When I first met Aidah, Limaa‘s co-founder, I was greeted with such warmth and love that I immediately wanted to give this cheerful lady a huge bear hug on the spot.
It’s precisely with this kind of positivity, love, and kindness, that Aidah arms herself with when she runs this quaint little café at Haji Lane with her cousin and fellow co-owner, Zakiah.
They dish out healthy café fare that’s jam-packed with superfoods and organic ingredients, and everything is made from scratch and more importantly, with a mother’s love.
Limaa was founded in 2017 by Aidah and Zakiah with the main aim of cooking healthy, organic, and nutritious food for everyone.
The pair of mothers only realised how important healthy eating was when Aidah spent an arduous and painful 16 hours in labour giving birth to her first child. To avoid having to spend another 16 hours delivering her second child, her doula suggested for her to take out processed sugar and preservatives from her diet, start green juicing, and exercise regularly.
After swapping to a healthier lifestyle, Aidah’s second delivery was unbelievably smooth. It only took her one hour. Imagine that!
Limaa’s menu is incredibly healthy and everything is made in-house. For example, the Acai Smoothie Bowl (S$15.90) is made with organic acai berry pulp blended with bananas and topped with homemade granola, homemade peanut butter and almond butter, chia seeds, and a ton of fresh fruits.
If clean eating makes you think of a plateful of greens, think again. Limaa’s menu caters to both vegans and meat lovers, with a ton of other savoury dishes like Mini Shank (S$24.90), Watermelon Basil Chicken (S$17.90) and Kinky Eggs (S$17.90).
Motherhood isn’t easy, and Aidah and Zakiah are going through that firsthand right now. As a result, Limaa is also geared towards supporting mothers in any way possible.
It has a public breastfeeding room at the back (yay, women’s rights!) and there’s a shelf near the front of the store that sells products made by stay-at-home mothers. They also hire mothers to work for them, and often hold lunch talks and sharing sessions with aspiring mummy entrepreneurs.
It was physically impossible not to order the Acai Smoothie Bowl (S$15.90). Just look at how gorgeous it looks!
It came with organic acai berry pulp blended with bananas, pomegranates, freshly cut apples, dragonfruit, homemade granola, and chia seeds.
I eagerly dove into the acai bowl, just like how I’d wolf down a bowl of iced kachang on an insanely hot day, and it was so refreshing, icy cold, healthy, and fruity that I felt I had become ten times healthier instantly. I know it doesn’t work that way but a girl can dream, right?
What made Limaa’s acai bowl so different from the others I’ve had was the fact that they blended bananas into the organic acai berry pulp itself. As a result, the icy slushie wasn’t powdery at all, and retained a nice smoothie-like consistency even after a good 30 minutes or so.
Plus, the homemade granola had been toasted really nicely, so it added a nutty and crunchy element to the acai bowl.
I recommend pairing a pinch of homemade peanut butter with every spoonful of acai.
This way, every mouthful of acai starts out icy and refreshing, but the flavours in your mouth slowly comes together to a salty and savoury finish.
If you’re looking to cut carbohydrates out of your diet, Limaa’s Zoodle Noodle (S$10.90) would be right up your alley.
As the name suggests, zucchinis are thinly sliced to form “noodles”, which effectively cuts the amount of calories in this dish by a ton. It’s sauteéd with garlic and olive oil, and lightly seasoned with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
I know how hard zucchini noodles are to make—it’s so easy to overcook them—but Limaa cooked them perfectly right. They were crunchy and light, and I loved it that there was a tinge of heat from the black pepper which helped to season each zucchini strand nicely.
This was such an indulgent and satisfying meal, and it was a major plus point for me that it came without any of that bloating that would typically come from eating carbs.
The Mini Shank (S$24.90) came with a relatively hefty price tag, but the minute my dining companion popped a piece of lamb shank into her mouth, she gushed, “This is so shiok that I don’t think anybody could possibly top this.”
The juicy lamb shank cubes were incredibly fragrant, savoury, and tender, melting in my mouth the minute I bit into it.
Every bite has a fair amount of fatty goodness and smoky meat, and it was mildly spicy, piquant, and briny, just like star anise coupled together with the richness of bone marrow.
We also tried its The Missing Bun (S$22.90), which is another keto-friendly dish that removed the burger buns entirely.
A whopping 200g beef patty sat on a bed of mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables, which included asparagus and bell peppers.
What made Limaa’s beef patty so delicious was the fact that despite its thickness in size, every mouthful of beef was still springy and juicy.
Plus, they had also included freshly chopped onions, garlic, and herbs in the minced beef patty, so I could immediately tell that the beef wasn’t processed meat at all—this was a beef patty that had been lovingly minced, mixed, pan-seared, and assembled on my plate.
It was literally like an umami bomb in my mouth, with all the sweet, savoury, juicy, mildly peppery, and smoky flavours all present in one dish.
At the end of the meal, my dining companion and I were absolutely stuffed—Aidah and Zakiah actually served us more dishes with a friendly “Don’t worry, just eat!” even though we hadn’t requested for it—but we were so satisfied. Limaa’s food knocked everything else out of the park. Every dish was so well thought through and executed perfectly. I’m sure that even meat-lovers would absolutely love to dine here, because I know I did.
It’s really heart-warming to know of cafés like Limaa. In fact, I’m almost hesitant to categorise Limaa together with the rest of the pretentious and inconspicuous cafés. It bothers to make a difference towards the marginalised individuals in society, albeit one plate at a time.
I felt super fortunate to have tasted all this natural goodness that was garnished with a mother’s touch. Aidah, Zakiah, your children are lucky to have you.
Estimated Damage: S$12.90 – $25 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 5 / 5
51 Haji Lane, Singapore 189244
51 Haji Lane, Singapore 189244