Selfish Gene Cafe, Duxton/ Tanjong Pagar

Selfish Gene Cafe sits quietly at the end of Duxton Hill. When we visited twice, Gene was around on both occasions and we take it that he genuinely wants to cook and serve the food himself.

However, there are two pieces of bad news. First: bad drinks. We ordered the iced mocha ($6.80) and iced green tea latte ($6) and they were both bland and watered down.

Second: service. The servers are very polite and friendly and although the cafe closes at 6pm, you won’t be chased out. You can sit as long as you wish. But an element of service is to answer questions properly. This is the exchange:

Me: What is your specialty?

Lady: Oh we sold out our specialty.

Me: Ok, so what is your specialty that is sold out? I want to know because the next time I come back, I can order it.

Lady kept quiet.

Me: What is your specialty?

Lady kept quiet. Smiled.

Me: What is your specialty that is sold out?

Lady: We are sold out on… [she listed all the sold out items without saying what the specialty is. Till now, we don’t what the specialty is.]

Although communication proved different and frustrating, the food was fantastic. We shared a beef sandwich ($12.80) that comprises roast beef, arugula, onion marmalade, tomato confit, dijon mustard, mayonnaise between sundried tomato bread. So delicious! It was tangy, sweet, crunchy, soft, tender, everything into one. Fulfilling and complex, but not complicated.

A disclaimer: I hate all-day breakfast because I don’t like to pay for anything I can cook myself, and I don’t like to pay $20 for ingredients that cost $2. Despite my prejudice, I believe Gene’s breakfast platter ($18.80) is worth the money. Although most of the ingredients on the plate weren’t made in-house, the food was cooked properly in-house, on the spot as you order, and not microwaved. The sausage was cooked in a medium heat so that it was cooked without browned and retained heat for a long period of time. (Don’t our mothers always nag that we should always eat hot food?) The toast, egg, sauteed mushrooms were run of the mill but the cooked tomatoes were cooked to bring out it natural almost-honey-like sweetness. Without a doubt, this breakfast platter was sincerer, better and cheaper than many other cafes.

We also had the banana cake ($5.80), a rustic dessert which is supposed to be their specialty. After the awesome hot plates, we found that the combination of banana and peanut butter overly safe. Delicious but boring.

Unlike stingy cafes, Selfish Gene provides electrical sockets. We paid about $50 for two. And gladly we’d return again and again for the serenity, sincerity and wonderful food. The food is really one of the best you can get at a cafe.

Selfish Gene Cafe

40 Craig Road Singapore 089678
T: +65 6423 1324
10am-6pm. Closed on Tue

Rating: 3.673/5 stars

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