TomorrowFree Kafei @ Irving Place – Taking Singapore’s Food Culture Back to its Traditional Roots (Invite)

With its decidedly Singlish name and locally-slanted menu, TomorrowFree Kafei stands out from the belt of Western cafes in Irving Place. It’s a known fact that this place has injected Tai Seng with a bit of Singapore’s cafe culture, so why is this family-run eatery choosing to run the other direction with food that most would say “eh my mother can cook leh”?

Owner Steven Oh believes in evoking the fond memories of yesteryears through home-cooked goodness, hence his desire to preserve the cultures and flavours passed down from previous generations – with a few twists of his own.

(photo credit: Hazel) 

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Wanton @ Amoy Street – Seng’s Noodle Bar with the Bad Boy Vibe

You’ll be forgiven if you didn’t know that Wanton serves that – wanton noodles. Tucked away in a row of shophouses adjacent to Amoy Street Food Centre, this 20-seater noodle concept by Seng’s rocks a modern bar vibe complete with monochrome banner, smooth beats and tattoo-ed guys behind the counter.

At less than five days old, this noodle bar is already drawing large crowds, having frequently chalked up a full house during the lunch hour. Word has it that Chef Benson spent a year training under the legendary Ah Seng himself before he went on to open Wanton.

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I Want My Noodle @ Shaw Centre

How much are you willing to pay for a bowl of noodles?

Eateries with artisanal or fusion takes on local cuisine have been popping up all over Singapore, giving an atas twist to humble dishes strongly associated with hurried morning and afternooon meals at our neighbourhood hawker centres. One such place is the aptly named I Want My Noodle, which styles itself as a craft noodle shop with contemporary twists on the ubiquitous Chinese noodle.

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The Mama Shop @ Pearl’s Hill Terrace (Closed)

Update 12 Oct 2015: The Mama Shop is closed till further notice. 

It doesn’t get any more old school than this; a 10-seater, retro-style cafe at the Old Police Operational Headquarters, a heritage building off the beaten track from Chinatown. Named after the ubiquitous neighbourhood snacks and trinkets shop, Felicia Chin and Sora Ma’s foray into the cafe business, The Mama Shop, is gaining attention for its blend of local-infused snacks and drinks, as well as a nostalgic array of knick-knacks displayed on its shopfront.

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