I am always complaining that the cafes in Orchard always closes by 10 pm leaving hotel lobby lounges being the only option to hang out so when I read that a new late night café was opening, I was elated. The next time I was around town, I decided to pay them a visit.
Located at the first floor of Shaw House, Café De Muse has a long queue of customers by the time it hits 10 pm as other cafes are closing for the day. As I visited during the festive season, Orchard road was pretty crowded and many people were looking for somewhere to chill out after all the shopping.
Café Muse actually occupies 2 stories in Shaw house, the 24 hours outlet is the one located at the first floor while a smaller outlet named Café Muse dessert bar is located on the 2nd floor within the Isetan mall closes at the same time as the mall. The 24 hour space is well lit and spacious with the capacity to house quite a good number of customers.
The drinks and desserts counter is placed upfront near the entrance with the same modern chic décor. I love how the light bulbs are lined up on the metal arches reminding me of a metal bridge somewhere in Europe.
Their chiller display is also filled with full cakes as well as sliced cakes with the usual variety of chocolate or fresh cream flavours. The interesting thing is that they also have a couple of local flavour inspired cakes like ondeh ondeh.
They do have quite an extensive menu from sandwiches, small bites, mains, pastas, pizzas, cakes, desserts and a diverse list of beverages. From the menu, it clearly shows that the café is Korean inspired with kimchi fusion mains and a special section for bingsu. In addition, as a tea lover, it excites me to see the long list of tea selections. For the full menu, you can check here
Ice water was served complimentary
Since the closure of café bene in Singapore, it is so difficult for me to find Injeolmi drinks so when I saw that on the menu, I had to order the Injeolmi milkshake. Injeolmi is actually a multi grain mix which is best served as a shake. My Injeolmi shake and my friend’s vanilla shake was served in these cute glasses which is quite small in serving in my opinion. Despite the serving size, the drinks are actually quite nice and well made without being overly sweet.
We also ordered the truffle fries to try out their hot menu. For the price of SGD 9.50, the serving size was pretty decent. The fries had a subtle truffles fragrant as well as taste which was not overpowering. Fried till golden brown, the fries were served hot and crispy with a mayonnaise dip on the side. The texture of the fries were nice without an overly oily finishing on both our mouths and the plates.
We also had the fried calamari which had 8 to 9 pieces for SGD 12. The calamari was also served with a wedge of lemon and tartar sauce on the side. The calamari was also very well fried with the squid inside still tender enough. The sauce complimented the fried calamari with a tangy creamy flavour.
Overall, the atmosphere at Café muse is very chill and is good for relaxing with friends or just a quick meal. The menu is also quite interesting for those who like Korean dishes since quite a number of their menu is considered Korean fusion. The food and drinks tasted generally ok and the plus point is their late hours and great location right in the middle of Orchard road.
Footnote: While my overall dining experience was considered ok, I witness something that leaves me skeptical while I was queuing and waiting for my table. There was a return of a bowl of melon bingsu from one of the tables and although I can’t hear or be sure of what the issue was, it seems that they found something inside the bingsu from the pointing of the server to the beverage counter. The next string of events was what shocked me; the person at the counter simply took out whatever it was in the dessert and returned it to the server. Looking perplexed, the server tried to serve the same bowl of bingsu to the table of customers and was again scolded and rejected. This time round, the person at the counter removed all the melon balls, added more ice to the same bowl of bingsu, proceeds to place back the same melon balls nicely and passed it back to the server again. This same bowl was again rejected, not sure if its because the customers recognised the same bowl. This time round, this bowl was placed one side and a new one was made.
Although, I am not entirely sure what happened and if it was the customers being overly picky, I still feel that at any F&B outlet, if there are any returns, the restaurant should replace and not try to disguise the returned dish. On many levels of hygiene, this is not acceptable. Even though I witnessed this, I still gave them a chance but I did steer clear of the bingsu that night even though we had initially wanted to order one while waiting for our table. GIven the taste of the snacks I had, I might still pay them a visit to try out their other hot food.
Address: 350 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238868
Operating hours: 24 hours for level 1 , 11 am to 9 pm for level 2 Dessert bar