Friday, May 11, 2012

Maison Ikkoku

C says:

Haji Lane and its surrounding streets are slowly but surely being gentrified. Amidst nasi padang restaurants and old school shops selling kitshcy tourist mementoes, are chi chi hipster cafes like Maison Ikkoku on nearby Kandahar Street.

The decor is minimalist, with bare wooden tables and padded benches. The weekday menu features gourmet sandwiches and salads, but we were, or rather I was, there for their house special snacks - Spam musubi, and kong bak pau. 

The musubi features a slice of Spam on top of seasoned Japanese sticky rice. This wasn't as good as I expected - it didn't have as much Spam kick as I would've liked, but it did give me some inspiration to recreate this at home with my preferred Spam to rice ratios.

The kong bak pau was predictable, but still a very good version of this classic. The bun was light and fluffy, and the pork was fatty but still had enough lean to give it some bite.

The banana cake with white chocolate shavings seemed dense at first, but somehow got lighter the more you ate. It had an intense banana flavour, and wasn't overly sweet.

Their artisanal coffees are also their specialties. A had a cold pressed coffee, which tasted almost wine-like, and I had their house special latte. It was a damn good cup of coffee - mellow and nutty, and the latte art is pretty cool too. What do you reckon the design? I say a swan; A thought it was a desert island.

The only problem with these Haji Lane-esque joints is that they're achingly hip on weekends, and access is pretty inconvenient as well. I think we'll still stick to old faithful Jewel Coffee for our coffee fix, and only venture to Haji Lane on rare days off.

A says:

Great coffees with interesting specialty brews. But given the lack of parking, I’d only recommended it for the hipsters frequenting the area.

Maison Ikkoku
20 Kandahar Street
Tel: 6294-0078
Café opening hours:
Mon to Thurs: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri, Sat & PH Eve: 9 am – 11 pm
Sun & PH: 9 am – 7 pm

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