EMPIRE Cafe in Raffles Hotel is now a ghost town

Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM

All rights reserved

The indomitable Travelling Gourmet visits Empire Cafe in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel to find…

MANY empty tables and a deserted cafe! I and my companions were the only guests there! One look at the downsized menu told me the reason. Not only is there hardly anything to eat, the prices have been unjustifiably jacked up to lunatic proportions! The same thing happened to Seah Street Deli and then it was forced to close down recently.

See the unjustifiably exorbitant menus below:

       IMG_3878                 IMG_3879


Would you pay S$20 +10% Service Charge and 7% GST (Goods & Services Tax) for Hokkien Poh Piah?? It is just a rice crepe roll with low food cost vegetables! No way Jose! How about S$25++ for a bowl of Laksa with vermicelli noodles?? S$25++ for fried Char Koay Teow or rice noodles like tagliatelle?? It gets worse…S$28++ for Beef Congee??? OMG! Congee is just porridge boiled with a lot of water with a few strips of beef. Beef Fried Rice for S$28++ ??? S$28 equals US$22.67! It is more than insane, it is downright imbecilic! The very sad part is that the Empire Cafe used to be one of my favourites.

Would-be diners would also take issue with the line at the bottom of the menu which says in bad grammar: “We wish to inform that food ordered has to be consumed in the restaurant and we are unable to assist with takeaway requests”

This is absolutely UNREASONABLE because it is food that you have paid for and if you cannot finish it, you have every right to take it away for your meal the next day!

There was only one thing to do…We bid them “Auf wiedersehen” and left at once for another restaurant with a better menu and better prices!!! What a rip off! The Food & Beverage Manager should be replaced.

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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15 Responses to EMPIRE Cafe in Raffles Hotel is now a ghost town

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  9. Reblogged this on The Travelling Gourmet and commented:

    20.12.2013. Empire Cafe has closed. According to sources it was supposed to reopen after renovation during the 8th Lunar Month Mooncake Fest. Alas, it was not to be…The premises were offered for rent to a top Chef (who shall be nameless) but the rental asked was so EXORBITANT, he declined and now has better premises at a cheaper rent. C’est la vie… How do I know these things you ask???
    The Travelling GourmetTM explains, “We have our ways…”


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