Is the Bukit Merah heartland devoid of a good cuppa? It seems not. Whether you are after a more traditional cup of kopi or more “atas” western options, they are readily available at cafes within walking distance from Surbana One. Some even make for a nice retreat if you need a break from the crowds or the office.
1. Sandffee & Co
Address: 168 Jalan Bukit Merah #01-04 Surbana One Singapore 150168
Opening hours:7.30am to 6pm
Kopi-O $1. 20
If you want to enjoy a daily cuppa without breaking the bank, Sandffee should be your go-to place. Conveniently located on level 1 of Surbana One, it is easily accessible for those who work around the vicinity.
The interior is bright and clean with simple, rather old-school décor which feels warm and welcoming. The Kopi-O is sufficiently ‘gao’ (strong) and has a rich aroma. However, there is a tinge of sour aftertaste, which might be a turn-off for some. The service is relatively fast so you need not wait for too long even when the queue snakes in the morning and during lunch hours.
2. The Bakery Chef
Address: 161 Bukit Merah Central, #01-3711, Singapore 150161
Opening hours: 11am to 7pm
If you dread venturing too far out under the hot sun but want solace from peak hour crowds, then the Bakery Chef is the perfect hideout. Known for their interesting array of cakes, the café also has a cosy yet inviting setting which, thankfully, does not get overcrowded during lunch hours.
The latte was a pleasant surprise. It was full bodied and had an excellent aroma. Amongst the three places reviewed, this had the strongest coffee taste with a right balance of sweetness. This little gem of a café is certainly a surprise find in the Bukit Merah heartlands!
3. Coffee Bandits
Address: 213 Henderson Road #01-05 Singapore 159553
Opening hours: 11am to 2pm
This is perhaps as artisan as coffee gets in the immediate vicinity of Surbana One. Coffee Bandits is your typical hipster café, tucked away amongst industrial buildings. The set-up is simple, spacious, with a relatively thin lunch crowd - offering an ideal place for coffee-chats for groups of any size. Caffeinated drinks start at $5, which is a little pricier than the rest.
The creamy froth atop the cappuccino complimented its strong body and is one of the better renditions around. Though at $5, I expected a bigger cup as the small portion left me wanting for more. In terms of environment, this is easily a favourite because of the tranquillity it offers.
For this coffee lover, picking a favourite was indeed a difficult task. All three have their own merits, and it's safe to say, my coffee cravings will never go unquenched!
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