Fika Café Hot
Halal Swedish food on Arab Street is a rare sight, and modern, whitewashed Fika certainly stands out in the mostly traditional area dominated by shophouses. The desserts are the clear winner here, while the mains are only so-so; tea-lovers will appreciate the personal pot service and eclectic selection of Gryphon teas. Avoid the unwieldy, open-faced sandwiches and stick with the sweet stuff: a just-right chocolate cake and Swedish pancakes with preserves go down a treat.
I like going to Haji Lane for the indie boutiques and necessity dictates trips to Arab Street for fabric and trimmings. However, there is one major drawback to visiting this charming little corner of Singapore: no air-con! Our Minister Mental (oops typo - I meant Mentor) once quipped air-conditioners are the best invention ever. That is, and probably will ever be, the most sensible thing he has ever uttered in his career.
This is why Fika is a godsend to this area. By the time I reach this end of Arab St, I’d be sweating like a hog from the heat and humidity. Having to lug shopping bags (no, not the disposable plastic ones – I’m actually one of the few people who care enough about global warming to actually carry my own canvas tote) full of cloth from Gim Joo and bling from Lalhubbai doesn’t help either.
Fika has an air-con that works. It doesn’t matter if the food is only average.
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More authentic than IKEA itself
Swedish food in Haji Lane, and good Swedish food at that, both friends and blogs exclaimed. Throw in the fact that it's Halal certified and I could see what the fuss was about. I managed to avoid the crowd by dining in on a weekday but the popularity of the restaurant ensured a bustling atmosphere. Brightly lit with a squeaky clean interior, it definitely stands out, especially in the evening. I get the impression that Fika prides itself on authenticity, with all its items on the menu being labeled in Swedish. The restaurant even specially imports sodas from Sweden and recreates Swedish desserts; talk about dedication!
The portions were hearty, leaving little room on the table for anything else, not even our elbows. This justifies the cost and softens the blow on the wallet a little. My dining companions and I avoided the usual meatballs dish, creating an excuse for a second visit, perhaps?
Fika is not short of competitors though, with several cafes and the usual establishments duking it out in the increasingly popular Haji Lane.
I need my parents for this.
When my parents decided to bring us to Fika, I was super excited because I've heard great reviews about it. But I was super disappointed when I got there.
Firstly, the portions were incredibly big that none of my family members finished their meal. It was a great waste and even the meatballs, though quite nice, were left unfinished. I ordered the smoked salmon and it was super overcooked. I had a hard time chewing everything and gave up after a while.
It's probably the only halal Swedish restaurant I know in Singapore and I'm willing to give it another try. I just need to make sure I have my parents there so they can pay for it all...it's really quite expensive.
Would definitely come back for more
I have always had difficulties locating the different cafes in Bugis area, and will get lost before eventually cabbing down to the café I had in mind. That was the case for Fika. However, the array of dessert and meals totally made up for it. Everything on the menu looked so good!
I settled for their famous homemade Swedish meatballs, which is highly recommended to all. I think Fika specializes on their meat set meals, thus I would not recommend set meals such as their seafood or mushroom pasta. Their lingonberry cheesecake is also a must-try!
The first thing that catches your attention at Fiqa Cafe is the captivating interior design. With whitewashed walls, lovely paper chandeliers, chalkboard menu, dainty white cottage-styled furniture, it leaves you with a lasting first impression. The second floor of the shophouse is more heartwarming ambience. It has lightwood flooring, a mock fireplace and stand-alone coat hangers. Fiqa is able to capture both the glamorous and homely feeling all under one roof. But unfortunately, the second floor has been closed for some time, which I feel they shouldn't as it is getting too packed on the first floor.
The food wise, it tasted more like a fusion of western rather than authentic Swedish food. The prices range from $16 - $30 for main courses and $6 - $8 for cakes. I absolutely adore their mushroom cream pasta with meatballs. Their meatballs taste hand-made, and it was proven - in a bad way. There was once when my meatballs was crunchy. I continued a second bite and curiosity got the better of me and i cut up the meatballs, in search for the unusual ingredient. To my horror, it was egg shells.
My favourite halal restaurant so far!
I find it almost impossible to find Halal restaurants or cafes in Singapore so when my friend brought me to Fika at Beach Road, I was pleasantly surprised! The place was well furnished with white furniture and cute lamps on the tables. You can say it was a rather romantic setting as well.
Inspired by Swedish delights, the menu had a wide variety. I had the chicken with black pepper sauce and baked potatoes. EXTREMELY DELICIOUS. I was very pleased with my dish and even though the portion was relatively big, I ate it all. For drinks, I had their Swedish apple tea.
I spent about $30 for myself which may sound quite expensive but it was definitely worth my money. The place is rather popular and it was packed when I went. Lucky we had made reservations. Their staff are friendly and polite too. I understand that they have a second floor that is open to hold events but when I enquired about it, I found the quotation pretty pricey.
