Jun 8, 2017

Putting the COOL in Bencoolen Street: The hippest food hangouts

Nothing breathes new life into the old like a makeover!

Recently reopened after more than five years of closure to facilitate the construction of Bencoolen MRT station, which is slated to open later in the year, Bencoolen Street shows off its new cyclist and pedestrian-friendly face to the public. As part of the nation’s “car-lite” drive, the new infrastructure comes with a wider pedestrian walkway, a dedicated cycling path and new bicycle parking facilities.

New bicycle parking rack along Bencoolen Street

Spanning 450m and located at the section between Middle Road and Bras Basah Road, this pedestrian walkway/cycling path occupies two of the original four road lanes. There are also 125 new bicycle parking lots placed strategically at locations such as the entrances of Bencoolen MRT station, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), V Hotel and Bayview Hotel.

Bencoolen Street is also located conveniently in the middle of the Bras Basah.Bugis district which has many delicious eating outlets. So while you’re checking out the revamped street, here’s a simple food trail to jazz up your experience. Alternatively, check out our comprehensive food map to find out more eating spots and plan your own gourmet journey.

Love Pal Cafe

An assorted platter of delicious food placed in tree different plates

Start your cycling route at Queen Street. This cafe serves as a clubhouse for their volunteer group where they organise and plan mission trips. It’s also where they host their monthly charity activities.

With your typical cafe fare like smoked salmon cheese bagel and savoury waffles to homely, Asian delights like granny’s dark sauce chicken rice, there’s a good variety of dishes here. And while the food may draw you in, stay and learn more about how you can help them give back to society.

Whether it’s volunteering as a chaperone for their activities or signing up for their mission trips, it never hurts to lend a hand.

Where: 8 Queen Street, Singapore 188535
Operating hours: Daily, 8am – 10pm

Crossings Cafe

Quick bites served in an wooden pan-like plate

Don’t stuff yourself yet because you’ll be taking a quick ride to the next street for Crossings. Head down towards the junction of Bras Basah Road and make a right. Cycle past the Singapore Art Museum and turn right onto Waterloo Street.

The food is affordable, delicious and comes in generous portions. But getting your money’s worth isn’t the sole reason why you should swing by this unassuming cafe; it’s the origin and purpose of the business.

A ground-up initiative by 11 donor investors, Crossings aims to provide employment opportunities for disadvantaged youths – mainly through collaborations with other social enterprises. The cafe even runs their own charity initiatives and the staff are encouraged to give back to society, most notably by giving food to the needy.

Though their specially imported Trappist beers shouldn’t be missed, remember not to drink and ride.

Where: 55 Waterloo Street, #01-01, Singapore 187954
Operating hours: Weekdays, 8am – 10pm. Weekends, 10am – 10pm

Thai Gold Food

A familiar combination of Thai food placed on a table

Photo source: Instagram / @yanteen

Finally, we’re hitting the raison d’être of this food trail: Bencoolen Street. To get there, cycle down Waterloo Street towards Middle Road. Take a left once you see Fortune Centre and continue past NAFA till you reach Sunshine Plaza.

This Thai food joint serves up familiar dishes like minced pork with basil, tom yum soup, pad thai and green curry. The à la carte dishes are priced around $10 or less while the mains can go up to $12. You can also check out their lunchtime specials if you don’t mind braving the lunch crowd.

Where: Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, #01-14, Singapore 189652
Operating hours: Daily, 11.30am – 4pm and 5pm – 11pm

Victor’s Kitchen

Famous Hong Kong dishes placed in traditional bamboo boxes

Photo source: Burpple

Alternatively, check out this hidden dim sum gem located in Sunshine Plaza as well.

Serving a taste of Hong Kong, Victor’s Kitchen is famous for their liu sha bao (custard buns). If your tastebuds prefer the more traditional, they have the typical variety of dim sum such as har gao (prawn dumplings), siew mai, and shrimp rolls.

However, be prepared to pay a little bit more as a basket of dim sum can cost you anywhere between $3.80 and $5.20.

Where: Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, #01-49, Singapore 189652
Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10.30am – 8pm. Friday and Saturday, 10.30am – 9pm

Merely Ice Cream

Handcrafted ice cream made with fresh ingredients

Swing by the ice cream parlour to wash it all down with some dessert.

What sets them apart are their natural, handcrafted flavours that are made with fresh ingredients, eschewing the use of preservatives and artificial flavouring. Come for the freshness and stay for interesting flavours such as grape Yakult sorbet and white chocolate speculoos.

Wrap up your gastronomic journey with something cool and refreshing – at only $3.30 a scoop.

Where: Sunshine Plaza, 91 Bencoolen Street, #01-13, Singapore 189652
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm – 11pm. Closed on Sundays

Once you’re done satiating your tummy and soul, take in the sights at the improved Bencoolen Street.

And if the options aren’t enough, the dedicated cycling path along Bencoolen Street will connect to existing and future cycling routes in Singapore, making it easier for commuters to cycle from home to work and back again.

With these new options, it’s a wonderful time to experience Bencoolen Street’s new lease of life with your trusty bicycle.

Also Read: Two Bikes, One Makan Mission