Adventurous brunch lovers will appreciate Hoshino Coffee at Plaza Singapura. Their specialty is Japanese hand drip coffee and fluffy soufflé style matcha pancake. On my recent visit I ordered the matcha pancakes and my tastebuds were seriously in matcha heaven!
Flossie’s rating: ★★★
Hoshino Coffee is a Japanese-Western fusion cafe that prides itself on its hand dripped coffee. The coffee is made from roasted Arabica beans selected by their own coffee specialist, Master Kanno. Hot water is poured over the ground coffee beans, allowing it to brew and slowly drip into the cup and then it is served with a small jug of milk on the side. I found the coffee tasted much lighter than American-style percolator or Italian espresso coffee, but not watery. Indeed, although I am normally a latte drinker the delicate aroma of the caffeine and creaminess of the milk was very comforting and I was persuaded to order a second cup.
The most popular menu item at Hoshino Coffee is the soufflé style matcha pancake that are served with a variety of different toppings and side dishes according to your mood. Like most Japanese eateries, there were shokuhin sampuru (plastic models of food) displayed at the front of the restaurant and I was enticed by the very bright green matcha pancake model, so I just had to order them.
A matcha pancake takes 20 minutes to prepare and is served warm. It has the appearance of a fluffy soufflé but when you bite into it, it is more like a dense and springy sponge. My matcha pancake was served with a thick, dark green matcha flavoured sauce, a scoop of matcha ice cream, black soy beans, a dollop of vanilla whipped cream and a jug of maple syrup. The matcha pancake sauce had a distinctive herbal taste, which complemented the plain sponge and cream well. For those who prefer their pancakes sweet, like me, you can drizzle the maple syrup over the top and it blends harmoniously with the matcha sauce. I was enjoying the spongey pancake soaked in herbal and sweet flavours and cut with cold refreshing cream so much, so I ordered extra cream as well.
It was an unusual meal with a lot of different tastes and textures going on, but strangely addictive. I left the savoury soy beans until the end, and the mushy texture they gave to the dish was a pleasant surprise. I finished my meal with a smile on my face, although I felt very full.
The only thing to let down my experience at Hoshino Coffee was the slow service. Although my waiter was obliging, she was not very attentive and I often had to wait a long time to receive attention.
If you are a die hard matcha lover, you should bookmark this place! For me, it was a great experience to eat a matcha pancake but something I will not be repeating too often (least of all because of the calories). However I will be back for another cup of that clean tasting hand drip coffee.
68 Orchard Road
#03-84, Plaza Singapura