The recent trend of themed cafés has arrived in Singapore with a vengeance. Whether you’re after dinner on the ocean floor, some dessert that’s looking at you or vintage inspiration, Singapore has many themed cafés where you can up your Instagram game.
Cottage Window on 3rd floor | Courtesy of d'Good Café
Mike Chin created d’Good Café after a visit to Seoul, which led to the discovery of Korea’s many themed cafés. Chin went one better when he opened d’Good Café in 2012, setting it up with four themed areas: The Bar, The Lawn, The Attic and The Balcony. Settle down with a coffee customised to your taste preference in one of the four areas, and maybe even indulge in a slice of heaven, their d’Good Maple Sea Salt Cheesecake.
Who doesn’t want their dessert to be staring at them? First started a few years ago in Barcelona, eyescream & friends is a simple enough concept: DIY sundaes but with the twist of making your dessert come to life. It’s a three-step process: pick a flavour of ice cream, select two cups of toppings and finally, hand your tray to the staff who will bring your creation to life by carefully placing two eyes on your dessert. A second location recently opened in the basement of Wisma Atria on Orchard Road.
Who says being in a fishbowl is a bad thing? Eat amongst wild sea creatures at the Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, Singapore’s first female Iron Chef. Tuck into delicious Californian-Mediterranean fusion seafood dishes, and enjoy the glass-side seats to the aquarium’s Open Ocean tank displaying a range of fish, manta rays and even sharks. Be sure to try Cora’s signature dish, the crispy skin barramundi. To avoid disappointment, book a table next to the glass panels a few weeks in advance.
Step into the past at Corner House, located in the black-and-white bungalow that once housed dedicated botanist and the former assistant director of the Singapore Botanical Gardens, E J H Corner. Following years of training in some of the toughest kitchens in the world, local chef Jason Tan opened Corner House, a gastro-botanica (a term he coined himself) restaurant, in this century-old colonial house. Tan saw his restaurant blossom through 2016, winning a top 20 spot in San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in Asia and receiving the prestigious award of One Michelin Star from the restaurant guide’s inaugural visit to Singapore.
Kombi Rocks Diner is a cool vintage-themed casual eatery serving contemporary Thai-Chinese fusion. With its retro setting, the owners have found a way to combine their two passions: vintage cars and hearty food. The vintage cars aren’t just collecting dust either; the diner rents them out for events, and there’s an original Kombi that doubles as an instant photo booth in the diner. For a unique culinary adventure, sign up for their Ride & Dine Experience where hungry diners can cruise the streets of Singapore in a vintage Kombi, have a retro-inspired photo shoot and even dine on a four-course meal inside one of the vehicles.
Perfect for kids or just the young at heart, Hungry Heroes is Singapore’s first superhero-themed café. Part toy shop, part restaurant, the walls are decorated with superhero collectables and murals that are all available for purchase (information that you may or may not choose to share with your little ones). Arguably a restaurant exclusively for carnivores, feast on the Nice to Meat You platter; enough for three to four guests, the dish features half a rack of pork ribs, a 200-gram sirloin steak, a 250-gram chicken leg and pulled pork with a choice of roasted potatoes or fries.
This dreamy Alice in Wonderland-themed café, located in the lush tropical landscape of Duxton Hill, will have you dreaming of tea parties with Mad Hatters and disappearing Cheshire Cats in no time. The White Rabbit is Singapore’s only gin garden bar, boasting a carefully curated menu of 15 distinct gin and tonics, each served with a unique garnish.