Eating out: The Refinery Singapore
So many hipster cafés have sprung up around Singapore and they all have the same vibe: rustic, beautiful environment, instagram perfect food and often times instagram perfect mise en scene like marble top tables, rustic utensils for props etc. The refinery is that kind of café serving hipster price (read: overpriced food), but you’re really paying for the environment and great instagram opportunities.
The food was alright, but I felt rather overpriced. Of course, we’re paying for the ambience and hip cafe experience. Portions are generous, but I don’t think I’d return. They’ve got rave reviews and one of the few places that stand out in the soon to be gentrified Lavender district, so we gave it a go since a friend works at the new hub centre round the corner.
We ordered a couple of sides: seaweed truffle fries that came with wasabi mayo – well, it’s the usual synthetic truffle oil, so I asked for it, some wings served with chives and mayo pub grub, cauliflower fritters – more grease, than flavour or fiber, and a rather bland agadashi tofu and a main dish of beef donburi with mushrooms.
Including a hot tea and two flat whites, our bill came up to $89 for three persons, pretty standard cafe prices, but not quite worth the calories.
Well, if anything, they’ve done a great job branding themselves to attract their target audience. I imagine a lot of millennials hang out there. They’ve even got a tagline for their café.