The Populus Coffee & Food Co. @ 146 Neil Road

From the same people behind the wildly popular Department of Caffeine, comes a new collaboration with Two Degrees North Coffee Co. called The Populus Coffee & Food Co., located along the row of shophouses on Neil road and a mere distance away from newcomers The Daily Roundup, Luxe Singapore and heavyweight The Lokal. Slated to be the next big hipster cafe to hit the scene, its industrial chic look with copper border tables, wooden accents and marble notes is creatively on point and hard to fault. The food too with unique offerings such as “Spring Pancake & Fried Chicken” and “Ginger Beer Pork Collar” makes it an interesting stop for a refreshing change from the usual cafe brunch menu dishes.

We visited The Populus Coffee & Food Co. on a weekday afternoon after lunch hours and while the cafe was only in its soft launch phrase, most tables were already filled. Not difficult to imagine how much more crowded it can get during peak hours or after it officially opens on 11 November 15. Prices of the food here range from $16 – $23 while a Macchiato starts at $4.50. Orders are taken at the counter while the food is served to you.

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Between the four of us, we went straight for The Populus Scramble $17. Think soft creamy lusciously smooth scrambled eggs tucked on a bed of toasted croissant with a topping of marinated feta, slices of cut chilli and strips of streaky bacon for a decadent touch. We dare say that this glorious plate of breakfast elements was easily one of the best we have had. Enjoyable textures with a pop of colour, the portion was just right for either a hearty meal for one and also great for sharing.

The Halia @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

Halia at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is an iconic landmark nestled within the only tropical garden to ever be conferred the title of an UNESCO World Heritage site. Known for its fusion fare and lush landscapes of greenery with a ginger garden at its backyard, Halia recently underwent an overhaul, both exteriorly in its decor and interiorly in its menu. Even the uniforms of the service staff have been replaced with batik fabric, as the restaurant stays true to its Asian roots and culture.

We dropped by a week ago to try out some of their new dishes and started with a Goat’s Cheese & Honey Mousse $16 for an appetizer. While I was initially apprehensive about the strong distinct lingering taste that is usually characteristic of Goat’s Cheese, I was pleasantly surprised at how effortlessly it could be used as a spread on the crisp slices of bread and after topping it off with some fresh tomato salsa, I concluded that this starter was indeed done tastefully, literally and figuratively. Must try if you are up for something different.


Moving on to the Lemongrass & Ginger Tiger Prawn Salad $19 for a touch of Thai, this bowl admittedly impressed with its colour palette and refreshing notes of sweet mango and the signature ginger flower dressing. Made a tad more substantial with the addition of the al dente glass noodles, this salad was certainly a crowd-pleaser.

Twenty Grammes @ Ang Mo Kio Ave 10

About a month ago, Twenty Grammes opened their second outlet in the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio. The flagship at North Bridge Road had earned a reputation for their waffles and salted egg yolk sauce served alongside and so they brought those very signatures to the North as well. But not just that, Twenty Grammes AMK also has new exclusive items such as the Yuan Yang Waffle and Soft Serve ice-cream at this outlet.

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I came here twice within the span of one month and both times had experienced a sizeable crowd. There were however many tables available both indoors and outdoors so getting a seat was not really an issue. The first visit saw us zooming in for the Yuan Yang Waffles $15– which offers you the best of both worlds with 1/2 a charcoal waffle and the other 1/2 made up of the Belgian classic served with a twirl of milk soft serve and hazelnut sauce on the side to drizzle at your own pleasure.

MEATliquor SINgapore @ 99 Duxton Road

Known for their American-style classics such as burgers and chicken wings, MEATliquor from London has finally introduced its international debut outpost in Singapore- MEATliquor SINgapore. Nestled in a hipster corner of Duxton Road, MEATliquor SINgapore is closely modelled after the other MEATliquor identities abroad and we were instantly brought into another realm as we stepped into the restaurant-bar. Loved the decorations, vibes and the crowd!


The food menu is simple yet diverse, consisting of 3 different categories, “Burgers”, “Fries” and “Bits and Bobs”. There were too many choices, so we picked our favourites from each category. The meal was then served up in a huge tray with all the dishes we had ordered. Ideal for taking top-down shots!

The Knolls @ Capella Singapore

Lauded as one of Singapore’s most luxurious hotels with a premium postal code to boot, Capella Singapore with its sprawling grounds is lavish and fancy on all counts. It is after all, strategically located on Sentosa island, making it the ideal tropical getaway without having to use your passport. The setting at Capella is tranquil and beautifully landscaped by lush greenery and nature. A room here is by no means cheap, but it is no secret that privacy and quiet does come at a cost in Singapore.

If however, an hour or two respite is all you need from the hustle and bustle of city life, then there is a more affordable option- Lunch at Capella’s The Knolls. With the al-fresco terrace overlooking the South China Sea accompanied by sporadic visits from the stunning wild peacocks that roam the premises, suffice to say that your afternoon here will feel as if you have been effortlessly transported to a beach resort, though really, you are only minutes away from town.


Our afternoon escapade in little tropical paradise of Capella began with a cold appetizer of Octopus Ballotine $27 presented in a medley of colours made up of fresh ingredients. Special mention to those cross-sectioned octopus pieces which were nicely tender, still chewy and finished with a Orange Martini dressing. Lovely balance of sweet and citrus in this one.