Longhouse, the iconic eating house on Upper Thomson Road, has given way to an upcoming mixed-used residential block (the stalls have relocated to Jalan Besar Stadium). Heading north, cafés have been sprouting regularly, the trees cut to make way for more infrastructure. From brewed coffee to waffles, pancakes and ice-cream – Upper Thomson is the latest stretch to chill at, and we tell you where's good.
Chocolate lovers will fall in love with Going Nutella For You | Photo: Julia Khoo
Best for pancakes
This little eatery is the baby of husband-and-wife duo Daniel Wu and Kristy Wu. Their moist and fluffy pancakes are miniature in size but big in creativity. Each serving comes with ten mini pancakes with a variety of sides. There are around 14 sweet and savoury combos you can pick from. If you’re feeling hungry, go for the hearty All Day Breakfast ($10.90) – a generous combo of pancakes, scrambled eggs, glazed sausages, potato salad and greens. For a local twist, there’s Singaporeans Unite ($7.50) – pancakes with kaya, butter, and condensed milk dip. Our favourite is the decadent Going Nutella For You ($8.20) – pancakes, Nutella, wafer cubes, chocolate chips, and chocolate ice cream.
Little Pancakes | Address: 200 Upper Thomson Road, #01-04 Thomson Imperial Court | Tel: 62588515 | Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 1-11pm; Sat 11am-11pm; Sun 11am-9pm
Go bananas over the Bananarama waffle. | Photo: Julia Khoo
Best for late-night waffles
We just can’t get enough of waffles. Whether you’re craving for these grid-cakes for breakfast, or sweet waffles for dessert, Wafflelicious is your answer to all-day waffles. They open till 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, so it’s a late-night hangout place as well. You can create your own waffle creation with various toppings, or choose from the signature sweet or savoury combinations. The Wafflelicious W.I.C.H. ($9.90) is a massive meal of plain waffle, cheese, ham, sausage, baked beans and corn kernels. For the sweet-toothed, the Bananarama ($8) – banana waffle, ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbs, fresh banana – is a satisfying option.
Wafflelicious | Address: 215F Upper Thomson Road | Tel: 64565834 | Opening hours: Tue-Thu 2-11pm; Fri 2pm-1am; Sat 10.30am-1am; Sun 12.30-11pm
Sip on a latte made with Axil coffee beans from Melbourne. | Photo: Julia Khoo
One Man Coffee
Best for early breakfast and brunch
Barely three months old, this rustic indie café has already snagged the attention of coffee connoisseurs. Sharing the premises of pizzeria Crust (which operates from 5pm), One Man Coffee focuses on a small selection of coffee and breakfast bites. They use coffee beans roasted by Strangers Reunion, occasionally, they also import beans from Melbourne-based Axil Coffee Roasters. A latte here is a pocket-friendly $4.50. Don’t miss the highly-raved Toad in the Hole with bacon jam ($10) and brioche French toast with homemade berry compote and candied walnuts ($10). For light bites, they have breads by Bakery Artisan Original and cakes from Edith Patisserie.
One Man Coffee | Address: 215R Upper Thomson Road | Tel: 64561555 | Opening hours: Wed-Mon 9am-5pm
Chill with a cuppa and watch the world goes by | Photo: Julia Khoo
Best for hearty meals
Opened about two years ago, Habitat Coffee isn’t exactly new, but it is one of the first café additions to this increasingly hip neighborhood. Regulars flock here for their trusty and reasonably-priced coffee and food. The coffee here is made with their own Carpenter blend, a mix of three single origin beans. Prices range from $4.90 for a regular cup of latte to $3.90 for a slice of cheesecake. The food menu – more extensive than most independent cafes – includes truffle fries, sandwiches, pastas, and brunch items. We dig The Shrooms ($12) – a satisfying plate of perfectly poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, thick toast, side salad, and, of course, shiitake mushrooms.
Habitat Coffee | Address: 223 Upper Thomson Road | Tel: 64562567 | Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11am-10.30pm; Sat & Sun 10.30am-10.30pm
The signature Salted Caramel ice- cream is a must-try. | Photo: Julia Khoo
Best for late-night ice cream dates
Another late-night hangout venue, home-grown ice cream parlour Salted Caramel is the place to go if you like your ice-cream rich and bold. Their signature flavour Salted Caramel is smooth and creamy with intense flavours of salt and caramel. For earl grey tea lovers, the Earl Grey is balanced in sweetness and taste, with a lovely lingering scent of this distinctive tea. Other popular flavours include avocado, Horlicks Tim Tam, espresso caramel, and ginger yuzu. Prices start from $3.30 per scoop. You can choose to have your ice cream with waffle bowl (add $1), Belgian waffle (add $3.50) or brownie ($3.50).
