At a walkable distance from Tanjong Pagar’s [email protected] lies a nondescript coffee shop. Situated right by the road, with no air-conditioning and sparse seating, it’s the last place you’d find Fed by Mood, a quaint hawker stall selling cafe-standard western food.
The hawker stall is run by a young couple, Samantha and Lucas Lofman-Kharbteng, who quit their full-time jobs in 2021 to open a home-based business selling western food. After deciding that it might be best to open a physical stall so customers can enjoy their offerings fresh on the spot, they decided to take the plunge and opened Fed by Mood in March 2022.
Even though Samantha and Lucas are turning only 30 this year, they bring plenty of F&B experience to the table. Lucas has been a chef for the past 10 years, starting out with an internship at The Ritz-Carlton, and then working his way up in restaurants such as Phat Cat Laundry, Michelin-star Braci, Poulet, modern izakaya Neon Pigeon and Middle-Eastern restaurant, Fat Prince.
Despite its ulu location, I must admit that this isn’t my first time coming to this coffee shop. Located along Cantonment Road, this coffee shop is home to popular yakiniku stall Wano Niku Yakiniku, and Nasi Padang 8789, which has been around since 1976.
Even though it’s a short 8-minute walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT, nearby white-collared workers will recognise it for its close proximity to office buildings such as Genting Centre and Southpoint, as well as residential building [email protected]
It was hot and humid the day I decided to drop by for lunch, but one look at Fed by Mood’s diverse menu was enough to make the trip worth it.
What I tried
I started out with the star on the menu— Beef Bowl (S$9.50), which came with blue cheese aged striploin, white rice, roasted edamame, cherry tomatoes and a house-made miso mustard sauce. I also chose to add an Onsen Egg at S$1.
Samantha shared that its striploin is marinated in blue cheese for 24 hours, thus achieving that smoky aged taste without having to actually dry age the beef. Pure genius!
Despite having taken some time to photograph the food, the Onsen Egg was still delightfully runny and I quickly whipped out my camera to capture this Insta-worthy shot.
I ended up mixing the runny yolk into the rice bowl, which added that extra touch of silkiness to each mouthful.
The star of the bowl was the beef. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but I must admit that the striploin was tangy and smoky without being pungent or smelly.
While some slices were a tad too chewy— I suppose due to the fact that it’s striploin, which contains some muscle— I thoroughly enjoyed this rice bowl. It had a good balance of flavour: a rich savouriness from the blue cheese marinade, an earthiness from the edamame, a burst of freshness from the tomatoes, and a hint of umami spice from the miso mustard sauce.
For comparison, I decided to get its Vegetarian Bowl (S$6.90), which came with marinated tofu, edamame falafel, white rice, roasted edamame and cherry tomatoes.
While most tofu dishes rely on external sauces and gravy to boost the flavour of the dish, I loved it that Fed by Mood marinated their tofu beforehand.
The tofu was still slightly firm and its marinade gave it a tinge of sourness, which was appetising and lifted my palette. Despite it being a vegetarian dish, it didn’t taste overly green or healthy— which is a huge plus point for meat-lovers like me.
Most falafels are made from ground chickpeas, but Fed by Mood certainly changed the game with its edamame falafels, which include edamame and green peas, and are hand-rolled before being deep fried.
The falafel looked dense on the outside, but its filling retained a flaky texture and broke apart easily. I didn’t expect that burst of vibrant green to appear, but the most surprising thing was its taste— it was rich and earthy. The crispy exterior had a touch of nutty smokiness to it, which made each bite utterly addictive.
In fact, I loved this dish so much that I ended up ordering it as a separate side dish— Edamame Falafel (S$4.50).
Fed by Mood offers three main dishes, all of which come with your choice of two side dishes.
Having already tried its blue cheese aged striploin in the Beef Bowl, I decided not to go for the classic Beef Striploin (S$14.90) and instead went for its Salmon (S$14.90), which is served with a creamy dill sauce. For sides, I went with the Mash Potato and House Salad.
For S$14, I received two long slices of grilled salmon, which came slathered with a creamy dill sauce. While the grilled salmon was quite average, I liked the creamy dill sauce for its sharp citrus notes, which added a freshness to each bite.
If you’re ordering a main dish, my tip would be to pick the Mash Potato as one of your side dishes.
I could tell from a single bite that the mashed potato was handmade. It was silky smooth, with a mild sweetness from the cream or milk, and it wasn’t overly heavy. I could taste hints of melted butter and black pepper, and there was none of that artificial powdery taste that’s normally associated with instant mashed potato.
I’m saving the best dish for last, and trust me when I say that I’ll come back for this gem. The Cauliflower (S$7) is listed under its Snacks section, but this is a must-try item and I’ll tell you why.
The roasted cauliflower had been topped with multigrain mustard, poached raisins, fried capers, roasted pumpkin seeds and a yoghurt sauce, and it was an instant bomb of flavour the minute I popped it in my mouth.
I was hit by a rich roastedness, which I figured was from the roasted cauliflower, followed by a saltiness from all the seasoning and toppings. The yoghurt added a well-needed creaminess to each bite, and I could taste hints of what tasted like cumin. While the cauliflower was fork-tender, there were little pops of texture from the mustard, which made it all the more addictive.
Let’s just say that I’m definitely coming back here to this ulu location for this single side dish. While the salty flavours got a little overwhelming towards the end of the meal, I figured that it’s nothing a pint of ice cold beer couldn’t solve.
If you’re in the mood for a meaty cheeseburger, go for Fed by Mood’s Cheesey Beef Burger (S$10.90).
The buns were toasted well giving it that slight crisp and nuttiness, while the cheddar added that savoury kick. The beef patty itself was juicy and soft, but what I really liked about this dish was that the patty wasn’t overly seasoned. I could still taste the beefiness and juices from the patty, which made each bite all the more satisfying.
It’s clear that a ton of work went into making each dish. All of Fed by Mood’s sauces, marinades and dressings are made in-house, and its ingredients are freshly prepared and well thought out. Despite selling Western-Asian fusion food, I could also identify hints of Middle-Eastern flavours, which made it all the more impressive.
Its rice bowls cater to both meat-lovers and vegetarians, making it a great option for residents and office workers in the area looking to grab a healthy bite without compromising on flavour. Plus, its dishes are priced relatively affordably, with its rice bowls starting at S$6.90.
Personally, I’m coming back for the Cauliflower. I’m not even kidding when I say I might even dream of that tonight.
Expected damage: S$6.90 to S$14.90 per pax
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Fed by Mood.
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Our Rating: 4 / 5
Fed By Mood
243 Cantonment Road, Singapore 089770
Fed By Mood
243 Cantonment Road, Singapore 089770