“At the heart of MUJI is emptiness. Emptiness is a Japanese tradition; it is not just 'simple.' Emptiness allows for infinite interpretation...there is nothing, yet everything.”
Café and Meal MUJI has finally reached the shores of Singapore, the café concept of MUJI begun in Minami-Aoyama branch of MUJI in Tokyo in 2011. The café concept has been largely limited to East Asia until yesterday, with its first branch in Singapore’s Paragon, which is MUJI's first store in Singapore, opened in 2006. The focus of Cafe and Meal MUJI is food made with natural, "carefully selected ingredients that are delicious and healthy"
For many MUJI fans, this is an opportunity to relish in the dream of getting in touch with the lifestyle MUJI sought to export and market under its no-brand aesthetics and style, which gives the brand much room for personal interpretation while still presenting a kind of Japanese quality to it.
“I’m particularly thinking about traditional aesthetics. I’ve identified four keywords related to this: sensai (delicateness), chimitsu (meticulousness), teinei (thoroughness or attention to detail) and kanketsu (simplicity).”
– Kenya Hara on Japanese resources (Jan 4th , 2014, Japan Times)
I have been to the Café and Meal MUJI branch in Namba, Osaka. It has the same system of reserving a seat first before ordering and making your payment before consuming your meal with MUJI cutlery and tableware.
Cafe & Meal MUJI, Osaka Namba.
Cafe and Meal MUJI, Osaka Namba.
Tags to reserve your table before ordering at the Cafe & Meal MUJI, Osaka Namba, This system is present at the Singapore outlet as well.
Some of the classics from the menu in Japan are served in Singapore too, the most apparent is the Chili Mayo Chicken and their signature Ten Grain Rice or Jukkokumai (十穀米) which includes barley, wheat, brown rice and millet etc
Deli items served on MUJI porcelain plate.
You can order set meals for better value for money, the Deli Set Meals cost about 12.90 to 16.90 SGD with a choice of one or two hot deli item and two cold deli items plus rice or bread. In Japan, this would cost about 850 to 1000 JPY which is about 11 – 13 SGD.
At the newly opened Singapore Paragon Café and Meal MUJI, I had the Hojicha Pudding or Roasted Tea Pudding (5.40 SGD) for dessert. This dessert item is currently not on the menus of Japan’s Café and Meal MUJI but available in Hong Kong and perhaps Taiwan as well. It is a rather mild dessert compared to the Caramel Egg Pudding (available in both Singapore and Japan). It is not too sweet as the bitterness from the roasted tea is a nice balance to the sweetness of the pudding.
For drinks I had the Matcha Latte while Yew Ann had the Hibiscus Tea which he didn’t really enjoy. If you are not planning to have a full meal and just looking for coffee or tea, consider the Dessert Set which includes a $1 discount off any purchase of drink (hot or cold) with dessert.
Expect crowds at the newly opened Café and Meal MUJI for these few days if not weeks. You can see their menu here. Everyone's welcome at the Café and Meal MUJI to experience the MUJI lifestyle, no stereotypes or whatsoever ;)
#04 – 36 to 40 Orchard Paragon
290 Orchard Road
Monday – Sunday, 10:00 – 21:30
Full Menu available after 11:00
Last Order at 20:45