From Turf City to Cluny Court, and even along Upper Bukit Timah Road, we roam this neighbourhood to find places to eat Japanese yakitori and Korean bingsu, where to get facials and even nature trails in Singapore
Locally regarded as an exclusive and posh district of Singapore, Bukit Timah is essentially more than that; this beautiful lush enclave is ultimately filled with hidden gems that cater to a spectrum of people. From food and drinks to beauty, art and even sports, this swanky vicinity in the West of Singapore has it all. Check out our guide to Bukit Timah, and discover each and every one of its gems tucked at every corner of this thriving neighbourhood.
Restaurants and Bars
Dining at Dancing Crab is no tidy affair. If you’d rather skip the mess of shelling crabs and licking your fingers (which you will), their lobster roll is the way to go. They may be petite, but they certainly pack a punch: 100 grams of lobster claw tossed in a paprika-spiked béarnaise sauce and served with Cajun fries, purple cabbage slaw, and pickles for that extra kick. We like.
Dancing Crab, four locations including The Grandstand & Orchard Central.
Is mac and cheese the way to your heart? This charming eatery has two superb versions: Old School Baked Mac & Cheese ($16.50) in a delectable cheese sauce, and the fancier Version 2 Mac & Cheese Royale ($20.50) gussied up with truffle oil and wild mushrooms. Elsewhere on the menu, they also do a mean XXX Baconator beef burger ($21.50) topped with melted swiss cheese, bacon strips, bacon aioli and espresso bacon jam, and a homemade apple crumble served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Little Diner, 789 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269763, p. 6466 4088
Comforting Italian-American nosh is the main game at both of Spruce’s breezy outlets (the Bukit Timah outlet is housed within an abandoned fire station!) with scrummy dishes like ahi tuna tartare served with ciabatta, beer-braised lamb shank and beef and spinach ravioli. What’s more? Crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, the thick golden truffle fries here are drowned in a buttery bernaise sauce – delicious!
Spruce, 260 Upper Bukit Timah Road, #01-01, Singapore 588213, p. 6466 5582
La Petite Cuisine
Searching for a French food without the frills? Then make your way to this humble eatery at Serene Centre to savour some unpretentious and delectable French cuisines such as like escargots, duck confit and spinach ravioli. Don’t let the simple and unpolished exterior of the shop hinder you from gaining an enjoyable French dining experience.
La Petite Cuisine, #01-05 Serene Centre,10 Jalan Serene, Singapore 258748, p. 6314 3173
If you’re looking to feed a large group of people without breaking the bank, book a table right now – Peperoni serves pizza in XXL portions (21 inches, good for four to six peoplea). With pies this affordable and delicious, do expect a crowd on the weekends.
Peperoni Pizzeria, 6 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289195. p. 899 6899
This bustling open-air eatery is frequented by both students from nearby universities and famished folks from all corners of the isle. If you visit, order their creamy butter chicken masala with a side of naan bread to dip in, or ask for a prata plaster and watch as the sunny side-up is served while sizzling on your prata.
Al Azhar, 11 Cheong Chin Nam Rd, Singapore 599736, p. 6466 5052. Opening hours: Mon – Sun, 24 hours.
Tin Hill Social
Surrounded by Bukit Timah’s lush greenery, Tin Hill Social is a multi-concept space that consists of five different areas spanning across two adjacent stables. Industrial chic’s the main idea when it comes to décor and the menu’s a wonderful mish-mash of Western favourites. From a seafood platter and an Australian Black Angus tomahawk ribeye (both great for sharing), to hay-asmoked pork belly sangers and quail eggs, you’re bound to find something to satisfy those cravings.
Tin Hill Social, 100 Turf Club Road, Horse City, Singapore 287992, p. 6466 0966
Greenwood Fish Market and Bistro
Located deep in Bukit Timah, Greenwood Fish Market and Bistro’s has got ostreaphiles from all over Singapore pouring in every Tuesday for their irresistible oyster promotion: order a main course from the bistro’s menu, and get as many oysters as you can cradle in your stomach at just $1.50 apiece.
