Karafuru Desserts has ended operations on 18th April.
Looks like Éclairs which were once considered IN late last year, are losing the HIP factor. Also, competition from similar cafes might have caused a split in the market share.
Not an uncommon story that we have heard. Is Singapore ready for a specialised dessert cafe? Looks like maybe not, maybe not yet.
Karafuru, it is the katakana for ‘colourful’. You will be welcomed by clean white interior instead when you step into this Japanese inspired café. The colourful elements lie in the rows and rows of intricate éclairs beneath the display counter.
The last time I got this excited in such a Japanese-sort of way was when Kki and Tart Blanc opened. Although they are all vastly different in offerings, they are similar in this aspect – they seek perfection in what they serve.
I need to mention an encounter before review proper.
Many years ago, I ate a slice of birthday cake at a friend’s party and thought it was life-changing. He said it was by a young home-baker, and I went to track this person down to bake my birthday cake the next year. And he did.
But it was only after I entered Karafuru then I realised I was the “matchmaker” who recommended him as a pastry chef to the owner Joseph a year or two ago.
Karafuru’s offerings include éclairs and gourmet yogurt parfaits, re-imagined by traditional Japanese flavours. Thus compared to French éclairs which we are more familiar with, these are light in taste and smaller than their counterpart.
My friend (a girl) and I liked different flavours, though the Yuzu ($6) was our common choice.
Her favourite was the Ume Shiso ($7), with umeboshi crème filling topped with a layer of shiso leaf, spotted with three minute droplets of dew on it. There were intricacies in this piece, alcoholic with a touch of choya, though not traditionally a mass favourite.
It is almost expected I would fancy the Matcha Azuki ($6) – light matcha crème on one side, glossy red bean paste on the other. If you are expecting some kind of tea bitterness in cream, there was hardly. I figure they wanted to be subtle.
My suggestion would be to take bites slowly to appreciate the detailed taste, as apparent in the Sakura Rose ($6) with hints of floral notes.
Although they are dainty in size, one to two should suffice in keeping one satisfied.
The Hanami Yogurt Parfait ($16) is presented on an elegant white plate with sakura soufflé, vanilla pudding, Japanese dango balls (yeah to these) and inhouse-made butter sakura langue de chat. The entirety inspired by spring times in Japan.
The yogurt soft serve was milky, smooth and light, but I thought it should be a notch less watery. My advice is go easy on the sauce, as it would override some of the elements which are delightful on their own.
While Karafuru is still ironing out opening teething issues, we are only expecting it to get better. It will become the to-go-to cafe to experience delicate Japanese-style desserts.
Karafuru Desserts [Closed]
8 Jalan Klapa Singapore 199320 (North Bridge Road, near Hyde & Co)
Tel: +65 62941 4430
Opening Hours: 1pm – 10pm, last order 9:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon