A museum cafe with great food and even better ambience
By Samantha Francis
Want to dine among art? Come to MoCA Cafe.
I’m going out on a limb to say this, but MoCA Cafe exceeded my expectations of a museum cafe. Set on the lush slopes of Loewen road at Dempsey Hill, the charming space is the dining extension of Museum of Contemporary Arts, an integrated museum and art facility by Linda Gallery.
Dine among contemporary sculptures
The sculptures of Chinese contemporary artist Wang Guang Yi flanked the courtyard.
I walked past the colonial-era building which housed the museum, and up a tiny hill to find a spacious courtyard leading to a glass house. The sculptures of Chinese contemporary artist Wang Guang Yi flanked the courtyard — cherubic men in patriotic stance stared right back at me, brandishing Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.
Sculptures fill the space, allowing diners to enjoy contemporary art as they tuck into their meal.
Inside the glass house is where the magic happens. Sculptures fill the space, allowing diners to enjoy contemporary art as they tuck into their meal. From the corner of my eye, a flying cat in bright crimson caught my attention as I started on my Antipasto ($22). The dish, featuring Russian salad wrapped with parma ham, mussel marinara, tomatoes bruschetta, buratta and rocket salad with parmesan cheese, was interwoven with flavours and textures.
The Antipasto was interwoven with flavours and textures.
Extensive Menu with Hits and Misses
The Wagyu Oxtail Soup tasted rich and robust.
At first glance, the extensive menu looked almost overwhelming, with everything from tapas, burgers, to Asian fusion dishes, seafood and even steak. Variety might be the game, but did the dishes lived up to expectations?
My taste buds were convinced by the Wagyu Oxtail Soup ($22), which was cooked Indonesian son buntut style. The broth tasted rich and robust, with the variety of vegetables — potato, carrots, tomato, celery, leek, fried shallots, lending a hint of sweetness. Served with rice, sweet soy sauce and a wedge of lime, the tender and flavourful chunks of oxtail meat were allowed to shine.
The al dente angel hair pasta, while topped with generous lashings of real crabmeat, tasted dry.
A dish which failed to excite was the Angel Hair Crabmeat ($22). The al dente angel hair pasta, while topped with generous lashings of real crabmeat, tasted a little dry. Unfortunately, the bits of dry chili, garlic and marinated fresh tomato did little to elevate the flavours.
The Panna Cotta won’t disappoint.
If you must end your meal on a sweet note, the Panna Cotta ($9) won’t disappoint. Delicately sweet with a pleasant milkiness, each mouthful was meltingly soft. It was heavenly, to say the least.
All in, MoCA is a refreshing new entry in the ever changing cafe scene. Its commitment to integrate elements of art, paintings and sculptures into the setting, is an admirable attempt.
We can definitely see ourselves spending a languid afternoon here, just enjoying small bites and browsing art magazines.
MoCA Cafe, 27A Loewen Road, Singapore 248839, Tel: 6747 4111