Cafe-spotting is always a welcome sign, especially when it is a themed one which makes it eye-catching by default. Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is a cafe located near the taxi stand at Bukit Timah Plaza which becomes extremely convenient for those who are looking for grab-to-go brews and beverages. The signage at the entrance states Mosanco Enchanted Cafe which has been around for some years on Rangoon Road in Singapore.
The Bukit Timah Plaza outlet is fairly small with 8 tables segregated between inner and outdoor seating. The cafe is quite popular among students looking for a group study venue and for those who like a nice ambiance for a quick catchup with friends.
For a cafe, the menu has an ample selection varying from beverages of all types to small bites to meals. Since I had visited during late afternoon, I chose coffee and sides to enjoy the ambiance which was enhanced by the slight drizzle outside.
For those looking to sip a simple cup of joe, the Hot Mocha does not fail you. The caffeine hits you gently with an apt balance with the milk. It was nice to couple it with the Butter Croissant.
The classic Butter Croissant was very good – golden and crunchy top with soft and flaky layers inside. Definitely worth trying this item and it was nice to see that it was a big croissant.
In the other caffeinated beverages, the Rose Chocolate Latte caught my attention. Even though I was slightly apprehensive before trying it, I must say I really enjoyed this warm drink. The gentle touch of rose did not overpower the taste of latte and the barista art added to the visual appeal of this cup.
There is nothing not to like in a bowl of fries topped with motherload of cheese! These fries were crisp and made to perfection and the gooey nature of eating them will remind you of nachos. Definitely recommended.
For the variety of selection in their menu, for their unique coffees and teas and for their good food, the Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is definitely worth a visit. For those staying in Bukit Timah, this can be your quick stop after your NTUC shopping 🙂
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Cafe Food
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #L1-CA1, Bukit Timah Plaza, 588996
It’s always fun to spot a new cafe while exploring your neighborhood. Nestled in The Hillford on Jalan Jurong Kechil is the warmly-lit cafe called CATfeine that exudes a relaxed vibe when you see it from the road. The interiors exhibit a liking for cats, right from the decor, to plush toys, to the ordering counter. The owners clearly have an affinity towards the feline creatures. Though pets are not allowed inside the cafe, there are some seats outside which are are pet-friendly.
The Orders Other than specialty tea and coffee, CATFeine offers sweet and savoury bites like waffles, pies, sandwiches, bagels and cakes on their menu.
A good croissant pairs best with a cup of coffee. CATfeine’s ‘Croissant’ was buttery and flavorful and not at all greasy. Served warm, the thin and light layers were beautifully flaky and had a lovely aroma.
Croissant at $3
When we visited the cafe, we observed that was a waffle order on almost every table. So we decided to try the ‘Honey B ‘ which is the most basic version of the other tempting homemade buttermilk waffles on their menu. When the waffle was served, it was so appealing that one can just admire it for some time. It was served with honey, butter, biscuit crunch and tasty sea-salt caramel ice cream which was quite indulgent. Everything about their waffles is top-notch – from the texture to the overall doneness. The sea-salt ice cream lent the right balance and was just perfect in taste. It can easily be shared by 2 people. For me, it easily made it to the Top 5 Waffles in Singapore – so quite highly recommended.
Homemade Buttermilk Waffles at $11
If you are not looking for a quick caffeine fix, then try the ‘Spiced Hot Chocolate’. They have kept it simple and that makes it a delectable cup of hot cocoa.
Spiced Hot Chocolate at $6.5
Overall, CATfeine is a must-visit if you are fan of coffee, waffles or desserts. Additionally their friendly service deserves some brownie points.
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Cafe
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: 182 Jalan Jurong Kechil, #01-50 The Hillford, Singapore 596152
Do not underestimate the power of the coffee, especially when its situated next to a taxi stand! Yes, that’s how I spotted the newly opened Boyle’s Coffee – when the wait for a cab seemed endless. Situated in the old shopping mall of Bukit Timah Plaza, Boyle’s Coffee lures you inside with its warm decor and robust coffee aroma. The seats are in the form of long communal tables which makes it great to strike up conversations with coffee aficionados.
