Cafe Lodge YWCA is a chill family restaurant offering a selection of Asian and western dishes on a rotational menu. The hotel coffee house is one not many would had heard off, despite being located near the heart of Singapore’s shopping district at Fort canning just off Dhoby Ghaut Penang road vicinity. Lets check them out with a dine-in.

Welcome to the cafe lodge
Welcome to the cafe lodge.

Notably, Cafe Lodge is located in YWCA fort canning. It is also within walking distance to the National Museum and Fort canning park. Cafe Lodge is tad like a hotel coffee house serving as a main breakfast place for hotel guests and a dine-in al-la-carte restaurant for walk in customers for the rest of the day. The menu comprises of a selection mix of Asian and western dishes, with a greater specialisation in Western-pasta dishes.

Chill, with a dash of modern

Furthermore, the cafe is large, spacious and chill. The ambience is slick modern and decked with hues of brown panelled wood which appears what to be a buffet-serving area. Before the pandemic, the establishment is largely serves a dinner buffet. They now do an al-la-crate menu which I shall touch on later. You are greeted by friendly staff who guide you to one of the many wooden tables.

Quiet and spare Dining area
Quiet and sparse dining area.

Notably, the restaurant is never over half full on my visits, even on busier weekends. The lack of crowds could be is a draw itself. It does give you old vibes of the coffee house we previously visited at YMCA Stevens road.

Try their Asian dishes

On their Asian dishes line-up, a recommendation will be claypot dishes, such as laska or chicken rice ($12.80). It comprises of chicken as its staple with chopped chinese sausage, salted fish and chinese mushroom. A very oriental dish which is great for a meal. Other options includes Yang Chow fried rice ($9.80) and Horfun and Char Kway Teow noodles, both at $10.80 per plate.

Yang Chow fried rice ($9.80), in kid-sized portions
Yang Chow fried rice ($9.80), in kid-sized portions.

Also, their menu dish selections are not fixed and tend to be curated and rotated about new dishes via a seasonal specials menu which typical run for a fixed duration. Examples includes  such as their Fish head stew for instance on my visit. Food quality is decent and what you expect at the Chinese al-la-caret price range, with dishes averaging around the $15 range per person.

Fish head stew, tad a hit or miss, but not filling at all
Fish head stew, tad a hit or miss, but not filling at all.

Moreover, notably, the establishment also offers chef special ting-kat meals starting with 1 person serving starting at $10 per pax for dine-ins and $14 for takeaways. Selections are also random and based on chef’s recommendations.

(Fine-dining tiny) Western selections

In addition, half of Cafe Lodge menu is devoted to western and pasta dishes. Sadly, this is not one of their strongest offerings due to the lack of variety and laughable tiny portions for the price. Notable dishes includes their Breaded fish and chips ($12.90) and Spaghetti Bolognese ($16).

Beef steaks are not on their regular menu but available on seasonal menu specials.
Beef steaks are not on their regular menu but available on seasonal menu specials.

Moreover, another notable special is their Beef steak with mash potatoes and vegetables greens, available on their seasonal menus. The quality of their western steak dishes is good. Their steaks are cooked well to a done-ness you require and is juicy.

Western food portions are at most hilariously tiny, like this Salmon and vegetable main, which is tad more like an appetizer in portions
Western food portions are at most hilariously tiny, like this Salmon and vegetable main, which is tad more like an appetizer in portions.

However, many of their dishes have hilariously tiny in portions, like their Salmon and broccoli dish for instance. It’s tad like an attempt to try at fine-dining, but an experiment gone-wrong. Its tad a disappointment.

Pasta dishes.

Also, their meals does not do a good job in filling you up for a dinner, which demands you to order more from their menu to make up the portions. It is tad bit of an execution which is almost there, but just let down on portions. Thankfully, this is made up for good and prompt service. Also, there are soups, sides such as fries and a small selection of desserts available.

Soups set meals
French fries $4.80
Festive desserts

Additionally, all restaurant net proceeds go toward funding YWCA’s community service programmes. Hence, your dining patronage can in a way, support the association’s beneficiaries in hard times.

Furthermore, YWCA Cafe Lodge is within walking distance to Orchard landmarks such as Plaza Singapura and the Istana, being a 10min walk through 9 Penang Rd building (where the old Park mall resided) via the fort canning shortcut. Also, parking is free with a restaurant dine-in redemption, which typically costs $2.50 per entry in the evenings, you are charged the same rate regardless whenever you park before the 6pm per entry rate.

All in all, I would recommending shortlisting Cafe Lodge YWCA for your meal options. The food is reasonably priced though still on the higher-end compared to most casual dine-in restaurants in the neighborhood. Their fusion mix of Asian and western grille dishes does allow you to cater to a larger palette on your visit, with their Asian dishes taking preference over their western selections. If only their serving portions could be more filling.

Verdict:

Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid

Cafe Lodge YWCA Locality Map

Cafe Lodge YWCA Fort Canning
6 Fort Canning Rd,
Singapore 179494
Opening Hours: 7am- 9pm
(Breakfast from 7am till 9am)

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