Situated within Singapore Power Club, the week-old Fen Cafe just pushed Singapore’s cafe scene both forward and backward 20 years. Forward because it is socially enlightened, reminding me of cafes in Australia: organic, locally sourced (when possible), sustainable sources, GMO free, hormone free, antibiotics free, no beef (for Buddhists and Hindus), vegan and vegetarian options, gluten free, lactose free, and halal.
Backwards 20 years because look at the decor! Like the cafe is trapped in the 80s. (By the way, the Singapore Power Club 80s art deco architecture is gorgeous.)
One area I was unhappy over was the price. The antioxidant smoothie (green tea, honey, blueberries, banana, yogurt, soy) costs $10, comes in a tall but slim glass, and tasted terrible, like food stuck in your throat and regurgitated to your mouth and you’re forced to swallow it back in.
There are sandwiches, burgers, salads, and pancakes on the menu but we went for the more substantial food. I was grateful for the heap of gluten-free fusilli for grilled organic grass-fed Australian lamb pasta ($23.50), but for that price, there was too little lamb. The lamb was overcooked but had lots of rosemary, which I loved.
It is quite something that they could make a South American grain, quinoa, to taste so oriental. The honey soy hormone-free drumstick with quinoa ($18.90) tasted almost like a sweet ginseng chicken, undercut by cranberries and almond. Very delicious.
We spent $53 for two persons and got a free dessert. (Spend $50 and above and get a free dessert.) Of course we picked the most expensive dessert on the menu. The vegan and gluten-free banana cake with vanilla and walnut–16 freaking dollars for a thin slice–was the worst cake I had ever eaten in my life. Dry and grainy like desert sand. And so hard that my fork couldn’t pierce into it until the third try. And when the fork eventually got it, I just slammed the cake angrily on the plate. I hate bad desserts. What’s the point of stuffing so many calories for bad desserts?
The savory food was good; the sweets were terrible. Food was too expensive, but service was very polite and friendly. Although I wanted to like the cafe when I first heard about it, I left with mixed feelings.
1A Woodleigh Park, Singapore Power Club, Singapore 357874
T: +65 9369 9292
W-F 3pm-9.30pm, Sat 10.30am-9.30pm, Sun 10am-8.30pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.