12 Japanese Cafes in Singapore for Every Possible Treat All Under $20

by Melo! SG on March 24, 2020

Japan may be famous for green tea but the Japanese really prefer a cup of joe. They love it so much that Japan ranks fourth in the world in terms of coffee consumption. This is not a new phenomenon, though. Japan’s love affair with coffee began as early as the Edo period between the 17 th and mid-19th centuries and by the Meiji Period that followed, cafés or kissaten began springing up in Tokyo and then the rest of the country.

Singapore, which loves all things Japanese, has several Japanese-style cafés offering a multitude of Japanese treats. Here are some of our favourite budget-friendly ones and what yummy eats you can get from them.

Coffee

Source: Watanabe Coffee

Move aside Starbucks, get out of the way Coffee Bean and Tea Leaves, here comes Watanabe Coffee. Their specialty coffee uses Tezumi Kanjuku coffee beans handpicked from the Cerrado Farm in Brazil. With chocolatey notes that balance the acidity and bitterness, at $19.80 a cup it is indulgent but well worth the experience.

Source: Ms Tam Chiak

At BaristArt Coffee, what sets their brew apart is the milk. The Hokkaido café uses only top-quality Hokkaido dairy including BIEI Jersey milk from Brown Jersey cows in their cuppas. The milk, which is rich and creamy with a hint of sweetness, lends a fullness to their coffees. Try the White Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk Coffee for $7.50. They only have the iced version but that is the perfect drink to battle the heat in Singapore.

Souffle Pancakes

Source: Hoshino Coffee

Trust the Japanese to take a Western staple and take it to the next level. The souffle pancake is the Japanese spin on the American breakfast favourite. What makes it far superior is its size and texture. Unlike regular pancakes that are, well flat as a pancake, Japanese souffle pancakes are inches tall thanks to the inclusion of egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. The result is a light-as-clouds pancake that is as fluffy as it is high.

If you are hungry for these souffle pancakes, Hoshino Coffee’s are just $12 for a double stack. You can top them with extra whipped cream ($0.60) and a scoop of ice-cream ($1.20) and you would still not bust your budget. Be warned, though, they are lovingly prepared only when you order them so you will have to wait at least 20 minutes to satisfy your craving.

Source: 8 Days

Gram Café & Pancakes ’s three stack at $17.90 are made from a recipe that originated in Osaka. The jiggly tower of deliciousness is served with a dollop of whipped cream, a nub of margarine and lashings of thick maple syrup. Sadly, there are only limited portions sold daily. They have three sittings a day during which just 30 sets are sold.

Matcha Madness


Source: Seth Lui

Matcha is green tea upgraded. The fine powder is made from grinding tea leaves from plants that have been specially grown in the shade for three to four weeks before being harvested. The Japanese not only drink it, they also put it in variety of their desserts.

Kagurazaka Saryo is a specialty café from Tokyo’s trendy Kagurazaka district that is famous for Uji matcha desserts. Considered the finest of green teas, matcha from Uji between the ancient capitals Kyoto and Nara benefits from the high-quality soil of the region’s hilly terrain, mild weather and mist.

Their menu is a tribute to matcha creations and a must-try is their Matcha Fondue with Assorted Sides ($14.90). Instead of the usual chocolate, you get a bowl of matcha sauce to dunk pieces of fruit and cake into. The interplay of sweet, tangy and bitter creates a symphony in the mouth that is nothing short of magical. For another twist to Western desserts, there is Matcha Frozen S’mores ($9.90) - matcha ice-cream is topped with marshmallows that are then blow-torched so they are nicely burnt and crisp on top and sweetly gooey beneath. The sprinkling of granola adds a crunch and variety to the texture.

Source: Daniel's Food Diary

JW 360˚ Café is another destination for matcha-inspired desserts. TheirMatcha Mont Blanc at $9 is a mountain of chestnut paste infused with matcha. The inclusion of the slightly bitter matcha to the traditional Japanese pastry is a stroke of genius because it provides a beautiful counterpoint to the sweetness of the chestnut.

Pastisserie & Cakes

 

Source: SG Foot on Foot

Dulcet & Studio is part of the TAMPOPO brand so expect excellence. Their cream puff ($2.50) is a mound of delightful sweetness. The crisp outer layer, and the rich cream and custard filling are perfect partners.

Source: Ms Tam Chiak

FLOR Pâtisserie Café is another stop you should make if you love pastries. The French-influenced café’s signature Berry Berries ($5.90), their version of the Japanese strawberry shortcake, should not be missed. Bouncy vanilla sponge layered with cream and fresh strawberries, its simplicity is part of its charm.

 

Breads & Sandwiches

 Source: Daniel's Food Diary

Asanoya Bakery is a Karuizawa shop that has been baking European breads since 1933. Its Japan bakery was the first of its kind to add a dine-in area. In Singapore, you can enjoy their baked goods at their café that serves breakfast, brunches and snacks. Their curry bun ($3.80), a popular Japanese snack, is filled with curry made with 30 different spices and brown sugar that lend it a deep flavour. Meanwhile, the dough is fried to a crisp on the outside while retaining an airiness on the inside. You might want to bring home their hard loaves which they are known for. Their Karuizawa raisin bread ($2.60 per 100 gram) is a hefty hunk of dough that can weigh as much as 1.8 kilograms for the whole loaf. Dotted with rum-soaked raisins, its firm crust gives way to a soft milk bread inside.

Source: Daniel's Food Diary

Kamone Bakery is a new-to-the-scene bakery café that does a fine job of their sandwiches. The Tonkatsu sandwich ($5.60) is a generous loaf stuffed with a Tonkatsu cutlet cut in two. Soft bread gives way to crispy breading before you hit the thick yet tender pork – heaven with every bite.

 

Parfaits

Source: TSUJIRI SG

The Japanese parfait is a tall glass layered with sponge cake, cream, custard, ice-cream and seasonal fruits, an upgrade of the original French version. They are not easy to find in Singapore but TSUJIRI has a good selection of them. The former tea house with a history that dates back to the Edo period pays homage to its heritage with tea-flavoured parfaits which star their soft serves and a supporting cast of mochi and sponges. The Houjicha Chiffon Cake Parfait ($7.80) is tea-flavoured soft serve that comes with a slab of houjicha-perfumed chiffon cake guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Source: Seth Lui

LUMINE Café , the Japanese brand’s first café ever, has to-die-for parfaits. The Melon Medley ($18.90) is a seasonal item but well worth the wait. Topped with slices of succulent Japanese melon, the dessert features more layers of cream and melon cubes within.

 

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