On a beautiful Saturday in the Lion City, I returned to one of my favorite places called Somerset. As I was spending the day in the area, I thought it’d be fun to share some snippets of my day – particularly moments of admiring architecture and enjoying my lunch at Starbucks.
Orchard Road & Cute Buildings
Somerset is the somewhat ‘quieter’ stretch of the famous Orchard Road, which is the island’s ultimate shopping district. While Orchard Road is usually known for being home to modern buildings with fabulous shops and restaurants inside, parts of the Somerset area retain bits of the city’s old-world character. On my way to Starbucks, I simply had to stop and take a few photos!
The traditional Peranakan shophouses, which date back to as far as the early 1900’s based on what I’ve heard, draw attention and admiration by passer-byes like me. The Peranakan community descend from intermarriages of Chinese immigrants and Malay locals well over a century ago. They are known for their distinctive culture, which celebrates their blend of heritages. This is also reflected in their designs and architecture. Side note: their cuisine is a must-try!
Back in the day, the aptly-named shophouse concept was two-storey terraced houses with shops on the ground floor and homes upstairs. The shophouses next to Orchard Road are part of the affluent Emerald Hill section. Their vintage touch doesn’t just co-exist with Somerset’s shiny newer glass buildings – all of them are interestingly harmonious together. I love to think that all the buildings in Somerset are a joyful multi-generational family!
From the intricate motifs on the facades to the French widows, the shophouses are a blast from the Lion City’s past. If these walls could speak, they’ll have plenty to share about the island’s metamorphosis!
Today, many of these charming shophouses are homes, and the ones that are part of a row called called “Peranakan Place” are shops. This stretch is next to the Singapore Visitor Centre (which is located in a stretch of shophouses too!)
Apart from Emerald Hill, there is a stretch of shophouses in the nearby Cuppage Terrace area, which are now restaurants.
Lunch At Starbucks
After admiring the shophouses, it was time to continue my walk along Orchard Road to grab some lunch in a Starbucks located in Emerald Hill’s neighbor – a shopping center called The CentrePoint. This Starbucks is one of the more ‘chilled’ outlets in Orchard as it isn’t as bustling as the other ones (at least whenever I visit it).
A notable mention is that this Starbucks’ floor space is pretty cool. The easiest description I can think of is it’s a loft-style concept with quintessential café vibes.
Seeking a lighter yet filling bite – along with a cup of iced mint blend tea – for lunch to ensure I would be energetic and wide awake for my jam-packed day, I opted for a seemingly unadventurous option which could potentially deliver superb flavors… the egg white, roasted pepper, mushroom and cheddar wrap.
Settling into the cozy sofa in the corner of the ‘ground’ floor, I was ready to sip on my tea and take a bite into my wrap. My wrap looked like a tortilla parcel that was saying “open me”!
On the inside, my soft tortilla parcel is packed with elements that remind me of brunch. Scrutinizing my plate, all of the elements listed in the wrap’s name appeared to my eyes right away.
Initially, the wrap gave me pizza vibes through the combined flavors of roasted red bell peppers, sauteed mushrooms and cheese. In my second bite shortly thereafter, I began getting breakfast burrito vibes from the egg whites (which have a scrambled-like texture), cheddar cheese and mushrooms. I loved the touch of cracked black pepper with the egg whites, which added a gentle kick to each bite. Pizza meets breakfast wraps… this flavor combo was fun for my palate to experience!
Overall, the flavors work nicely together. They are familiar and well-loved ingredients that made my light-ish lunch enjoyable. Plus, the ratios of all the wrap’s elements are just right to my taste buds. The iced mint blend tea, which is my favorite Starbucks tea, is a fabulous match to the wrap. And, I must add that my entire meal did meet my goal of being energized as I progressed with my afternoon!
My family member, who I was enjoying my lunch with, selected the chicken bagel – which turned out to taste as delicious as it looked. I might just have to try that next time!
All in all, I enjoyed my day in Somerset. Somerset is a lovely location to explore, and the Starbucks there is a wonderful place to enjoy a meal in a leisurely atmosphere.