Located 10 minutes from Outram Park MRT, The Alley is a quaint, retro-inspired café. Coffee joint by day and bar by night, it boasts a menu that’s extensive for its size – aside from bistro staples like sides and desserts, it also serves breakfast and alcoholic drinks, including beer, cocktails, ciders and wine.

The Alley’s entrance paves the way to a cavernous, gray concrete space. Wooden tables are paired with capacious sofas, and the walls are lined with shelves full of vintage trinkets like old bubblegum dispensers. A real, functioning Pac-man machine is the cherry on top of the cafe’s minimalistic retro interior, dimly lit with the incandescent glow of fairy lights strung overhead.

The authentic, free-to-play Pac-man machine features old school joystick controls.

“We have all these sofas to let you come in and relax and unwind yourself from all the work. That’s our point to sell,” remarks Mark Long, the 23-year-old manager of the café.

The cafe is tuned to a great playlist – we heard hits from Corinne Bailey Rae and Florence + the Machine, which created a calm and inviting soundscape.

Cinnamon Coffee

For starters, the café’s signature cinnamon coffee was made with milk, espresso and cinnamon syrup left to infuse overnight, resulting in a pleasantly bitter, medium-bodied brew.


The Alley’s Sawadee chix ($12) is a generous serving of crunchy, deep-fried chicken winglets, smothered in sweet Thai chili sauce. While the chicken is tender, you can bite into the crunch even after leaving it out for some time.

The sauce can be rather hot – it doesn’t call itself an Asian take on Buffalo wings for nothing – so consider yourself warned.


Should you feel wolfish after a few rounds at the Pac-man machine, The Alley half pounder ($22) is the prey you’ll want to seek. Served alongside chunky black pepper chips, the sizeable, 227-grams ground striploin and chuck beef patty is lavishly garnished with caramelized onions, and then sandwiched between buttered buns toasted with black sesame seeds.

Sink your teeth into the patty’s rich beef juices. With minimal mayonnaise dressing, the dish puts the taste of quality Australian beef in the spotlight.

The Alley tea ($6) is the perfect cooler after a comforting main course. Served on the rocks, the tall glass of green tea infused with jasmine, passion fruit and elderflower is a rejuvenating twist on traditional iced tea. The florals add a sweet and clear aftertaste as well.


Bring your quiet escape to a hesitant close with a decadent treat of Mummy’s Brownie ($8). For a slab of chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and caramelized walnuts, you may think it’s cloying. Au contraire, its richness has a marked restraint to it. The firm texture is assuring, but the brownie would have benefited from a chewier feel.


What a godsend that The Alley has power outlets for you to finish up that paper or reading in caffeine-addled peace. With an open-concept kitchen, and restrooms that match the main interior’s design, The Alley has a friendly, welcoming air of familiarity.

Here, we spy customers putting their feet up and chilling in the relaxed hideout. Just try not to fall asleep too long on the comfy sofas.


Rating: 4/5

Address: 21 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089128

Nearest MRT station: Outram Park, Exit H

Opening hours:

Mon, Wed- Fri , Sunday: 9 am to 9 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)

Fri and Sat: 9 am to 12 midnight


Telephone: +65 6223 1334

Email: thealleykeongsaik@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thealleycafesg

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thealleycafesg