Japanese cafes serving matcha desserts, matcha latte, Hojicha cakes and pancakes continue to be popular in Singapore. Other than Gram Cafe & Pancakes Singapore, Belle-Ville, Flippers is the next to arrive, set to open at Takashimaya. Let’s not forget about some of the home-grown brands we should be proud of, such as Hvala and Matchaya,
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Those in this list are a combination of 35 cafes that originate from Japan, feature Japanese style food and desserts, or are helmed by Japanese chefs – an update from the previous compilation.
For your convenience, I have arranged them in alphabetical order. While the opening hours have been updated as of Oct 2020, do check with individual cafe’s as operational hours do change from time to time.
% Arabica – Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel Changi Airport, #01-K208 78 Airport Boulevard, Singapore, 819666
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
The brand which technically started in Hong Kong moved to Higashiyama, Kyoto in February 2014 and became recognised as a coffee brand internationally. Therefore, it has always been thought as a Japanese brand.
While they have been quite popular in Singapore, the price of % Arabica’s drinks are generally to the higher side – Caffe Latte is priced at $7 for short, $8 for tall, while the iced version is priced at $8.
The outlet in Holland Village is the first to have a full food menu serving Beef Katsu Sando, Croque Madame, and Fedelini with Shiso Pasta.
108 Matcha Saro
Suntec City Mall #B1-K5, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038983
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs, Sun), 11am – 9:30 (Fri, Sat)
This is its 108 Matcha Saro’s first outlet in South-East Asia, located at the revamped basement level of Suntec City. There are also branches at Changi Airport T3 and ION Orchard basement 4.
Even though the Singapore outlet is mainly a takeaway store, it is still designed with a traditional Japanese teahouse concept.
The local 108 Matcha Saro consists of 4 different live stations whereby passer-by can witness the live making of Warabi-mochi, Obanyaki, whisking of Matcha and assembling of Parfaits and Soft Serves.
Their specialty is the Obanyaki, a Japanese snack traditionally filled with Azuki bean paste and made using a special pan.
The matcha from Uji, Kyoto is most distinctive in the Matcha Custard with Original Dough ($2.90) with oozing matcha in the centre and a distinctive slight bitterness aftertaste. 108 Matcha Saro (Suntec City)
Asanoya Bakery Singapore
Wilby Central, 15 Queen Street, Singapore 188537
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6pm (Mon – Sun)
The Asanoya brand is more than 80 years old, founded in 1933 in Karuizawa Japan.
The bakery is known for its rustic Japanese-style bread, with a European twist and baked in a traditional stone ovens (modern ones in Singapore).
The signature bread is the Karuizawa in green tea ($2 per slice) and blueberry ($2.60 per slice) version. The other top-selling includes the Fruits Rye, a mixture of fragrant orange peel, rum infused raisins, lightly crushed walnuts and almonds mixed into a delicate rye bread.
If you are going for cakes, there are the Blackforest Cake ($6), Lychee Rose Cheesecake ($6.80), Chocolate Ganache Cake ($6.80), Matcha Swiss Roll ($2.80) and Chocolate Swiss Roll ($2.80).
Other than the main outlet at Queen Street, there is a kiosk and Paragon B1-K27 and 913 Bukit Timah Road.
Baristart Coffee Singapore
65 Tras Street Singapore 079004 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Hokkaido café Baristart Coffee has arrived in Singapore, and it is not difficult to understand why it would be a hit with both coffee and Japanese food lovers.
Other than using Hokkaido milk of exceptional quality for its coffee, matched with beautiful latte art; its food and desserts – such as the Shiro Kuma Hokkaido shaved ice is worthy venturing to Tanjong Pagar for.
It is the first café here to offer coffee using the popular Brown Jersey Milk from Biei, a small town in Hokkaido, Japan.
Biei Jersey Milk is an ultra-premium milk prized for being rare, as there are only about 800 Brown Jersey cows left making up 1% of the total cow population in Japan.
For a savoury treat, get the Tonkatsu Sando ($16.80). Baristart takes a Western diner classic and gives it a Japanese spin, using the popular Japanese breaded pork cutlet (tonkatsu) as a sandwich filling.
