While a common sight in Europe, there are fewer places where you can share a meal alongside your pet in Singapore.
We took discerning canine critic Jersey to four of such cafes; the two-year-old Yorkshire terrier was eager for more at some of these cafes but much less keen at others.
The K9 Cafe
1. GREAT FIND : K9 CAFE
The K9 Cafe is part of the 60,000 sq ft K9 Academy, with two cafes housing the pet and human kitchen separately – pets are allowed in both of them. Parking is free. K9 Academy offers other services like grooming, boarding in an air-conditioned ‘dogmitory’, obedience training as well as swimming and hydrotherapy in a dedicated pool just for dogs.
PEOPLE PLEASES: The menu includes Labrador Linguine ($10.90) and Bulldog Burger ($9.90). The Barbequed Chicken Wings’ ($8.90) marinade was delicious and the Bacon Sausage Rolls ($7.90) were equally addictive. There is also a range of Illy coffee and ice-blended drinks like the sinfully good Mudslide Mocha ($6.80) – espresso and chocolate syrup with bits of dark chocolate cookie.
DOGGY DELIGHTS: There is a great selection of food for dogs including doggie snacks, cakes and muffins. Jersey practically inhaled her grilled salmon steak served with sweet potato. She also tried some meatballs and a cheesy carrot muffin.
WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: Better signage could make this place easier to find.
K9 Cafe is located at 110 Turf Club Road, Tel: 6462 3736. The cafe is open from 9am to 6pm and is closed on Mondays; go to www.K9kulture.com for more information.
Happy Dayz Cafe
2. HAPPY DAYZ CAFE
This pub restaurant was established 12 years ago and has a laid back atmosphere, with inside and outside seating; dogs are welcome in both areas. Happy Dayz has a full bar so if you want a cocktail while you’re out with your pooch, you know where to go.
PEOPLE PLEASERS: The menu includes options from a tenderloin steak ($29.90) to soups, salads and sandwiches. We tried typical pub grub offerings such as the Wing Zings (deep-fried chicken wings, $8.90) and Cheese Nachos ($8.90) which were okay, but not outstanding.
DOGGY DELIGHTS: A limited menu, mostly consisting of meatballs, biscuits and muffins. The Make it a Meal option ($13.90) has five beef meatballs, a muffin and some dog biscuits. Or you can opt for an eight meatball portion for $9.90. Jersey ate a good-sized meatball but wasn’t too keen on the muffin – it seemed a little dry.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER: The surroundings looked a little run down and could use a bit of a makeover.
Happy Dayz Cafe is located at 9/11 Maju Avenue, Serangoon Gardens, Tel: 6448 1980. The cafe is open Sundays to Thursdays, 12pm-1am and 12pm-3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
3. URBAN POOCH
Urban Pooch has been around for 10 years and it offers daycare and grooming services for dogs; the section where they keep the dogs for daycare is separated from the cafe by a glass wall. The rates for the daycare start at a very reasonable $1.50 per hour.
PEOPLE PLEASERS: The Teriyaki Chicken Steak with Fries ($13.80) was a little too sweet for my liking. There was a selection of finger food ($4-$9.90), toasted sandwiches ($6-$7) and other mains such as BBQ Pork Chop (14.80).
DOGGY DELIGHTS: We ordered the grilled dory fish ($5.50) and the German Shepherd Lamb Pie ($4.90) for Jersey. I didn’t know if the loud barking from the dogs in daycare scared her, but she didn’t touch her food.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER: There was a strong doggy smell when we entered, which we didn’t encounter with any of the others. It was hard to converse over all the barking. Parking is limited.
Urban Pooch is located at #01-07 Monville Mansion, 530 Balestier Road, tel: 6252-5046. Opening hours 1 to 9pm, closed on Mondays; call before you go. To find out more about Urban Pooch, go to www.urbanpooch.com.sg
4. OUR PICK: DOGGIESTYLE CAFE
Opened in December last year, Doggiestyle Cafe is a one-stop for all your pet needs; it’s conveniently located next to an outdoor dog playground, as well as a vet and pet store that offers grooming service. They sell accessories for both dogs and owners.
There is also a dog bathing service (from $20), as well as a spa service ($50), which consists of ultrasonic hydrotherapy using essential oils and a mud wrap. If your pet makes a mess, as far as possible, their staff will clean up for you, unlike other pet cafes where you need to do it yourself.
PEOPLE PLEASERS: The Mo Mo Chow Chow (chicken and mushroom baked rice, $12.90) – was delicious, with a rich, creamy sauce. The Chocolate Fondant ($6.90) served with vanilla ice cream was full of oozy goodness.
DOGGY DELIGHTS: I liked how each doggie course was served in disposable cardboard boxes for extra hygiene. Jersey happily worked her way through the three courses I ordered for her. Her dessert ($4.90) was a muffin made with karob – a dog-friendly replacement for chocolate, and served with a tiny scoop of yogurt ice cream.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER: They don’t serve ice water; you have to buy bottled water.
Doggiestyle cafe is located at #04R-72 Nex Mall @ Sergangoon Central, Tel: 6648 5485. The cafe is open daily from 11am-10pm; visit www.doggiestylecafe.blogspot.com for more information.
All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine's publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.
This article was originally published in SimplyHer August 2011.