1. HOUSE OF ANLI
You may think this bistro resembles a super chic homeware store, and you’re half-right. Its owner, Belgian designer Anne-Jean Liétaer (An-Li, geddit?), had started her business selling luxury European homeware before adding a diner at the back of the spacious store recently. The impossibly stylish, light-flooded space features sleek dining ware (including fancy cutlery from French knife-maker Laguiole) stocked in Liétaer’s shop and food made using her family’s recipes.
There are quirky, tasteful touches throughout the dining room, like a framed collection of vintage tennis rackets.
Tuck into homely yet elegant fare such as the Carbonnades De Chez Nous ($28), a flavourful stew of beef cheek with carrots and baby potatoes — the sauce spiked with beer is delicious, pity the meat was slightly under-braised and chewy when we had it.
Meanwhile, the Sourdough Toast with Smoked Eel and Avocado ($26) is pretty yummy, if stingily portioned for the price. Oh, and skip the so-so coffee and get the spicy house-made Honey Ginger Tea instead. Still, we think the food isn't the main draw here — the gorgeous decor is.
#03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Rd, S247933. Tel: 6235-3851. Open daily 9am-9pm. Last orders at 9pm. www.houseofanli.com
2. ENCHANTED CAFE
A whimsical cafe opened by two 23-year-old pals who met while pursuing Business Studies at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The young towkays also worked stints as a home baker, and a barista at cafes like Jewel Coffee.
What's 'enchanting' here? The feminine space adorned with dried flowers, fairy lights and wooden fixtures. The food comprises mostly Western plates, with some playful Asian touches. Try the Ngoh Hiang Burger (above pic; $18.90), featuring a pan-fried minced pork patty studded with water chestnuts and five-spice powder.
Pair it with a very pink Bandung Milk ($4.90), or Sorcerer’s Elixir drink (below pic, $9.90), lychee and citrus earl grey tea infused with butterfly pea flower juice that changes hue when a “secret syrup” is added.
88 Rangoon Rd, S218374. Tel: 8813-1086. Open daily except Mon. Tues 10am-10pm, Wed-Thurs noon-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Last order 30 mins before closing. www.facebook.com/EnchantedCafeSg
3. ERGON DELI
This is a franchised outlet of Greek cafe chain Ergon (it has branches in London and its native Greece), opened by a Greek owner. The head chef here is Greek, too. The brunch-friendly spot within Suntec City is a cosy, rustic spot with warm wood accents and plants.
Dig into comforting Greek grub like Stuffed Vine Leaves with Tzatziki (yogurt dip) Spread ($15) and the Koulouri ($22), a sesame bagel (yes, not very Greek) topped with organic poached eggs and Greek yogurt. Desserts include a Baklava ($9 per piece) made in Greece and air-flown here. After your meal, shop at the retail corner for groceries like olive oil and cheeseboards made from Greek olive wood.
#01-365 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd, S038983. Tel: 8360-3616. Open daily Mon-Thur 8.30am-10pm, Fri 8.30am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-9pm. Last orders 30 mins before closing. www.facebook.com/ergonfoodssg