The centimetre-thick meat coated in panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs) is well seasoned, deep fried to a crisp yet juicy inside. Baristart Coffee (Tras Street)
Cafe Ma Maison
333A Orchard Road #02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6235 6411
For those of you who remember, Café Ma Maison used to exist at Liang Court’s basement. The new space at Orchard Road replaces where gorgeous pastry shop Antoinette used to be.
In terms of “Special Cakes”, there is an attractive display of Classic Strawberry Shortcake ($7.80), Chocolate Walnut ($7.80), Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake ($7.80), Earl Grey Tea ($7.80), Fresh Fruit Shortcake ($8.80), and Japanese Matcha Mousse & Red Bean ($8.80).
While my heart told me to go for a Strawberry Shortcake, I thought it has become quite a regular offering in Singapore’s cafes and so opted for a more uncommon and colourful Fresh Fruit Shortcake.
I loved the array of fruits of grapes, blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and oranges, in between moist yet flurry sponge. But my favourite part was still the light, airy cream.
Also included is a small savoury items menu, with Omu-Katsu ($20.80) of Omu-Rice with Pork Cutlet, Truffle-Flavoured Katsu Sandwich ($14.80), and Mentaiko Spaghetti ($18.30). Café Ma Maison (Mandarin Gallery)
Café & Meal MUJI
68 Orchard Road #01-10 to 17, Plaza Singapura, MUJI Plaza, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
After shopping for those ‘no-brand’ home accessories, you can rest your legs at the café for some Caramel Pudding and Roasted Tea Pudding.
For a filling meal, Japanese style ‘cai peng’ is available. A selection of 1 hot and 2 cold deli with choice of white rice or bread is at $14.80, while the 2 hot and 2 cold combination is at $18.90.
So you can pick dishes such as Inari Pock with Black Bean Sauce, Soy Meatball, Sakura Chicken with Curry Miso and Dried Chillies, Hokkaido Potato Croquette, and Healthy Tofu Patty with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce. The dishes taste, em, healthy.
If not, opt for favourites such as MUJI Butter Chicken Curry with Rice cooked with added Sakura chicken and vegetables; or Crispy Pork Katsu drizzled with a combination of Japanese mayonnaise and Tonkatsu Sauce. (Read: Café & Meal MUJI Paragon Orchard)
Châteraisé Café Singapore
Blk 490, Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #01-15, Singapore 310490
Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Japanese confectionary Châteraisé has been opening EVERYWHERE in Singapore, but this outlet at Toa Payoh incorporates a sit-down café concept.
Their best seller is the “Legendary Strawberry Cream Cake” which boasts of light fresh cream and sweet strawberries.
Other popular favourites include White Zebra Caramel (that’s like a Mille Crepe Cake), Green Zebra, Crispy Chocolate Cake, Fluffy Cream Rolls and animal-shaped ones.
129 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218407
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon with coffee and cakes only), 10am – 10pm (Tue – Thu), 9am – 10pm (Fri – Sun)
Daizu Cafe is the newest addition to the cafe scene along Rangoon Road.
Their brunch menu featuring Daizu Brunch ($22) and Lemon Miso Egg Benedict ($24) is available daily from 11am to 3pm; whereas Rice Bowls ($14 – $17) and Udon ($16) are available from 11am till 3pm and 5pm onwards.
I loved that there is a Petit Breakfast ($10) meant for smaller eaters, with chicken sausage and ultra-creamy scrambled eggs with brioche toast.
Soybean powder is used to make the batter in some of their Japanese dishes such as the Kitsune Udon with Tempura Prawn ($16) and Chilli Soft Shell Crab Rice Bowl ($17). Daizu Café (Rangoon Road)
Emma – 100AM
100 Tras Street #02-10 Singapore 079027
Tel: +65 6443 1727
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Sun – Thurs), 11am – 10pm (Fri – Sat)
Last order half hour before closing
Seen those gravity-defying Japanese soft serve on social media?
