Since the establishment of Farrer Park MRT station, the surrounding area has turned from sleepy to hipster. While renowned Indian restaurants still stand their ground, the place now buzzes with new, attractively-styled cafes. BiTES susses out the vicinity for a perfect day out.

OWEN ROAD

Overview
Unlike its surrounding roads like Kent and Oxford, which are named after counties in England, Owen Road is named after the famous British big game hunter and sportsman, George P. Owen. The sleepy stretch of shophouses is home to an eclectic mix of eateries, coffee shops and shops for car spare parts–and we think that’s part of the charm.

L’etoile Café (160 Owen Rd)
One of the pioneering cafes in the vicinity, tucked at the end of Owen Road, opened in 2012. Serving signature breakfast ($16.90)–a hearty meal of the full breakfast works, the homely atmosphere of L’etoile makes for a great place to wind down with a glass of wine after a long day. We also like to browse through their retail section which includes jewellery and knick-knacks. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm. Sat-Sun 9am-10pm. Tel: 6298 2872

P. Bistro (142 Owen Rd)
Serving affordable, quality Asian-inspired Western fare and French classics in a laidback shophouse space, this bistro counts the Nyonya dory ($18) and pork belly ($18) as their signature dishes. Their pastries, such as their éclairs ($3.50) and addictive baked cheesesticks, are made in-house by the pastry chef. Tue-Sun 11am-10pm. Tel: 6392 2333

The Production Kitchen (#01-02, 122 Owen Rd)
While famous for their all-time favourite rainbow cake ($75 for a 7-inch cake), this bakery is by appointment only. Equally popular are their artfully decorated fondant confections which not only look great at parties, but also on Instagram feeds. Mon-Sat 1-7.30pm. Tel: 6299 0886. www.jacquico.com

House of Commons (138 Owen Rd)
One of the latest entrants, this café is run by husband and wife duo Raj and Sharon. The industrial-chic furnishings are mostly upcycled. Choose from gourmet sandwiches such as the classic ham & cheese ($8.90) and Thai turmeric chicken ($14.90) served with salads and fries to pair with their dark roast coffees. We hear their Nutella milkshake ($8.90) is a bestseller. Mon-Fri 7.30am-5pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm. Tel: 6291 1774

 

ONE FARRER HOTEL & SPA (1 Farrer Park Station Rd)

Newly opened Connexion–Singapore’s first integrated healthcare and hospitality complex–adds a touch of luxe to the area with its sleek building. Housing Farrer Park Medical Centre, Farrer Park Hospital and One Farrer Hotel & Spa, the latter not only offers a place of retreat where patients can rest after a day surgery, but also various dining places, such as their all-day dining restaurant, Escape.

Sushi Jin (#01-12)
Boasting a six-star experience at a four-star price, Sushi Jin bridges the gap between mass-market and fine dining. Ingredients are flown in from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market thrice a week. For the price-conscious, opt for the set lunches which start from $15 for their tofu ankake don–Japanese and mixed mushroom over rice–to $45 for their premium sushi set. Pick from their sakes–which includes the Junmai (from $95/bottle) and Daijinjo (from $170/bottle)–to pair with your meal. Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 6.30-10.30pm. Tel: 6443 3378

Local, Fresh and Seasonal Deli (#01-14) / Origins of Food (#01-16)
Offerings are substantial and range from soups to salads and sushi. Head over to Origins of Food–complete with a cooking studio space–and purchase items such as natural Australian honeycombs ($30), a variety of assorted cheeses (from $4/100g) and condiments from Wattle Tree Creek and A Taste of the Bush (from $14). Daily 7am-7pm (LFS)/10am-7pm (OOF). Tel: 6705 7826

NamNam (#01-08/10)
The quick-service noodle bar is popular for their affordable Vietnamese pho and banh mi. But we always come back for the pho beef steak slices ($9.90) served medium rare with rice noodles in flavourful broth and garnished with herbs. Daily 10am to 9.30pm. Tel: 6443 1173

 

RANGOON ROAD

Overview
Named after the capital of Burma and best known for being home to two of the most famous bak kut teh shops in Singapore, this road is also a hot spot for cafes–at least five new ones have popped up.

Tamper & Co (#01-02, 88 Rangoon Rd)
Previously known as La’Coffee and selling traditional coffee, they have since rebranded and started selling espresso-based coffees due to customer demand. Swing by early for their cold brew classic coffee ($6.50) as they only stock 20 to 30 bottles daily. We also couldn’t keep our forks off their homemade tiramisu ($8.50/slice). Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10-12am. Tel: 6341 7525.

