Teppei Group by chef-founder Teppei Yamashita has opened quite a number of concepts from Teppei Japanese Restaurant at Tanjong Pagar, Man Man Unagi, Teppei Syokudo, Tokyo Chopped Salad and Fu-Men Japanese Udon, and I am quite excited what MoMiJi has to offer.
The Japanese-themed cafe with “four seasons booth” is found at King Albert Park (KAP) Mall. Note: this is not to be confused with Momiji Japanese Buffet Restaurant previously located at City Square Mall.
Occupying 2 storeys at the corner of KAP Mall, the first storey has a small seating space for 4 pax with their ordering counter.
Walk through the “Tori gates” along the stairway to the 2nd floor and you will be greeted with a more spacious area that can accommodate another 40 pax.
Here, 4 “private” dining booths with drawing curtains can be found, partitioned into the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.
Each “private” dining space is decorated according to the season, with Sakura blossoms in the spring section and snow field in the winter compartment.
Momiji means “maple tree” in Japanese and they offer a selection of Kyoto-inspired food items, not Uji Matcha but sandwiches.
Fun fact: Kyoto has the largest consumption of bread among all the prefectures in Japan, often made into various sandwiches that differs in the fillings used.
With different ingredients used in the sandwiches, the owner created his own selection of Momiji’s sandwiches based on his past experiences in Kyoto.
On the menu, there is a selection of Japanese Sandwiches ($10.80 – $33.20), French Toast ($18.20), Kyoto Hot Sandwich ($15.20 – $17.20), Coffee ($5 – $8.20), Tea ($6.20- $9.20), Tea Set ($10.20 – $11.20) and Shakes ($7.80).
Kyoto is known for their Uji matcha powder, made from tea plants shaded from direct sunlight.
The grown shoots are steamed and dried without rubbing to extract the caffeine, umami (amino acid) and catechin before grinding with a millstone to obtain the powder that is commonly used in tea ceremonies.
My favourite was the Matcha Pudding Kyoto Hot Sandwich ($16.20) from the Hot Sandwich menu which includes other variations such as Pudding ($15.20), Mochi Ice Cream ($17.20), Matcha Ice Cream ($15.20) and Yaki Imo aka Roasted Sweet Potato ($17.20).
All the Hot Sandwiches are made using 2 slices of toasted bread with red beans from Kyoto and a slice of butter sandwiched in between the layers.
Pressed down and toasted on both sides to give it a light crisp in contrast to the soft and fluffy texture of the bread, the fillings were of the right level of sweetness.
The red beans deserve a mention, being smooth and velvety whereas the butter added a certain fragrance to the combination.
The matcha pudding served on the side was soft and wobbly, with distinctive yet balanced bitterness.
2 different Gion French Toasts ($18.20) are served on the menu, one included with matcha ice cream and the other with vanilla ice cream.
A single brioche toast is soaked in sweetened egg mixture before pan-frying to provide a charred golden-brown texture.
Drizzled with Japanese black sugar syrup (kuromitsu) and condensed milk, the Brioche toast was soft with a compact and dense texture, whereas the top layer was caramelised with sugar to give it an extra crunch.
Matcha powder is then sprinkled on top as a finishing touch to counter balance the sweet vanilla taste in the brioche.
Unfortunately, the matcha ice cream served with a crystallised sugar tasted somewhat commercialised and was a tad milky.
Momiji also offer savoury sandwiches such as Tamago Sandwich ($10.80), Chicken Katsu Sandwich ($11.80), Pork Katsu ($12.80), Kani Salad Sandwich ($10.80), Smoked Salmon Sandwich ($15.20) and the most expensive Wagyu Beef Steak Sandwich ($33.20).
The Tamago Sandwich ($10.80) was decent, coming with scrambled egg, cheese, cucumber, sliced tomatoes and wasabi.
Using a coffee blend roasted in Kyoto for the espresso-based drinks, coffee drinkers can look out for Espresso ($5), Latte ($6.20), Mocha ($7.20), Cappuccino ($6.20) and Caramel Macciato ($7.20).
For non-coffee drinkers, there are Matcha Latte ($8.20), Hojicha Latte ($8.20), Vanilla Shake ($7.80), Calpis Shake ($7.80), Chocolate Shake ($7.80) and Matcha Shake ($7.80) too.
Being a Sandwich and French Toast-centric cafe, Momiji will those craving a piece of Japan, though space is considered limited for now.
9 King Albert Park, KAP Mall #01-37, Singapore 598332
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon – Sun)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.