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 taste buds. There are lovely hidden gems located in the heartlands, and perhaps right in your own neighbourhood.
Here’s our list of cafes with romantic ambiences 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 mouth-watering selections like Classic Eggs Benedict, Truffle Pasta and Espanola Bomba Rice, all against the charming backdrop of tranquil greenery at the al fresco setup. It doesn’t get any more romantic than this.
Canopy Garden Dining, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Bishan Park 2, 569931
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 Tempura Fish Kimchi ($16), Truffle Shroom Pesto Toastie ($15) and Wagyu Meatball & Creamy Truffle Pasta ($23). Desserts are equally fascinating, with botanical and floral ice cream flavours such as Lavender Maple. Healthier bites are also available, such as their Sesame Soba Bowl ($15) and Spicy Mapo Tofu Bowl ($16) that’s meat-free. 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.
Kara Cafe & Dessert, 617 Bukit Timah Rd., 269718
Known for its artery-clogging but oh-so-heavenly Rich Man Burger ($16) — chorizo sausage patty loaded with button mushroom, caramelised onions, creamy scrambled egg and light truffle mayonnaise — which is only available on weekends, Common Chefs Bistro has other delectable offerings as well. From a creamy and savoury Shepherd’s Pie ($15) to a comforting Banger N Mash ($15.90), 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 ($8 for small, $14 for large) 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.
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. Its Norwegian Salmon Aglio Olio ($13.90) 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 ($14.90) 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.
Niche Savoureuse, Block 128 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-833, 310128
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.
Fat Cat, 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 Truffle Carbonara Pizza ($28) and Tiger Prawn Laksa Risotto ($26) with your partner, before rounding up the intimate meal with some Peanut Butter Cheesecake ($7).
Bee’s Knees, 50 Cluny Park Rd., Singapore Botanic Gardens, 257488
Nestled beside one of SG’s fave food spots – ABC Brickworks Market and Food Centre – this quaint cafe serves some of THE best artisan ice cream flavours. Our favourite? Its Earl Grey Tie Guan Yin ice cream has got to be the richest tea-flavoured ones we’ve had in a while. The best part? It’s really affordable too, at less than $4 per scoop, these won’t set you back a pretty penny.
Geometry, 2 Jalan Bukit Merah, 150002
By Zoe Zeng, February 2019 / Updated by Willaine G. Tan, February 2021 / Images: from the cafes’ websites or social media pages credited.
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