Alden Boon

Run by Special-needs Trainees, APSN Mystical Café for All Doles Out Affordable, Tasty Grub

19/05/2018

Step into APSN Mystical Café for All and immediately your spirit gets lifted by the congenial interior, characterised by white vortex side chairs and distressed laminate. A social enterprise, the 56-seater café is the brainchild of the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN). The menu, along with the hall of star performers, tributes for the pay-it-forward initiative, is written in chalk on a sprawling whiteboard. Beautiful artworks also decorate the café.

The concept was born out of a desire to empower APSN trainees, equipping them with useful skills that will aid them in their future jobs, and heightening their confidence levels. The café grows herbs, spices and vegetables in a vertical greenhouse, and the ingredients are used in the dishes — hence the farm-to-table promise in its logo.

APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub
APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub
APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub
APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub
APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub
APSN Mystical Cafe Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub

The menu is modest, comprising mostly familiar western dishes. When I was there at 2pm, only two main courses were still available: Fish and Fries; and Prawn Pesto. The Fish and Fries (S$6) was crispy and not at all unctuous, the fish fresh and tender, even better when dipped in the accompanying sweet chilli sauce. Both seafood and ribbons of noodles swathed in green, the Prawn Pesto (S$6) had a smattering of fried peanuts (the same kind found in nasi lemak, another dish that the café offers) that added some crunch. Though a side dish, the Salmon Skins (S$6.90) was a standout, each one incredibly addictive with a slightly-salty note. Rivalling many cafés’ renditions that go at double the price, the Waffle with Ice Cream (S$5) was delightful, the waffle fluffy and the chocolate scoops not too cloyingly sweet and topped with crushed nuts.

Other than the good food, what was commendable was the trainees’ service. Everyone I met was generous with his or her smiles, and it was a place that brimmed with positivity. At APSN Mystical Café for All, the profits are used to fund the organisation’s programmes as well as the trainees’ allowances. There is a pay-it-forward initiative here: For S$12, you can pay for someone else’s meal!  Come here if you want to steal away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore’s life, and tuck into tasty, cheap café grub.

nedla does not receive any compensation for its food reviews; all visits made are incognito. 

APSN Mystical Café for All

Address: Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub 11 Jalan Ubi Blk 4 #01-31 S409074

Operating Hours: Closed on Sundays

Mondays to Fridays: 9:30am to 4:30pm

Saturdays: 9:30am to 2:30pm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

Have Your Say