In a city where there’s no shortage of cosy cafes that welcome customers with frothy cappuccinos and perky pastries, one might be surprised to know that some of Singapore’s more exceptional cafes are actually found in the least expected place – right smack in a department store or boutique.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a new delicious brunch spot, worked up an appetite after a full day of retail therapy, or simply looking for a coffee respite after accompanying an over-enthusiastic shopper, these four in-store cafes are just the answer.
After all, we all need a reprieve from maddening shopping crowds, and it’s even better if you are not too far from your next flat white fix or a tasty tartine.
WANDERLUST CAFE AT TAKASHIMAYA
Nestled in the “Ladies’ Fashion Contemporary Zone” on the third floor of Takashimaya in Ngee Ann City is pink-hued Wanderlust Cafe, offering a slice of serenity amid the hustle and bustle of a busy department store.
The brews are aromatic and top-notch – supplied by The Affogato Bar at Cluny Court – but Wanderlust Cafe’s draw has to be its food.
The menu screams savoury goodness, ranging from a luscious house-made guacamole and tangy tomato salsa tartine (the sourdough bread is made from scratch, truffle egg mayo tartine (topped with decadent ikura boba and micro greens), and roasted mushroom and egg quiche to sesame bagels paired with garlic cream cheese to bacon and caramelised onions topped on a sourdough bun.
Wash it down with their Raspberry Lychee Soda or treat yourself to some decadent desserts and pastries from Cream & Custard including the Passion fruit meringue tart, Raspberry Lychee Cake, Galaxy Cake and Lychee Rose Cake and their signature Watermelon Strawberry Cake.
Wanderlust Cafe is located at Takashimaya Departmental Store Level 3, 391A Orchard Road, Singapore 238873. Details here.
SWEE LEE SOCIAL CLUB AT THE STAR VISTA
Homegrown brand Swee Lee has long had a special place in Singapore’s history – from supplying brass and woodwind instruments to the British military back in 1948 to establishing themselves as the country’s largest music instrument store that is it today.
Also on hand are handcrafted drinks, hot cocoas, cold brew teas and an extensive waffle menu. Choose from an array of toppings such as caramelised banana, matcha almond, mixed berry, cookie crumble, caramel pretzel crunch or toasted marshmallows, then dig into that indulgent buttermilk waffles while listening to good music.
Swee Lee Social Club is located at The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, 01-07/10, Singapore 138617. Details here.
MARMALADE PANTRY PETITE AT BHG BUGIS JUNCTION
Since 1999, this chic homegrown brand has been serving up modern bistro cuisine infused with a local twist. Known for their pasta, cupcakes and weekend brunches, the Marmalade Pantry group also offers up quick service branch – Marmalade Pantry Petite – located inside department store BHG in Bugis Junction.
Popular choices include afternoon tea sets (comprising teacakes, cupcakes, tarts, scones, croissants, brioches, sandwiches and truffle egg mayo burgers), as well innovative lattes and artisan teas by Monogram.
With prices ranging from S$3 to S$68, it’s a perfect spot for quick reprieve from shopping sprees or a break from bustling city life.
Marmalade Pantry Petite is located at BHG Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street #01-35, Singapore 188021. Details here.
IN GOOD COMPANY X PLAIN VANILLA BAKERY AT ION ORCHARD
Having Plain Vanilla Bakery right inside boutique In Good Company is the epitome of local collaboration heaven. For those who love supporting local brands, this is great fashion design, great coffee, great cupcakes all coming together under one roof.
Not only is it a hidden oasis for those seeking refuge from the shopping madness that is ION Orchard, it’s the perfect place for cake and coffee connoisseurs.
Expect the signature Plain Vanilla cupcakes, served up alongside aromatic organic brew. The quality is still uncompromised – French butter, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and bittersweet Belgian chocolate are used in the bakes. There’s also a daily selection of fresh salads, deli-style sandwiches and savoury tarts. Word of advice? The early bird catches the freshest confections – cupcakes and bakes are available from noon onwards.
In Good Company x Plain Vanilla Bakery is located at #B1-06, ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801. Details here.