Boyle’s Coffee cake display
The Orders They have a three page menu serving hot and cold coffees and light bites. Their cake display boasts of a variety of cakes with different flavours. Apart from the standard offerings, this artisanal cafe has a variety of specialty brews across the spectrum – from the Ethiopian and Kenyan beans to the adventurous Yuzu Latte. For the tea lovers, they have some TWG teas on the menu.
When I want the perfect coffee fix filled with warm flavors, I tend to go for the ‘Caramel Latte’. Since it was a rainy day, I ordered the hot version. This was well-made with the subtle flavor of caramel cutting through the thick creamy milk and foam layers and made me happy. The latte art was also very good. Highly recommended.
Hot Caramel Latte at $6
What’s perfect with a good cup of coffee? The answer is a cake, especially when the cafe offers an assortment of them. I got drawn to the ‘Tiramisu Cake’ instantly due to its presentation. The checkered coffee effect on top with a mille crêpe bottom had immense visual appeal. Its on the lower side on the sweetness quotient and hence pairs well with coffee. On its own, I found it to be less sweet and a bit dry.
Tiramisu cake at $7
In the form of vegetarian light bites they have the ‘Cheese Grilled Sandwich’ and the ‘Butter Jam Toast’. Savour the goodness of simple toast along with your cup of coffee or tea. I wish they had softened the butter before serving it.
Butter and Jam Toast at $4
Boyle’s Coffee is famous for their cold water drip Dutch coffee which I definitely intend to try sometime soon. For their coffee quality, quick service and welcoming ambiance, Boyle’s Coffee is worth visiting.
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Coffee and light bites
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: L1 Near Bukit Timah Plaza Taxi Stand, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Singapore 588996
There is a consistent eatery boom in Singapore. With addition of new stations and MRT lines, this trend is bound to continue. ‘Beauty World’ is one such MRT station on the Downtown Line which has a flock of eateries outside every exit. The hawker centers and the food stalls are brimming with hungry foodies. Having said that, it’s not everyday that you get to see a fully vegetarian restaurant at a stone’s throw from the MRT! I am glad that the new outlet of D’Life Bistro and Cafe has opened in this area. D’life serves lacto-ovo vegetarian food without onion, garlic, leek, chives and shallots. It is nice to see a spacious restaurant neatly done in an old school neighborhood and striving to achieve the balance by serving good food at decent prices.
The Orders They have a comprehensive menu with a lot of variety in dishes using Chinese vegetables – a lot of greens, yam, bitter gourd, broccoli, mushrooms, okra, eggplant, etc. They also have decent options for vegans. Overall, please note that the portion sizes are extremely generous at this restaurant.
For starters, we decided to try the ‘Vegetarian Satay’ thinking that it could be paired with the rice. From the taste, I think they had made firm tofu into thin, workable strips which were skewered and cooked to a gentle brown colour. The peanut satay sauce served alongside was good but the quantity was too much for the thin satay sticks. Overall, this was a decent offering.
Soups provide comfort in rainy weather and also if you are nursing the early stages of sore throat. So I ordered the ‘Tom Yam Soup’ and I must say I was not at all disappointed. The important part of a soup is the liquid base and this was a thin watery version filled with loads of veggies and had a sightly herbal flavour. All the veggies (including the okra) were fully cooked and well-seasoned and it pairs well with rice. For those who are familiar with South Indian cuisine, this broth reminded me of Rasam with a lot of veggies. The quantity can easily serve 3-4 pax.
tom yam soup
I also tried the ‘Assam Laksa’. This version lacks coconut milk, and instead uses clear vegetable stock as the base. It comes with noodles, tofu, vegetables and pieces of pineapple. It’s quite different from the laksa I usually order, but no less tasty for that. If you are in the mood for a normal version, they have that on the menu as well.
‘Veg Fried Rice’ is the most simple dish to cook but it is important not to make it mushy. The rice grains were separate and had appropriate amount of veggies making it a good dish. If you do not eat eggs, please ensure to tell that while ordering the dish (which I did). The rice tasted nice when paired with the Tom Yam broth along with the satay to munch.
Veg fried rice
Chun Tin Road has turned out to be a dining enclave with affordable eats and it is heartening to see that it hosts a vegetarian restaurant. Overall, the food is good – cooked in Chinese wok-style flavours. The restaurant is spacious and can accommodate large groups of people. But it would be great if the service staff understand dietary requirements and are aware of explaining the dish in case queries are asked.