This minimalist Café Gui is born out of a desire to serve aesthetic but homely Japanese-Korean comfort food to the masses.
The owner can now do what she loves, from her space in Royal Square Novena.
A friend once told me “There are not many cafes at Novena.” Yes and no. A couple of them are slightly harder to find, and not located in malls.
Royal Square is right next to Novena MRT, surrounded by the nearby hospitals. Café Gui on the 2nd level is definitely a quaint spot that takes a little bit of looking to get to.
Walking into the café, you are greeted by a pearly white counter with prominent “GUI” letterheads imprinted.
The rest of the café are decked out in white benches and low tabletops for a minimalist look.
If you are wondering why the name “Gui” which sounds neither Japanese nor Korean, that is because the café is named after GuiGui, the owner’s pet cat, who had passed away a short while ago.
In her memory, the café is decorated with cat memorabilia here and there (the owner has two other cats).
The menu is extensive, with a proper range of food suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Mains here include Arabiki Sausage Rice Bowl ($14.90), Japanese Ramen ($9.90), Korean Ramen ($9.90), Grilled Salmon Fillet ($20.90), and Grilled Chicken Skewer with Yakitori Sauce ($16.90),
The presentation at Cafe Gui also complements the food’s aesthetic perfectly, suitable for a social media picture no matter your order.
Start in the morning with the Japanese Canadian Premium Okonomi Hotdog ($13.90), a true fusion food.
The Bockwurst sausage is topped with Okonomiyaki sauce and bonito flakes; while the Japanese Canadian Premium Terimayo Hotdog ($13.90), which substitutes the sauce for a Teriyaki one, has Kewpie mayo and nori to top.
For a heartier main, ask for the Chicken ($16.90). The star is the grilled chicken skewers basted in yakitori sauce, which goes well with the furikake rice and other sides.
Something more Korean is the Dosirak Rice Bowl ($15.90). It is served in a golden lunch box, with the ingredients lining up perfectly next to one another.
You get tasty Korean Spam, a sunny side-up with a runny yolk, and kimchi sitting atop a bed of rice. It does not get more homely than this. Give it a good shake before polishing.
This is standard Korean café fare, I guess. Perhaps a spicier and tangier kimchi would give it a better ‘lift’.
Remember to look through the drinks menu, which has crowd favourites like the Dalgona Honeycomb ($9.90) ready to go.
They also serve up regular Iced Americano ($4.50), Latte ($5.50), Iced Hibiscus Tea, to Iced Elderflower Tea ($5.50)
The recommended is the Korean Black Soy Pudding ($7.90) – smooth and wobbly that is made in-house.
Café Gui meets its vision of aesthetic and good food perfectly well. Despite its location, it brings a fresh concept to the café scene.
Royal Square Novena, #02-10, 103 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329566
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Tues – Fri), 9am – 5pm (Sat – Sun), Closed Mon
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* Written by Daniel Ang @DanielFoodDiary and Dean Ang. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.