Kampung Bahru Road used to be bustling with activities, though that has quietened quite a bit from last year.
There could be some revival with the revamp of Chef Icon, and openings of Dolc Patisserie and Kream & Kensho.
Kream & Kensho aims to have a brunch café and coffee place by day; dining with beer at night. (“Kenshō” is a Japanese term which implies “initial insight or awakening”.)
If its address of 33 Kampung Bahru Road sounds vaguely familiar, that is because it is where Strangers’ Reunion used to be (I have previously written to Stranger’s Reunion for updates previously but they gave an ambiguous answer.)
As Kream & Kensho is still in the soft-launch phase, the menu and opening hours are still subject to change, so do check their social media accounts proper before heading down.
In terms of its interior and décor, they managed to hit the spot right with something contemporary with soft pastel finishes and a touch of Japanese here and there. And good choice of music.
It is a comfortable space to hang out on a lazy afternoon, if it doesn’t get too packed.
On its menu include Donburi, Salad, Sides and Dessert, such as Momo Salad ($14), Charred Watermelon ($14), Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup ($12), Kombu Truffle Fries ($15), Chicken Katsu Don ($10.90), Gyu Don ($12.90), Aburi Salmon Don ($12.90), and Tendon ($10.90).
The Kombu Truffle Fries ($15) though not new in the trending-market, was a promising start to the meal.
The fries were crisp and light, the kombu adding a briny and earthy almost mushroom-like flavour.
I suspect that the truffle oil was only added to the kombu component – a pity as it lacked the aromatic ‘lift’.
The donburi bowls which they intend to introduce in the dinner menu, probably needs some fine-tuning before that could be done.
The Gyu Don while scoring in aesthetics and price-point, tasted rather ‘basic’ with the beef slices not thoroughly stewed in the sauces. Overall rather bland and dry, if you compare to what the average Japanese donburi eateries are serving.
I had difficulty choosing between the Hokkaido Milk Cheesecake ($10) and Deconstructed Tokyo Banana ($10).
On one end, the Cheesecake would likely be a safe choice; while the other could potentially be a surprise hit or miss. (Unfortunately) I was recommended the latter.
The banana custard while sounding potentially promising, was more like banana puree with a strong salty touch; and the cake slices were dry and lacked the fluffiness.
That is also because the delightfully-familiar and characteristic taste of Tokyo Banana is so ingrained in us, and anything less can be disappointing.
Kream & Kensho do offer interesting and not the run-on-the-mill drinks such as Ginger Brown Sugar ($5.50), K&K Milk Tea ($6), Cheng Tng ($6), Kyoho Soda ($6), Momo Tea Soda ($6) and Yuzu Matcha ($6.50) which are good for the gram.
It will be worthwhile to see what else they can offer if they extend that creativity to the food offerings as well.
Kream & Kensho
33/35 Kampung Bahru Road Singapore 169354
Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon