Kohaku Sabo is a new Japanese teahouse cafe in Chinatown Point

The craze over Tendon Kohaku may be over, but the brand isn’t resting on their laurels. New to their group is Kohaku Sabo, or 琥珀茶房 in Kanji—the last two characters, 茶房, read chá fáng in Chinese, and that’s exactly what Kohaku Sabo is: a teahouse. Hopping on the bandwagon after seeing photos of their dishes pop up on social media, we headed down to Chinatown Point to try their fare.

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Food at Kohaku Sabo

If there’s one udon dish that you should order at Kohaku Sabo, it’s their Mentaiko Cream Sauce Udon Ikura Topping ($23.80++). All their sets come with silky-smooth chawanmushi, radish pickles, and a bowl of soup.

It’s not spotlighted in the name of the dish, but this mentaiko udon comes with decadent lobes of uni, on top of the copious amounts of ikura that’s spooned over the udon.

We were surprised by how the mentaiko cream sauce wasn’t cloying or overly savoury, nor was it too creamy, rendering it jelak—the pops of salmon roe helped.

I loved the addition of chiffonaded shiso leaves, which added a herbaceous, slightly minty note to the udon. Be sure to mix the uni into the udon so its briny, sweet flavour blankets each strand.

We moved on to the Carbonara Udon ($17++), which gets you the same chewy, thick strands of wheat noodles, here topped with copious amounts of shaved parmesan, raw egg, and thick slices of fried bacon.

I’d recommend sharing this with a friend; whilst creamy and indulgent, it does get rather jelak.

The chewy thickness of the udon does hold up well against the rich, cheesy and savoury carbonara sauce, I have to admit. And for more plus points, there was a sufficient amount of it to evenly coat every last inch of noodle.

Another signature dish at Kohaku Sabo is Ikura Salmon Cutlet with Avocado on Flavoured Rice ($24.80++), which is presented with a mini saucepan of tartare sauce with a soft-centred egg, a little bowl of ikura, as well as a dressing that was aromatic with sesame oil.

You’re instructed first to break up the egg and incorporate it well with the tartare sauce.

Then, dole it out on the bowl, top with ikura, and finish with the dressing before tucking in.

It’s a visually stunning bowl of rice, somewhat like a zhnged-up poke bowl with a battered and fried cutlet of salmon that’s still rare on the inside—if you love your food to be full of varied textures, you’ll enjoy this.

There is really quite a bit going on in the bowl—you could consider mixing it all up, or mixing and matching to fill each spoonful. There are cubes of avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced purple cabbage to balance out the creamy, tangy egg with tartare sauce. Some of our colleagues, upon tasting this dish, commented that it was a bowl of Filet-O-Fish.

The Sweet Potato Tempura & Ice Cream ($9.80++) dessert on the menu bears a striking resemblance to a similar dessert served at Tempura Motoyoshi Imo in Tokyo, Japan, but the one to go for is Sweet Potato Cream Brulee ($12.80++).

Imagine an ultra-smooth, fragrantly steamed sweet potato—on par with the famous Don Don Donki version—topped with custard and sugar, then bruleed for that crackling layer of smoky sweetness.

It’s paired with vanilla ice cream, which we didn’t end up bothering to eat, and slices of sweet potato crisps. In short: focus on the main affair on the plate.

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Ambience at Kohaku Sabo

Kohaku Sabo is located on the second floor of Chinatown Point, which is centrally located right above Chinatown MRT Station, which you can get to on both the Downtown Line and North-East Line. The cafe is done up to resemble a Japanese teahouse, with wooden rafters, paper window details, and backlit murals. However, we did find the space a little tired and dingy-feeling, with the service area visible and the kitchen door opening into the dining space.

The verdict

Chinatown Point seems like an odd choice for this teahouse concept, but its central location makes it a very accessible option if you’re looking for some modern Japanese nosh and sweet treats. Prices here are reasonably affordable for what you get too, and portion sizes for the main dishes are on the generous side. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you ought to give the Sweet Potato Cream Brulee dessert a shot.

For something different in the Chinatown area, consider heading to Ah Zhong Mian Xian for legit oyster mee sua, or Jiakali for Indian-Chinese curry!

Address: 133 New Bridge Road, #02-34, Chinatown Point, Singapore 059413
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 10pm
Tel: 6443 4366
Kohaku Sabo is not a halal-certified eatery

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Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This was a media tasting at Kohaku Sabo.

The post Kohaku Sabo Review: Affordable Uni Mentaiko Udon, Sweet Potato Creme Brulee And More appeared first on EatBook.sg – Local Singapore Food Guide And Review Site.

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