Website
From the Les Amis group comes Sushi Jin, a Japanese concept serving premium Japanese fare at a reasonable pricetag. The idea behind Sushi Jin was to plug the gap between fine-dining and mass-market tiers in Japanese cuisine, and they have executed this exquisitely.
Enjoy high quality ingredients airflown in from Tokyo’s Tsujiki Fish Market, with prices starting at $22 for a set lunch.
Sushi Jin: 1 Farrer Park Station Road, Owen Link, #01-11/12, Singapore 217562 | Tel: 6443 3378 | Monday to Sunday, 12:00pm-2:30pm and 6:30pm-10:30pm | Website
Hungry Heroes is Singapore’s first superhero-themed cafe and restaurant! The space is every comic-reader’s dream come true, with countless original and licensed superhero memorabilia from Marvel and other comics, including life-sized statues, head busts, figurines and movie posters.
To make your mouth water doubly, Hungry Heroes also serves up awesome American grub, specialising in hearty meats and sharing platters of tender cuts.
Hungry Heroes: 33 Tessensohn Road, Singapore 217656 | Tel: 6295 5401 | Closed Monday | Tuesday to Friday, 4:00pm-11:00pm | Saturday and Sunday, 12:00pm-11:00pm | Website
Asian fusion restaurant L’etoile Cafe is a comfy joint along Owen Road that whips up quite a variety. The menu features local delights like Singapore Laksa ($10) beside other more European dishes like pizzas and pastas.
Their offerings are decently good, like the Avocado Crab Salad ($15) that I savoured, though slightly pricier than other cafes of equal standard.
L’etoile Cafe: 160 Owen Road, Singapore 218953 | Tel: 6298 2872 | Monday to Friday, 11:00am-11:00pm | Saturday and Sunday, 9:00am-11:00am | Website
Jewel Cafe and Bar sounded rather girly to me, but I was proven wrong. It is actually a very sleek, modern and comfortable space. I really enjoyed the general feel of the cafe, but the food really sent the cafe skyrocketing to a higher rung on my mental cafe-ladder.
Jewel Cafe and Bar: 129 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218407 | Tel: 6298 9216 | Closed Mondays | Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays, 9:00am-10:00pm | Friday and Saturday, 9:00am-11:00pm | Website
Another popular hawker eat at Farrer Park is the deliciously sloppy Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice. Sure, I wouldn’t call a plate of this curry rice the most handsome meal around, but if you can look past your social media obligations (maybe refrain from Instagramming this meal?), this curry rice tastes absolutely, undeniably delicious.
Just about every inch of your rice is covered by different sauces, so zhup-lovers will go insane. The cabbage here is stewed to optimum suppleness, with the right amount of crunch, while the pork chop is crispy and meaty.
Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice, it’s exactly where it’s at.
Beach Road Scissors Cut Curry Rice: 229 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208905 | Tel: 9826 1464 | Daily, 11:00am – 3.30am
Cold Brew is all the rage now, so it’s a good thing you can get your caffeine fix in Farrer Park. Located along Rangoon Road, Old Hen Coffee Bar serves up a seriously good cold brew.
My favourite is their White version, which tastes incredible — slightly sweet and creamy, exuding a fragrant and rich coffee aroma.
Old Hen Coffee Bar: 88 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218374 | Tel: 6341 5458 | Closed on Tuesdays | Monday to Friday, 12:00pm – 10:00pm | Saturday, 10:00am – 6:30pm | Sunday: 10:00am – 10:00pm | Website
Thats right, The Rubber Ducky ($12.90) dessert everyone is losing their minds over finds its origins in Singapore, Farrer Park to be exact!
Non Entree Dessert has garnered itself quite a reputation for their innovative and arresting desserts. You can spot the chic dessert shop by its bright yellow door, and when you do, be sure to grab a seat and try out their amazing creations for yourself.
Non Entrée Desserts: 204 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218451 | Tuesday to Thursday, 2:00pm-10:00pm | Fridays, 2:00pm-11:00pm | Saturday and Sunday, 12:00pm-10:00pm | Website
Located at Farrer Park Station, this Japanese eatery is small and sleek. The restaurant doubles as an izakaya joint and a sake bar, serving quality Japanese liquor alongside neatly grilled sticks of meat and satisfying bowls of udon.
Its interior is quirkily adorned with old but colourful Japanese posters, making it both a comfortable and visually enticing place to dine.
JINzakaya: 1 Farrer Park Station Rd, Owen Link, #01-08/10, Singapore 217562 | Monday to Saturday 1200-1500, 1900-2300, Closed on Sundays | Tel: 6443 1173 | Website
Related guide: 24 Best Telok Ayer Eateries in Singapore