When I heard there was an arts gallery café at Haji Lane, I knew I had to check it out. With a focus of arts and pastries, Elffin & Elffin combines the interests of its two young owners, Rachel Seah and Ivan Low.

Painted in a tranquil baby blue, there are two stories to Elffin & Elffin – the lower storey where you order food & drinks such as sandwiches, salads and cakes, and the second floor which showcases art pieces (mainly priced under $500) on a rotational basis.

The upper floor seems like a more cosy area with sofas, cushions and art pieces. There are parts which feel homely, where you could spend one lazy afternoon. A wish-list is that the configuration of some of the seats can be changed such that you can actually walk through all the hanged art pieces.

To my friend, a café is all about attention to details. We noticed a vacuum cleaner, haversack, and CD player on the floor, no music was played though, service staff was ordering fastfood delivery. I don’t know, the experience just felt strange, and incomplete.

Coffee ($3.50) with beans supplied by Highlander were decent – balanced and without that strong bitter aftertaste.

A variety of cakes were available such as Blue Berry Cheesecake, Banana Chocolate Mousse and Red Velvet Cake ($6.90). Our slice of Red Velvet cake, said to be ordered from a supplier, was unfortunately dry and felt like it could have been left there for a long time. This is one of the rarer times when we just took a spoon and gave up trying.

Granted that Elffin & Elffin is still new, there are some finer details to be looked, such as elevating the quality of the cakes, and injecting a greater sense of arts. It has its potential, and would need more than a few framed artworks to feel complete.

Updated: Co-owner Rachel from Elffin & Elffin sent me a mail and I am glad they are sincere to feedback and willing to work on improving themselves. (Because there were other restaurant owners/agencies who would tell me to remove/edit my post or stop invites if there were negative comments.) We all make mistakes, but what is more important is how we can incorporate customers’ feedback to better our services, especially when cafe business is so tough. I hope they will do well too!

“Thanks for dropping by and we value your feedback regarding your recent experience.

As a gallery cafe, we aim to serve the finest home selection of pastries, fruit teas and coffee as well as providing a platform for local and regional artists to showcase their works. We understand that you are not happy with the overall experience due to the rather “slipshod” management of the space.

The last exhibition titled “Otherside” featuring artists Kenn Lam & Ahmad Fauzan had just ended 3 weeks ago and we are currently prepping for the coming exhibition with a Vietnamese artist, Jade Mai. The works you were looking at are still work in progress, hence the very bare and unfinished walls that seemed rather inconsistent within the space.

At Elffin & Elffin Gallery Cafe, we highly believe in process work with an experimental character to it and we understand your needs and requirements as a customer in a cafeteria and we will work towards it to improve ourselves.

We apologise for the dry red velvet cake that you had, but with great sincerity, do drop by again so that we could extend our apology with any new slice of our home selection of cakes with a latte or otherwise a full refund.

Above all, Thank you so much for reviewing our cafeteria and we hope to be at your service again! We are open to more comments if you have so that we could further work on it.”

Elffin & Elffin
29 Haji Lane, Tel: +65 98156701
Opening Hours: 12pm – 8pm (Tues-Sat), Closed Mon-Sun

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  1. You aren’t obliged to give a totally positive review even if it is a media invite. Just give a fair review, report the experience the way you experienced it and just ignore/boycott them if they turn nasty or unreasonable. Sheesh.


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