This hidden industrial-style cafe has a quirky menu that serves local hawker fare, specialty ice cream, unique coffee selections & more from just S$3

by Jermina

Located in Fook Hai Building — next to Hong Lim Complex which mainly houses underrated hawker gems — I’d never have expected to find a lifestyle cafe with affordable prices.

Shelter cafe
Photo: theshelter/google images 

Just five minutes from Chinatown MRT, The Shelter boasts a unique blend of local eats and cafe fare and catch this — they have a “whale” in the shop itself! That’s a good enough reason to pay a visit, is it not? 

Shelter cafe
Photo: seowminhoo/google images

Once you enter the cafe, you’ll notice its industrial layout filled with metal furnishings and their display of streetwear t-shirts from their affiliated store — The Shelter Global (It’s giving sleek and modern vibes). 

It might look cold to some but the blue hues from the strip lights creates a cosy ambience for all their diners. 

Shelter cafe
Photo: theshelter/google images

Their menu embraces traditional local cuisine whilst adding a modern touch to it. If you’re looking for something with sustenance, they serve Curry Chicken with Rice (S$7), Mee Rebus (S$6), Mee Siam (S$6) and even Pork & Century Egg Porridge (S$3). 

These prices are hard to come by, especially when it comes to cafe fare.

Photo: theshelter/google images

Or for those feeling fancy, go for the Curry Chicken with Focaccia (S$11) instead. The bite-sized rosemary and garlic focaccia are perfect for soaking up the spicy and rich curry. 

For those who are looking for shelter to catch up with friends, they also offer sides suitable for sharing like the Honey Glazed and Buffalo Wings, each priced at S$10. 

Photo: theshelter/google images

If you’re feeling hungry but are looking for other carb alternatives, they do offer a variety of sandwiches and French toasts like the Ham and Cheese Toastie (S$8). Lightly toasted bread paired with savoury ham and melted cheese sounds like a snack you can never go wrong with.

Eating all these snacks might get a little greasy, but you can always wash it all down with their surprisingly extensive selection of drinks! 

Shelter cafe
Photo: theshelter/google images

Their in-house made gelato and brussels waffles is probably what makes them stand out from the crowd. With the gelato flavours on rotation, you’ll be in for a surprise whenever you step into the shop. 

Some of the specialty flavours include Earl Grey & Butterfly Pea Flower, Ocean Grey, Avocado Gula Melaka, and Mango Yoghurt, starting from S$4 per scoop.  

Shelter cafe
Photo: theshelter/google images 

Go on and add a Matcha and Charcoal Waffle (S$3.50) or Charcoal Cone (S$1), alongside toppings (S$0.5) like sliced almonds, chocolate syrup and mini marshmallows if you’re feeling it (just try not to get a food coma after). 

Photo: theshelter/google images

If you’re looking for something different, opt for the crowd favourite French Toast with Caramelised Bananas (S$12.50)!

Photo: theshelter/google images

Try their craft mocktails that are all priced at S$8. You can choose from the Blue Yuzu or Mango Sour if you need something refreshing. I’m more intrigued by the Coco Chanel which is a blend of coconut and energy drink.

Fans of Jinro will be delighted to find that they offer Original Soju (S$15) here as well. A few bottles of this paired with the buffalo wings sounds perfect for late-night talks. 

Shelter cafe
Photo: theshelter/google images

This is for all my matcha lovers. The Matcha Latte is priced at S$5.50 (hot) and S$6 (iced) each. They also have specialty drinks like Einspanner Latte (S$9) and Affogato (S$7.50). 

But, if you can’t make up your mind, why not go for their Einspanner Matcha (S$9) or Einspänner Hojicha (S$9)? It’s certainly something new that we don’t usually get at other cafes and certainly seems worth the try!

Photo: pchan/google images 

Now, this is probably why some of you have read up to this point. To address the elephant in the room, yes, there is a whale (not a real one, unfortunately). It’s essentially a whale statue encased in glass, an eye catching piece of decor that would make for an interesting photo spot!

Whale you be dropping by soon?

The Shelter
Instagram 
📍150 South Bridge Rd, #01-11 the shelter, Fook Hai Building, Singapore 058727
🕐 8am–10pm (Mon to Thu), 8am–11.30pm (Fri & Sat), Closed on Sun

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