Muslim owned Lina’s Café calls itself a “Friends of Autism” Café with the hope to create a safe haven for families with ASD kids to dine in a judgement free zone.
The café provides free 1st drinks for every family of 4 that dines in with their ASD or spectrum kid – all year round. It also sells books about Autism to promote its awareness.
“It’s actually hard for families with ASA kids to dine outside without judgement. People judge them, and scold them…”, as owner Lina shared.
The humble place is located at Jalan Pisang, diagonally across Sultan Mosque and a few steps away from the popular Hjh Maimunah Restaurant.
In the kitchen are Lina who prepares breakfast items and traditional Malay dishes, and while her BFF Zima makes cakes, pies and pasta dishes.
Zima is behind LapisZima which creates soft and moist lapis cakes, using family recipes handed down since the 1960s.
They have been friends for more than 20 years, and decided to do this together.
Food offered include Mee Rebus ($4), Avocado Chicken & Egg Pasta Salad ($8.80), Mee Siam ($4, only available on Thursday), Nasi Lemak Chicken Set ($3.60, only on Fridays), various Lapis Cakes ($4.20 – $4.80), Shephard’s Pie ($3.40) and Bubble Tea drinks ($2.50).
I would say both the Mee Rebus ($4) and Mee Siam ($4) are must-tries, cooked using the “Special Fatimah Ahmah original recipe since the 1970s” (which is from Lina’s mother), priced very affordably for a café setting.
Though it seemed like a simple fare, the Mee Rebus was hearty and tasty, with a mildly sweet and thick gravy, garnished with a hard-boiled egg, spring onions, bean sprouts, and fried shallots.
Not too spicy at all.
The Mee Siam reminded me of what my grandmother used to cook, more to the sweet and less on the Assam-sour side. Though I wished the gravy to be overall hotter.
Their Ondeh Ondeh Cake with a chiffon-like texture sprinkled with Gula Melaka bits, and Pandan Mille Crepe are worthy desserts to try as well.
They look like they sell out easily, as I got the last pieces both times I visited.
Lina shared that since the café has opened, she has met with many special kids and families, and have become friends with some as they share stories and challenges together.
Meeting amazing parents and individuals who are walking proof that there is so much life beyond ASD, continues to keep her inspired.
7 Jalan Pisang Singapore 199074 (Bugis MRT station)
Tel: +65 9456 0992
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 7:00pm (Mon), 11:00am – 8:00pm (Tue – Sat). Close Sun, PH and 1st Mon of every month