“There’s one place you must visit while you are in Singapore,” Christine insisted grinning at me through thick, dark bangs on Skype and sending me a link. I took the bait and clicked on it.
Inspired by the magical work of J.K. Rowling, Platform 1094 is Singapore’s first Harry Potter cafe having opened its doors in Kallang, a neighbourhood near Little India.
She full well knew my love of the wizarding world, having visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. So good, I have visited twice – once in Japan and once in Florida! Yes, I’m a Potter-head.
So it was agreed, I was going to make sure my one day in Singapore had a touch of magic.
Visiting Singapore’s Harry Potter Cafe: Platform 1094
If my taxi driver hadn’t had the right address, I would have missed the unassuming cafe on Serangoon Road.
Located on the corner of Serangoon Road and Beng Wan Road, the cafe was hidden in plain sight. Inside though, the tables were full of local witches, wizards and muggles, catching up over a potion or a cauldron of soup.
I was so excited to taste the food that I totally forgot to take photos of the interior. Inside the restaurant was warm brick walls, wood panelling and chandelier fixtures, reminiscent of what a modern Great Hall would look like. The chairs are upholstered with a deer print. It took me a while to realise that the stag, a male deer, was Harry’s Patronus! On the tables, there are tissue boxes which look like old leather-bound books.
As a muggle new to this magical world, I started with the cauldron of soup and a tankard of their finest butterbeer… uh, that’s Mrs Lich’s Butterscotch Ale around here.
Thick and creamy but slightly fizzy, the Butterscotch Ale is hard to describe – a little like creaming soda but tangier, topped with sprinkles and a thick cream which kind of tasted like cake batter – but a must try during your visit. Quickly after my cauldron followed.
Inside the cauldron a vivid red brew with an orangey gold sheen. It was a beautiful carrot and beetroot soup that was light but filling served with a slice of rye bread and a sour cream sphere to thicken the concoction.
We also ordered the Platform Wings. I’m not really a wings fan but they were coated in pork floss so I decided to give them a chance. Like any good wing, they were crispy and the pork floss added an interesting flavour element, but they weren’t really my thing. Christine was quite content to keep them all to herself!
I was craving pasta after skipping breakfast so also ordered a Lebanese Grilled Chicken Pasta (grilled chicken in creme sauce, toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese), probably the most muggle-like item on the menu. The chefs must have created some magic back there because it was good. The chicken was tender and the sauce was soooo creamy, I didn’t want to stop eating even though it was a very generous portion!
Something distracted me from across the room: a potion lesson was taking place!
Getting the waiter’s attention, he explained that the witches were brewing a poison potion and asked if I wanted to try. Heck yes!
One thing you’ll notice is that Harry Potter, Hogwarts or any other trademarked names aren’t actually mentioned at Platform 1903. In fact, the mention of the trademarked brand was only found in the dress-up wardrobe (run by Mrs. Lich herself) where they keep a pint-sized plush Potter figure, and a collection of real robes, wizards hats, and wands from Ollivander’s in Universal Studios. There was also plenty of pairs of the round glasses Harry is famous for.
The only other spot where I saw it called a ‘Harry Potter cafe’ was on Google Maps!
There are plenty of nods to the magical world though: the restaurant’s logo is a coat of arms akin to Hogwarts, gorgeous wooden arches are affixed to a wall like something from the Great Hall’s loft ceilings, the nods to certain famous drinks and foods you’d find, and – of course – the very subtle nod to Harry’s Patronus on the chairs.
How to make the Goblet of Fire Cocktail
One thing I want to correct: the name of the cafes signature poison (aka: alcoholic cocktails) has changed from the ‘Goblet of Fire’ to Mr Lich’s Secret Brew, and you can see why when you sprinkle the magic dust and flames begin to swirl!
One of the wizards prepares the cocktail – I mean, potion – in front of you and you can help in the process! Just uh… don’t make the same mistake as me and keep sprinkling the cinnamon powder on top. While it does add an interesting flavour to the drink, use it in moderation as too much and the cocktail becomes undrinkable.
While I’m not going to give away all of Platform 1094‘s secrets on how they make their signature drink, I will share some photos of the process.