Other than Boba Taco Softie ($6.80) or Okinawa Brown Sugar Boba Japanese Soft Serve in Wafer Shell, I would recommend the Charcoal Cheese in Charcoal Cone ($5.50).
Think Japanese soft serve, topped with Okinawa brown sugar pearls and housed in crispy wafer taco shell.
They have also introduced new Japanese-style bubble tea range with a difference. The drinks are also included with “Kuromitsu” which literally translates to “black honey” – a thin and dark syrup made from Japanese unrefined kurozato (“black sugar”) often used in the making of Japanese sweets.
You would also find that the chewiness and sweetness of the boba pearls are unlike the usual. That is because “Okinawa brown sugar pearls” are used, cooked with a combination of Okinawan brown sugar and kuromitsu which gives it a distinctive caramelised-sweetness. Emma (Plaza Singapura)
Fine Dining Bakery
207 River Valley Road, 01-59 UE Square, Singapore 238275
Opening Hours: 9am – 3pm (Mon, Thurs – Sun), Closed Tues, Wed
You would find many Japanese expats and ladies hanging around the café, and find that some of the recommended breads are quickly snapped up.
The head baker Chef Maekochi’s or “Akira” used to work at La Boutique de Joël Robuchon in Roppongi, Joël Robuchon at Resorts World Sentosa, and béni Singapore. That’s why the name of “fine dining bakery” due to his experience.
The bakery café specialises in handcrafted breads using Hokkaido flours, and baked throughout the day in small quantities so that the goods stay fresh.
Its signature is the Shokupan White Bread – deliciously soft and fluffy that may just transport you to Japan. You would also find the bread used for sandwiches such as the Fluffy Egg Salad Sandwich ($8.50).
13 Stamford Road, #01-11, Capitol Singapore, Singapore 178905 (City Hall MRT Station)
Tel: +65 6977 7202
Opening Hours: 11am – 7pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Fans of Japanese-style cakes and pastries should be familiar with FLOR Patisserie Café which has two branches at Duxton Hill and Siglap Drive.
It has recently opened its 3rd outlet with a slightly different concept, FLOR Capitol at Capitol Singapore (formally known as “Capitol Piazza”).
Something to note: This is the first FLOR Patisserie Café to feature freshly made desserts, and some of the recommended include the Signature Roll ($6 for slice, $22.45 for whole), Tiramisu in a Glass ($12), Warm Blueberry Pie with ice cream ($12), and Gula Melaka Crème Caramel ($10).
The one thing to get is the Gula Melaka Brown Sugar Roll Cake ($6) in which you can enjoy the interplay of play of two complex sugars in a single cake. And thankfully light and not too sweet as well.
In terms of texture, the sponge layer was fluffy and soft, while the cream inside was smooth and not too heavy. All in all, a delicious soft roll cake. FLOR Capitol (Capitol Piazza)
Gram Café & Pancakes Singapore
VivoCity #02-110/111, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
You may have seen videos of Gram’s Pancakes which made their way around social media, of stacks of 3 pancakes being ‘shaken’ on plates.
Gram is famous for its 3-stacked “Premium Pancakes”, each 4 cm thick, served with syrup, butter and whipped cream.
In Singapore’s outlet, they are sold at $17.90 for the stack of three.
You can also look out for other offerings such as Rich Tiramisu Pancakes ($15.90), French Toast of Chocolate Banana ($18.90), and savoury Chilli Bean Pancakes ($18.90) with chilli beans sauce, cheddar cheese and sausage served with pancakes.
Henri Charpentier Singapore
181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central 01-18, Singapore 238896
Tel: +65 6634 4608
Opening Hours: 11am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sat), 11am – 10pm (Sun)
Henri Charpentier’s Strawberry Short Cake was actually crowned “Best Short Cake” in Japan on a well-known Japanese television programme.
This is also its Number 1 best seller in Singapore.
Compared to other cakes, the whipped fresh cream filling has a richer milk taste, but is still melt in your mouth. The sponge was just slightly on the dry side for me, but overall a delightful version.
