my awesome cafe, tanjong pagar

I think it takes guts to use an adjective like awesome in one’s name – especially because it invites comparison where there might not have been any.

like, do I usually give cafes concessions for serving not-nearly-up-to-the-mark food? yes – because they pander to the hipster and the cool, and so sometimes the food gets overlooked for the decor or the drinks. but when a place calls itself awesome, it sets up expectations that might be difficult to fulfil.

but that’s not to say that the food here is bad, because it isn’t: it’s hearty and quite filling and rather delicious, BUT the name just makes me wonder if I’d have naturally said that it was awesome (or would anyone, unless they had lived as a or was stuck in the persona of a teenager in 90’s america).

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plain vanilla bakery, tiong bahru


not-bad baked goods from this beautiful whitewashed bakery in tiong bahru. from a yuppie enclave (i.e. katong), to this hipster one (the bicycles say it all) – this popular cupcake place actually also serves up a range of other items (that provide more compelling reason for a visit).

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porn’s, telok blangah

decent place for an easy thai lunch on the weekdays – not too expensive neither. so I believe the eponymous owner of this place gave rise to its rather audacious name (you must supposed that’s why it was done), but the food is not nearly as startling.

it’s decent thai food – the flavors are there, and I’m not one to argue authenticity – in a cafe setting, ever-so-slightly less commercial-feeling than the larger chains like thai express.

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morsels, little india

visually appealing and tasty fusion tapas-type eating at this hideaway of a restaurant in little india.

I’ve heard a lot about this place – how the chefs returned from culinary studies to set up this tiny new-age restaurant serving japanese-influenced fusionish – and let’s be straight, the food is pretty good, and the space both cozy and modern-scandi (which really just means it’s gorgeous).

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oxwell and co, chinatown

could-be-fantastic but falls-short-of-the-mark british cooking at this small restaurant in the club street stretch of eateries. I know there are people scoffing at the whole “british cooking” idea, but I think that’s a rather antiquated idea – it is possibly beyond doubt that it used to mean rather plain boiled meat alongside overboiled greens, but these days I would more readily associate it with a polished-up version of rustic comfort food.

which – I suspect – is where this place was heading for, but I’m not sure it succeeded.

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batterworks + nylon coffee roasters, outram park

back with a singapore post, and this time we’re in the hipster neighborhood of everton park. it’s a quaint, quiet, old neighborhood that’s recently seen the entrance of young hipster establishments full of their concrete naturalness, too-cool-for-school carelessness, and questionable gastronomy.

most people come here for the coffee – but I came lured by the offer of cake.

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creamier handcrafted ice cream, braddell

okay ice-cream, though not quite worth the hype (nor queue, nor the inconvenience of locating). this place is the latest stop on our conquer-ice-cream tour about this too-sunny island, which (unfortunately for it) resulted in a less favorable comparison.

it’s not bad by any means, but the ice cream gallery almost definitely has smoother ices (this here is a tad icy, slightly ironic given its name), flavours on the muted side, and portions small.

and for its hipster pretensions (small shop breaking the peace of an obscure old estate), it’s crazy packed: cramped inside and teenagers forming a noisy queue.

but, it is the cheapest scoop on our list-of-such, and worth a look-try if you’re in the area (the butterscotch was the best we tried that day).

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department of caffeine, chinatown


surprisingly good food at this hipster coffee joint in chinatown. I do the following tick-the-box for these new joints: industrial wood-chic, check; coiffed baristas, check; obscure (maybe not quite obscure any longer) locale, check. but what this place has, besides hipster ambitions, is good food and reasonable prices.

and for those latter reasons, this place is made disarmingly charming – well worth repeat visits – and an anomaly in its class.

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communal, clarke quay

decently good modern-americana at this slip of a restaurant in the central business district. this place has slight hipster aspirations – but so schmexy-cool with its dark speakeasy atmosphere that it’s easily forgiven; plus the food was pretty good.

smallish-but-not-terribly-so portions, decent flavors, and a good atmosphere – it’s contemporary portlandish american eating, enjoyable in its own way.

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the market grill, tanjong pagar

fantastic food at hipster prices in the central business district. I hopped on the hipster bandwagon in coming to this restaurant – but I couldn’t resist. the myriad reviews coming out were too positive and too curiosity-inciting for me to ignore, and I’m glad this place more than lived up to the hype. the food was delicious, the ambience cosy – I only wished the prices were a little less on the high side.

but I suppose one can’t have everything, eh?


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