Riz Cuit Kitchen (#01-05, 88 Rangoon Rd)
Enter Riz Cuit and be greeted by colourful furniture. Helmed by chef Anne Goh, this place serves Western fusion dishes such as Grouper Bunnies ($14.80)–little grouper burgers–and marinara pasta ($16.80). Order their earl grey iced milk tea ($5.80) too–a must-have for those scorching hot days. Mon-Thu 12-9pm, Fri 12-11pm, Sat 12-8pm, Sun by reservation only. Tel: 6341 5648

Brunches Café (96 Rangoon Rd)
The centrepiece is a vintage car–upholstered and turned into a seating area for four–that has patrons scrambling for a picture with it. Some of the furniture and items–like the telephones (from $150) and collectibles–in-store are also for sale. The extensive menu includes hearty brunch items such as deluxe club sandwich ($16.50) and mixed berries waffle ($13.50). Wed-Mon 9am-7pm. Tel: 8685 8488

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery (79 Rangoon Rd)
If you are looking for eggless snacks, pastries and cakes, look no further than this Indian bakery. Pick from flavours such as the butterscotch and mango ($2.30/slice or $20 onwards for a 0.5kg cake). Also, the two-year-old establishment offers popular Indian confectioneries like Horlicks beda, laddu and mysore pak (from $1.20/piece). Daily 10.30am-10.30pm. Tel: 6392 5785

LivinGreens (#01-04, 89 Rangoon Rd)
Offering a menu of innovative vegan dishes such as rosemary mango fruity salad ($9.50) and fried laksa spaghetti ($8.90), this cafe makes healthy eats more fun. They also stock a range of health food products such as organic chia seeds ($10.80/200g packet). Shop for products from Australian natural skincare brand Sukin here. Mon-Sat 11am-3pm, 5-7.30pm. Tel: 9857 4881

 

CITY SQUARE MALL (180 Kitchener Rd)

Overview
Located on the site of Singapore’s historic New World Park, Singapore’s first eco-mall utilises technologies to reduce electricity and water usage. With designated parking lots for hybrid and electric cars and a charging station for the latter, they really live up to their reputation. It is also popular for families too, with a range of children boutiques, toy shops, learning centres and other amenities.

Wingstop (#B1-33/34)
Originating from the United States, this specialty store has chicken wing lovers in Singapore clucking in joy, and it’s not hard to see why. They have a range of combos complete with fries and soda, such as the wing burger ($9.95), but we still prefer our six-piece classic wing combo ($9.95) where we can pick two out of 10 flavours–including the oriental soy pepper, teriyaki and garlic Parmesan. Daily 11am-10pm. Tel: 6509 6571

Super Dario Lasagne Café (#04-17)
Opened for slightly over half a year, this cafe offers over 10 types of lasagne for customers to choose from–all freshly made in-store. Apart from the usual suspects such as beef lasagna ($8.50/portion), try the Luigi ($8.40/portion)–a minced chicken option, bak kwa ($11/portion) and vegetarian Norma ($8.40/portion)–which consists of ricotta cheese, mushroom and eggplants. Those throwing a party can consider purchasing their lasagne in trays (six portions), but you’ll need to call up three hours beforehand. Daily 11.30am-9.30pm. Tel: 6315 90682

Milk & Honey (#02-K14)
A hit since it opened, this artisan yoghurt and dessert bar offers their signature parfaits such as the royal honey ($8.80), matcha ($9.80) and chocolate divine ($9.80). Or you can get creative and design your own by choosing from a range of handcrafted toppings from $4 for a mini cup with one topping. Daily 11am-10pm. Tel: 6834 3040

 

5 cool things you can find at MUSTAFA CENTRE (145 Syed Alwi Rd)

  1. Foreign Currency Exchange
    Psst: They have one of the better rates across different currencies; check it out online anytime to compare.
  2. Travel Agency
    Book air tickets, hotel stays and tour packages to places like Australia and Turkey.
  3. Kebab’s N Curries Rooftop Restaurant
    We love the chicken biryani and multani paneer tikka.
  4. 24-hour Pharmacy
    Need some meds at 3am? They’re located near Exit 3.
  5. Jewellery
    Spare a few hours to pore over their rows of dazzling gold chains, necklaces and bangles at competitive prices.