CafeMama, a fairly new Korean casual cafe came into the F&B scene last year, opening their first outlet at The Clementi Mall, followed by their second cafe three months later at the newly renovated SingPost Centre. With the concept of bringing Korean comfort street food to Singapore and offering them at an affordable price range, the cafe serves a wide variety of street snacks and dishes including their signature Dosirak rice boxes, kimbap rolls, fried chicken, army stews, bingsu and more.
Headed by a Korean chef behind each recipe creation, CafeMama recreates the familiar taste and flavours from South Korea, and is planning to introduce a couple more outlets in other parts of Singapore within this year. Double the joy, the cafe is also aiming to be certified Halal to bring Korean food closer to the hearts of Singaporeans and the K-Food enthusiasts within the local Muslim community. Currently, they do not serve any pork or lard in their dishes.
Located on the fifth level next to the library, the Clementi Mall outlet adopted a colourful and vibrant look for its interior, including their K-pop wall of fame and a TV where they screen some of the latest and classic K-pop MVs.
For Korean food, their menu is considered very reasonably priced, with an average spending of S$10 per person for a meal including drink. Student meals start from $6.90, while Dosirak rice boxes, Kimbap rolls and Ramyeon range from $7.90 to $9.90.
One of my personal favourites would be the crispy Fried Chicken that comes in two different flavours (Soy/Spicy) for the Wingettes and Drumettes. You can also opt for the original version if you’re not a fan of either sauces. Their fragrant fried chicken is cooked with fresh chicken meat instead of frozen meat, which makes for a succulent and flavourful chicken for the soul!
Another classic snack on the menu is the Kimbap, where they offer 4 selections (Kimchi/Tuna Mayo/Chicken Sausage/Korean Fishcake) to choose from. We had the recommended Tuna Mayo Kimbap from the menu, which actually tasted similar to the real deal from Kim-Ga-Ne (김家네), one of the famous Kimbap chain stores in South Korea. Other than the rice being slightly starchy, the combination of ingredients do blend in pretty well. Good for takeaways or even a quick lunch when you’re in the area!
CafeMama also serves a variety of Dosirak, the Korean rice boxes. It reminds you tenderly of Japanese bento boxes, but deliciously Korean. Each Dosirak box comes with a fried egg, seaweed and homemade kimchi. The serving of kimchi in the rice boxes are made to match that of a native Korean’s taste, accounting for its sour taste which we really love.
Typically, Koreans enjoy shaking up the Dosirak rice boxes before eating so that the ingredients and rice are well mixed together. No harm trying but be sure you cover the metal lid well before shaking!
What’s a Korean restaurant without the all-time-favourite Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)? From $24.90, you can enjoy the traditional Budae Jjigae that is good for sharing among 2-3 pax. There are also different combinations such as the Fishcake Budae Jjigae ($29.90), Chicken & Beef Budae Jjigae ($35.90), Beef & Seafood Budae Jjigae ($37.90) and more, including top-up options for extra serving of noodle, rice cake, cheese, egg or rice.
I would say that the Budae Jjigae is perhaps the highlight of the menu in CafeMama. The rich stew keeps you scooping for more and it tasted no less flavourful than the usual army stews served in Korean restaurants. Given its price tag and generous portions, this dish is definitely worth coming back for more. They also have the individual portion under the Ramyeon category, best for single diners or those who prefer a smaller serving.
There is always a room for desserts after the meal. This is probably one of the most affordable Bingsu we’ve ever came across (in a Korean cafe/restaurant), which surprisingly tasted quite alright with good amount of toppings as you’ve seen in the photo of the Mango Bingsu that we ordered. Their available flavours are quite common, such as Red Bean, Green Tea, Mango and Honey Melon, with an exception for the Speciality Bibimbap Bingsu ($9.90 for sharing among 2-3 pax).
Oh, and we really love the refreshing Sikhye ($2.50) too! It’s a traditional Korean sweet rice beverage, best to be consumed when chilled.
Overall, would think that it’s pretty worth a (return) visit to CafeMama, especially for students. Hoping to see more new varieties in their menu for other types of Korean street food or classic Korean treats, perhaps something they can consider for their upcoming outlets.
Getting to CafeMama:
1) Address: The Clementi Mall, #05-16, 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, Singapore 129588 (Next to library)
Tel: +65 6570 9287
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 10pm (Sun – Thu & PH), 11:30am to 10:30pm (Fri – Sat & Eve of PH)
2) Address: Platform M by MOF, SingPost Centre, #02-138, 10 Eunos Road, Singapore 408600
Tel: +65 6747 3585
Opening Hours: 11am to 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Disclaimer: All reviews reflect our own personal preference.