The first thing I did upon moving to Lorong Chuan was to set out in search of good coffee. Wow, what an adventure it has been. Lorong Chuan is super residential. There are not as many trendy cafes around here as in Farrer Park, where I used to live. But it has been a blessing in disguise as I have learned to appreciate local kopi. I believe they call that, desperate for caffeine. Long gone are the days where I would only drink cafe lattes! There are a few wonderful breakfast, brunch, and coffee places in Lorong Chuan as well as neighboring Serangoon. These are my top recommendations.
I love, love, love Moments! This is the place that convinced me local kopi was just as good (if not better) than Western-style cafe lattes. I order the kopi C kosong (coffee with evaporated milk and no sugar) which is served in a quaint porcelain cup and saucer. The coffee is rich-tasting with a caramel-like flavour. Moments also have the best local brunch in the area. My personal favourite is the salted egg buns. They have a spongy yellow dough and are served ready to erupt with hot sticky custard.
For something a little less sugary the char siew pau are also mighty fine. There is also kaya toast on the menu. However, the toast is not as good as the dim sum. It is served with the crusts removed and the butter is not spread to the edges.
Moments is a short and pleasant stroll from Lorong Chuan MRT station. Just walk up the hill, past Nanyang College, to the sunny patch of grass along Serangoon Avenue 3.
326 Serangoon Ave 3, #01-380
Cottontail Creamery is the best Western-style brunch and coffee house that is walking distance from Lorong Chuan station. The baristas here know what they are doing. Just check out the awesome coffee art on my flat white below! Although, do take note that the house blend of coffee has a sour aftertaste. But, sour brews are popular with young Asian tastes, and this is a trendy cafe.
The food is friggin’ awesome. You gotta check out their brunch menu, it’s like a modern work of art. There are sprigs of flowers and twigs of herbs all over the place! Think traditional brekkie ingredients, like eggs, mushrooms or ham, coupled with pretty flowers, fragrant herbs, and weird purees. The breakfast burger with curly fries is my favourite. The yellow flower petals in sour cream at just too gorgeous. And, while I am not a fan of the charcoal bun, the cheesy eggs inside really hit the spot.
Cottontail are located right next door to Moments cafe.
326 Serangoon Ave 3, #01-378
Wimbly Lu is the self-proclaimed best chocolate cafe in Singapore! Unfortunately, my husband watches me like a hawk. I am forbidden from indulging in any sugary temptations since my recent choccie splurge. That’s why I have only tried the coffee and breakfast at Wimbly Lu, not the chocolate (yet). Let’s start with their coffee. It is good. Not great. Not bad. Good. If you live in Lorong Chuan and you’re desperate for a Western-style coffee but can’t be bothered walking to Cottontail Creamery, then the brew at Wimbly Lu will do the job. To be fair, their long black does have a beautiful crema.
But, what I’m really excited about at Wimbly Lu, is the breakfast. It’s simple, wholesome, fresh, and delicious. I don’t know about you but I am so tired of trendy, organic brunch menus that try and be creative. When I go out for breakfast I just want a regular brekkie! Ya know – bread and eggs and shit. At Wimbly Lu you can build your own plate. They have good quality eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, and avocado in the kitchen. The brown sourdough, toasted, is particularly amazing. I could just live off that stuff with a chunk of their decadent butter. Good stuff!
15-2 Jalan Riang, Singapore 358987
Coffee Shop at 304 Serangoon Avenue 2
The Serangoon estate at Avenue 2 is fondly referred to as Lorong Chuan village. Indeed, there is a lovely village feel to it. The same people are there every day. They smile hello when they see a familiar face. And, all of life’s necessities can be found at Avenue 2. There is a hairdresser, a baker, a nursery, an organic vegetable store, and – most importantly – a coffee shop. Now, I know sometimes hawker kopi can taste a little muggy. But the kopi at 304 Serangoon Avenue 2 is very drinkable and comes in a generous size mug.
The friendly uncle with purplish hair is there everyday, toasting bread for the breakfast set, and collecting kopi cups. The kaya toast here is cheap and cheerful. But if you are a fussy eater, please note they use the cheap butter – you can taste the difference compared to Moments cafe. Next door there is a dim sum stall where you can indulge in a classic char siew pau or haw gow for under $2. This is a great no-frills brekkie option. The best part about it is the wonderful morning sun that shines down on the hawker tables.
Serangoon Ave 2, Block 307, Singapore 550308
Apollo Coffee Bar
Apollo Coffee Bar is all the way in Serangoon Village. You can get there on foot from Lorong Chuan if you don’t mind a brisk 20 minute walk. Go early in the morning before the weather becomes too hot. It is a pleasant walk, once you cross busy Ang Mo Kio Avenue, which abounds with plenty of leafy trees and bamboo plants. The coffee at Apollo is delicious. They have all the usual espresso classics as well as a respectable range of filtered coffee, specialty coffee, chocolate drinks, and teas. I am partial to their matcha latte.
My absolute favourite here, however, is the “Nori Avo Eggs” breakfast dish. I usually order this without the eggs. It comes with a beautifully chunky slice of white sourdough topped with generous lashings of avocado and crispy kale. Talk about healthy! And it’s delicious. Other breakfast items include their açai bowl, breakfast burger, and lemon curd hotcakes.
Apollo Coffee Bar
65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961
Toast Box at NEX
Toast Box is a reliable local coffee chain. The kopi is good – a lot smoother than most hawker varieties, and comes in a large cup. Their breakfast is consistent albeit a tad stingy. The kaya toast and peanut toast are both minuscule pieces of bread! That’s not a good thing for a place that names itself after “toast”. However, Toast Box make up for that by always spreading the jam or peanut butter right to the edges of the bread. A kaya toast breakfast set costs $5.70. This particular Toast Box branch is connected to Bread Talk (same owner) so you can also order some sweet bread or a croissant to down with your kopi.
At the end of the day, there aren’t too many places to drink a cuppa at the NEX shopping mall. Toast Box stands out for having best and most reasonably priced coffee. The alternatives are Starbucks, which admittedly has super comfy seating, or Coffee Bean Leaf, where it’s impossible to get a seat.
Toast Box at NEX
NEX Shopping Mall
23 Serangoon Central, #B2 – 58 / 59
Starbucks at NEX
I admit it. I do go to Starbucks. Even though their coffee tastes like… well, this is a family blog so I better not say. Kudos to the Serangoon NEX branch, however, as they have the loveliest staff working here. The staff are so friendly I even went out of my way to write a complimentary letter addressed to the branch manager. They always offer to help carry my cup of coffee over to the table when my hands are full.
The number one reason I go to Starbucks is for the comfy seats. They are perfect for nursing your baby while out shopping. Please note, the parents room in NEX shopping mall completely suck. They’re tiny!
Starbucks at NEX
23 Serangoon Central #02-K01, 02 NEX