Okay, so it's true that one can find a cheap, and quite good, cup of kopi, the local brew, at Singapore's many local coffee shops. And a rich, caramelly kopi with condensed milk is a fab afternoon treat, especially at the local institution that is Killiney Kopitiam.
But for your daily espresso fix? You may have noticed that the average price of a caffe latte in Singapore is, well, extortionate. $5.30 for a tall latte--really, Starbucks??? And most chains charge similar prices.
But there are excellent, reasonably-priced espresso drinks to be had. The Rotisserie, an Aussie lunch spot near Far East Square by Chinatown makes a perfect latte--all velvety milk and not a hint of bitterness--that will only set you back $3.50. Da Paolo's Gastronomia, whose four locations up the odds that you'll be near one at any given time, also serves a quality latte for $3.50.
And, if you happen to be in the market for an expensive cup, bypass Starbucks and head straight to Oriole Coffee for a cold-brewed iced coffee. Buyer beware, though: this is a strong one and they don't serve decaf. Barrista-policy.
Recently arrived, this arriviste is hard at work finding her place in a cosmopolitan tropical city.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
In a city where choice can be positively overwhelming, the Arriviste is my attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff, as they say, and to chronicle the best of the best of what I encounter in food, drink, style and daily life in Singapore. The Arriviste will be a carefully curated guide to Singapore's stand-outs for the curious visitor short on time but high on standards.
The Arriviste is also for the many other new arrivals in Singapore, trying to find their way around a city on information overload. My frequent moves--most recently from New York to Hong Kong to Singapore--have taught me that the quickest way to feel at home in a new place is to find your favorite bar, your go-to dinner spot, your perfect cup of coffee. I hope the Arriviste will be useful to you in your quest for your own indispensable places.
In a city overwhelmed with choice, the Arriviste is an edited guide to Singapore's food, drink, and style standouts. Just visiting for a weekend? Wander down to "categories" below to find the best, and only the best, of this tropical isle.