Last updateSun, 29 Jan 2017
Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:33

Guide to neighborhood cafés in eastern Singapore (Part One)

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Welcome to the 21st Century HDB void deck – a space where people gather and chit-chat with one another before heading to the café for a nice hot cuppa artisanal joe.

Wait. Did we say “café”? 

Cafés are popular places to hang out and meet new people, and they are popping up all over Singapore, particularly in the heartlands, taking root under HDB void decks. Given the avid patronage of young adults, rising rental costs, and the national pastime of eating, setting up a café under an HDB void deck is a cost-effective way of running a profitable F&B business. Soon they will become a common fixture in our neighborhood. 


Although there are no official figures to show how many void deck cafés are there in Singapore, it appears that Singapore is booming with neighborhood cafés. 

coffee-beans-in-the-mug-representing-fresh-brewed-coffee zkUwTVP

Tiong Bahru estate in Central Singapore is arguably the city-state’s first neighborhood café hub. Google “neighborhood cafés Singapore” and out comes a list of websites and blogs pointing to any one of Tiong Bahru’s cafés. Lol! 40 Hands café is possibly the estate’s first neighborhood café to open, followed by Drips Bakery Café, Orange Thimble, Tiong Bahru Bakery and The Plain. Serving up aromatic brews and delicious food, these cafés quickly became a popular hangout spot among locals living in Tiong Bahru. 

And it seems that eastern Singapore is set to become the next neighborhood café hub. Already, there are some 20 cafés (and growing!) nestled in the void decks of HDB estates.

The following list is dedicated to dining in comfort in the heartlands, Easties - people living in eastern Singapore, travelers, and the street smart Singaporeans, because in the end, we are all humans. Here we go, with five void deck cafés in eastern Singapore to help you decide which café to visit for a sumptuous meal and coffee.  

#1. The Geek Café

One of the newest cafés to open in eastern Singapore, The Geek Café is a miniature sit-and-go café that serves great iced mocha and latte along with an excellent selection of homemade cheesecakes from Cat & The Fiddle, a local cheesecake brand, to match your drinks. On the food menu, must-tries are the Over the Moon cheesecake, Maneki Neko cheesecake and the Fickle Feline cheesecake.

Ignore the fact that The Geek Café is only for geeks because we hipsters were there to try the drinks and cakes when it first opened… And we think they (the food and drinks, duh!) are great!

#01-644 Marine Parade Promenade, 81 Marine Parade Central. 

#2. Percolate Coffee

The sleepy town of Bedok is an unlikely place to find a café, but that’s where Percolate Coffee is.

Located in Bedok town, Percolate Coffee is a charming, no-frills café that reflects the serenity of its neighborhood. Wooden brown tables, immaculate white walls and cement gray floors set the stage for a lovely afternoon coffee session with neighbors and friends. The café latte, a slightly acidic brew with a nice roast-y taste, is unique to Percolate Coffee.

136 Bedok North Avenue 3.

#3. i Scream

Hip is the theme of this newly opened ice cream parlor-cum-café that serves tantalizing sweet treats with artisanal coffee. With a variety of interestingly coined dishes and sweets like Soogle (Google + Scream, get it?), complete with nifty trinkets, cultural gewgaws and a Vespa bike at the café’s entrance, I Scream makes a wonderful space for anyone living in the east to hang out. This café is also the place to-go for a cool treat if you wish to beat the scorching midday heat.

#01-109, Block 89 Bedok North Street 4. 

#4. Badoque café

Bedok Simpang is a well-known treasure trove of food and it is home to Badoque café, a quaint café that whips up a smorgasbord of tasty delights like the aglio olio, naked salmon and arrabbiata with fettuccino plus gourmet coffee. Here, the menu is divided into five sections - starters, pasta, meats, going global or fusion and drinks, thus making it look sumptuous at first glance.

289 Bedok Road, Simpang Bedok.

#5. NOM

NOM means ‘No Other Meaning’ but the word itself is a slang to describe the action of chewing on one’s food. The entire café is washed throughout in shades of white and gray, pretty dull colors for a hipster café - but its best features are the café’s re-creation of the iconic Toa Payoh dragon playground and spaciousness.

Must-tries are the truffle Parmesan fries, chicken skin, Shepard’s pie, Signature NOM platter, selection of hand-rolled thin crust pizzas, beer battered fish & chips and the ultimate NOM burger. For drinks we recommend you try the African red iced chocolate or iced latte.  

400 Kallang-Paya Lebar Way, MacPherson Community Club Level 1. 

Eastie Brekkie

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