5 New Chill-Out Dining Venues That Spark Joy

Calming spaces where you can unwind with a friend or a book.

By Mandy Lim Beitler      15 February 2021

From the Singapore River to the East Coast, these new hangout spots invite you to rejuvenate your body and soul with spacious, calming interiors and menu options that taste as good as they look.

Photo: Cicada Singapore

Cicada Singapore

Unwind at this multi-concept venue at Clarke Quay over mod-Asian tapas dining and one-of-a-kind cocktails. Walking into Cicada Singapore feels like you’ve entered a tropical countryside abode, bathed in natural light and surrounded by lush foliage. Young working adults unsurprisingly flock there for the ‘gram, as well as their signature boba cocktail series.

Cicada’s Grilled Miso Cod Capellini

Helming the kitchen is Executive Chef Derek, who earned At-Sunrice Global Chef Academy’s ‘Mentor Chef of the Year’ title for three consecutive years. Fans of his tapas creations can’t get enough of Cicada’s Smokin’ Dumplin’s and Nori Tacos. Cicada Signature Hokkien Mee and Grilled Miso Cod Capellini are also highly recommended, while Char-grilled Watermelon and Tomato Salad, and Vegetable Medley Spaghettini are excellent lighter choices.

Bands playing Chinese jazz and such usually add to the laid-back vibe, but with live entertainment at restaurants now on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, Cicada’s serene atmosphere has attracted more of the #workfromcafe crowd as well.

Cicada is at 3 River Valley Road, #01-10 Clarke Quay Blk C, Singapore 179022.
Visit cicada.sg; www.facebook.com/cicadayjl.sg; www.instagram.com/cicada.sg

Photo: Daizu Cafe

Daizu Cafe

You can’t help being relieved of the stressors of daily living after an hour or two at this zen-inducing sanctuary. The unassuming entrance of Daizu Cafe along bustling Rangoon Road belies the minimalist aesthetics within, with pendant lights bouncing off white tiled walls contrasting with raw concrete floors. Upstairs, wooden accents add cosy character to the mezzanine loft space that invites a heart-to-heart or alone time to practise your mindfulness techniques.

Fill up on Daizu’s Spicy Bara Chirashi

The holistic experience extends to the menu, which is centred around one of the most widely utilised ingredients for its resilience and versatility – soy. Pick from the rainbow-hued Daizu Crème series in Purple Potato or Matcha Latte, or go for the Hyogo Royal Milk Tea in the Cold Brew series. Speciality sauces concocted in-house elevate classic staples on the Japanese-Western fusion menu. Bestsellers range from healthy Lemon Miso Salmon Salad to satisfying Daizu’s Spicy Bara Chirashi.

Insider tips: One, the al fresco area is pet-friendly and two, remember to leave space for the Hojicha Bread Butter Pudding!

Daizu Cafe is at 129 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218407.
Visit daizucafe.com; www.facebook.com/daizu.cafe; www.instagram.com/daizu.cafe

Photo: East Coast Commune

East Coast Commune

A fresh addition to the Marine Cove enclave at East Coast Park, East Coast Commune has quickly found favour with working adults, those seeking post-workout refuelling, and families with young children. Its spacious and welcoming interiors feature marine-themed artwork by local artist Wu Yanrong in an inspired extension of the surrounding landscape.


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A post shared by East Coast Commune (@eccommune)

A must-try is the sourdough waffles, available in both savoury and sweet options. Using a batter made in-house, each waffle is freshly prepared upon order. The result is just the right amount of crisp encasing a tangy and fluffy interior. For a hearty yet healthy meal, go for the Char Mee, an aglio olio-style pasta dish featuring a black garlic sauce and topped with locally sourced house-smoked barramundi. Pair it with a refreshing kombucha. Every element is painstakingly created from scratch, and the results speak for themselves.

A hit with kids and parents alike is a dedicated menu for littler diners that offers low-sodium yet yummy meals with no artificial additives and preservatives. Extra thoughtful touches include highchairs, toilet seat covers for toddlers, and a baby changing/nursing room.

East Coast Commune is at 1000 East Coast Parkway, #01-03 Marine Cove, Singapore 449876.
Visit eccommune.com; www.facebook.com/eccommune; www.instagram.com/eccommune

Photo: Hub & Spoke Cafe

Hub & Spoke Café

The lack of overseas travel notwithstanding, Singaporeans young and old love visiting our world-class airport. Adding to a multitude of reasons for that is the new Hub & Spoke Café out by Terminal 2. From the people behind homegrown brand Roast & Toast, it’s Changi Airport’s very own pitstop on the East Coast Park Connector, attracting avid cyclists and families with kids (and furkids) alike.

Hub & Spoke Café’s Nasi Lemak with Chicken

Naturally, you’ll find coffeeshop mainstays like Kopi C with Kaya Butter Toast and Soft Boiled Eggs on the menu. We love the Steamed Yam Bread and range of bubble teas too. But if you’re looking for more, the Nasi Lemak with Chicken, Hub & Spoke Big Breakfast, or Prime Ribeye Steak with Chimichurri Sauce won’t disappoint. There’s something for everyone, including choices such as Avocado Toast and Grilled Salmon favoured by fitness enthusiasts.

Need a break after a family outing to the Jurassic Mile? Just look for a charming glasshouse nestled amid lush tropical landscape, and let its black-and-white colonial-themed interiors draw you in. Oh, a little dinosaur will help point the way too!

Hub & Spoke Café is at 60 Airport Boulevard, #01-T2S-02 Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2, Singapore 819643.
Visit www.facebook.com/hubandspokecafe; www.instagram.com/hubandspokecafe

Photo: Kurasu Singapore

Kurasu Singapore

After a successful stint serving coffee at District6, a co-working space at Odeon Towers, Kyoto-based speciality coffee brand Kurasu Singapore wanted a place to call its own. Despite Covid-related delays, it recently opened its first flagship outside of Japan, within the artsy Bras Basah.Bugis precinct.


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The first things that strike you when you walk into the warmly lit café is a calming ambience, an absence of furniture, and of course, the distinct aroma of fresh coffee. Roasted and express-shipped from their Kyoto roastery weekly, the well-balanced Kurasu House Blend Dark is served how you like. Single-origin hand-dripped coffees and cold brews are also available. Savour your choice with seasonal bakes on the side.

There is no hot food served at this café, as the founders wish to stay true to their beloved bean. Non-coffee drinking friends will enjoy the smooth Matcha Latte, which is made using tea powders from Kyoto’s best micro farms.

Kurasu is at 261 Waterloo Street, #01-24 Waterloo Centre, Singapore 180261.
Visit kurasu.sg; www.facebook.com/kurasusg; www.instagram.com/kurasusg

Where’s your favourite chill-out spot? Share them with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!


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