Cafes In Singapore That Satiate Your Appetite For Food And Vintage Stuff

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Cafes In Singapore That Satiate Your Appetite For Food And Vintage Stuff

STORY: Pearlyn Tham
16 November 2021
Get fed, and step back in time at places like Old Habits Boutique & Café (left) and British Hainan.
Get fed, and step back in time at places like Old Habits Boutique & Café (left) and British Hainan. | PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM/@OLDHABITSSG AND PEARLYN THAM

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Some of us love food, some of us love vintage things. And some of us are greedy and love both.

For the last group, these are the places you will find us at – cafes and restaurants in Singapore that serve up delicious food and also showcase and sell antiques and memorabilia.

Brunches Cafe
96 Rangoon Road

You can shop for vintage toys, lunch boxes, phones and more here but you really want to park yourself in the vintage Mini Cooper car which is, surprise, a four-seater sofa.

Next, feed your belly well because as its name suggests, Brunches Cafe boasts an all-day breakfast menu with pancakes, granola parfait and a few egg dishes – all very Instagram-friendly and also wallet-friendly.

Most of the food items are below $20 except the limited-edition Brunches High Tea Set. Only 10 sets are made every day and each includes sweet and savoury bites plus a pot of tea. Yums.

The Coastal Settlement
200 Netheravon Road

If you only know the far end of Changi for just Jewel, you probably have been missing out on one of Singapore’s most gorgeous restaurants and also a fave among Easties. Easties who drive, to be specific – because The Coastal Settlement is tucked away in a really ulu corner of our island.

But once you find your way there, you will be rewarded with an East-meets-West menu of brunch regulars like Smashed Avocado and Eggs or Chicken Waffle as well as Asian faves like Hokkien mee, laksa and the TCS Nasi Campur which is packed with so much yummy stuff like beef rendang, crispy chicken and more that you will need to walk it all off by strolling back to your home in Boon Lay. Some of the dishes are served on nostalgic enamel plates too.

Dress up too because you will want to take photos for your metaverse as The Coastal Settlement is full of antiques, vintage memorabilia, old furniture and even vintage vehicles. These aren’t for sale and neither is the is-this-even-Singapore-anymore view of lush fields and the sea.

PHOTOS: PEARLYN THAM
PHOTOS: PEARLYN THAM

British Hainan
75 Carpmael Road

As early as the 1920s, the Hainanese already knew all about fusion cuisine.

Hainanese ancestors arrived in Singapore – much later than the other Chinese dialect groups – to look for work, only to realise that they had missed the boat literally when it came to finding jobs in lucrative industries like agriculture and trade. So boh pian, they settled for jobs in the service sector which meant that most Hainanese men in those days were waiters in Western restaurants or cooks on ships and for rich European families.

The good thing that came out of all this? They became known for their Westernised culinary expertise, opened restaurants and coffee shops, and as a result, we now have something known as Western Hainanese food which is what British Hainan is about.

It has three outlets which serve Braised Lambshank, Hainanese Curry Rice and the popular Hainanese Porkchop.

At the Carpmael Road location near Joo Chiat, we also took time to admire the treasure trove of antiques including a jukebox (with Sammi Cheng songs at that), Chinese Cultural Revolution posters and a jackpot machine.

PHOTO: WWW.MA-MAISON.SG
PHOTO: WWW.MA-MAISON.SG
PHOTO: WWW.MA-MAISON.SG
PHOTO: WWW.MA-MAISON.SG

Ma Maison at Takashimaya
#04-27 Takashimaya S.C. Ngee Ann City

Step into this Japanese-Western restaurant and you will forget that you were even in the modern, swanky Takashimaya Shopping Centre just a minute ago.

The dimly-lit (but in a good way) restaurant is furnished to look like a cosy, shabby chic home with floral tablecloths, old framed photos, and walls and walls of books, vintage glassware and plates.

Just the kind of ambience in which you can wolf down retro-comfort Japanese fare like hamburger (but in the Japanese way so no buns there), katsu curry, omurice and some of the most well-decorated fruit tarts around.

Old Habits
2 Telok Blangah Way, #01-04, SAFRA Mount Faber

Is this a shop or a café? Well, it’s both.

But things don’t have to be complicated. First, tuck into the affordable food at Old Habits, which includes $6.90 rice bowls with a wide selection of ingredients like smoked duck or crispy chicken as well as the more family-friendly (because five pax from the same household can now dine out, hurrah!) Sea Salt Caramel Roast Chicken.

Then, walk off those calories by browsing through the shop’s merchandise to find vintage gems like old cartoon pencil boxes and tin toys.

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TAGS: Quirky Things , Local Tourist
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