Clear your doubts! Savory Souffle can be as achieving as its sweet cousins. Never had one, neither dream of one but this unusual main course held me spellbound. Now, I am in awe of it. Want to get one too? Yes, Hoshino Coffee has it.
This was my 3rd time near Hoshino – passing by twice when it first opened on 6 November, and the 3rd time being today when I finally set foot in the cafe. Absolutely no regrets.
Seriously good! You wouldn’t believe that the queue speaks for itself. I’d thought, well, it could be that people are simply curious about what this 2 week’s old is capable of. And when the line starts to form, more people just keep queuing without a single complain. It was a late lunch thingy after a movie show – making my way there like a supersonic. This is like crazy, the snaking line – almost a L-shaped by now is forming right before me. I have seen the same earlier in the morning at 11.10m (the outlet only opens at 11.30am, mind you!) when I drop by to ask if I could make a reservation for 3pm but was turned down politely which I clearly understand why, now. I know this is what I have to eat despite that nagging throat discomfort & joined the queue – determined to find out if they are as good as they claimed.
Never mind about the long wait as it is moving rapidly. I am no.12 in line and it took me slightly more than half an hour’s time to get a table. Not sure if that sounds reasonable to you but at least it didn’t irk me – surprisingly. Why was the line moving fast unlike the one seen at Ipuddo @Ion or Tonkotsu King @Orchid Hotel, in case you asked. This is because most of the diners came for a quick bite at this hour – tea/coffee & pancake/souffle or parfait and leave after they have been satiated and so, they seldom hoard the table. Anyway, I was told that they do not accept bookings on weekends and only allow 3-6pm reservation on weekdays. I guess this is fair.
The interior is not entirely small but having a 3 separate dining space. The main hall sits most of the diners with wooden table and leather padded seats. It emits a brighter and casual feel, probably the area is not constraint by a stiff ceiling but an architectural glass rooftop in the mall that illuminates the stretch with a natural glow of sunlight. There are 4 booth seats which is most ideal for a gals-get-together session, I figured. Another hall appeared slightly smaller, is a little cramp I find (praying hard my table wasn’t gonna be there). Facing the open-kitchen, diners will be able to see the cook behind the stoves and barista making cups & cups of that aromatic Hoshino brew. There are a couple of table seats and long couch seats as well – the surrounding is a little dim. I’d prefer the smallest dining corner that comes with leather long couches – thick pocketed seats kind. A place that call up every sleeping bugs in you – warm, dim and laid back. It will be a disaster to place me there, I think I can glued for hours.
The menu was straight forward, without fanciful hard to understand dishes. Zoom right into my orders and wave for the staff, the lady clad in chef suit came to me (gosh, even one works in the kitchen has to take time to manage the hall during peak hours?).. aw.. but she was very well-mannered and patient when confronted with inquiries. In fact, no one was seen idling – all the wait person served with pride, promptly and in an unhurried manner. A remarkable service team (so much better than Paul when it first opened but heh they have improved too – I will speak separately in another post).
Totally famished but the food arrived in 20mins, saves me from antacid. Reasonably time I thought.
I admit I felt a little uneasy when I picked that unfamiliar dish – Fuwa Fuwa. But the truth tells me that feeling has been unwarranted. I was rewarded handsomely and much more than I could imagine for all those wait time I have spent an hour ago. The most raved about “fluffy savory soufflé” seriously did not put to shame. Not only that it enticed me with its huge golden puffy bonnet but I was completely sold by its astonishing delicate flavors. This is one dish I wish I had on my last – light and fluffy structure, formidable without a trace of deflating, that left me bragging endlessly! It is no wonder that people called this the “cloud”, but I think it’s me that’s on Cloud 9 at every bite. Instead of baking it like an Italian classic with white sauce, this one has a tomato version in it. It was filled with incredible moments – spooning the whites like a mass destruction into that light feathery foam, trespassing to get to the bed of the baking dish. The gems hidden under these soft foams have never been so right. Tomato sauce infused – each grain was plump, tangy-sweet, not soggy. Its flavor was enhanced by strips of middle eye bacon and mushroom bits. Assembled with that creamiest eggs and Parmesan cheese, this soufflé remains unchallenged by the sweet version. Impossible not to eat, I think I can have 1 on every other day. A one to die-for dish at Hoshino Coffee.
A couple of spaghetti dishes if you like, other than “Omu” rice (omelette rice) or sandwiches. Of the 7, I had the Lobster Bisque Soup Spaghetti. A french dish but cooked the Japanese way for a lighter taste. Instead of highly seasoned, this one prepared with tomato and finely chopped mushrooms comes with a milder liquidized cream but rich crustaceans flavor. I find the soup a little offensive (even while its still steaming hot) while my dining partner finds it delicious, so I guess it’s a mixed conclusion. It was not entirely bad – at least the spaghetti is cooked the correct way, I guess I just didn’t have the mood for such a sophisticated seafood thing today.
String along with others, I ordered a pancake soufflé, this time a more familiar sweet version! Not the plain ones but a more elaborate classic with a tropical touch – mango. A second ultimate comfort of the day, the first being the savory soufflé! Almost every table goes for the plain; either a single or doubling up while very few had the more fanciful. Mine – dressed up with mango fruits and handmade whipped cream was a pure decadent! It was pity that the softee machine has broken down and I was told to change to a whipped cream instead. Can you imagine how well-received they are. I have been advised to remind the kitchen to start preparing the soufflé when I was half way into my main course. It was like taking a number queue to a soufflé! I was asked to wait for another 15mins by the apologetic service staff. Not an issue at all, I said to myself because the end result was a light and airy inflated sponge that was unforgettable. The only negative I had was the fruits. Upon checking, I learnt that frozen mango fruits are used while the kiwi are fresh produces. I’d prefer ripened fruits atop my dessert, not raw and crunchy. Worst, the mango has a weird over-frozen texture makes them taste rubbery. However, the homemade whipped cream was smooth and not cloying. Undeniably, these fluffy treats really know how to please anyone, including a group of Japanese ladies who are spotted beaming away at their Matcha soufflé. Well, in my case, I would opt for a plain pancake without toppings, else a softee if anything. But do not leave the place without a cup of Hoshino blend.
Whaff that strong Hoshino caffeine scent right in front of me – that was one of the distinct characteristic while waiting in line. Carefully selected coffee beans were roasted over direct flame and then hand drip to a good-bodied brew. The blend has got a rather pale flavor less rich as compared to Oriole’s. Milder acidity but has a lingering smell. I guess the Japanese adores this light perfumery beverage, much than any of us. I am good for that 10g but if anyone wanted an extra brew, there is a 50% off for a refill.
I will back for another round of guilty pleasures! It is unquestionable that these notorious soufflé-style selections are truly to die-for. And you will be most glad to know that dining at Hoshino Coffee was never an aggressive experience but a slow and enjoyable process.Hoshino Coffee [Singapore] 68 Orchard Road, #03-84 Plaza Singapura (Atrium@Orchard) Singapore 238839 Tel: 6338 3277 Opening hours: 11:30am – 9:00pm (Daily) Curious about epiNosh day in, day out? Like her on fanpage now.