(Updated August 2016) According to the book Celebrating SIGLAP, the name of this leafy area around Upper East Coast Road was derived when “a Malay chieftain, Tok Lasam, who upon first landing in the area during a particularly dark thunderstorm, called it Si-gelap, which translated literally from Malay means darkness that conceals“. Today, there is no concealing that Siglap is a unique enclave in the East of Singapore with a laid-back vibe and a bustling cafe scene. The cafes in Siglap range from the new wave coffee joints to the ones serving traditional local coffee or teh tarik.
There is a cafe in Siglap for almost everyone, every occasion and every budget. You can find one open at anytime of the day or night. The mat rocker and his minah, the hipsters looking for their special brew coffee, the tais tais wanting to sip tea after getting their nails done, the taxi uncles having a break before midnight or ordinary patrons like us can all find a cafe to enjoy in Siglap. These cafes also offer a wide variety of snacks and light meals. From pies, cakes and ice cream to kaya toasts, you can have them at one of the many cafes in Siglap.
Here is a list of our favourite cafes in Siglap.
Stamping Ground Coffee House
87 Upper East Coast Road
Tel: +65 9070 7610
Tues-Sun: 09:00 – 18:00
Stamping Ground Coffee House ticks all the right boxes for a cosy cafe – good looks, good vibes and good coffee. Their bottled cold brew coffee is one of the best in Singapore. The food menu is limited but include items like Pastries, Bacon Jam Brioche, Tuna Croissant and Mushroom Toast. A latte is $5. See our post Stamping Ground Coffee House East Coast.
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
2 First Street
#01-01 Siglap V
Tel : 9658 0769
Mon – Thu : 8:30 am – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sat : 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
Sun : 8:30 am – 9:00 pm
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee is the cool cafe in Siglap complete with the “industrial look” – exposed ceilings, bare concrete floor, “semi-finished” walls and “Edison” filament light bulbs. This is where you will find the trendy set.
Their Brew Bar offers coffee made using V-60, Chemex, Siphon, Woodneck or French Press. They offer attractive cakes and pastries, ice cream, waffles as well as sandwiches. It is one of the best places to have a good cup of coffee in Siglap. A latte is $5. See our earlier post Craftsmen Specialty Coffee.
Plank Sourdough Pizza
1 Swan Lake Avenue
Tel: +65 6448 9288
Tucked in the heart of Siglap residential estate, the place has a casual and relax feel. It is a place you feel you can linger for a while. You can mix and match the items from the menus of Plank Pizza and Baker & Cook bakery. A flat white is $4.50. See our post Plank Sourdough Pizza – a top table in Siglap.
11 Upper East Coast Road
Tel: 6443 7628
Opening Hours: 7am – 11pm
This is one of the first branches of Killiney Kopitaim and it has been packed almost every morning since it opened many years back. In addition to eggs and toasts, they also have lasi lemak, carrot cake and even char kway teow.
Killiney Kopitaim is our favourite place for traditional local breakfast in Siglap. A Kopi C is $1.60.
The Royals Cafe
19 Upper East Coast Road
Tel : 6445 6457
Mon – Fri : 9am – 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH : 8.30am – 10.30pm
Best known for its delicious mini pies, the Halal-certified cafe also serves all day breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu has western classics as well as favourite Malay dishes so you can have pan-fried salmon or nasi lemak or choose between braised lamb shank and mee siam. The Royals Cafe also has a wide variety of cakes and cookies. There is a tea set for 2 at $16.80. A flat white is $3.90.
55 Upper East Coast Road
Tel : 6449 2844
Open 24 Hours
Whether it is for early morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, supper or midnight refreshment – you can always head to Mas-Ayu. Reputed to be one of the best Malay food stalls in the area, Mas-Ayu Restaurant has been around for many years. They are open round the clock and specialises in very affordable Malay and Thai dishes. Lontong, Nasi Goreng Ayam, Nasi Pattaya and Nasi Paprik are among the favourite dishes there. Must try beverages will include Teh Tarik and Ribena Limau.
The interior is clean and neat with simple and homely decor. Al fresco dining means sitting on a concrete parapet or a red plastic chair with a wooden bench as a table – but it is literally dining under the palm trees. Mas-Ayu is a charming rustic place for good affordable food and drinks. A Teh C is $1.30.
3 Jalan Jamal
Tel : 6242 9465
Opening Hours :
Mon – Thurs : 07:30 am – 11:00 pm
Fri : 07:30 am – 1:00 am
Sat : 07:30 am – 1:00 am
Sun : 07:30 am – 11:00 pm
Eve of PH : 07:30 am -1:00 am
[fa class=”fa-wifi”] Free WiFi
Unlike the usual Starbucks outlets in shopping malls, the Starbucks in Siglap has a very laid back feel. You walk past lush greenery to get to its entrance. The interior does not have the usual slick Starbucks cookie-cutter look. It has a lovely cosy atmosphere.
This is one of our favourite Starbucks outlet in Singapore. It has a different vibe and yet there is still free WiFi and you know exactly how your latte is going to be like.
As you can see, when we are in Siglap and we need a tea break or a place to relax over a cup of coffee, we are spoilt for choice. If that is not enough, there are many other interesting cafes just a ten minute stroll away in Frankel Estate. The residents of Siglap are so lucky.