3 mornings in Melbourne.

Flinders Street Railway Station

It’s hard to be in Melbourne and not get sucked into the cafe culture here. After all, Melbourne is synonymous to cafe.  I’m putting up at Collingwood, Inner East of Melbourne till end November so I’ve begun starting my mornings on Urbanspoon before heading out for a coffee run. So here, let me introduce 3 cafes in the area to you.

1. Proud Mary


Potato Hash with Smoked Salmon, AUD 19

Proud Mary is one of the more popular cafes in the hood and my friend decided to take me there for brunch after picking up from the airport. Apparently, this cafe sees queues snaking out of the door on most days. I guess we were in luck as we managed to grab a table within 5 minutes. I ordered potato hash and changed the add on to salmon instead of bacon. The portion was really filling, which was good, for a famished and jet lagged soul.


172 Oxford St, Collingwood, VIC

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-4pm

For more information:



2. South of Johnston  

A hidden gem

Interior of South of Johnston

This rather unassuming, cosy and quaint cafe tucked along Oxford Street is a real deal. Thanks to Urbanspoon, I stumbled upon this gem and begun my weekend well with some takeaway breakfast.

Corn fritters with add on, scrambled eggs, AUD 22

Corn fritters aren’t my usual order for breakfast but I was definitely pleasantly surprised with this. Definitely going back to try out other dishes on the menu. It also has a nice courtyard to chill with some friends over coffee or just with books in the afternoon.


46 Oxford St, Collingwood, VIC 3066

Opening hours:

Every day: 7.30am-5pm


For more information:



3. Lemon, Middle and Orange

Full breakfast, AUD 18.90

Nothing too fancy in terms of food but service was pretty great. They took out my iced coffee from the bill for having missed out poached eggs from my sister’s full breakfast. 🙂


25 Rokeby St, Collingwood, VIC 3066

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 7.30am-3.30pm

Sat: 8am-3pm

Sun: 9am-3pm

For more information:


Chew on this till next time!

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.



Forty hands.

Forty hands is one of those cafes tucked away in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood, so best option would be catch a taxi so that you don’t end up walking in circles. This cafe opens early at 8am so it’s perfect for those looking for a early start and avoid the “brunch crowd”, especially on weekends. But, for those who want to sleep in longer, fret not, it’s all day brekkie on weekends.

Iced Mocha (SGD 8)

You have to make do with a narrow walkaway when you want to order at their counter. But, I assure you their coffee makes up for it. I definitely enjoyed my Mocha, which explains why I ordered another glass after my meal.

The Ottoman (via)

Salmon Hash (SGD 16)

Salmon slices soaked in creamy potato sauce accompanied with crisp toast and fries, was definitely my selection, as I did not want to settle for my usual brunch staples (i.e. big breakfast or eggs benedict). Salmon hash was well worth it and addictive after a while.


No service charge and only GST at Forty Hands. Plus, decent food spread and good coffee. I will definitely be back despite the limited weekend brunch menu options and rather cramped environment (narrow walkways).

Forty hands is just opposite Books Actually, so after a good meal you can just wander in and browse around or explore the rest of this quaint neighbourhood.

Rating: 4/5


78 Yong Siak Street #01-12

Singapore 163078

Tel : +65 6225 8545

For more information: http://www.40handscoffee.com/main.html

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Recent bites in town.

Nylon Coffee Roasters





You’ll enjoy this off-beat coffee house only if you are a fan of plain coffee. Looking at their menu, you can’t have coffee in any variations, like mocha for instance.

I’m not big on coffee so I wasn’t impressed. Nonetheless, a quaint cafe perfect to stop at, for a coffee run.


Everton Park #01-40

Singapore 080004

Opening hours:

Mon – Fri: 8.30am – 5.30pm

Sat & Sun: 9am – 6pm

(Closed on Tue)

For more information: http://www.nyloncoffee.sg/#



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Just a stone’s throw from Nylon Coffee Roasters, you’ll find another cafe perfect for those with a sweet tooth. Nothing but cakes, pastries and desserts.

Do check out their menu if you would like to order cakes etc for special occasions.


Everton Park #01-42

Singapore 080004

Opening hours:

Mon – Fri: 8.30am – 6.00pm

Sat: 9am – 3pm

(Closed on Sun)

For more information: http://www.batter-works.com/


Department of Caffeine, D.O.C


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Iced Chocolate

I’ve yet to try D.O.C’s food, but from all the reviews I’ve been reading online, everything look’s good. It was a pity a couple of their dishes were unavailable on the Sunday I went there.

But, their iced chocolate is AWESOME. The thick chocolate with the scoop of ice cream literally just melts in your mouth.

One thing you’d love about D.O.C is that, GST and service charge is not charged. I’d probably be back soon to check out the food.


15 Duxton Road

Singapore 089481

Opening hours:

Mon – Fri: 10:30 am – 7:30 pm

Sat & Sun: 9:30 am – 7:30 pm

For more information: http://www.deptofcaffeine.com/


Chye Seng Huat Hardware






French toast with butterscotch sauce

Minutes walk from Jalan Besar stadium, Chye Seng Huat Hardware run by the folks of Papa Palheta and Loysel’s Toy.

