If you could live in one historical era, which would it be?

Singapore never lacked interesting themed cafes. Garden-themed cafes sprouted rapidly across the island a few years back, right after the character cafes craze. Meanwhile, the latest hype in the food scene takes a step back into the past, as cafes reverts from minimalism into the red and yellow colour palette of the 90s like what Joji’s Diner, a retro American-style cafe, did.

Thus, we have collated the best themed cafes of different eras, for you to embark on your time-traveling journey.

1. Space | Chef China 华厨 Hua Chu

Space theme restaurant that serves Sichuan cuisine. Source: Chef China 华厨 Hua Chu
Photo: Chef China 华厨 Hua Chu

Launch into the latest space era at this out-of-the-world astronomical themed bistro bar.

Chef China 华厨 Hua Chu is decked in white and grey and embellished with metallic tubular structure. It also comes with a realistic-looking spaceship porthole and an astronaut floating in space, enhancing the illusion that you are dining in the stars.

Its menu isn’t what you’d expect, with its focus on Sichuan cuisine such as their signature Spicy Grilled Fish ($32.9). Dongbei-style lok lok is also served from $0.9.

If you’re lucky enough, you might even catch a glimpse of a walking astronaut.

Chef China 华厨 Hua Chu

Location: 101 Beach Road #01-01, Singapore 189703

2. Oriental | Jiang Nan Chun

Photo: Jiang Nan Chun

Located in Four Seasons Hotel, Jiang Nan Chun serves exquisite and authentic Cantonese cuisine in a luxurious Imperial Palace setting.

The warm neutrals with the dim light setting, accompanied by evocative furnishings create a traditional zen-like ambience, allowing guests to experience a step back in time to the Jiang Nan province in China. Its oriental elements also tied the different elements together.

Branded with two Michelin stars, Jiang Nan Chun is famous for their signature Wood-fired Roasted Peking Duck, that is juicy and bestowed with a layer of crispy skin.

Jiang Nan Chun

Location: Four Seasons Hotel, 190 Orchard Blvd, Singapore 248646

3. Vintage | Brunches Cafe

Photo: Brunches Cafe

Travel back in time to the good ol’ bistro days during the 80s at Brunches Cafe.

This chic vintage-themed is decorated with antique collectables and posters. Its rustic furniture, especially a metal-grilled sliding gate, is sure to induce nostalgia for the older generation. However, sitting on the seats that are extracted from a Mini Cooper isn’t the only reason to visit Brunches.

The quality of their dishes are decent, with a mish-mash of cuisines presented in their menu, such as Lobster Bisque ($10.9) and Eggs Royale ($17.5). Artisanal bakes and a cup of coffee are also for an afternoon tea session.

Website

Location: 96 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218381

4. Retro | Joji’s Diner

Photo: Joji’s Diner

Reminisce the Diner Dash game in real life with Joji’s Diner — a retro 90’s American-style cafe that offers classic milkshakes, waffles, breakfast sets at affordable prices.

It’s impossible to miss the storefront with its eye-catching neon signage and bright red doors. Furthermore, there’s nothing more retro than the in black and white checkered flooring that is complemented with an old jukebox and gumball machine.

American classics on their menu include Chicken & Waffle ($12.9) and Smashed Burger ($11.9).

Joji’s Diner

Location: 534 Upper Serangoon Rd, Singapore 534549

5. Romanticism | Alchemist The Mill

Photo: Alchemist

Dark Romanticism emerged the late 1700s as a literary sub-genre. While not fully encompassing, its aesthetics include intricate designs and moody colour schemes.

Alchemist The Mill is located in an all-black European gothic-themed tower at Alexandra, standing out from the rest of the modern buildings. Its walls are adorned with old-world aesthetic murals, and its ceiling is filled with opulent light fixtures like chandeliers for a dramatic look.

This cafe is a concept from Alchemist, a local coffee roaster and cafe. Thus, you’ll be able to find a good cup of coffee here, alongside a selection of pastries.

Alchemist also has outlets at Orchard, Tanjong Pagar, and Tai Seng

Alchemist

Location: 5 Jln Kilang, #02-02 The Mill, Singapore 159405

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