Other popular cakes include Mille Crepe ($9.60), Double Cheesecake ($8.50), Tiramisu ($9.60), Lemon Tart ($7.50), Chocolatine ($10.20), and Classic Souffle Cheesecake.
Chinatown Point #02-47/48 Singapore 059413
Tel: +65 6244 2028
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Hoshino Coffee takes pride in its hand-drip coffees, made with roasted 100% premium Arabica coffee beans. These beans are carefully selected by Hoshino Coffee’s very own coffee blend specialist Master Kanno.
To pair with your coffees, you may order any of their popular soufflé-style pancakes – baked fresh upon order (allot 20 minutes waiting time) and served with whipped butter and your choice of syrup (maple or honey).
Their signature Pancakes Souffle Style is priced $9.80 for single and $12.00 and double. The special matcha variant is at $13.50 for single and $16.80 for double.
Aside the hand-drip coffee and pancakes, Hoshino offers spaghetti with various toppings (its signature is Hoshino Spaghetti with Eggplant, Bacon, Shimeji & Sausage, $14.00), rice dishes (the Fuwa-Fuwa Hoshino Souffle on Porcini Cream Rice with Bacon is a must-try), meat plates (go for the Hoshino Angus Beef Steak Plate, $21.80), and side dishes (Hoshino French Fries with Wasabi Mayo, $6.00).
CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
The space has a minimalist touch with wooden elements incorporated into every single details, yet brought out the beauty and the simplicity in the design. (Reminds me of Peace Oriental Teahouse from Bangkok.)
The tea apparatus and tableware are all neatly displayed at the bar counter, from the mini stone mill grinder, pour over apparatus, tea scoop to the whisk.
This is probably the best spot to witness all the actions and effort in preparing every cup of tea, with an expanded space, and certainly feels more “zen” now. Hvala (CHIJMES)
Japan Rail Café
5 Wallich Street, #01-20/21 Tanjong Pagar Centre, Singapore 078883 (Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 9:30pm (Fri, Sat), 11am – 8pm (Sun, PH)
Rail pass ticketing, retail and Japanese style cafe. This is the first overseas venture by East Japan Railway Company, located on Level 1 of Tanjong Pagar Centre.
Walking in, the first thing you may notice is a convenient rail ticket service for Japan rail passes.
Food wise, the menu did feel rather ‘Western-Japanese’, with a selection of burgers ($19 – $22), sandwiches ($15 – $18) and rice plates ($16 – $18). There is a selection of pastries from Asanoya Bakery.
JW360° (Japan Way Three Sixty)
78 Airport Boulevard, #01-223/224/225, Jewel Changi Airport (Nearest Terminal T1)
Tel: (Retail) +65 6242 8377 I (Restaurant) +65 6243 2466
Opening Hours: 12am – 9pm (Mon – Thurs), 11:30am – 10pm (Fri – Sun)
Legit Matcha Desserts At Jewel Changi Airport
If you are a sweet tooth or just needing a tea break while walking around Jewel Changi Airport, the JW360° café corner is for you.
They have a range of cakes and gelato, with matcha and sakura specials, using Japanese ingredients like matcha, adzuki bean, and wasanbon, an expensive fine-grained Japanese sugar made from Shikoku sugarcane.
The must-get is the Japanese Gelato ($7.50) with 2 flavours topped with sweet potato. Flavours include Japanese Whiskey, Caramel Walnut, Soba-Cha (interesting), Matcha Milk, Sweet Potato, Hoji-cha and Black Sesame.
The Goma I dare say with its rich and intense flavour, is possibly THE BEST black sesame gelato I had in Singapore.
The picturesque Matcha Mont Blanc ($9.00) with Japanese chestnut paste is my personal favourite; while Matcha Mille Feuille ($9.00) with matcha butter, custard and sweet chestnut are both art-on-a-plate. JW360° (JEWEL Changi Airport)
Kagurazaka Saryo 神楽坂茶寮
VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, #01-59, Singapore 098585
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Known to have 9 outlets in Japan with 14 years of history, Kagurazaka Saryo has opened its very first flagship store right in Singapore at VivoCity.
