The first reaction when a friend mention a coffee shop named “Selfish Gene” was laughter and amazement… laughter at the name itself, amazement at who would actually come up with a name like that… that too for a coffee place.
The first time I actually visited the place, of course was some time ago, when I was looking for a quiet café around the central business district, which had a wifi. Walking down from Neil Road towards Tanjong Pagar MRT, I literally stumbled on a small un-flatted tile right outside Selfish Gene. Intrigued at the understated exterior, I walked in hopeful that I will get some decent coffee and of course, wifi.
The Selfish Gene is located in one of the heritage buildings at 40 Craig Rd (parallel to Duxton Road). The café is really simple, nothing jazzy or fancy… it immediately gives you a feeling of being somewhere nice, cozy and pleasant. The elongated floor space is surprisingly large and roomy, with a fair number of tables and chairs sprinkled around.
They do have a small open to sky ceiling… which makes the cafe bright and idyllic.
Right at the end of the lengthy room, is the self-service counter.
That’s where I spotted, written in bold letters, the meaning of the café name… This is what it said. Very interesting! So the selfishness is not about sharing food… Very interesting indeed. For those who are intrigued, the café is owned, Gene, is actually a Psychology Degree holder from NUS, who trained as a chef in Sydney, food being his true calling.
Food & Coffee:
As for the food, their menu is simple, short and straightforward. They have a selected range of All-day breakfast, Salads & Sandwiches, Soups and some Desserts. They also serve some basic hot and cold beverages. There’s nothing really impressive about the choice of food… nothing that you would find at atleast a dozen other places… yet Selfish Gene has a charm of its own.
Sometime back, I met a friend here for light lunch and this is what I tried:
 Scrambled eggs & brioche: Scrambled eggs were served with a nice thick toasted brioche accompanied by some fresh mesclun salad. The berry compote on the brioche was definitely not out of jar, but tasted freshly made. I am a sucker for scrambled eggs… for I believe a well made scrambled egg is just pure bliss. And the simple café didn’t disappoint… the eggs were beautifully made. Perfect for brunch in fact
 Carrot Cake: A nice big piece of carrot cake with smooth cream cheese icing was surprisingly good. Maybe not one of the best I have had, but still, good enough. The cake had a generous bit of crushed walnut and other nuts… making its texture chunky. I like any dessert that’s not overly sweet… and this one was just perfect as far as the sweetness was concerned. But recently, someone mentioned that Banana cake is much better… sigh! Next time.
 Café Latte: I loved their coffee. It was clear that it was freshly brewed… not acidic and quite smooth actually. It wasn’t strong (but then which latte is). I really liked the flavour of the bean itself… and for this one, I would definitely go back.
How much will it cost me: Their food is nicely priced between S$ 9 to S$ 16… per dish, depending upon what you take. Their coffees and drinks too range between S$ 5 to S$ 7… nothing out of the ordinary about their pricing… which is quite similar to loads of coffee places around.
Verdict: It’s a simple coffee place, with good quality food and good quality café. Their ambiance is not overly exorbitant and neither are their prices. I love the fact that that the place has a comfort feel about it. To top it all they have wifi… which makes it a perfect place to work if you have to. Probably the only complain is that it doesn’t have too many options for vegetarians in the all-day brunch section, except maybe mushrooms and the berry compote they serve with the salads… Having said that, the staff seems knowledgeable and would definitely help out! In conclusion, good place for brunch, lunch and snack or work or simply to catch up with friends. I would go there again the next time I am in the area for sure.
Address: 40 Craig Road 089678. Ph: 6423 1324