Fika Cafe & Bistro
Toto, I don’t think we’re in IKEA anymore. Run by ex-designer Tasneem Noor, who’s married to a Swede, Fika looks like something straight out of Stockholm; with its clean, simple aesthetics and white interior.
WHAT TO GET
It’s not all meatballs and smoked salmon here. You can also find less common Scandinavian specialties like Swedish-style oatmeal and red beet salad.
The food here is halal and if you’re looking for a cozy space to throw a party, know that Fika also has a private room available for rent.
You would’ve thought that a place known for being all booked up for Ramadan dinners would have some great tasting, if not affordable, food. This pretty little joint with all white interiors and leather-bound menus was disappointing on both counts.
Pickled fish is the pride of Swedish cuisine, so we just had to try their pickled herring platter ($8.90). Served on a darling white porcelain plate, it came with a thinly-sliced boiled egg, a salad and two pieces of Swedish “hard” rye bread. Ours was soft, and not in a pleasant way—it reminded us of stale biscuits. The dish’s saving grace was a lump of roe hidden underneath the delicate pieces of fish—always a pleasant surprise.
Up next, Swedish meatballs ($16.90)—of course. For that price (we know you’re thinking of Ikea’s, which are a third of the price), we were expecting something truly hearty. Alas, it was not so. Just a couple of diced parsley-topped potatoes, a side of lingonberry jam and six meatballs covered in brown gravy. But we soon discovered to our dismay that the meatballs, along with the drizzle of sauce over it, had probably been pre-plated, kept in the fridge and popped into the microwave and blasted on high. The exterior was hard, the meat was dry and crumbly, and the sauce looked and tasted plastic—the whole thing gave us the impression of a set meal display.
The only dish we actually liked, surprisingly, was the aglio olio (13.90), which isn’t exactly Swedish, is it? We had ours with some succulent shrimp (additional $3)—truly flavorful. We also had the Swedish pancakes ($9.90), which was nothing to shout about. Overall, Fika’s a nice place for a cuppa, but if it’s great Swedish food you’re after, give this one a miss.
Fika Cafe & Bistro is on our list of Top Halal Restaurants in Singapore.