Greenwood Fish Market and Bistro, 34 & 38 Greenwood Ave, Singapore 289236, p. 6467 4950
Yakitori Lounge Hibiki
Just like how you have sushi and ramen masters hailing from Japan, it’s no surprise to find senseis proficient in the art of yakitori too. One such authority is Chef Bunji Hibiki, who runs a yakitori brand with over 65 years of experience. Lucky for us, we now have our own slice of the Hibiki tradition with this Bukit Timah establishment. The Hibiki brand is also renowned for its miso barbecue sauce that it exports all around the world with pride, so expect an extra umami kick when you tuck into skewers offering kurobuta pork belly, tsukune and yakitori.
Yakitori Lounge Hibiki, #01-06 Royalville, 833 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 279887, p. 6519 6894
Wine culture’s latest dining venture takes on authentic Japanese shabu shabu dining with a touch of European flair. The twist being that – unlike just cooking in boiling water – the broths served here are European-influenced, like beef consomme and boullaibaisse. Sakurazaka also offers less common pork and beef varieties, and also a mix of Asian and Western vegetables. Sakurazaka’s Chef Masashi, a Fukuoka native, also plans to introduce traditional sukiyaki, as well as offer a selection of European-inspired kakigori (shaved ice).
Sakurazaka, 24 Greenwood Avenue, Singapore 289221, p. 6463 0333; Open daily 6pm-10.30pm.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen
A treasure trove of Peranakan (Straits Chinese) cuisine, this retro-chic bistro by renowned local food connoisseur Violet Oon celebrates Singapore’s rich cultural diversity. Staples like buah keluak ayam (braised chicken with keluak, a piquant, black-coloured nut) are must-haves, but do leave room for dessert; the durian chendol (a popular coconut milk, palm sugar and pandan flavoured dessert) panna cotta is to die for.
Violet Oon’s Kitchen, 881 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 279893, p. 6468 5430
Buckaroo BBQ & Grill Restaurant
This long-standing Western eating spot in the Upper Bukit Timah area serves up the heartiest creations, from perfectly cooked steaks to fiery Buffalo wings. It’s really popular with families too, so round up the gang and drop by for dinner (or even Sunday brunch, 11.30am to 2.30pm).
Buckaroo BBQ & Grill Restaurant, 921 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 678202, p. 6754 2621
Acqua e Farina
Co-founders and Executive Chefs, Roberto Galbiati (former owner of Galbiati Gourmet Deli) and Antonio Manetto (former owner of Pizza Bella and Pasta Bella), have teamed up to bring this authentic Italian resto to Rail Mall in Upper Bukit Timah. Fancy your Neapolitan-style pizzas? Chef Antonio, a native of the South of Italy (near Naples), handmakes his dough and allows them to rise for 30 hours. The authenticity goes beyond pizzas – chef Galbiati applies his Milanese cooking style to his handmade ravioli, fettuccine and agnolotti.
Acqua e Farina, The Rail Mall, 400 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 678050
Bar Bar Black Sheep
If you’re looking to drink yourself silly, catch live EPL screenings, and munch on fusion beer grub spanning cuisines from spicy Thai to izakaya Japanese, it’s got to be Bar Bar Black Sheep. They also have other outlets beyond Bukit Timah like in Holland Village, Robertson Quay and Tanjong Katong too.
Cafés and Bakeries
The sort of ingredients you’ll find in Plain Vanilla’s cakes and bakes consist of French butter, pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla, Belgian chocolate, fresh fruit and eggs. Find cakes and pastries that are too pretty to eat, and cupcakes in a plethora of flavours like red velvet, salted caramel, earl grey lavender and vanilla bean. And lets not forget, Plain Vanilla does fantastic coffee too.
Plain Vanilla, #01-03A, Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259760, p. 8363 7615; Open daily 8am-7pm.
Located at Bukit Timah Plaza is this Korean gem. The coffees served at Boyle’s Café are from in-house beans, with the Dutch Coffee (Cold Drip) its specialty coffee. This slow, cold brew riddles taste buds with hints of citrusy and fruity flavours, and is highly rated by the coffee drinkers in this ‘hood. If you don’t or can’t take caffeine, but would love to enjoy the world’s best coffee (as stated on its website), Boyle’s Coffee also does it decaf.
