Top 100 Cafes to Avoid

Top 100 Cafes to Avoid

Featuring Hvala ([email protected]), Pickleville, Takashimaya Food Hall, Baristart Coffee, Sugarhaus (Serene Centre), Lunar Coffee Brewers, Riz Labo Kitchen (Japan Food Town), Kafe UTU, Chalk Farm (Paragon), 108 Matcha Saro (Suntec City)
Rachel T
Rachel T

3 slices belly chashu, wood ear fungus, spring onion, nori.
Kanada-Ya in London is one of my favourite ramen places in the world! 🍜
When I found out they were opening here, I had to try. Sadly Kanada-Ya in Singapore can’t compare.
1. The pork broth, probably the most disappointing, is thick, one-dimensional, bland, doesn’t have any taste or flavour. It lacks salt and umami. It tastes creamy and not like pork broth, more like a tasteless, liquid carbonara sauce. It tastes like they added flour tbh. Did not, could not finish.
2. The chashu is plain, nothing outstanding. The spring onions taste dehydrated. You know when you buy instant noodles and there are spring onion bits inside? It tastes like that. Sort of like cardboard.
3. The forms for filling out your order are recycled (i.e. multiple people have used the sheets before and the unerasable pencil marks are still there).
4. Not all chairs have a back so you’re sitting on a stool.
5. The music is rather loud J-Pop/J-Rock. You know the volume of music in restaurants has been increasing over the years? To encourage diners to eat quickly and go.
6. It’s hard to get the waiters’ attention and they don’t seem well trained. I said I was ready to order and gave my slip to the waiter, and thought the waiter was going to take my order, but he didn’t and just put the paper back on the table. Until the manager-looking guy came round to ask if we had ordered, then only was our order taken. Then the food took a while to come.
7. Idk why people open a ramen chain when they can’t run it well? As a paying customer, it just seems cheap, low budget and not value for money to spend almost $21 for this experience! This isn’t a place I‘d visit again or recommend. Despite being newly opened, there was no queue, not a good sign.
8. The mall itself is meh with a myriad of not pleasant smells :/ Shops here are what you’d find in a heartland mall, except this is new. The touchscreen directory on various floors don’t work. You have to use mobile data and Google instead.
9. There are better shopping malls and ramen shops in Singapore. Today’s experience was not great.

For my future self:
1. Make a reservation, if it’s full, don’t bother. Don’t assume there are enough empty tables for walk-ins, as common sense as that sounds.
2. Order a larger portion of pasta. The standard 100g of pasta is for a child. Just think about your weight versus the weight of this pasta.
3. Eat before going otherwise you’ll get stomach cramps while waiting AND after you’ve eaten.
4. You waited one hour or longer to be seated and for this pasta lol
5. McDonald’s which was your second dinner can serve you french fries and a sundae in under one minute! I’m still shocked.
6. Your pasta was cold.
7. The family of four before you got their food, ate their food, and paid for their food before yours arrived.
8. The people who ordered after you also got their food first lol
9. You and your friend were still hungry after dinner and went to get a second dinner.
10. If you ever open a restaurant or cafe, there better be some reasonable standards set 😂

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I ordered this drink with 50% sugar but it tastes more like 0% sugar :(

There isn’t much earl grey flavour or pistachio flavour, it’s more like your ordinary bitter English Breakfast tea.

Also they ran out of pearls at 2pm... So I got honey aloe vera.

Nothing to shout about + not at all sweet + the price is steep for what it is.

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Finally tried the famous two-layered Nyonya dessert, Kueh Salat, from Chalk Farm. The three of us don’t understand the hype (it’s nothing to shout about) or why it’s so expensive (Internet says it used to be $5.30 and now somehow it’s $9?) 🤷🏻‍♀️ The green custard layer is really eggy, and pretty watered down in terms of flavour. It lacks any pandan flavour or fragrance. The butterfly pea extract infused glutinous rice layer is pretty mushy. It would be better if there was more texture and was less soft, such that you could taste each grain of glutinous rice. Verdict: It’s okay for afternoon tea but please support your local auntie at the hawker centre who sells a much more amazing, satisfying, cheaper, more authentic version of this kueh :)

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Life’s short, eat cake.

This flakey chocolate covered, pillowy whipped cream and cherry-filled Blackforest cake from Chalk Farm reminds me of the British milk chocolate teacakes.