However, I would definitely return there with my Muslim friends and I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I did.
Nice Swedish Cafe... But Avoid Sitting Outside
I was pretty excited when I discovered Fika Cafe, as Swedish food isn't very common in Singapore. On top of that, they're also certified Halal!
Fika Cafe does Swedish comfort food, including classics like the Swedish Meatballs With Lingonberry Jam. The meatballs are a mixture of beef and lamb, and while they aren't dry, they weren't very juicy either. I also thought that the meatballs could have been packed a little tighter, but overall, I liked the dish.
Other Swedish classics include Blueberry Soup (which is like Blueberry Juice), and Rosehip Soup (which has a citrus-y, almost orange like taste).
The desserts at Fika Cafe are really good, especially the Apple Crumble Pie With Ice Cream.
All the times I've visited, I found the service to be excellent. Staff will do their best to attend to your requests, answer questions on ingredients, or how best to consume a dish, and food is served relatively quickly even when crowded.
The Ambience at Fika Cafe is also stand-out. The first floor is your typical cozy cafe layout, but ask to be seated at the second floor. You'll think you just stepped into someone's home... There's a fake fireplace with comfy sofas, a bookshelf with ladder, and various other decorations and knick-knacks strewn about. Great for photo-taking.
If at all possible, do try to avoid sitting outdoors, as you'll be accosted by beggers. Having actually visited Fika Cafe on a daily basis for a week, I noticed that they actually come at fixed timings every day. For example, an elderly single lady will come, without fail, at 11.45am everyday. And around 2pm, a couple carrying a baby will come around. It's almost like they have some kind of schedule they keep among themselves.
If you're feeling generous and don't mind giving, then go ahead, but if you're adverse to this kind of thing, then it's best if you sit indoors instead.
Yummy authentic Swedish food
Fika is one of my favourite places to go to for dinner. The decor is white and tasteful, and there's that sense of homeliness that is difficult to get in a restaurant that serves non-Asian cuisine. The ambience on the second floor is terrific and cosy, but it is rarely open except for large bookings. The first floor is fine as well, with a more casual setting than the second floor.
I normally have the skagen, which is an open faced sandwich with a mountain of creamy shrimp, smoked salmon and shrimp roe. It is delightfully filling without being too heavy, and perfect for those who want to try having a meal served chilled instead of the usual hot food that we always have in Singapore.
One of the best halal eateries around!
As a muslim finding it hard to find really good halal eateries in Singapore, Fika is definitely a God-send. I was searching for a great place to bring a date and Fika seemed like a perfect choice. Swedish meatballs are definitely my favourite with a generous serving of sauce and a dollop of sweet jam adding to the flavour. The potatoes were well-cooked and salad on the side makes for a very hearty meal indeed. I tried the salmon as well and I must say that it was very well-done. Also, there’s a chocolate drink called Pucko which tastes absolutely delightful and pear cider which is my favourite! Although at $7 a drink, it may seem like a blatant rip-off.
I think that good food aside, I very much enjoy the design of the place. Everything from the counter to the lamps speaks elegance and sophistication. The sheer whiteness of the colour scheme brings to mind calmness and relaxation. This place is a must-try although it tends to be crowded during lunch period.
I was rather intrigued in the prospect of dining in a swedish cafe and getting to try swedish food (!!). But all was lost after I tasted the food. No taste of sweden at all. I can't deny, the food is indeed delicious, however, no Swedish reminiscence at all.
We ordered the grilled chicken crepe which came with a large, and i mean LARGE chunk of chicken wrapped in between the thin layers of crepe. The accompanying sauce highlighted the whole dish. The dish is really filling for one, due to the generous portion of meat given.
We also ordered their blueberry soup. Yes- blueberry soup.
Didn't you just open your eyes in wonder? That was me then. I was super excited to taste blueberries in a form of soup. There were hot and cold versions and upon asking, found out that the hot version was more popular, hence our choice.
Meh. Like what is this, it is just purely blueberry juice, heated up. Or maybe, give them the benefit of doubt, it TASTED like blueberry juice. Didn't even have any chunks of blueberry in the 'soup'.
The mains are great, just skip the blueberry soup.
I really wanted to love this cafe.. I really do. It has the same name as me, it's Swedish (who doesn't love Sweden?!), and it has the loveliest interior. But I don't.
The one time I went to Fika with a couple of friends, it felt sort of awkward. There were a few more people around, but it was so quiet. We were served with courtesy, but there just wasn't any warmth and I did not feel welcome. At all. And since the whole place was so quiet, it felt weird talking to my friends because it seems like everyone could hear our conversation.
Their food and drinks are alright, a bit overpriced in my opinion, but oh well. Probably in the future I'll give Fika a try again, and I hope it won't disappoint.