When I first moved to Singapore over 4 years ago, finding the perfect neighbourhood to call home was akin to embarking on a mystery quest in an unfamiliar land! It had to feel neighbourly, local, not exclusively expat (how dull to come 6,500 miles and be surrounded by Ang Mohs), with cafes and bars right outside my door; quiet when I wanted it but vibrant and buzzy too, and space...proper green, breathe-in-that-fresh-air space. 4 years on, my chosen hood - Robertson Quay - has changed for the better.
I could not have imagined that it would become the hipster coffee haven it has become...but as the aroma of freshly ground coffee wafts through my window, I'm pretty pleased about that! While being a Nomad means I love to explore, discover new places and relish a hidden find... it's important to appreciate what is just outside your door. So here are my favourite places in Robertson Quay.
While Kith Cafe attracts people from near and far, in my neighbourhood it feels very much like the heart and soul- to the point that when new cafes first started to open up, people would rather queue to wait for a table at Kith than show disloyalty. This is in part due to the quick, tasty and delicious goods on offer at pocket-friendly prices, but also due to the fact that they are the friendliest, loveliest bunch of people who know every kid, dog and regular ol' person by name and drink order. It is my morning hangout, where I pick up a vat of coffee, get a friendly smile, bit of banter and the Meg-Dog sometimes gets a biscuit if she looks cute enough!
Kith Café is located at 7 Rodyk Street, #01-28, Watermark Condominium At Robertson Quay, 238215. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday - 7am to 4pm. Saturday & Sunday: 7am - 6pm.
Ok, so bear in mind that 6 months after opening there is still a queue to get in the door every Saturday and Sunday, plus everyone I have sent to Common Man has come back singing its praises; these guys are doing something very, VERY right. Delicious coffee (taxi drivers have more than once commented on the fine aroma of my takeaway filter coffee!), amazing food (Turkish Breakfast gets me every time), really great service (yes....really!) and a buzzy vibe to ease you out of your slumber...when I'm looking for something a little more 'sit-down' than Kith, it's the perfect breakfast spot.
Common Man Coffee Roasters is located at 22 Martin Road #01-00, Singapore, 239058. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 8am to 7pm.
We're really glad that our Duxton favourite Lucha Loco opened up a sister restaurant in the neighbourhood, filling the niche of good Mexican food that the Robertson Quay enclave sorely lacks. And the newest kid on the block has been really well received, it's usually busy on weekday nights too. This is now my go-to place to stuff myself silly with ceviches, tacos, and churros over a drink or two if I don't feel like going out too far.
Super Loco is located at #01-13 The Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay, 238252. Opening Hours: Wednesday & Thursday 5pm to 1am. Friday & Saturday - 5pm to 2am. Sunday - 5pm to 11pm. Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.
A recent addition to the Rob Quay dining scene, Bochinche serves contemporary Argentine cuisine and some mighty fine cocktails in a chic, loft space on Martin Road. With food served “small plates” style, it makes for a tasty dinner where you can sample lots of different flavours. My advice...don't go without tasting the Baked Provoleta Cheese - to die for! For more details, see our full review here.
Bochinche is located at 22 Martin Road #02-01, 239058. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 11am to 11pm. Closed on Mondays.
One of Robertson Quay’s oldest restaurant venues, Les Bouchons is something of a stalwart. A simple concept of steak and fries, this French brasserie/bistrot offers is a pretty casual and affordable affair without compromising on the quality. The tenderloin steak is our top pick here, and at $42.80 including salad and free-flow fries is a very affordable and filling dinner. See here for our full review.
Les Bouchons Rive Gauche is located at 41 Robertson Quay, 238236. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday - 12 to 2pm, 7 to 10.30pm. Saturday - 7pm to 10.30pm. Closed on Sundays.
An absolute go-to when we have guests in town, but also a great casual dinner along the river just for two, Red House is something of a Singaporean institution having been around for 38 years! Reason why it's lasted that long? It's just tasty! The Crispy Duck never disappoints, the Garlic Asparagus is heavenly and the Braised Peanuts that start off your meal are insanely, and most unexpectedly delicious.
Red House is located at 60 Robertson Quay, 238252. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 11am to 11pm.
When venturing out seems a task too arduous and pizza, a film, and the couch is all I can manage, Bella Pizza is my guilty pleasure. The thin, crispy crust is perfectly done with the right amount of moisture so it doesn't feel like you're eating cardboard and they have truffle oil which they are happy to drizzle over any pizza of your choice. And lets face it, truffle oil makes everything better!
Bella Pizza is located at 30 Robertson Quay, #01-14 Riverside View, Singapore, 238251. Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday - 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 11pm. Friday & Saturday - 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 11.30pm. Sunday - 11.30am to 11pm. Closed on Mondays.
One of those rare places where breakfast is as good as lunch, which is equally as good as dinner! Basically Spathe is great and everything you order is spot on. The dishes are fresh and tasty, the staff are friendly and efficient and it's a really cool little spot in terms of decor and ambience. The only issue with Spathe is that everyone else thinks so too so it can be difficult getting a table!
Spathe Public House is located at 8 Mohamed Sultan Road, 238958. Opening Hours: Monday to Friday - 12pm to 11pm. Saturday & Sunday - 10am to 11pm.
Delicious cupcakes are right outside my door....this is sometimes a problem! Last week the Trifle flavour blew my mind, I bought 2, one for me, one for the Mister. The Mister never got his....oops!
Swirls Bake Shop is located at 8 Rodyk Street #01-08, Singapore 238216. Opening Hours: Open Daily - 11am to 7pm.
• Laurent Bernard Chocolatier - for late night sweet snacks
• La Maison Du Whisky - when a stiff one is required!
• Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse - pricey but when a good steak is what you need, you know you can find it here
• eM by the River - okay the service is shockingly bad (get it together guys!) but there's no denying that the leafy surrounds and generous happy hour make it a nice hang out
• The Book Cafe - sofas, free WiFi and a lychee frosty makes for a nice alternative work space
• Verre Wine - grab a table outside, enjoy the breeze, the vino and the people watching!
Things I love about my hood:
• The dog walking mafia
• The unhurried leisurely pace - feels like a constant holiday
• The fact that I can stumble home from Zouk - no cab necessary!
• The way that everyone goes to the local convenience store and was genuinely annoyed when a 7-11 opened
• The Singapore Tyler Print Institute and The Singapore Repertory Theatre so close by for when a little culture is wanted
• The gossip about what is actually happening at Martin 38!
• The elusive mystery of the Unscripted Book store!
To see more awesome venues in your local area, download our hand iOS app here and check out the 'Search Nearby' function. Android version coming end of July 2014.
Written by Heh Zee
Common Man Coffee Roasters Martin Road Singapore
Bella Pizza Robertson Quay Singapore
Les Bouchons Rive Gauche Robertson Quay Singapore
Swirls Bake Shop Rodyk Street Singapore