About Café & Meal MUJI
Café & Meal MUJI Singapore recently opened their first cafe in Singapore with an outlet at Paragon. This cozy 52-seater features warm wood decor and a streamlined Japanese menu with a touch of local flavours. The selection here is simple and largely consists of salads and a modest selection of proteins, in addition to desserts and drinks.
This dining concept is quintessentially Muji – an appealing simplicity that draws people in. Expect long waits up to 45 minutes on weekdays as Singaporeans flock to Paragon for the newest sensation in town. Apart from the relatively steep pricing and some teething issues, we expect Café & Meal MUJI’s eventual success to be attributed by Singaporeans who love buying into the whole minimalist trend.
Butter Curry Chicken Rice – $14.90
Muji’s butter curry is a unique take on the classic Japanese curry. The butter elevates the gravy by lending an aromatic touch and making it richer in texture and taste. We especially loved how well the curry paired with Muji’s 10 grain rice, with the nutty flavours of the chewy grains complementing the spice blend of the curry.
However portions are stingy for the price, with only four bite-sized pieces of chicken in the curry. Diners would be better off purchasing the gravy, which is available in Muji stores, to make this simple dish at home.
4 Deli Set – $16.90
This set comes with the option to choose 2 hot items and 2 cold items from an assortment of sides at the deli counter, in addition to a bowl of Japanese white rice. We settled for the sakura chicken pickled salad, watermelon and beetroot salad, spinach and chicken patty, and the fried chicken. We were expecting the hot dishes to be heated up prior to being served, but unfortunately, everything was cold.
The salads were well mixed, with a good dose of acidity. I was partial to the watermelon and beetroot salad as it was refreshing and had a good nutty flavour from the addition of the walnuts. The beetroot was also well-seasoned and not too overpowering.
The spinach and chicken patty was moist and juicy, which was surprising as chicken tends to dry out easily. The fried chicken retained its crispy exterior, but the meat was slightly on the dry side. The spicy and tangy glaze was a delightful local touch, that gave the chicken a much needed boost in flavour.
Dessert and Drinks
Matcha Latte – $4.90
Drinks and desserts were priced more affordably than the mains, with the price of a drink averaging around $4 – $5. This makes it a better alternative to other coffee joints in the area. Of the two drinks we ordered, the matcha latte fared better with its rich matcha flavour and milky texture. Nevermind that it’s a premix. On the other hand, the hibiscus tea was too tart, although we did enjoy the flowery notes.
Roasted Tea Pudding – $5.40
If there was one dish I would revisit Café & Meal MUJI for, it would be this roasted tea pudding. The gentle earthy fragrance of the roasted tea permeates the wobbly melt-in-your-mouth custard, and instantly refreshes your palate. It’s commendable that the pudding was also not overly sweet.
Earl Grey Chiffon Cake – $5.40
While the earl grey chiffon cake was nicely perfumed with strong bergamot notes, the texture was too dense as it was served chilled. With a slightly softer and fluffier texture, this cake could potentially be a winner.