Boyle’s Coffee, L1-CS1, Bukit Timah Plaza, 1 Jalan Anak Bukit, Singapore 588996
An acronym for At-Land-Air-Sea, Atlas Coffeehouse truly embodies a more zen-inspired concept. High ceiling, big glass windows and spacious dining area; what’s not to like about this new café at Bukit Timah? Helmed by the splendid guys behind the renowned Assembly Coffee, it’s no wonder that Atlas Coffeehouse also delivers a great selection of food and bevvies. Here, they use coffee beans from Two Degrees North Coffee Co – a blend of Brazilian and Guatemalan beans – so you can expect flavourful tones from their coffees. As for food, summer chicken stew is certainly worth a try, but if you ask us, the creamy mushroom on sourdough is the bomb.
Atlas Coffeehouse, 6 Duke’s Road, Singapore 268886, p. 6314 2674. Open Tue-Sun 8am-5pm. Closed on Mon.
If you are a cake person, this is the place to be. Not only are we in love with the exterior or this cozy café, but also its list of hand-crafted cakes, including Vicky’s Cakes’ signature chocolate fudge, carrot, Tiramisu, strawberry forest, dark velvet and even banana gula Melaka butterscotch! Find cupcakes, cookies, and coffee to compliment your sweet treats at Vicky’s Cakes and The Coffee Shack.
Vicky’s Café and The Coffee Shack, 833 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 279887, p. 6466 4000
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head to Riders Cafe (which is, in our opinion, the best thing you can get if you’re thinking of a short “country”-style escape). Tucked away in the lush greenery of Bukit Timah Saddle Club (yes, there are adorable horsies all around), this peaceful spot is great for any meal of the day. Try the Blackstone Benedict or the pork sausage with sweet potato hash and kale if you’re here for brunch, or the pan-fried snapper with miso-creamed kale if you’re here for dinner.
Riders Cafe, 51 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286965, p. 6466 9819
The Living Cafe
Joined at the hip with holistic wellness centre Balanced Living, The Living Cafe serves up raw and unprocessed organic foods at incredibly affordable prices. There are plenty of mains to be had, but leave some space for dessert: the raw mango tart is a must-try.
The Living Cafe, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758, p. 6468 4482
Dubbed “the new life to the neighbourhood,” this Necessary Provisions could be the pick-me-up that Eng Kong needs. Their Western menu speaks to the hearts of the hungry and drained: pasta, sandwiches with Caesar salad, and breakfast like Banana Nutella Panini. Necessary Provisions provides for the Asian palate, too – pick up Sambal Fried Rice or Buta Don! PS. This one’s a real looker and is already gaining great Insta-traction, so hurry down to beat the hipsters at their game.
Necessary Provisions, 21 Eng Kong Terrace, Singapore 598993, p. 9231 7920
Have a slice of Paris at this decade-old French café along Bukit Timah Road. Popular breakfast items include the famous egg benny – one of the best in town – and the croque monsieur. Before you leave, make sure to pick up the freshly made croissants and deliciously sweet pastries like danishes and macarons for an extended brunch at home.
Choupinette, 607 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269708, p. 6466 0613
One Thing Coffee Kids Café
With an indoor playroom, free Wi-Fi and its great selection of Korean bingsu, this family-friendly café is indeed a great place to chill during the weekend (or any time of the week for that matter). The hot-seller goes to its matcha patbingsu ($8), served in a lab-like glass beaker – how cute! Otherwise, you can try its flavourful raspberry bingsu for a sweet treat.
One Thing Coffee Kids Café, #B2-17, Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588179, p. 9788 1276
Pasarbella @ The Grandstand
Ever since setting foot in PasarBella, we’ve been intrigued with what this gigantic marketplace has to offer. PasarBella at The Grandstand offers international cuisines and provide Singapore’s freshest produce, wines, craft beers and groceries. With 30 stores in total to explore, its quaint ambience makes it a unique lifestyle market for the entire family to enjoy.
