Café Melba, Good Food Among The Arts



Our family helped out at Andrew’s photo booth at a mini-music festival held on the grounds of the Goodman Arts Centre.


Click here for Andrew’s portfolio

Andrew with his large-format film camera, in action with his first customer.

Goodman Arts Centre opened its doors in 2011 – a 7-acre space parked within the  Mountbatten district that houses the National Arts Council of Singapore, with facilities for rental to the arts community including a Black Box theatre, Multi-Purpose Hall, rehearsal spaces, ceramic studios, music, art studios, and meeting rooms.


Formerly the grounds of the Tun Seri Lanang Secondary School from 1962 to 1985, then LASALLE College of the Arts from 1992 to 2007 (renamed to LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in 1993), followed by School of the Arts (SOTA) from 2007 to 2009, the Centre is also home to 2 F&B outlets, including Cafe Melba where had our dinner.


Café Melba, a 120 seater café set within the tree-shaded tranquil grounds, exudes an Aussie-casual charm with an all-day dining menu populated mostly by western fare with a sprinkling of interesting Asian items like rendang and lamb vindaloo, accompanied by gourmet coffees. I love the  spacious al fresco dining area, which turned even cosier with the dying rays of the sun.


The  interior is smart and tastefully designed, replete with a busy open kitchen that lends a nice buzz to the place.

Pizza are made fresh and baked in the roaring oven. Specials of the day are chalked on a wall-mounted board.


Nice little touches abound:   petite fresh flowers on every table; and even a comfy sofa with back pillows in the corner. The iPad-driven menu-and-order system is very friendly, except that its location in the middle of the table makes it difficult to share plates – but it’s a great concept and user-friendly.


We started with the House Smoked Tuna Nicoise Salad of romaine lettuce, french beans, cherry tomatoes, baby potatoes, poached egg, olives & anchovies. Light and refreshing.


The Margherita Pizza came oven-hot with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella. Authentically doughy with crispy edges, it was a delightful piece of work.


Andrew is a connoisseur of pasta and he proclaimed the Linguine Aglio Olio “very good”- al dente strands of pasta tossed with Japanese chilli oil, sherry wine & Italian parsley and topped with crispy garlic flakes. We had to order seconds; it was that good.


The Spaghetti with Asari Clams would have been excellent too if the sauce had not been a wee bit on the strong side – with the soy sauce, I believe. I favour the white wine version.


The next pasta dish of Trio of Pork Ragu with spaghetti was a fusion of a melange of pork jowl, pork collar and pork belly with  a bak kut teh sauce. The pork were tender and flavourful but I found the bak kut teh spices too overpowering.


The Duck Confit was well executed; crispy-skinned thigh with succulent meat, although the lentil sauce was a tad dense for our liking.


We shared 2 desserts. The Waffles were delicious – warm crispy fodder for the ice-cream.


The deconstructed Granny’s Apple Crumble was a delight too and artistically presented.


Cafe Melba turned out to be a pleasant discovery, with food good (it would have been excellent if they could tone down the sauce for most of the dishes) and a comfortable ambience; a place we will be sure to return especially for its al fresco dining during this cool period of the year.

Café Melba
90 Goodman Road | Goodman Arts Centre, Block N#01-56
Singapore 439053
Phone: +65 64406068


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