Department of Caffeine at Duxton Road has said its goodbye, and Ninja Bowl came flying in.
I was surprised (yet not really) when former Power 98FM DJ Darren Wee was behind the cashier. ”Oh, congrats on your 3rd shop!”
His Astronaut Group already owns Chillax Café (Serangoon Gardens) and Babette (Tyrwhitt Road), making Ninja Bowl the third, all despite the seemingly economic downturn.
I got him to say a few words, and you know the DJs just do it differently…
While my friends initially had the impression that Ninja Bowl just serves “healthy bowls”, there are other intriguingly sounding brunch items such as Gyu & Tama ($17) – mushroom scrambled eggs with 24-hour braised beef cheek, Tonkotsu Spirit ($16) of aburi cha shu and poached eggs (no tonkotsu or spirits in this one), sandwiches, bites such as Bacon Tempura ($10) and Poutine Fries ($14), and cakes at the display counter.
Dinner service will start end May.
A note is that prices quoted on the menu are NETT, and the listed pricing for the bowls comes without rice or greens.
A further top up of $2 is necessary for Ninja Rice, Orzo or Garden Greens, and $3 for Quinoa.
I was recommended the Kaisen Bowl ($16), filled with pan-seared Hokkaido scallops, mussels, mixed mushrooms, carrots and lemon butter sauce. This was with the choice of Ninja Rice, a blend of vinegared Japanese pearl rice and brown rice, as its base,
The seafood items were fresh, especially the plump Hokkaido scallops which were pan-seared just right with the appropriate bounce. The carrots were sweet, which accompanied with lemon butter sauce, gave a lift to the overall taste.
It is an interesting alternative to the Japanese Kaisen Don we are used to having.
The highlight of the meal was a brunch-dessert dish called Fancy French ($16) which is the brainchild of Cecilia (Darren’s wife).
”Does it ooze?”
”Emm… there is homemade fig jam inside, but it does ooze like what you think.”
Noted. It was not only a good-looker (the toast I mean), the entire combination was well put-together. The brioche was pillow-fluffy with a light golden brown crust, drizzled with honey infused with umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums), topped with slices of sweetened figs and grapes.
This was one of those toasts that felt ‘healthier’ than the typical OTT-ice cream-and-sauce type, yet did not compromise on taste.
Perhaps having Babette as ‘training ground’ did well for the group – I thought that the food and presentation in general more polished and well thought-through.
While Ninja Bowl may give the impression of a sushi-rice bowl, this is quite the chillax cafe to go to – before the crowd starts coming in.
15 Duxton Road Singapore 089481
Tel: +65 6222 8055
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7:30pm (Mon – Fri), 9am – 6pm (Sat – Sun)
* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.