Brought into Singapore by Japan Food Holdings who owns eateries such as Ajisen Ramen, they have replaced existing Fruit Paradise outlet (Oh bye bye, Fruit Paradise!) with Kagurazaka Saryo.
Fans of fruit tarts from Fruit Paradise need not worry as the tarts are still available for purchase in slices or in whole at Kagurazaka Saryo.
The menu offers a selection of signature matcha desserts such as their famed Matcha Fondue with Assorted Sides ($14.90) and Matcha Frozen Smores ($9.90).
However, the matcha ice cream was milky and sweet, and the taste of green tea was not as distinct as expected, especially when this brand is supposed to comes from the land of matcha. Kagurazaka Saryo 神楽坂茶寮 (Vivocity)
Kamome Bakery かもめベーカリー
Goldhill Shopping Centre, 169 Thomson Road Singapore 307621
Opening Hours: 8am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
Japanese Bakery-Café At Novena
Kamome Bakery is a new Japanese bakery-café at Goldhill Shopping Centre, located near Novena MRT Station.
There are a couple of varied sandwich choices of Meat Loaf ($5.80), Croquette ($5.20), Tonkatsu ($5.60).
Breads are quite uniquely-Japanese, with the offering of Red Bean & Butter, Teriyaki Chicken Pizza, Yuzu Chestnut, Dark Cherry Tart, Cinnamon Roll, Banana Brown Sugar – all priced from $3 to $5 thereabout.
The Japanese Red Bean with salted butter bun was a moderate delight with its smooth paste and thick slab of butter. Kamome Bakery (Goldhill Shopping Centre)
261 Waterloo Street #01-24 Singapore, Singapore 180261
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Mon – Sun)
When you talk about one of the best coffee shops in Singapore, Kurasu should be a shoo-in with its stringent roasting practices, aromatic coffee, and minimalist lifestyle approach.
Kurasu, which means “to live” or “lifestyle” in Japanese, started off as a Japanese homeware store in Australia.
It eventually led to a retail space in owner Yozo Otsuki’s hometown, Kyoto in 2016. The brand focuses on both the Japanese coffee culture and being a one-stop provider for Japanese coffee equipment.
Upon walking into the new outlet at Waterloo Street (it moved from Odeon Towers), you get that simple-homely and Japanese-style minimalist (better if it is not so crowded and thus echoey), with a coffee table to witness the hand pour process, and several sofa seats for a cozy feel.
A popular drink is the Matcha Latte Espresso ($7.50, same price for hot and iced) otherwise known as “Dirty Matcha” is a combination of sweet matcha and latte – so there is a good balance of both. Kurasu (Waterloo)
Kyushu Pancake Singapore – Holland Village
25 Lor Liput, Singapore 277735
Tel: +65 6352 6265
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Japanese Pancake Cafe At Holland Village
Kyushu Pancake which used to be at Novena Regency, has reopened again at a different location – Holland Village.
Wondering what to get? Some of the top-sellers include Berry-licious Pancake ($16.90), Matcha Tiramisu ($16.00), and Matcha MontBlanc ($18.00), and Annou Imo Pancakes (16.00).
There are also savoury options of Eggs Benedict ($18.00), Croque Madame Pancake ($19.00), and American Big Breakfast ($22.00).
The Kyushu Pancake Mix is made from 7 different finely selected grains including wheat from Oita Prefecture and Pressed barley from Saga Prefecture, 100% homegrown in Kyushu Japan, free of emulsifier, artificial fragrance, additives or processed starch.
Therefore, the texture may not be the usual souffle and wobbly that many Singaporeans are more used to. Kyushu Pancake (Holland Village)
53 Amoy Street Singapore 069879
Opening Hours: 12pm – 6:30pm (Mon – Fri), 12pm – 4pm (Sat – Sun)
LUNA, the patisserie down Amoy Street spoiling customers with its mouth-watering cakes and pastries, has launched a number of new cakes in their menu.
My personal recommendations would be the 2 NEW Japanese inspired cakes of Houjicha Tiramisu (inspired by the trending waterfall cake), and Goma Kinako Mochi Roll.
