Cafe Review: Food with Benefits
Housed at the humble Katong Shopping Centre surrounded by maid agencies and zi char restaurants, it’s a nice respite to find a deviant. Food with Benefits lies tucked away unassumingly in the basement. Inspired by athletes and bodybuilders with a sweet tooth, the café ensures that their offerings have good nutritional value.
One of the five café owners, Tang Yan Yue, 23, tells The Urban Wire that Food with Benefits aims to introduce food that is well balanced in protein, fats and carbohydrates after finding out that outside fare is usually “high in carbs and low in protein”.
As we enter, it is apparent that the café is a little snug, maybe fitting 20 at most. Decorated with chalk-written diet notes filling almost every wall, it is easy to settle into the relaxed ambience of the café. Also, while the mini workout corner is little more than a gimmick, there’s no harm doing some reps while waiting for your healthy meal to arrive.
Served to whet appetites, the Lemon Basil Granita ($3.50) is contained innocently in a wine glass. But every mouthful is a sour icy crunch with a zesty aftertaste that leaves you gripping the teaspoon for the next mouthful. A note of caution though: the minty taste may be overpowering after awhile.
Though a recommended dish on the menu, the Truffle Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs ($12.90) are fairly disappointing to say the least. The texture of the scrambled eggs is too soft and its flavors fails to complement the bland bread. Although the mushrooms are spruced up with truffle oil, the overall taste is still generally unsatisfying.
We had the honour of trying the Godzilla Pork Chop, which has yet to be officially included into the menu. The succulent, juicy meat is cooked sous vide and doused with a generous portion of homemade black pepper sauce, served alongside bite-sized baked potatoes and greens. With a dish so well done (and tender!), we definitely recommend this.
If there is ever a heaven on earth, it will probably be the Dancing Orchid Tea ($7). A sip is all it takes to be dazzled by the pomelo zing lingering on your tongue. However, as it has a strong sweet aftertaste, it is best consumed in between hearty bites.
In a quaint bell jar lies a disarmingly precious Cranberry Lemon Muffin ($3) that seems to be whispering, “eat me”. But it actually packs a protein-powder laden punch! A bite into the inconspicuous muffin unveils a consistent lemony flavour, with cranberries adding some sweetness to complete the mouth.
Not for the lactose intolerant (or those who simply dislike milk), the Milo Panna Cotta ($6) is too milky to be enjoyed. While it is laudable that the café tries a local take on the Italian dessert, the milo taste was lost under the overwhelmingly thick cream. The end result is an awkward flavor in between cream and chocolate, which is reminiscent of the regrettable taste when accidentally adding a little too much milk into hot Milo.
If there is one dessert to die for, it will be the Broton Prownies ($5.90), a spelling mix up of “Proton Brownies”. Although it wasn’t served with ice cream as promised in the menu, it is perfectly fine on its own.
Sprinkled lightly with protein powder, the toughness of the immaculate chocolate crust may surprise you, but the dense outer layer adds a chocolaty punch to the flavour. Coming from us as non-chocolate lovers, this is one pastry you must try.
If you’ve been sorely disappointed with healthy food that hasn’t been too delicious, Food with Benefits may be the one to go to for their delectable choice of pastries. Plus the overall price range of its menu is also affordable.
And if you want a meal on the house, all you need to do is to squeeze their 90kg handgrip for 30 seconds. But it hasn’t been done by anyone yet, except for the café owners themselves.
Tell us what you think of this café in the comments below!
Address: 865 Mountbatten Road Katong Shopping Centre #B1-92
Nearest MRT: Dakota
Contact Details: (+65) 6348 1918
Opening hours: Opens daily 10.30am – 8.00 pm except Thursdays