5 restaurants around SMU that you probably didn’t know existed

By Damini Roy, SMU School of Economics

Determined to make this semester a good one, I’ve decided to share some “food wisdom” through my articles (the other one I’ve written is: “5 tips to survive under $50 a week at SMU”). Here is a list of five hidden gems around the SMU campus that should be explored. Rest assured, they are suited to student wallets!

Note from the SMU Social Media Team: all details in this post are accurate as of October 2014.

1.) Crossings Café

Managed and run by volunteers of the adjacent Catholic Church of Singapore, Crossings Café serves dishes like Braised Pork Belly Rice and Mediterranean Vegetable Lasagne (both $15++). It also features lunch specials at times, and provides free Wifi.

What makes this place special though, is the heart behind it all; Crossings Café serves as a social enterprise by employing youth-at-risk and the disadvantaged. It also donates all profits to charity.

Located at: 55 Waterloo Street

Good for: Western food, lunchtime with friends

Photo credit: Crossings Café 

2.) The Assembly Ground

Flanked by a lifestyle store bearing the same name, The Assembly Ground is set to become the new hipster place in town. With an earthy ambience and quirky wall hangings, this place oozes laidback charm.

The Assembly Ground serves an all-day breakfast fare, with dishes such as Beef Chilli Fettuccine ($16++) and Eggs Benji ($15++). My personal favourite though, is their Iced Moccha ($6++), served with a scoop of homemade gelato. Their pastry shelf holds many good choices too – from Lemon Meringue Pie to Apple Crumble Cake (both $7++).

Located at: #01-21, The Cathay

Good for: Coffee and pastries, evening snack

Photo credit: The Assembly Ground 

3.) Food for Thought

Another café known for the charitable causes it adopts is Food for Thought. This place is my personal favourite when deciding on fusion food choices, because they make typical Western dishes come alive with Asian flavours.

The menu features a wide choice. My recommendation is to try their fries tossed with kaffir lime, lemongrass and chilli padi butter ($7++). Food for Thought is located at two venues near the SMU campus, one being adjacent to the Standing Sushi Bar on Queen Street and the other at the National Museum premises.

Located at: 8 Queen Street; #01-4, 93 Stamford Road

Good for: Comfort food, all-day meals

Photo credit: Food for Thought 

4.) Timbre

If you love live music and pizzas big enough to share, Timbre is the place for you. You can head on down after a tiring day of studying, as Timbre is less than a five-minute walk from the SMU Li Ka Shing library.

Nestled in The Substation compound, this place is known for its thin crust pizza offerings such as Goodfellas ($22++) and the Lamb Meatballs of Fire ($20++).

Located at: 45 Armenian Street

Good for: Pizzas, beer nights

Photo credit: Trip Advisor 

5.) Sidewalk Gallery Café

Located at a blink-and-miss sidewalk adjacent to YMCA’s building, the Sidewalk Gallery Café is run as a social enterprise that provides on-the-job training to people with special needs.

This café offers a humble space to reflect in the midst of natural surroundings, and serves up dishes like Turkey Ham Spinach Quiche ($4.90++) and Banana Chocolate Crepe w/ice cream ($5.50++). On weekends, local college artists are also featured as café performers, adding to the relaxed and simplistic aura of this place.

Located at: 1 Orchard Road

Good for: Brunch, evening snack

Photo credit: Sidewalk Gallery Café 

Do you know of other hidden gems around our city campus? Share them with us by leaving your comments below!