Brought my pals to the MUJI cafe at Plaza Singapura the week after it opened, and procrastinated with regard to blogging about it thereafter. 😀 The food was good, and so was the ambiance but the waiting in line was enough to make the most patient person get a little frustrated. You don’t get to sit down and have wait staff come over to take your order. Nope, you have to stand in line, place your order at the counter, make payment then go back to your seat (and hopefully, you’ve already chope-d one). You can order their deli set (or what I call Japanese cai fan) and select whichever hot or cold deli dishes you fancy, and staff will weigh each portion in a slow and steady process. To make matters worse, some fickle-minded customers who have been staring at the deli showcase for the past 30 minutes or so suddenly can’t decide if the salmon or the salad is a good idea or not when they reach the head of the queue. As they hem and haw about their selection, you’ll feel like hitting them on the back of the head. 😀 Tip: Avoid the peak lunch hour crowd if you can.
*Update: My atas pal, ‘Angie’ (also know as Angelina Kelly) said the Sunset Tea she’d ordered with her meal had (in her own words) “no taste”. I think she meant to say that it was not flavorful enough. Or she’d forgotten to dump the syrup into her drink. Her husband, a Mr ‘Bread Pitt’, said Japanese food comes in such small portions that one can never be full. But perhaps that is the whole point – so Japanese people stay slim.
I picked the Pork Katsu Donburi you see in the very first picture above as it’s so much easier to order with no need to select any sides and it’s supposedly exclusive to the outlet at Plaza Singapura. The salad was delightful, and I enjoyed eating the onsen egg and pork katsu as well. The 16-grain rice, well, sounds a little extravagant but the best part of this ‘Japanese’ meal is that it is light on the stomach. Yes, you are unlikely to experience a post-lunch food coma.
If you’re a fan of baked rice, there’s another ‘exclusive’ item for you:
What we enjoyed most was the mushroom soup at MUJI cafe. It costs something like $2 and is easy to overlook on the menu, but it’s delicious!
Just look at the color of the mushroom soup and you can tell it’s full of flavor. Go give it a try – you won’t regret it!
They have takeaway bentos as well. And once again, the staff will slowly ladle out your choice of hot / cold deli. MUJI cafe really should have a separate queue for folks who want their food fast, as in “1 Pork Katsu Donburi” fast. It’s so weird that I have to join the “cai fan” queue when I want to order just the donburi.
But I did have to walk past the food showcase and ogle the oh-so-pretty dessert. Try to resist those, if you can. 😛 I bet it’s a tactic to get customers to spend more. “Oh I’ve been waiting for so long, might as well get another side dish or two. And the dessert looks so tempting, might as well order the cheesecake or panna cotta too!”
Here’s the dessert menu:
Japanese ‘cai fan’ doesn’t come cheap. Prices start from $8.80. But the good thing is you can select the pricier meats instead of going for the greens, ‘cos you’ll be charged the same price. Why not?
For the Hot Deli items, I think the items which offer the most value for money are the baked salmon with miso cream, beef patty with yuzu mushroom sauce, glazed balsamic pork with roasted vegetables, spicy yuzu pork, and saba fish with japanese yuzu soy sauce. Why choose the “healthy tofu patty”? (Unless you’re vegetarian)
For the Cold Deli items, I’d choose Prawn couscous salad with yuzu-sesame dressing, thick omelette with Japanese-style mushroom, and sweet potato and pomegranate salad. No tofu salad or hijiki (seaweed) salad for me! 😛
Have you been to the MUJI cafe at Plaza Singapura? You should pop by if you’re a fan of Japanese food or the very zen dining experience. Just don’t head by during the busy mealtimes as it’s not very zen then. Quite a good place for brunch though. 😉