Space now occupied by Hangout Cafe.
Simply Life is a cafe on Campus 1 of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) at Bencoolen Street. It is probably intended primarily as an amenity for the students and staff of NAFA but the generally public is welcomed and it operates on weekends as well. It offers beverages, desserts, small bites as well as local and western entrees at very affordable prices.
Simply Life is nicely decorated in contemporary style and is rather spacious. It serves decent hot coffee – flat white ($2.80), cappuccino ($2.80) latte ($3.80) – as well as tea and milo. Ice blended tea and coffee with different flavourings are available at prices ranging from $3 to $5.80. Cakes, scones, chicken nuggets, waffles and ice cream are all priced below $5. To the disappointment of some NAFA students, no wine or other alcoholic beverages are served.
Their entrees include pizzas and pasta (below $9), Sweet & Sour Fish with Rice ($6.50), BBQ Chicken with Fries ($7.50), Salmon Fillet ($9) and Beef Steak ($13). There are special set meals for students ranging from $6 to $8 comprising an entree, rice/pasta/fries, soup and salad.
The cafe has a self-service system. You place your order at the cashier’s counter and will be given an electronic buzzer. You help yourselves to the cutlery and pick up the food or drinks when prompted by the buzzer.
I visited Simply Life during lunchtime and ordered their Grilled Fish with Vegetables and Pasta ($9), Ice Latte ($4.50) and a Choc-devil cake ($2.50). The food came nicely presented. The entree plates have the cafe’s logo on them. The fish and pasta were good. They were cooked just right and were tasty. The cake looked quite nice but was a big disappointment. It was cold and hard. I did not enjoy it at all.
Simply Life has a cosy little corner set up for live performances. You can imagine student bands playing there or someone reciting poetry sitting on one of the high stools.
Campus 1 also houses galleries of NAFA. The Lim Hak Tai Gallery features thematic exhibitions drawn from the NAFA Permanent Collection and international programmes. Take a walk around in the area just outside the cafe and you will be greeted by a rare sight in Singapore – brightly coloured wall graffiti.
Parking is available in NAFA’s basement carpark or at Sunshine Plaza just opposite the cafe.
Simply Life is a good place for a simple meal at very reasonable prices. During off peak hours, it is nice to enjoy a coffee in the very pleasant and comfortable cafe. It can also be a great spot to be among young people – youths who are trendy, fresh and vibrant; whose motto seems to be “Simply Live”.
Food : 3
Service : 3
Value : 4
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating : 3 TOPs
80 Bencoolen Street
#B1-15 (Road level)
Tel: +65 63388274
Nearby Stations : Bugis, Bras Basah
#Street fact – Bencoolen Street is named after the old British Colony of Bencoolen in West Sumatra, of which Sir Stamford Raffles was the Lieutenant-Governor. The British exchanged Bencoolen for Malacca with the Dutch in 1824.