It was the array of artificial food displays that caught my eye when I first strolled past Hoshino Coffee at Plaza Singapura’s New Wing. Laid out on a table at the restaurant’s entrance, it resembled something straight out of a classy high tea.
Needless to say, it had my mouth watering even before I had caught the slightest whiff of what was cookin’ in there. 😉
Hoshino Coffee is just one of the many food chains that have invaded our sunny island to feed an ever growing appetite for Japanese cuisine – or any type of cuisine that has that unique Japanese twist to it.
With close to 50 outlets scattered across its home country, Hoshino has brought its famous Hand Drip Coffee and Pancake Souffles to one of only two outlets located outside the Land of the Rising Sun. And with snaking queues forming around its wooden perimeter, my expectations were certainly high when I finally got round to checking it out!
But enough about its eye catching artificial food display; let’s get to the main topic, which is – you guessed it – the food! 😀
I was a little hesitant to have their Homard Bisque (which is really a fancier way of naming Lobster Bisque) on my first visit with a girlfriend, because I thought S$8.50 was a tad pricey for a soup and toast combination. But I couldn’t just sit idly by while she chowed down a very delectable Tomato Cream “Omu” Rice with Shrimp & Mozarella (S$15) – which I conveniently forgot to get a picture of, but next time!
So I thought, why not? 😀
I’m not too sure about how a bisque is supposed to turn out, but it arrived at our table looking slightly less than appetizing – almost like a leftover bowl of curry that’s been left out for too long. Still, I wasn’t one to judge a book by its cover, so I picked up my spoon and dug in for a taste- it was cold.
My friend, however, thought it was a good blend of lobster and other sauces. Personally, I would have enjoyed it more if it was warm.
The toast on the other hand, was yummy! Thick, moist, and buttery, it was the saving grace of this dish and I loved tearing out bite-sized chunks to dip into my bisque. C:
When I caught up with two of my mates from Hall a week later, we settled on sharing a couple of mains in the name of trying as many things as our tummies allowed. One of them was the much talked about “Fuwa Fuwa” Hoshino Souffle (S$15.80) which is a dish of baked rice nestled beneath a fluffy layer of cheese souffle.
It was SO GOOD.
I can’t even begin to tell you how awesome this dish is. Its souffle lives up to its name; light, fluffy, and sitting atop a humble white dish like a savoury cloud of cheese and foam. There was just that tiny heartbreaking moment when we dug in – who could ever bear to tear it down?
But we didn’t dwell on that for long; there was just too many goodies waiting to be savoured. In addition to baked rice, our Fuwa Fuwa was a treasure trove of meat and mushrooms, yummers! Everything was gone in minutes as we tucked in eagerly. 😀
With its ingredients infused with the flavour of cheese, Hoshino’s Fuwa Fuwa is a treat that can’t be beat. Just a little grouse though – we peeked around at the other tables and found their souffles were all of different heights, some of them even taller than ours! Hmm, calls for a consistency perhaps?
I’ll be frank here and say that our other main, “Hoshino” Pot-Baked Curry Rice (S$15), was a far cry from the display set, appearance wise. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t as palatable as the Fuwa Fuwa – far from it! Mixed together, it made for a delightful blend of egg, beef and rice!
As with Japanese curries, it wasn’t too spicy either; just added a very pleasant dimension to the dish. C:
Personally, I preferred the Fuwa Fuwa to the Curry Rice, as the minced beef in the latter got a tad overwhelming after a couple of servings. Also, it could have done with a little more greens just for balance.
Still, both dishes filled us three pretty well, leaving just a little more room in our tummies for dessert. And who doesn’t love Japanese dessert? 😀
Being avid matcha and red bean fans, we settled on a Matcha Parfait (S$12) which arrived at our table as a glassful of goodness – rich matcha ice cream, topped with matcha cubes, sweet red bean paste, crisp biscuit and what we guessed were chestnuts. And oh, let’s not forget the additional layer of crunchy cornflakes and red bean that had us squealing in delight! 😀
Price wise, Hoshino’s Matcha Parfait pales a little in comparison to its counterpart at Nana’s Green Tea Cafe – a quick check with the two menus showed that you would probably get more for your money there.
But for now, let’s not forget to check out why so many queue for a spot in Hoshino’s warm Victorian interior – its ever famous pancake souffles!
With a mixture of fruit and whipped cream on top, Hoshino’s Pancake Souffle Style with Mango (S$13.50) looked like it could topple over every minute, but its pancake souffle base sat firm on the plate – which is a pleasant surprise considering how light and fluffy it was, kinda like ten McDonald’s pancakes layered together in one!
And that cute lil pitcher of maple syrup? Just the metaphorical icing on the cake. 😀
Service wise, Hoshino does leave a little to be desired; our dishes took ages to arrive while other diners who were seated after us were served first, and my friends found some of the staff to be a little surly, which is a shame seeing how Hoshino’s staff were dressed in smart suits that were reminiscent of quaint cafes from the Victorian era.
Still, I’ll definitely be back for more of its desserts!
68 Orchard Road
#03-84 Plaza Singapura
Mon to Sun: 1130 – 2100
Closed from 1700 – 1800