Why do some F&B outlets in Singapore flourish while similar stores offering the same kind of food struggle? That should be an interesting business school research project topic. The factors contributing to the popularity of a food business is often hard to pin point. Like we said in our earlier post about The Hangar Cafe on Arab Street, there could be beautiful restaurants struggling to draw in the diners while places with no decor to speak of would be extremely well patronised. Perhaps a location like Kampong Glam or Little Arab has its own magic. Rich & Good Cake Shop in Kampong Glam is another intriguing case. There is almost always a queue at this laid back unpretentious bakery on Kandahar Street.
Running a food and beverage business in Singapore is not for the faint hearted. According to a SPRING Singapore website, 28% of F&B business are replaced every year. In addition to challenges like high rents and labour shortages there is also this other factor that intrigues us – the unpredictability of consumer tastes. We have seen beautiful restaurants struggle to draw in the diners. On the other hand, there are places where there is no decor to speak of and yet the crowds just keep on flowing in. The Hangar Cafe on Arab Street belongs to the latter category.
Typhoon Cafe at Plaza Singapura is an attractive contemporary Taiwanese cafe on level 4 of the popular Orchard Road mall. It offers Instagram-worthy artisan fruit teas and desserts as well as classic Taiwanese dishes like Lu Rou Fan and Oyster Omelette. Signature dishes of Typhoon Cafe at Plaza Singapura include Australian Beef Short Rib with Wuxi Maltose Glaze and Crispy Whole Pork Knuckle with Taiwanese Chilli Jam.
Maison Ikkoku is a cafe in the Kampong Glam area, near Arab Street and Bussorah Street. It has undergone quite a transformation since our last visit in 2015 (you can read about our previous visit here). It is now known as Maison Ikkoku The Gallery. There is also a bar on the second level and a rooftop space known as Maison Ikkoku Rooftop, which we believe opens in the evenings.
Creamier Tiong Bahru is a new outlet of Creamier Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee. It fits in nicely in the bohemian estate of Tiong Bahru. Opened a few months ago without fanfare, the unpretentious ice cream parlour and cafe occupies an unassuming spot in Yong Siak Street. It has a low key frontage and with only a small signage on its plain white wall. Those in the know head to Creamier Tiong Bahru to enjoy its freshly made ice cream and excellent waffle – and it would seem that they are many people in the know.
Dessert cafe Bakerzin has been in business since 1998. One of their earliest outlets was at Millenia Walk where I could still remember revelling in their French pastry creations. Things have changed since then. That outlet no longer exists and Bakerzin has expanded to six outlets in Singapore. Their menu range has also expanded and they offer a variety of cafe food like burgers and pasta. We had a simple brunch at BakerZin Vivo City branch recently. It is a branch which is in close proximity to people on the West Coast and Sentosa.