Three… two… one… Lumos!
(Wait, is that just for lighting wands?)
Though our tummies were full, we couldn’t resist dessert. To be on the safe side, we decided to share just one: the Arendelle, the least rich of all three.
The Arendelle is a stunning plate of passionfruit cream cheese wrap served with pomegranate mousse, nutty tulle lace, berry foam, white chocolate soil, mango custard and assorted berries and edible flower. It was delicious! Except for the cream cheese wrap – not my type of thing and made the dish a little heavier – it was a light, fresh dessert, bursting with fresh and zesty flavour. The perfect way to end a fantastically fun experience.
I did expect something a little crazier, akin to that of Japanese cafe culture. Instead, you’ll find a restaurant focusing on experience and great tasting food, not just a gimmicky Harry Potter cafe.
The cafe had only been open for 3-months at the time I visited and you could tell that the decor was not quite complete. That said, I’ve been following them on social media and in the weeks since my visit it seems like there is a lot happening to improve the decor.
Having seen the menu from opening week, it was nice to see that the team had condensed it to focus on quality. The food is delicious, the desserts are phenomenal and I really liked the range of poisons (cocktails) and beers on the menu, including Australia’s Little Creatures! But it was Mr Lich’s Brew that really stole the show, and for a signature cocktail, it tasted great… as long as you didn’t sprinkle too much cinnamon on it!
I personally thought the food was well priced, but Christine said it was a little on the expensive side for Singapore standards. That said, the portions are large, it’s a fun concept not seen anywhere else in the city, and it’s a fun place for witches, wizards and muggles alike to spend a few hours.
We did make a point of coming on a weekday as to avoid the weekend crowds. It really paid off as my whole experience was speedy service and great tasting food, plus I didn’t feel like I was being rushed to get out. In fact, we were there for a good four hours before we decided we needed to walk off our food babies.
I’ll definitely be heading back to Platform 1094 to report on what other magical treats they add to their menu.
1094 Serangoon Rd
How to get to Platform 1094:
Platform 1094 is located on the corner of Serangoon Road and Beng Wan Road.
As I was based on Sentosa, I chose to take a 20-minute taxi ride to Platform 1094.
For people saying centrally, Platform 1094 is located on the North-East (purple) MRT Line. The cafe is located between Boon Keng (NE9) and Poton Pasir (NE10) stations.
I would recommend getting off at Boon Keng as the walk is much shorter along Serangoon Rd. Harbourfront (NE1), Chinatown (NE4) and Little India (NE7) are all on this line.
Dozens of buses run down Serangoon Rad. The closest stops to Platform 1094 are St Michael’s Place (Stop ID: 60161) and Opposite Bendemeer Primary School (Stop ID: 60141)
How to get to Singapore:
Singapore Changi International Airport is one of the largest flight hubs in Asia with around 1,000 flights landing every day, including flights from every Australian capital.
On this trip, I flew with Scoot, a Singapore low-cost long-haul carrier. They were fantastic! With business class flights costing around $400 one-way, in-flight WiFi, and flying the new Boeing Dreamliners, they’ll be an airline I’ll fly again. You can read my full review on flying with them in their ScootBiz cabin here.
Where to stay in Singapore:
Accommodation in Singapore is fairly expensive. Over the past few years, I’ve stayed at a number of properties; some great and some so-so.
On this particular trip, I was staying at the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. This stunning resort set on Sentosa Island is the height of luxury and the perfect place to relax. On Sentosa is Universal Studios Singapore, plenty of shopping, and is nearby Gardens by the Bay and the Singapore Flyer.
If you are looking to stay a little closer to the city, I recommend staying at Hotel Clover 33 Jalan Sultan. The affordable boutique hotel is located in Kampong Glam, close to the Downtown Core, Marina and Orchard Road. Kampong Glam is home to plenty of late night eats, so there’ll always be something delicious open nearby. Best of all, at the hotel, there’s free WiFi and a private gym on site! Click here to find out all my favourite boutique hotels in Singapore.
For more great hotels in Singapore, check out the rates here.
Planning a trip to Singapore?