It is like cherry liquer in cake form! They didn’t stinge on the alcohol though I wished that the sponge cake to whipped cream ratio was a little more.

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Instagram: Pretty green tea dessert from Yamari by Tsujirihen-Honten.
Reality: Nausea, heart palpitations, stomachaches, headaches, light-headedness, shaky hands and shortness of breath 😭
Pretty intense, bitter soft serve. Warning: the serving size is a lot, I definitely recommend sharing. The soft serve is like concentrated green tea powder in ice cream form. It’s so strong the ice cream stained my fingers! 🍵
⚠️⚠️⚠️ Would not recommend this if like me, you’re allergic/intolerant to green tea and/or caffeine and/or dairy and/or have a sensitive stomach, just don’t, you’ll be very miserable like me 😩 #regrets

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Finally visited 108 Matcha Saro (from Hokkaido, Japan) at Suntec City to try their green tea parfait 🍵

There are so many different dessert options and drinks to choose from here! The parfait consists of: matcha (or hojicha) soft serve, green tea syrup (you can opt for black sugar syrup), green tea jelly, warabi mochi, red bean, shiratama mochi and black sugar jelly.

Verdict: From the first mouthful I wasn’t a fan of the matcha soft serve. It was just too cloying and gao^. There was really no nuance to it, and the whole dessert was kind of sweet and will leave you feeling very jelak*. I think the ratio is a bit off. Think it would be nicer if the ice cream itself was less heavy and thick, and also much less, and if there was more black sugar jelly and green tea jelly (and if the jelly had more concentrated green tea flavour and was less mochi-like). Also it needed some hot tea to go with it! Usually in Japan, traditional Japanese shops serve tea with these types of desserts.

Price: Not that cheap and if the Internet did not exist, I would have a lot more money in my bank account! 😂💸💸💸

I spent almost half an hour trying to locate 108 Matcha Saro in Suntec City as the directory didn’t provide directions :( To find it, it’s on B1, between Javier’s Rotisserie and Food Republic. Once you’re there, go past Four Leaves, Aburi-En and Fluff Stack and you will see it. 108 Matcha Saro is a corner store in an island of small shops.

^ gao: Hokkien word for thick.
*jelak: Malay word for having consumed too much overwhelmingly rich food.

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Today’s my first time trying these pretty Japanese soufflé pancakes! I shared these with my mum 🍓 Decided to pay a visit after reading reviews of various new soufflé pancake places in Singapore and seeing Riz Labo being voted as the best in town.
- Riz Labo Kitchen hails from Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan, some Japanese people work there so you know it’s pretty legit.
- It’s located on level 4 within Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria, near the escalators. It’s taken over what was previously Bar Nippon, so the ambience is very bar-like.
- The pancakes are made fresh when you order, so we waited about 20 min for the pancakes.
- The menu mentioned that the soufflé pancakes are made with egg whites, and Japanese organic, gluten-free rice flour which was promising! We did find that the pancakes were pretty eggy in terms of taste, colour and smell so there are probably lots of egg yolks involved 🤷🏻‍♀️ To me, the pancakes kind of taste like chiffon cake meets pancakes.
- We thought the whipped cream would have been better if it was fresh, cold + real not artificial whipped cream. The vanilla ice cream (not strawberry as stated in the menu) went really well with the pancakes.
- Personally, I thought the price of the pancakes was pretty steep for the ingredients involved and also it wasn’t that satisfying. Perhaps it’s the labour costs involved in making the pancakes that explains the price 🤷🏻‍♀️
- PS. They don’t serve tap water. Recommend ordering the $3 refillable English tea if you don’t have any water.

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Finally tried @hvala_sg! There were many Japanese tea lattes, hot Japanese tea lattes and iced blended Japanese tea drinks available (such as matcha, genmaicha, hojicha) and drinks with kinako (I think some sort of soybean mochi) 🍵
Final verdict: The genmaicha latte was not terrible and it was nice to see them prepare the genmaicha latte. While it was not too thick and had sufficient genmaicha flavour to it, I did find it a little bit powdery to drink and not as sweet and creamy as I would like. I’m still a loyal fan of @6ozespressobar’s iced genmaicha latte which is the best hands down 🙌🏻

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🥞🥞🥞 Loved these deliciously fluffy buttermilk pancakes with bananas, whipped cream and walnut crumble from @marcello_sg at @interconsin. Think a lot of plating effort was involved as the pancakes weren’t as hot as we would like. We requested for it to be heated up again but ended up receiving a new stack of pancakes also at a lukewarm temperature. Maybe the plates could be pre-heated next time? At least it tasted good, so thank you Marcello for the yummy pancakes!
Do your weekend plans involve banana pancakes? 😋