Pasarbella @ The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road Singapore 287994
Meat the Butcher
From German bratwursts to wagyu beef, shabu shabu to Iberico Jamon, this delicatessen certainly has all your meat needs covered. But if you fancy a little fromage to go with your Sunday roast (who doesn’t?), Meat the Butcher doesn’t disappoint. French Brie, Swiss Emmenthaler, Danish Feta, Parmigiano Regiano, Provolone… just take your pick.
Meat the Butcher, 615 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269716, p. 6465 1651
Meating Point (previously James’ Butchery & Co)
Veteran butcher, James Goodenough, certainly delivers the goods at his flagship store at PasarBella gourmet market place. You’ll find affordable organic and marinated meats, plump sausages, as well as indulgences such as 500-day grain-fed Australian wagyu alongside US and Irish dry-aged beef. You’ll also find spices and gourmet sauces to complete the meal: make sure you pick up a red-hot tin of La Chinata smoked paprika to spice up your barbecue marinade.
Meating Point, #02-K22/23/24/25 Pasarbella, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Rd, Singapore 287994
The Cheese Ark
There’s nothing biblical here – unless of course, you take your cheese very seriously. Either way, The Cheese Ark will sure to satisfy aficionados and neophytes alike with its mind-boggling range of cheeses sourced from Italy, Switzerland, France, and The Netherlands. With over 50 types to choose from (Gorgonzola! Raclette! Reblochon!), you’re bound to find something that’ll pique your fancy.
The Cheese Ark, #02-06 PasarBella, The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287994, p. 9830 3368
Gourmet food, wine, artisanal spirits, and seasonal ingredients aside, The Providore is also the exclusive local retailer of MONS cheese: one of Europe’s premier cheese specialists. Feeling peckish? Head over to The Providore at PasarBella and take full advantage of its cheese and wine tasting bar, where you can try wine pairings with products from the deli counter. (Pssst, you didn’t hear this from us).
The Providore, #02- K1, PasarBella at The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287994, p. 6468 9766
While offering some of the purest, organic, premier quality health food, Balanced Living can also be dubbed “the reservoir of vitamins”. At Balanced Living, you’ll have to slowly discover the plethora of supplements, focusing on different health concerns like women’s health, energy boosters, anti-aging and rejuvenation and more. You can either shop online, or pop by their store in Bukit Timah.
Balanced Living, 779 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269758, p. 6762-8029
Carolyn Law, the founder of ARThaus, believes that painting helps the healing of the soul. With that in mind, her airy space provides a warm, comfortable environment where you can express your (hidden) talents in an art-jamming workshop.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
It’s no Everest, that’s for sure, but you’ll certainly give your calves a workout as you make your way to the summit of Singapore’s highest peak. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might spot some of Singapore’s more elusive wildlife like the Sunda Pangolin and the Blue Bronzeback snake. The hill also retains historical significance, being the spot of the British military’s final stand against the invading Imperial Japanese Army.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
The Green Corridor
Once a railway track, The Green Corridor has since been repurposed into a hiking trail. Much like the Southern Ridges, this trail serves as a connector between several parks, like Bukit Timah and Kranji Wetlands. Along this trail, you’ll find grasslands, streams and marshes that are teeming with life, thanks to the area being relatively untouched.
Sports & Fitness
Better Bodies Boot Camp
The six-week boot camp at Better Bodies will get you to your goal – but be prepared to sweat every minute of it. If you’re the sort who needs to be pushed (they’re tough here), this is the boot camp for you. Do note that the training gets increasingly harder, so check out the schedule before you go down; you really don’t want to start in week four.
Better Bodies Boot Camp, Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah (National University of Singapore).
Champion’s Gold (previously Bukit Timah Golf Complex)
In addition to the nine-hole course, champions golf boasts a 66-bay driving range and a team of PGA coaches including Alan Murray, a three-time Rolex Masters Champion. The course’s central location and the fact that it’s open 365 days a year makes setting up regular practice sessions a breeze.
Bukit Timah Golf Complex, 60 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286966. p. 6463 0332
Trifecta Martial Arts
This cool martial arts school specialises in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Classes are intimately sized, and are taught by certified instructors from Thailand and Brazil, so you get the most authentic experience. Besides imparting handy self-defence-slash-fighting moves, the training programmes at Trifecta Martial Arts also help students build strength, coordination, confidence, mental clarity, and positivity.