For the Hojicha Tiramisu ($8), you get traditional Italian dessert tiramisu meeting hojicha, an aromatic Japanese roasted green tea, to fill in for this coffee-less treat.
What I need to mention though, is that the tiramisu comes wrapped with a plastic sheet. Once removed, be prepared for a ‘waterfall’ of the lava top later.
Also available on the menu are the Matcha White Chocolate ($8), Vanilla Cheddar Cheese ($7.50), Carrot Cream Cheese ($8) and assorted seasonal tarts and pastries such as the current-trending Korean-inspired Mentaiko Garlic Cream Cheese Bread ($6) and Truffle Garlic Cream Cheese Bread ($6). LUNA Patisserie (Amoy Street)
Matchaya – The Cathay
The Cathay, #01-08/09, 2 Handy Road, Singapore 229233
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Matchaya is a Japanese tea shop serving authentic Japanese-inspired beverages and sweets. They started off at ICON Village, but moved to The Cathay with bigger seating area of 18 seats, and an impressive menu offering more than 80 items.
All premium ingredients, such as matcha and houjicha, are painstakingly sourced from different prefectures in Japan and blended exclusively.
Hand-brewed from their own sources of tea, the Matchaya Exclusive Blend which is a bottled Japanese Milk Tea is a crowd favourite.
Try the bestsellers Cold-Whisked Milk Tea which consists of 2 flavours of Extreme Uji Matcha; and
The expanded menu includes Sandwiches ($6.90 – $8.90), Kiaseki- style Mains ($13.90 – $16.90), Drinks ($5 – $8), Ice Cream ($5.90 – $8), Parfaits ($8.50 – $14.90), Kakigori ($14.90) and Cakes ($6 – $9).
The crowd favourite is the Koicha Azuki Roll Cake ($6) made with generous amount of ceremonial matcha and Chantilly cream, Azuki red beans and 100% activated charcoal sponge cake.
Moist and fluffy on the outside, yet oozing with rich and distinctive matcha cream, I would say possibly worth the calories. Matchaya (The Cathay)
275 Thomson Rd, Novena Regency #01-08, Singapore 307645
Tel: +65 6261 6205
Operation Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Café by day, Izakaya by night, Menya Kanae offers you authentic Japanese comfort food and drinks whichever day part you need them.
A bright, cosy ambiance welcomes you to sit and slurp on its signature Hokkaido miso ramen, bite off a thick, crisp, crunchy Ebi Sando, or savour any of its classic comfort food offerings.
Go for the Signature Handmade Ebi Tartar Sando. This Japanese-inspired sandwich features a hearty ebi katsu, made from chunky pieces of lightly-breaded deep-fried prawns.
Two grilled slices Hokkaido milk bread keep the thick and juicy patty in place, accompanied with crunchy coleslaw to balance the textures. Enjoy this signature dish with a side of house greens and crisp shoestring potato fries.
They also serve up Matcha Milk Bubble Tea.
53 Tras Street, #01-01, Singapore 078992
Opening Hours: 12pm – 9:30pm (Fri – Sat), 12pm – 5:30pm (Sun)
“Nesuto” means “Nest” in Japanese. The interior is painted in pastel pink and white, giving a sense of comfort and minimalism which could be a pull-factor for the tai-tais and OLs for an afternoon respite.
Signaure cakes include the Yuzu Raspberry, Konichiawa Hojicha, Japanese Matcha Azuki, Japanese Goma, and C3 Cheesecake.
I couldn’t keep my eyes off the ‘attention-seeking’ Yuzu Raspberry Cake ($9), coated with a bright pink whipped ganache.
While the portion of the cake might seem bigger than the rest, the Japanese sponge was extremely light and fluffy, perhaps like biting through cotton.
Made with yuzu meringue mousse and chunks of fresh raspberries, the citrusy and tanginess of the fruits cut through entire combination, making the cake light and refreshing. Nesuto (Tras Street)
Pancake Cafe Belle-Ville
Bugis Junction #01-01B, Towers 230 Victoria Street Singapore 188024 (Bugis MRT Exit C, facing Victoria Street, under the giant TV screen)
Tel: +65 6255 5456
Opening Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon – Sun)
Suddenly Japanese pancakes are getting back in trend in Singapore. Pancake Cafe Belle-Ville has three outlets, located at Bugis Junction, 100AM Mall, and Novena Square2.
