If there’s one thing I love about the Japanese, it’s their ability to take anything that’s quintessentially Western and add their own unique twist to it.
Take Nana’s Green Tea Cafe for example: ever since it opened its doors to matcha lovers ten years ago, it’s been touted as the Starbucks of Japan. And what’s more, word is on the street that Nana’s only uses green tea leaves from Kyoto, the capital of matcha production! Talk about taking quality control to a whole new level.
So when Fiona and I checked out their flagship store at Plaza Singapura on a whim, we certainly had high expectations.
(Pardon the not-so-great photos; I forgot to bring a proper camera with me so I had to rely on my iPhone, and I was on medication that day so my hands shook just a bit too much! 😦 )
Like any other F&B chain, Nana’s Green Tea Cafe plays the lunch game well, with a Week Day Set Lunch from 11am to 2.30pm which allows you to enjoy a main course, beverage and soup for just S$13.80! And seeing how most of their main courses go for around the same price ala carte, can you say: sweet deal? 😉
There’s a catch though; your beverage of choice must be priced at S$8.00 and below, but really, who’s complaining?
Naturally, Nana’s wide variety of beverages would make any matcha lover feel like a kid in a candy store. And since they pride themselves on their signature matcha offerings, I just couldn’t miss out, so I gave their Hot Matcha Latte with Brown Sugar Syrup a shot!
Alas, it was a letdown; what looked like a tower of green goodness topped with a crown of foamy whipped cream and syrup on the menu, arrived at our table as a concoction of green tea and foam that didn’t blend well together. The bitter aftertaste was a tad overwhelming and frankly, reminded me of a not-so-successful stint in the kitchen.
And that crown of whipped cream and syrup? Half sunken in foam like the Giant Rubber Duck at Hong Kong Harbour. 😦
Ironically, it was the non-matcha item that saved the day: a simple Salmon and Maguro Don topped with Japanese picked ginger, mayonnaise and greens that filled me up pretty fast. The salmon and maguro didn’t taste exactly fresh, but it was delicious nonetheless. With a layer of rice at the bottom, this dish had me thinking that I was having a giant bowl of sushi for lunch- yum yum!
For a chain that prides itself on bringing the love of matcha to every household in Japan, I certainly expected more from Nana’s. I may not be rushing over for their drinks anytime soon, but I’ll be looking forward to trying their parfaits (which Fiona and I were too full for) the next time I’m in the area! 😉
#03-80/82, Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road, S(238839)
Contact: 6684 4312
Operating Hours: 1100-2200 (Weekday Lunch 1100-1430)