I honestly expected the drinks to be a bomb based on the reviews, but it was quite the opposite. I ordered iced chocolate and was told only hot chocolate served with ice cubes is possible. I mean seriously?!

On the other hand, I enjoyed the food. French toast is not my usual order when it comes to breakfast food. But, I couldn’t resist the butterscotch sauce with warm french toast. Real sugar overload. But, no complaints.

So, drinks NO, food YES!

Rating: 3/5


150 Tyrwhitt Road

Singapore 207563

Opening hours:

Tues to Fri: 9am to 7pm

Sat & Sun: 9am to 10pm

(Closed on Mon)


Selfish Gene Cafe


Bagel & smoked salmon with scrambled eggs

I expected the cream cheese and salmon to be served in the bagel and not in a DIY fashion. But, nevertheless, it was quite a different presentation style. But, to be honest, the food was just average. Scrambled eggs were fresh but a bit too runny for my liking. Even, drinks failed me.

I probably won’t be dropping by SGC anytime soon.

Rating: 2.5/5


40 Craig Road

Singapore 089678

Opening hours:

Daily: 10am to 6pm

(Closed on Tue)

For more information: http://www.selfishgenecafe.com/

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Le Monde, Surry Hills, Sydney.

Located just minutes walk from Central Station, Le Monde serves a good variety of both breakfast and main course food. Also, another plus for brekkie food lovers, all day breakfast is served. Considering I went there for breakfast 2 days in a row, Le Monde definitely lives up to Urbanspoon’s 95% votes.

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Eggs Benedict with poached egg, smoked salmon and hollandaise on a English muffin

Small portion but hollandaise sauce is awesome and salmon is fresh.

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Prawn Fritters with red cabbage, carrot, onion, corn, asparagus/chorizo, roquette, smoked red pepper feta salad & poached egg

Slightly oily as prawn fritters are deep fried but tasty nevertheless.


Potato Rosti with schulz smokehouse bacon, sautéed spinach, feta, poached egg, pistachio and hollandaise sauce

Served all day which is good for people looking for something heavier to start the day with. Hollandaise sauce could have been poured more generously. Nonetheless, pistachio nuts added a different twist to the rosti.

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Chocolate milkshake and orange juice

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Rating: 4.5/5


83 Foveaux St

Surry Hills, NSW 2010

How to get there:

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Opening hours:

Mondays to Fridays: 6.30am to 4pm

Saturday: 7.30am to 2pm

For more information:


Thanks to Urbanspoon, I discovered this hidden gem along Foveaux St.

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.

Melbourne’s cafe culture.

There is no way you can step into Melbourne and not set foot in any one of the cafes littered all over their streets. Melbourne and cafes are practically synonyms, which explains why cafe culture walking tours are organised for, in the city.

They say when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, during my past 2 visits to Melbourne, last September and this June, I managed to plan by days accordingly and stop by some of the better cafes in town. Here’s my recommended 4 cafes for you when you’re heading to Down Under.

Pitstop #1: Manchester Press, 8 Rankins Lane 


Bagel with smoked salmon

A very indie looking cafe with a rustic look created by their wooden furniture, Manchester Press boasts some excellent bagels and coffee you shouldn’t miss. Perfect cafe to spend a lazy afternoon in, reading the papers or getting some work done.

For more info, please check Broadsheet out.

Opening Hours:

Mon to Fri 7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sat 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Pitstop #2: Dr. Dax Kitchen, Melbourne Brain Centre, Parkville

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A decent, affordable cafe within University of Melbourne that serves breakfast till 11:30am. From muffins to muesli with yogurt to eggs benedict to omelettes and also french toast you’ll be spoilt for choices.

Opening Hours:

Mon to Fri 7:00 am – 7:00 pm



Pitstop #3: The Hardware Societe, 118-120 Hardware St 

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Baked eggs with chorizo, sofrito, manchego

Easily one of the better few cafes in Melbourne which explains the wait you might experience to get a table at The Hardware Societe. But, I assure you, the food is well worth the wait. Their breakfast spread is pretty extensive with some French-inspired dishes like Brioche french toast and Croque Madame.

Opening Hours:

Mon to Fri 7:30am to 3pm

Sat& Sun 8:30am to 2pm


Pitstop #4: Mart 130, 107A Canterbury Rd, Middle Park



Eggs benedict

Another unique cafe to stop by would be Mart 130 which is located at Middle Park and also next to the tram stop. Why the name you may ask. Mart is tram spelled backwards and 130 is the tram stop number. Hence, the name Mart 130. It’s most popular dish on the menu – corn fritters.

Corn fritters


A very cosy and homely environment and in perfect location to take a stroll in park after a satisfying meal.

Opening Hours:

Mon to Sun 7:30am to 5pm

All images belong to Solosingaporean unless otherwise credited for. Please give credit where it’s due.