Pancake Cafe Belle-Ville originated from Osaka Japan, with its popular flagship store located at Umeda Whity.
The pancake café is known for its meringue made-to-order millefeuille (French for “thousand layers”) pancakes, included with homemade whipped Hokkaido cream, stacked from 2 to 8 layers.
Priced from $11.90 to $16.20, varieties include Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake, Mango Pancake, Grilled Apple with Homemade Caramel Pancake, Matcha with Rice Ball and Red Bean Pancake, and Chocolate with Grilled Banana Pancake. Belle-Ville (Bugis Junction)
Pipes by Hattendo
331 New Bridge Road, #01-02 Dorsett Residences, Singapore 088764
Tel: +65 8113 6096
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Perhaps you may remember “Hattendo”, the once-trending Japanese cream buns which had long queues outside its café at Tanjong Pagar Centre.
That café may have closed, but they have returned with a brand new “PIPES by Hattendo” concept at Dorsett Residences, very near Outram MRT Station.
During the day there is a Japanese-fusion menu along with the signature cream buns; while night time customers can expect chef’s speciality dishes.
The lunch time menu includes a variety of items such as Tamago Sand ($13) of egg mayo sandwich with sausage and green salad, Teriyaki Pork Chop Don ($14), Roast Bee Don ($18), Una Don ($25), Roast Beef Sourdough Toast ($14), to Spanish Pork Belly Burger ($8). PIPES by Hattendo (Dorsett Residences)
Maccha House Singapore
Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #B1-40, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Maccha House specialises in traditional Maccha beverages and desserts created from this fine green tea powder, all sourced from Kyoto Japan.
While they also serve hot food items, most are really here for their desserts, such as the Maccha Soft Serve Anmitsu with Rice-flour Dumplings, and Maccha Parfaits which come with rice flour, chocolate or soy milk pudding.
While the palm-sized Maccha Tiramisu ($7.99) seems ordinary, it contained a layer of premium Kyoto’s “Morihan” matcha powder with more than 170 years of history, carefully dusted on top.
They serve the Hot Maccha drink the traditional way – whisked with a bamboo chasen out of a bowl. Their Maccha Latte is considerately not as bitter, so some may like this version? Maccha House (Orchard Central)
Nana’s Green Tea Café
The Atrium @ Orchard, Plaza Singapura 68 Orchard Road #03-80/82 Singapore 238839 (Dhoby Ghaut MRT) Tel: +65 6684 4312
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
With more than 30 branches in Japan, Nana Green Tea is sometimes termed as the “Japanese Starbucks”.
Although Nana’s Green Tea is known to be a café, it also sells several main courses such as dons, udons and sushi rolls, with a more localised menu quite unlike the ones in Japan.
Desserts such as its Matcha Anmitsu ($8.80), are definitely its strength. It may not blow you away but makes a decent afternoon tea-time treat, with its azuki red bean paste smooth and satisfying.
6A Shenton Way #04-01, The Work Project, Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
This a take away store tucked away in a corner of Level 4 of Downtown Gallery as part of office space “The Work Project”, but that did not hider coffee fans from finding their way to this secluded part of building.
Over here, the menu is kept simple with Hot or Iced selections.
Hot coffee include espresso based Omotesando Koffee Hot (Regular $4, Large $5), Hand Drip Koffee ($6) Latte and Cappuccino (Regular $4.80, Large $6).
The popular choice is the signature Iced Cappuccino (Single $7.50, Double $8.50) capped with layer of bubble foam and topped with cocoa powder. Omotesando Koffee (Downtown Gallery)
Capital Square #01-02/08, 23 Church Street Singapore S049481
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 3pm – 10pm (Sat), Closed Sun
You may have walked past one of these Caffe Pronto in Japan, but may not have paid special attention.
