Update: Closed on 31 December 2016.
I was making my way to Tong Heng to grab my favourite egg tarts when I stumbled upon this Korean-inspired cafe which was located directly opposite the Chinatown Food Street.
I was just captivated by the arty-farty feel of the cafe exterior which was likely trying to replicate the art and cafe culture of South Korea particularly what’s trending on the famous Insadong Street. Whatever you see here that comes with a price tag, it’s for sale.
J and I decided to head in for a bingsu (shaved ice dessert) that would make an ideal respite from the stifling heat and haze. It was a weekend afternoon but the cafe was really quiet which we didn’t mind at all. Perfect ambience to just rest our feet and chill out in peace.
Let’s take a look at the menu.
We ordered the Red Bean and Sweet Potato Patbingsu (S$10.80 + $0.50 for a scoop of taro ice cream) because it seemed like the most interesting flavour on the menu plus both of us are big fans of sweet potato too. Every bingsu comes with a scoop of ice cream but as we opted for a premium flavour of taro, we had to top up 50 cents for it.
This patbingsu was made up of milk-flavoured shaved ice with purple sweet potato puree, mochi pieces with red bean paste filling, sliced almonds, thick red bean paste, taro ice cream and evaporated milk that was served separately. Of the whole, I only liked the bottom shaved ice and the chewy mochi because the rest (sweet potato, red bean paste and ice cream) were just too saccharine sweet for my liking. It was as though sugar was the predominant flavour which really didn’t do justice to the taro, red bean or sweet potato that had their own distinctive aroma and natural sweetness. It was a shame because the shaved ice was lovely and refreshing but was just overwhelmed by the other cloying components. Unless you have a sweet tooth, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend this.
We also tried their Injeolmi Toast with Ice Cream (S$7.80 + $0.50 for a scoop of salted caramel ice cream) and a glass of cold Sweet Potato Latte.
Again, as we opted for a premium ice cream flavour of salted caramel, we had to top up 50 cents for it.
Injeolmi is a type of Korean rice cake made by steaming and pounding glutinous rice flour and then coated with powdered beans (soy bean for instance). Here you can see the layer of injeolmi in between the bread slices.
Regular bread that were toasted to crisp but tasted a little dry & brittle. The injeolmi layer was just like a sticky mochi. The salted caramel ice cream was extremely sweet (couldn’t make out any salt or caramel taste) but I liked the crunch of the nuts topping.
The cold Sweet Potato Latte (S$6.50) was like a blend of milk and sweet potato. The sweet potato flavour was quite strong and so was the milk flavour. Unique concoction. I wouldn’t say I particularly liked it because it was still too sweet and cloying.
J decided that he needed a caffeine fix cos’ he was feeling sleepy after a sugar high so he got an iced Espresso (S$4.00) that was just too acidic to be enjoyed.
We shook our heads as we walked out of the cafe. Do the Koreans love extreme flavours like these? Super sweet desserts and uber acidic coffee? How strange. We felt so sickly and diabetic that we totally lost appetite for anything else for the rest of the day. And for the prices paid, we really don’t see ourselves coming back for more.
Try this cafe if you have a high taste threshold for sweetness. It’s just not for me.
279 South Bridge Road
Tel: +65 8533 2003
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cafeinsadong
12.00pm to 9.30pm (Mon-Thu)
12.00pm to 11.30pm (Fri-Sat)
Closed on Sundays