Salted Caramel | Address: 246F Upper Thomson Road | Tel: 67531718 | Opening hours: Sun-Thu noon-11pm; Fri, Sat & eve of public holidays noon-2am
Coffee here is made with Roadster blend roasted by Pacamara. | Photo: Julia Khoo
OZ Specialty Coffee
Best for take-away coffee
Located just a few steps behind the row of shophouses (same stretch as Salted Caramel) in Upper Thomson Road is Thomson V Two, a small commercial-residential building. Lured by relatively cheap rent, a handful of new food and beverage brands have sprouted here. One of them is tiny boutique café Oz Specialty Coffee. Despite their Aussie-sounding moniker, coffee here is made using the Roadster blend from Pacamara coffee beans roasted in and imported from Thailand. Don’t leave without trying their smooth latte ($4.50) and iced Thai coffee ($5). They have updated their food menu with seven different sandwiches ($8-$14) alongside the two brunch dishes ($14 and $18). A new offering: customers can now create their own waffles with the toppings of their choice. We chose the salted caramel waffle ($9) – served with home-made caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
OZ Specialty Coffee | Address: 11 Sin Ming Road, #01-13 Thomson V Two | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-11pm; Sat-Sun 10am-11pm
November 8 Café & Company
Best place to chill out
Although this new hipster café was named after its original opening date, the café did not open on 8 November 2013 after all. The opening was delayed, but the name stuck. November 8 is fast becoming a popular hangout place due to their late opening hours, spacious interior, and convenient parking at the basement of the building. The coffee here – made from their own blend of Dutch Colony’s roasted beans – is pleasantly smooth and robust with a subtle kiss of acidity. Prices start from $3 for an espresso and $4.50 for a latte. They will be adding new items to the food and drinks menu in the near future. For now, fill your belly with light snacks like sweet potato fries ($7), thin crust pizzas (from $11), and all-day breakfast items like eggs Benedict ($13) or freshly made potato rosti with scrambled eggs, bacon and pork sausages ($16). Don’t leave without trying their excellent waffles. Addictively crispy and fluffy, the waffles are reasonably priced from $6 for the classic waffle to $10 for the strawberry waffle ($10) which comes topped with fresh strawberries and ice cream.
November 8 Café & Company | Address: 11 Sin Ming Road, #01-30 Thomson V Two | Tel: 65544388 | Opening hours: Thu-Tue noon-midnight
Classic and affordable French fare at Black Sheep Café. | Photo: Julia Khoo
Black Sheep Café
Best for affordable gourmet French cuisine
After closing down his original restaurant at Mayo Street and a short stint as chef at another restaurant, owner-chef Ratha has re-opened Black Sheep Café at Thomson V Two. Weekends are full house, supported mostly by faithful fans of this highly-acclaimed French restaurant. Both regulars and new patrons are full of praise for the house special duck confit on apple rosti ($26.50). Other must-tries include escargot baked with herbs and garlic ($12.50), beef fillet on creamed spinach and truffle-scented glaze ($38.50), and Kahlua souffle with double chocolate ice-cream ($14). Prices are nett; no service charge or GST to inflate the bill here.
BOOK A TABLE | Address: 11 Sin Ming Road, #B1-30 Thomson V Two | Tel: 64595373 | Opening hours: Tue-Sat 11.30am-11pm; Sun 11.30am-9.30pm
The crepes here are freshly cooked upon order. | Photo: Julia Khoo
Best for French crepes
Started by a French expatriate who missed the crepes from his native land, Crep’licious occupies a small unit in the food stalls section on the ground floor of Thomson Plaza. There are more than ten savoury and ten sweet crepe options on the menu. A savoury favorite would be the Complete ($6.50) which is filled with ham, mushroom and cheese. Sweet crepes include Tutty Fruity’licious ($6.90) an ice-cream concoction with fresh strawberry, banana, and chocolate sauce. You can also create your own combination with different fillings. There’s also a choice of buckwheat crepe (additional $1.50) – the true French option – and even gluten-free crepe (additional $1.50).
Crep’licious | Address: 301 Upper Thomson Road, #01-107 Thomson Plaza | Tel: 90050814 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 1-9pm; Sat & Sun 10am-9pm
A new outlet for Carpenter & Cook fans who live nearby. | Photo: Julia Khoo
Carpenter & Cook jr
Best for freshly baked artisan cakes and pastries
This successful bakery café loved for its quaint vintage décor and delectable pastries has opened a takeaway outlet. Located in a quiet residential enclave just off Upper Thomson Road (turn left at the first street after Thomson Plaza), this branch is a more convenient location for Carpenter & Cook fans who live in the Thomson, Bishan, and Ang Mo Kio areas. Cakes ($7-$8), tarts ($6.50), and cookies ($9) are baked at this outlet; croissants ($2.50-$3.50) are made in the Lorong Kilat outlet in the morning then delivered here. You can also place advance orders at this branch, and opt to pick up your order from here or at the Lorong Kilat outlet.
Carpenter & Cook jr | Address: 17 Jasmine Road | Tel:64571510 | Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8am-8pm