Cafe Melba has never been quite in my to-try list for quite a while — had always found their menu to be one that served quite conventional cafe fare with a slightly steep price range, and so it was not quite the place that I really intend to make a visit to for quite a while. That being said, their newest outlet at Mount Sophia situated within the grounds of Sophia Hills Condo did really intrigue me — set within a serene setting around private residences and a quiet neighbourhood atop a hill, the cafe (which is open to public) is housed within a building that is formerly the Chapel of the former Trinity Theological College; one of three conserved buildings within the compounds of Sophia Hills Condo. The beautiful building looks like a modern interpretation of a chapel with its sloping roofs and mosaic windows; all that whilst its interior is filled with plush sofas and cushioned seats amidst and auditorium-like setting with wooden fittings and partitions throughout the cafe. Whilst the menu at their Sophia Hills Condo outlet is somewhat reminiscent of their menu at Goodman Arts Centre, there are some outlet-exclusive items such as the Butter Chicken. For those who have yet to visit Cafe Melba, Cafe Melba serves up food items split into the following categories — breakfast, starters, sandwiches & burgers, main course, pasta, pizza, bites on the side, and sweet bites. Cafe Melba also does offer a Kids’ Menu, whilst the beverages menu offers a wide range of non-alcoholic and alcoholic options from superfood smoothies to specialty coffee, and also liquer coffees to cocktails, spirits and wines.

Of all the dishes that we have ordered during the evening, we actually really liked the Seabass the most — the item actually features Pumpkin Purée, Kale, Sauce Vierge, Fish Cracker and Ikura. Here, the fish comes with a slight muddy note since this is the flavour that is pretty much inherent of seabass itself — the fish is otherwise pretty flaky, and does come with a pan-seared skin for a slight textural contrast. What we really loved is the other elements that came with this dish; the pumpkin purée is smooth and provides a hint of sweetness to cut through the flavours of the fish, while the Sauce Vierge was somewhat similar to a salsa that provides a zing akin to squeezing a wedge of lemon over the dish. The inclusion of kale is likely to make the entire dish a little wholesome; the kale seems to have been sautéed with some garlic for a slightly more punchy note, while the Ikura provided that umami note with a popping sensation that keeps it interesting to go on with the dish. As though it isn’t enough, they had also included fish skin crackers here — the same as one would expect to get from a snack bag; the fish skin crackers being still crisp, though we thought that it wasn’t quite necessary and something which we could do without.

Wouldn’t really say that I am a Cafe Melba convert after my visit here, but one thing is for sure here — their Sophia Hills Condo outlet is certainly an attraction of its own, and a location that I would definitely consider for a quiet dinner that is ideal to bring a date to. There really is nothing quite close to this location when it comes to the overall environment of the location — somewhere serene that brings peace to the heart and soul; all that whilst being away from the crowd considering the slight inconvenience of the location in general. The food here at Cafe Melba isn’t mind-blowing, but it does seem to be comfort food done fairly well to a certain extent; albeit with a steep price tag that wouldn’t necessarily appeal to the average cafehopper looking for more a more adventurous take on cafe fare these days. Still, there isn’t a quite a place like this around — definitely somewhere that I would recommend making the trip at least once to check out the space and the vibe it brings; and then decide if the food is something which one will return for.