This quaint little lovely Japanese “western” cafe reminds me of Ma Maison. I had walked past it several times but there was always a long line outside, and I really hate standing in line for food. But I had to clear some days of leave by March (or forfeit it – god forbid!) so K and me made plans to finally check this cafe out.
Hoshino Coffee is a popular cafe chain in Japan, and this Singapore outlet (at the newly renovated Plaza Singapura wing) is its first venture overseas – nice! The outlet at Plaza Singapura is an “open concept” kind of cafe. At the entrance you can see the (cheesy) plastic models of the food, typical of Japanese restaurants and cafe. There is almost always a long line but they have a wide array of sitting configurations so you may be surprised your waiting time isn’t going to be that long after all!
I only had the coffee and dessert the first time I visited, but they were quite good so I brought my parents to try – I just know they will love it. (And I was right! :) ) And then I went back another time on a Friday night for a quick sweet tooth fix with some other friends who have been wanting to check out this cafe. There was a long line but we got our seats almost immediately – our lucky day!
From main courses, we had the Pescatora Seafood Pasta, the Baked Curry Rice, and the Lobster Bisque Soup Spaghetti. The seafood pasta was nicely done and well-cooked.. loads of lovely servings of seafood. It was easily one of the better seafood pastas I’ve had. The baked curry rice was delicious as the beef curry sauce was really thick and savoury, while the soft runny egg yolk enhances the richness of the rice. We also had the Lobster Bisque Soup Spaghetti. The soup is a little too thick and rich – in local terms, I guess this is what we will call “gelat”. Still, better more flavors than none I guess?
I tried both the pancake souffles and both flavors of the souffles. Fantastic, really. Both the matcha and the vanilla souffles didn’t disappoint at all – served fluffly and pretty, they were both piping hot and crispy on the outside, while the insides were gooey and aromatic with just the right about of sweetness, not too cloying.
The pancake souffles were really good too, a must-try for diehard pancake fans (me) though I probably should have had it before the souffles – the pancakes were definitely not as light and fluffy as the souffles but still very tasty. Actually they’re quite different (except for the word souffle in the name) and I shouldn’t even compare the 2. Just remember to have the pancakes before, if you’re planning to try both!
Last but of course not least, coffee fans, their coffees are fantastic. The aromatic drip coffees – both hot and iced versions far exceeded my expectations. Note though I love my coffee really strong and robust. The coffees here are a decent brew. Despite being drop coffees, they are very full-bodied and really robust; I was expecting some watery over-acidic brown liquid. But as it turns out i was pleasantly surprised – they’re like how I make my drips at home, with strength to match.
Overall, I really like the whole setting and environment, really quaint and cosy. Price-wise, I feel the main courses were very affordable for the generous portions of food while the desserts and especially the coffees were a little pricey. $5.80 for drip coffee! The really spoiler was the service – it left much to be desired. I was there for like 4-5 times and each time, not only were they inattentive and slow, one was even downright rude!
Pity. I like the food and the coffee though and if the queue was decent i wont mind visiting again. and when I do, I’ll make sure I try the one thing everyone is raving about – the Fuwa Fuwa!