Pronto has opened in Singapore, within Capital Square along Church Street.
It is located within a Japanese-themed gourmet space called GOCHI – which houses six different Japanese food concepts. These include Chojiro (sushi), Unaemon (unagi), Suage Express (soup curry), Morozoff (cheesecakes and chocolates), and Paletas (popsicle).
It changes its menu and service style according to the time of the day. This is where you can enjoy Italian-style coffee and bread in the morning, then a plate of pasta for lunch and dinner.
Pasta choices include the classic Bolognese ($11), Porcini Cream Sauce with Truffle Oil ($15), Scallop & Bottarga Aglio Olio ($13), Crab & Broccoli Arrabiata ($18), and Mozzarella Tomato Sauce ($15). Pronto (Capital Square)
Rilakkuma – The Relax Café
Kumoya @ Orchard Central #04-08, 181 Orchard Road, Singapore 238896
Opening Hours: 11am – 9:30pm, Last Order 30 minutes before closing (Mon – Sun)
Rilakkuma Pop-Up Café In Singapore At Orchard Central
While many character cafes in Singapore have short life spans, Kumoya known for its numerous pop-up cafes has opened a new outlet at Orchard Central #04-08.
This Kumoya @ Orchard Central is bigger at 2000 sq ft (more space for social distancing), brighter, overlooking Singapore’s Orchard Road.
This pop-up “Rilakkuma -The Relax Café” will be the first semi-permanent San-X characters pop-up café in South East Asia, as it will be a year-long collaboration with various San-X characters making their appearance.
Items available include Relaxy Rilakkuma Chicken Cordon Bleu ($29.90), Rest & Relax Rilakkuma Chicken Stew Rice ($25.90), Chill-out Rilakkuma Yuzu Carbonara Pasta ($23.90) and Rilakkuma Chill-out Tendon Rice Set ($27.90). Rilakkuma Café (Orchard Central)
St. Marc Bakery & Bar
Parkland Green @ ECP 920, East Coast Parkway #01-09/10, Singapore 449875
Tel: +65 6342 1786
Opening Hours: 12pm – 10pm (Mon – Thurs), 12pm – 11pm (Fri), 9am – 11pm (Sat), 9am – 10pm (Sun)
Japanese dessert Café Saint Marc has a few star items – Choro Cro pastry, Little Fuji and Geisha Waffle Cone. No doubt, I am a fan.
Few would know they opened a restaurant concept with much larger space at Parkland Green, East Coast Parkway.
Dining at a Japanese café by the beach sounds like a great weekend activity. However, while The East Coast St. Marc may provide a fuller menu, the experience at other branches felt better. (Read: St Marc Bakery & Bar Parkland Green)
9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-96 Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596
Opening Hours: 7am – 8:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 7:30pm (Sat – Sun)
Pullman Bakery, famous for their Hokkaido curry buns and other Danish pastries, is a name that Japanese bread lovers should recognise.
Do you know that it first started off as “Tachihara Bakery” way back in 1978 in Hokkaido Japan?
I noticed that there is matcha in EVERY section of the menu, and ordered the Matcha Cream Toast ($3), Ice Matcha Latte ($4.50), and Matcha Cup Dessert ($3).
The Ice Matcha Latte ($4.50) was relatively sweet, overpowering everything else. As a matcha lover, I would have preferred more distinct notes of green tea. Tachihara Coffee (Millenia Walk
6 Eu Tong Sen St, Clarke Quay Central #01-74, Singapore 059817
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Probably one of the most known Japanese green tea café in Singapore. Tsujiri is said to be a 155-year-old traditional Japanese tea brand serving the highest quality Matcha with a contemporary twist.
However, do not confuse them with Japan’s Gion or Saryo Tsujri – which the Japanese are more familiar with.
The O-Matcha Latte ($5.60, $6.20) is a customer favourite, made using matcha harvested from Tsujiri’s own plantation in Uji, Kyoto.
I found the latte slightly sweeter than the usual Japanese style, but was still a smooth, refreshing drink.
They used to have more outlets in Singapore, but the one left now is at Clarke Quay Central.
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