the cny period is almost all over *sad* and well, for me it has been an unexpectedly enjoyable and fruitful one. spent time to just reconnect with relatives and the rest of the time finally getting to update my blog to one that would be much more easily navigable. =)
reunion dinner this year was a little interesting though. having had the extended family reunion dinners days before CNY eve, it was just the paltry me and my parents left to eat reunion dinner together. now, we decided not to have it at home this year not because my mom didn’t feel like cooking, but because we dad violently objected to washing dishes after that. hence, it was decided to head to a restaurant for reunion dinner this time.
but well, it was kind of a last minute decision, and with chinese restaurants either closed for their own staff’s reunion dinner or otherwise packed to the brim with pre-bookings, i decided to shuttle my parents to fika cafe, a halal swedish restaurant along arab street. surely that wouldn’t be closed. so there we headed.
fika cafe is a cosy, chic cafe that uses a predominantly white palette to create a clean, minimalistic, distinctly swedish aesthetic. my mom stepped in and commented that the furnishings looked very ikea, which is precisely the swedish design aesthetic – one of simple, bold design choices and well-organized, brightly-lit spaces. its no wonder so many people look to swedish designs for inspiration.
fika’s menu consists of crepes, sandwiches and mains that are indeed distinctly swedish – ranging from open-face sandwiches, salmon crepes to swedish meatballs, beef patties, grilled seafood and the likes. a word of caution though, do check with your server whether your dish is served chilled or warm – some swedish openface sandwiches are typically served cold so don’t get an unpleasant shock if what you assumed was a warm sandwich turns out cold.
essentially beef patties served with cream sauce along with lingoberry sauce and topped with some caramelized onions. this is yet another classic combination, essentially swapping out swedish meatballs for beef patties – it works because the sweetness of the lingoberry sauce pairs amazing with the savory, meaty flavor of the beef patty and cream sauce. delicious, but hmm.. i did feel that the patty wasn’t as well made as I could taste some tough sinews within the patty which detracted from the meal. and well, i tasted a much better patty in sweden before, so that’s what im comparing against.
something you could easily see in the ikea cafe for half the price it seems. i felt that the fish was a little overly fishy (read: not fresh) upon first bites but it got better and more delicious as you ate. my mom did complain that the fish was quite dry, which i agree but i wonder whether it has something more to do with the cuisine.
not good. again, it was dry and the beef cubes weren’t juicy and were quite tough to chew on. i don’t really get this dish to be honest (my dad ordered it) – perhaps the beetroot slices and the sunny side up was meant to lend some sauce/moisture/sweetness to the potatoes and beef pieces, but it didn’t exactly seem to work. i didn’t like this.
this desserts is where fika cafe salvaged some points back. the cheesecake was moist and delicious to eat, and paired superbly well with the lingoberry sauce (i wonder whether i can buy this in singapore). somehow the sweetness of the sauce complemented well with the light frothy sweetness of the cheesecake to create a delicious dessert.
hmm.. all in all, disappointing mains with a more decent end with desserts. to be honest what annoyed me more was how pricey the food was – we ended up paying $97.10 for 3 people, having only gotten mains, one dessert for sharing, and drinks. i mean, i really doubt the base ingredients are that exotic and unless lingoberries are really expensive, there isn’t much to justify a cost in terms of ingredients. execution-wise, these foods are simply comfort foods that seem pretty easy to pull off (but they weren’t exactly well executed). i’m wondering if the very notion that it is swedish food (something seemingly unique and exotic) would have raised the pricepoint.
satisfy your swedish food cravings at the ikea cafe my friends. fika cafe is better for their ambience and desserts. 5.25/10
fika cafe | 257 beach road/arab street | desserts, coffee, swedish food