Trifecta Martial Arts, Horse City, 100 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287992, p. 6467 9681
Bukit Timah Saddle Club
An approved British Horse Society, Riding School and Livery Centre, Bukit Timah Saddle Club (BTSC) caters to both serious equestrians (with a strong focus on show jumping and dressage) and leisure riders. Small groups (3-8) lessons are available, and there are also pony rides ($10) for kids every weekend from 10.30am to 1pm. BTSC is also the only cross-country course in Singapore and includes a variety of obstacles including steps, drops, ditches, trakheners, logs, tyre jumps and ski jumps.
Bukit Timah Saddle Club, 51 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286965, p. 6466 2782
Dogs are extremely social creatures by nature, but if you’ve only got one dog, it might not be completely comfortable hanging out with new playmates. Sunny Heights, like daycare centres for children, not only looks after your dogs, but also aims to foster socialisation through games and activities – there are even pool parties for your dogs! Don’t be alarmed if your pooch might want to party on way after you pick it up. Longer-term accommodation in air-conditioned pens is also offered.
Sunny Heights, 110 Turf Club Road, Singapore 288000. p. 6314 9363
You’ll be forgiven for mistaking the premises of Happy Dog for a children’s daycare centre, what with the rainforest-themed indoor playground and motifs. If your dog is more of an introvert, the playground offers lots of nooks for it to get away from it all. Happy Dog also offers a full catalogue of grooming services, a dog spa and dog hotel services. And don’t worry, throughout the entire period you’re away, your dog will be under the careful supervision of Happy Dog’s dedicated pet care assistants.
Happy Dog, 793 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269765. p. 6466 5242
Ever wondered how geishas get their flawless skin? Two words: nightingale droppings. It has been an open secret since ancient Japanese times when Kabuki actors and geishas discovered it as the ultimate beauty elixir – and now you can try it for yourself with the Geisha Organic Facial ($240 for 90 minutes) at Ikeda Spa. Using authentic nightingale droppings, along with traditional Japanese ingredients such as rice bran, azuki red beans, and camellia oil, we think it’s worthy of all the hype.
Ikeda Spa, 787 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 269762, p. 6469 8080
The Big Blow
Say hello to The Big Blow: a mobile hair styling, nails, and makeup service. Got a fancy party to attend? Give these fairy Godmothers a call and they’ll transform you in the comfort of your home. And if you’re out and about, drop by their swanky new salon at Cluny Court for their signature quickie Perfect Blowout ($45) which uses premium Moroccanoil products – it’s wash, condition, blow, and go in under an hour!
The Big Blow, #02-21 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 259760, Singapore, p. 6465 4836
Ladies, welcome to resort wear heaven! Tucked away in Cluny Court, Simone Irani is a multi-label boutique with a distinctly ‘gypset’ vibe – think bohemian gypsy-chic for jet setters. Apart from its in-house label, Simone Irani is bursting with effortlessly stylish swimwear, dresses, kaftans, and accessories sourced from all over the globe. If you love vibrant colours, bold prints and playful designs, then you’re in for a treat at Simone Irani.
Simone Irani, #02-17 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259760, p. 6468 8486
Fans of the classic Scandinavian aesthetic, this one’s for you. Local boutique Change is a treasure trove of Danish-designed lingerie and swimwear that flatter women of all shapes and forms (we’re talking bra sizes from A to K cup!) We also love that Change offers a free fitting service.
Change, #02-08 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259760, p. 9321 1344
You can even shop for all your naughty stuff at this physical store on Upper Bukit Timah Road, or you could keep it low-key and get some online shopping done instead (their products are all imported directly from Europe, Germany, Japan or USA manufacturers – no dodgy business). These guys have been around since 2004 and the customer service is excellent. Got a question? There’s a live chat option available, and if you leave them a message, they’ll usually get back to you within three hours.
Shopintimates, #04-38/39/40 Bukit Timah Shopping Centre, 170 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588179, p. 6469 8850