Joan Bowen Cafe: For a Special Cause

Usually the food and beverages outlets you see on a day to day basis are plainly tactics to earn a buck. Not for this cafe cum culinary centre that aims to help the special needs of people in today’s society.


Joan Bowen Cafe, established by Mr. Khong Yoon Kay and Mdm Jeanne Seah, works to impart skills in the F&B sector to young people with special needs, providing them a job to hold. It is named after their daughter with special needs, Joan Bo Wen. She now works at the cafe as a trainee, along with others employed to learn.

It was tough trying to find this little red house from the MRT station of Potong Pasir. Nonetheless, whatever infinite amount of distance you have to walk is erased away with the thought of a soon to be brilliant lunch.

We had the honor to try one of the cafe’s newest dishes, the Roast Pork ($18). I felt that whatever was on that plate complemented each other pretty well and the roast pork was done just right, neither too tender nor too tough. Yet, the price would be considered a little steep for that portion of pork they serve.

The Rosemary & Lemon Chicken ($10), on the other hand, was a real steal. For just 10 bucks, you get something worth at least 15 in other places. The greens tasted the exact quality of restaurants I have been before and if there’s any veggie I would eat for a lifetime it would be this. I couldn’t exactly taste the “lemon” in the chicken, but I was well satisfied that it was not overly crisp. Also, I have to admit that the sauces used for the chicken and pork were fantastic.

I decided to go with the cafe’s most popular dessert and that would be their Oreo Cheesecake ($5). When it first came to my table all that entered my eyes was a “block of chocolate chip ice-cream”. I had my doubts, judging from its appearance. Yet, it overwhelmed me with what I now call it an “oreo ice-cream cheesecake”. Their version is arguably better than a usual slice of oreo cheesecake. Full of creativity, it encompassed everything that an oreo cheesecake has, with the additional point of the taste of ice-cream.


Service was great, and the staff seemed very comfortable with their jobs, despite being disabled in some ways. They were certainly trained well and I must say that it was a pleasant surprise. Another outlet is located within the St. Andrews premises, more considerably the main branch. Lucky students!

9 Jalan Wangi, Singapore 349354
Telephone: +(65) 6281 3629

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