Sunday, July 16, 2023

Café Natsu @ Joo Chiat - Unveils New Menu Featuring Japanese Staples with Local Sensibilities

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Café Natsu is excited to launch its new menus at both its Joo Chiat and Orchard outlets, featuring a fusion of Japanese and local flavours. These menus offer a warm and comforting dining experience, with carefully crafted dishes incorporating traditional Japanese cuisine and familiar local touches. Furthermore, Café Natsu's commitment to exceptional quality extends to sourcing fresh ingredients and the finest produce from Japan.

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Kaarage 3.8/5

The Kaarage ($14) features a thin, crispy coating on the outside that gives way to a tender and juicy interior. What sets it apart is the unique coating of Dong Bei spices, which adds a delightful burst of flavour. The spices infuse the dish with a savoury and aromatic profile that perfectly complements the succulent chicken. While the Kaarage is a treat on its own, it is worth noting that the combination can be a tad salty for some palates when paired with the mayo on the side.

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Chawanmushi 4/5

The Chawanmushi ($8) consists of a savoury steamed egg custard that is elevated with a delightful combination of ingredients, including clams, snow fungus, and ikura. The clams impart a subtle brininess that mingles beautifully with the delicate flavours of the custard. In contrast, the ikura imparts a pleasant pop and a delightful saltiness that perfectly balances the dish's overall taste.

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Wagyu Hamburg Bowl Set 4.2/5

Café Natsu Joo Chiat introduces a hearty lunch set that will capture your hearts with its exquisite flavours and carefully curated ingredients. Diners can choose between the Wagyu Hamburg Bowl Set ($36), featuring a house-made Wagyu patty, or the Teishoku Set ($32). We opted for the Wagyu Hamburg Bowl Set ($36), which features a tender and succulent patty, refreshing oroshi and a yolk atop. To complement the wagyu hamburg, a side of sauce is provided, adding an additional layer of depth and richness. The meal is accompanied by appetisers and chestnut rice cooked with house-made dashi.

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Pork Katsu Sando 4/5

The Pork Katsu Sando ($26) features a generous portion of crispy and tender pork katsu, complemented by the delightful crunch of the tamanegi and the refreshing crispness of the lettuce, providing a delightful contrast to the succulent pork. What sets this sandwich apart is the doubanjiang aioli, a sauce that brings the flavours to a whole new level. The doubanjiang, a fermented chilli bean paste, infuses the aioli with an intensely umami-rich taste and a subtle sweet touch. The Pork Katsu Sando is also served with a side of Togarashi fries. These crispy fries, sprinkled with Togarashi seasoning, provide a delightful kick of heat and spice.

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Uji Matcha Kakigori 4.2/5

Moving on to the desserts, the Uji Matcha Kakigori ($14) features a slightly different ice texture, characterised by a rougher shaved ice consistency. The matcha-infused ice in the Uji Matcha Kakigori exudes a distinct and robust flavour profile. Accompanying the ice is a heavenly soft coconut foam that adds a creamy and luxurious touch to the dessert. It is adorned with a drizzle of gula melaka that adds a delightful hint of sweetness and depth, balancing the earthy bitterness of the Uji Matcha.

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Zenzai 4/5

The Zenzai ($12) features a velvety and comforting azuki red bean soup. The sweetness of the red bean soup is perfectly balanced, allowing the natural flavours of the azuki beans to shine through. I love the chewy and soft kiri mochi tangyuan embedded within the soup, which added a delightful textural element to the dessert. Overall, it is a traditional dessert that embodies the essence of Japanese culinary traditions and is perfect for those seeking a soothing and indulgent treat.

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In conclusion, my experience at Café Natsu was a positive one. The food offered at the café was undeniably good, with a range of dishes that delighted the taste buds. From the delightful Wagyu Hamburg Bowl Set to the delectable Pork Katsu Sando and the flavourful Chawanmushi, the menu showcased a fusion of Japanese and local flavours that left a lasting impression. The attention to detail in ingredient sourcing and the thoughtfulness of crafting each dish were evident, ensuring a satisfying and memorable dining experience. Café Natsu truly delivered on its commitment to providing exceptional quality and flavours that pleased the palate.

Photos and words by Crystal. A girl who likes to eat, photograph, and write about food, and dreams about travelling around the world one day. Note: This is an invited tasting.

Café Natsu
283 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427537
Tel: +65 8886 4697
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 830am - 530pm

1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn right and walk to bus stop at block 99 (Stop ID 81181). Take bus number 33. Alight 4 stops later. Walk to Koon Seng Road. Turn right onto Koon Seng Road. Walk towards Joo Chiat Road. Turn right on Joo Chiat Road and walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn right and walk to bus stop at block 99 (Stop ID 81181). Take bus number 33. Alight 4 stops later. Walk down Joo Chiat Road towards Koon Seng Road direction. Walk down Joo Chiat Road and walk to destination. Journey time about 15 minutes.  [Map]

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