This year, we decided to celebrate my birthday at Central Perk Singapore and here’s what we think about the place.
I’m such a fan of the sitcom and when we found out that there will be a Central Perk here in Singapore, we got so excited. But then, a lot of stuff happened that we forgot about it and then we just remembered last week.
Central Perk is the name of the coffee shop below Monica/Rachel/Joey/Chandler’s apartment & it’s where the gang would usually hang out. It used to be a bar that was turned into a coffee shop later on.
THE PLACE & AMBIANCE
The setting looks like a studio and in front, you will find a projector where the episodes of the show are being shown. There’s also a mini stage where the performers can play during the Phoebe’s Open Mic Nights.
If you come in and there are no available seats in the main area, you can just wait & have a seat at the black table first. The overall ambience is cozy & relaxed. It’s like a huge sala where you can have your coffee and watch your favourite episodes of FRIENDS.
For starters, we ordered a salad and calamari. Phoebe’s Nutty Vegetarian Salad (12 SGD) is good. Lot’s of nuts and the serving is generous. The ingredients used were fresh.
Alejandro Calamari (14 SGD) were tasty. It’s actually one of the good stuff that we tried that day.
Joey’s Clam Chowder (part of the add-on for 10 SGD) was okay. Not a standout and not so bad either.
This baby back rib was truly a DISAPPOINTMENT. He ordered this and didn’t finish the plate because while the serving was huge, it was overall tasteless. The pork was basically boiled and then slathered with sauce before it was served. This is also the priciest and it’s a whopping 39 SGD.
For myself, I got the turkey breast with mashed potato and vegetables (36 SGD) and again, it was okay. Not so great but a bit pricey, in my opinion.
Mrs. Braverman’s Cheesecake was an add-on for 10 SGD and tho’ it wasn’t so sweet, it’s also forgettable…
Okay, for their coffee, let me start with the price – 8 SGD for this 1/2 cup of Americano! I appreciate good coffee and sometimes, I can look the other way when coffee are pricey as long as it’s good. This one is meh! Totally overpriced.
If I may, for just a second, compare it with the quality & price of coffee from other coffee shops, this will be at the bottom of the list. I’m gonna pay 5.70 SGD for a large cup of americano from Coffee Bean, anytime! It’s not even a full cup! But again, think of it as paying for the brand, that’s why it’s expensive.
The staff are attentive but overall lacks the friendly atmosphere.
Let’s talk about this one. When I read the reviews online, I found a number of comments saying that the staff were very friendly. However, it wasn’t the case during our visit. Surely, the staff who greeted us and showed the way to our table smiled, but that’s it. The friendly ambience was not really there. They rarely smile, and if they do, it’s as if it was forced. The guy who served our food was the only enthusiastic one. ✌🏻
WHAT TO SEE
If you’re a huge fan of the show, you’ll find joy going around and taking photos of the memorabilia. I can’t deny that I had fun posing and seeing the items like Joey & Chandler’s Foosball table, Joey’s dog statue or being in Monica’s kitchen!
Remember this door? Where Monica and Chandler made out after they hooked up on their London trip!
Click the images for larger view.
Lastly, it wouldn’t be complete if they don’t have exclusive souvenirs. They got the large-mouthed coffee mugs & tumblers, shirts, caps, totes, coasters & keychains. Price range is between 20 SGD to 50 SGD before taxes.
I got this cotton shirt for 50 SGD + taxes, so I paid around 54 SGD.
Our trip to Central Perk was an experience that I won’t forget. Let’s forget the food for a while and concentrate on the experience. It was a trip to memory lane and it showed how the sitcom became part of our lives. Mind you, I only watched the series about 5-6 years ago but I still enjoy watching them. Over. And. Over. Again. (I’m on my 4th/5th run) Each character has a unique quirkiness and I’m sure that if you start watching the show, you’ll fall in love with them too!
So…for my recommendations…
If you want to experience an afternoon in this nice hangout place, then I say give it a try (especially if you’re a fan, ‘coz I’m pretty sure you’ll love it) Gather some friends and enjoy. BUT! personally, this is not the place where I would hang out often because a good hangout place for me would be a combination of GOOD FOOD + GREAT COFFEE + RELAXING AMBIANCE. One visit is enough for us. 😀
Central Perk Singapore
01-01 Central Mall, 1 Magazine Road Singapore 059567