Are you a big fan of the American comedy series F.R.I.E.N.D.S? If the answer is yes, I think you will surely like to visit this Friends themed cafe located in Clarke Quay, Singapore. I’ve also heard that there are FRIENDS themed cafes in Beijing and Shanghai, the one in Singapore is said the only licensed genuine Central Perk outside the USA.
10 mins walk from Clark Quay MRT station, the entrance of the cafe on the ground floor of the Central Mall suddenly brings us back to the old days – our youth! The entire furnishing is nostalgic as if our growing up story just began!
Central Perk Cafe is quite spacious with a size of 3,300sq feet and 100 seats. We made a reservation of 3 and got a table in front of the Central Perk signature glass ‘window’. Undoubtedly, the huge soft orange sofa in the center of the cafe is the best prop to help us travel back to the old times. If you are making a reservation in advance, you may want to request for that table/sofa as that is one of the most Instagram-able things in the cafe. I’ve seen dozens of people taking photos with the orange sofa!
I am glad that we’ve arrived early – I just cannot wait taking photos in the cafe before the lunch crowd comes in!
You can see the ‘F.r.i.e.n.d.s’ in every corner of the cafe, from the iconic wall to the themed furniture – Patsy the dog, Pacman machine, Monica Kitchen and Joey Italian Fine craftsmanship cabinet.
And of course, there is no reason to miss out the themed merchandises from a t-shirt to a marked cup.
So far so good! Well, when it comes to the dishes, I got to be frank that I am a little bit disappointed. Maybe due to the high license fee, the price here is generally 40% higher than the rest of cafes in Singapore. We spent 150+ SGD for a lunch of 3 pax without ordering expensive alcoholic drinks.
Among all those food we ordered, I will only recommend the Phoebe’s I can’t Eat Meat Steak, Garlicky French Fries – the way Monica cook it and Rachel Green Friends-Puccino.
The Caesar salad tasted a bit too cheesy to me. The Meat Lover Pizza is just too plain (with overly added bbq & mayo sauce). Most importantly, it is not even warm when served. We also ordered a Banana Split for share and we regretted much – It has no appealing look and is the worst banana split I’ve tried.
Getting to Central Perk (F.R.I.E.N.D.S) Cafe
Address: 1 Magazine Road #01-01 Singapore 059567
Nearest Station: Clarke Quay
People tend to be nostalgic and visiting Central Perk (F.R.I.E.N.D.S) cafe is a good way to remind us of the happy times in the past. I do like the ambience here particularly where you can also watch the show while dining in the cafe.
I do understand the license fee might not be cheap therefore the price of the dish can be more experience. However, I think the owners should really focus more on the quality of the food. That is super important for a great cafe dining experience. I expect better food for the price I am paying. 🙁