Traditionally known as the ‘most romantic day of the year’, Valentine’s Day isn’t just about flowers and gifts, but showing your sincere love and appreciation for your significant other.
So why not treat your beloved to a romantic dinner date at a cafe? Not only do they have a more calm and intimate ambience, they’re also usually more wallet-friendly than a fancy restaurant. And no, you don’t have to travel to somewhere really remote or jostle with the crowds in Orchard Road to get to a cafe that’s both pleasing to the eye and tastebuds. There are lovely hidden gems located in the heartlands, and perhaps right in your own neighbourhood.
Here’s our list of places you can head to.
For couples who adore their fur babies as much as they do each other, the pet-friendly Canopy Garden Dining is a great choice for a romantic meal. Sit back, relax, and enjoy mouthwatering selections like Boston Bay Blue Mussels ($18), Sakura Chicken ($27) and Baked Black Cod Fish ($38), all against the charming backdrop of tranquil greenery at the al fresco setup. It doesn’t get any more romantic than this.
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Bishan Park 2, 569931, tel: 9113 4666.
Do you and your sweetheart love trying out experimental and unusual taste combinations? Los Angeles-inspired “all-day diner” Kara Cafe & Dessert serves up all that and more, with their intriguing grain bowls of fragrant garlic Japanese rice or fluffy quinoa topped with interesting flavours, such as Pork Belly Miso, Mexican taco chicken and batter-fried tempura fish kimchi. Desserts are equally fascinating, with botanical and floral ice cream flavours such as Lavender Maple. Healthier bites are also available, such as their Thai Tofu Salad, Yogurt Granola Bowl and Acai Bowl. With a cool interior boasting bricked walls, wooden tables and chairs and a wallpaper-cum-art-piece of tropical foliage, its atmosphere is warm and inviting, reminiscent of a cafe in laidback Bali.
617 Bukit Timah Road, 269718, tel: 6468 8940.
Known for its artery-clogging but oh-so-heavenly Richman burger — chorizo sausage patty loaded with button mushroom, caramelised onions, creamy scrambled egg and light truffle mayonnaise — which is only available on weekends, Common Chefs has other delectable offerings as well. From a creamy and savoury Shepherd’s Pie to a comforting Bangers ad Mash, various pastas, waffle pizzas and more, you and your date have plenty of choices to celebrate your union. Don’t forget to order the fragrant and addictive Truffle Tater Tots to share.
Afterwards, if you’re in the mood for some dessert in the area, head to Holy Cow Creamery, which most northerners should be familiar with. Offering a wide range of homemade ice cream, coffee, milkshakes and waffles, Holy Cow Creamery is heaven on earth for couples with a sweet tooth.
Retreat to a calm and cosy space at The Flourist, where all your cravings for ice cream and waffles can be satisfied. Tucked away in a corner of Tampines, this little hideout can be somewhat difficult to find, but its interiors decorated with floral paintings and motifs are definitely worth the search. The best part? This ice cream parlour offers unique waffle flavours like Tiramisu ($9.90), Charcoal Mochi ($6.70), and Banana Brulee ($6.50), which you can then mix and match ice cream of your choice for an extra special treat. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for their savoury offerings — curry chicken with waffles, anyone?
Blk 824 Tampines St. 81, #01-36, 520824.
Photo: Joy Fang
Nestled in the sleepy suburban area of Toa Payoh (and beside ice cream parlour Creamier), Niche Savoureuse is known for its handmade French baked produce and cakes, but its mains are pretty delectable as well. Their Norwegian Salmon Aglio Olio is very satisfying, with a thick but moist slab of fish on top of perfectly cooked al dente noodles. Or go for the creamy and addictive Black Truffle Carbonara that comes with mixed mushrooms and bacon if you’re in the mood for something heartier.
Your date will enjoy the intimacy here, as the eatery is small and cosy, with fully stocked shelves and quirky decor like bare bulbs and helicopters hanging from the ceiling. Best go for an early dinner as they close at 9pm on Thursdays.
Blk 128 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-833, 310128, tel: 9633 5108.
Nestled in a residential area in Bedok North, Fat Cat may look like your average, Instagrammable cafe with minimalist-vibes – but their ice cream flavours may just surprise you. Known for their Charcoal Waffles with Salted Egg Yolk Sauce, they have flavours ranging from the average Vanilla, Chocolate and Butterscotch, to wacky and out-of the-box creations such as Butter Beer, Hay and Honey, and Watermelon Soju, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a scoop or two with your date. Head over here after your dinner to end your date on a sweet note.
416 Bedok North Avenue 2, #01-25, 460416
Who wouldn’t love digging into a fruit bowl, pizza, or just sipping on some tea or coffee against a backdrop of enchanting flowers and plants? Frequent visitors of the Singapore Botanic Gardens will be familiar with Bee’s Knees, a hidden gem just a stone’s throw from Botanic Garden’s MRT station. You can dine alfresco, but we recommend dining in air-conditioned comfort in its super cool interior.
With its mosaic tiles, rustic wooden chairs and picturesque windows — it’s the perfect backdrop for any Instagrammer. Share the interesting Beef Rendang Pizza ($27) and Laksa Tiger Prawn ($20) with your partner, before rounding up the intimate meal with some Pandan Pancakes ($14).
50 Cluny Park Road, 257488, tel: 9815 3213
By Zoe Zeng, February 2019
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