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1. I’d been wanting to visit Kafe Utu for MONTHS now but only managed to drop by over the weekend as we had to wait for their renovations to complete!
2. Personally not a fan of bad reviews but I am also not a fan of fake BS reviews some food bloggers post in order to score sponsored meals 😂🙅🏻‍♀️ We don’t do that here.
3. So here’s my honest, unfiltered, #notsponsored food review of Kafe Utu (and maybe my friend’s as well). Side note: I’ve only seen and heard positive reviews of this place prior to my visit.
4. My friend ordered a latte (I heard the coffee is good but she said it’s not amazing) and we ordered three food items: Caribbean Goat Curry ($28), scrambled eggs ($4) and marinated goat cheese ($7). Because of the price, we decided to share a main and order some sides.
5. First off, the goat curry comes with coconut rice (not a big fan). The portion size is not a lot, and for what it is, this main is pretty expensive. I wouldn’t recommend travelling all the way to 12 Jiak Chuan Road for this food that tastes like SQ airplane food. It tastes like the kind of curry you order on a flight to London. I’ve never had actual Caribbean goat curry so can’t comment on the authenticity of this dish but this is what it tasted like to me: airplane food.
6. Second, the scrambled eggs at $4 is affordably priced. However, definitely not the best scrambled eggs I’ve had, the eggs were quite thin, like the kind of egg you get in fried rice.
7. Thirdly, according to my friend, the tiny goat cheese tasted like it came from a deli. It really didn’t look or taste marinated to us. At $7, we definitely don’t recommend ordering this small, overpriced goat cheese.
8. Would I come back and visit Kafe Utu again? No, it’s kind of out of the way and the food and service isn’t amazing. I’m also unsure as to how authentically African this place is 🤷🏻‍♀️ Also they are not GST registered and there’s no service charge so the prices are as per the menu.
9. All views expressed here are my own personal opinions based on my own experience I paid for and is not meant or intended to be defamatory, slanderous and/or libellous in any way towards Kafe Utu and/or anyone connected with it.

1 Like

1. I’d been wanting to visit Kafe Utu for MONTHS now but only managed to drop by over the weekend as we had to wait for their renovations to complete!
2. Personally not a fan of bad reviews but I am also not a fan of fake BS reviews some food bloggers post in order to score sponsored meals 😂🙅🏻‍♀️ We don’t do that here.
3. So here’s my honest, unfiltered, #notsponsored food review of Kafe Utu (and maybe my friend’s as well). Side note: I’ve only seen and heard positive reviews of this place prior to my visit.
4. My friend ordered a latte (I heard the coffee is good but she said it’s not amazing) and we ordered three food items: Caribbean Goat Curry ($28), scrambled eggs ($4) and marinated goat cheese ($7). Because of the price, we decided to share a main and order some sides.
5. First off, the goat curry comes with coconut rice (not a big fan). The portion size is not a lot, and for what it is, this main is pretty expensive. I wouldn’t recommend travelling all the way to 12 Jiak Chuan Road for this food that tastes like SQ airplane food. It tastes like the kind of curry you order on a flight to London. I’ve never had actual Caribbean goat curry so can’t comment on the authenticity of this dish but this is what it tasted like to me: airplane food.
6. Second, the scrambled eggs at $4 is affordably priced. However, definitely not the best scrambled eggs I’ve had, the eggs were quite thin, like the kind of egg you get in fried rice.
7. Thirdly, according to my friend, the tiny goat cheese tasted like it came from a deli. It really didn’t look or taste marinated to us. At $7, we definitely don’t recommend ordering this small, overpriced goat cheese.
8. Would I come back and visit Kafe Utu again? No, it’s kind of out of the way and the food and service isn’t amazing. I’m also unsure as to how authentically African this place is 🤷🏻‍♀️ Also they are not GST registered and there’s no service charge so the prices are as per the menu.
9. All views expressed here are my own personal opinions based on my own experience I paid for and is not meant or intended to be defamatory, slanderous and/or libellous in any way towards Kafe Utu and/or anyone connected with it.

1 Like

Rachel T

Level 6 Burppler · 137 Reviews

Lawyering on weekdays Food tasting on weekends www.rachelrawr.com

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