Ginza Kushi Katsu, Ninja Bowl, Shiberty Bakes, Moca Cafe, Mingle Mangle

Gyu-katsu, premium beef fillet deep-fried for 60seconds at 210 deg c
Gyu-katsu, premium beef fillet deep-fried for 60seconds at 210 deg cPHOTO: GINZA KUSHI KATSU
Tsukiji ($16), with tuna tataki, asparagus and edamame tossed in lemon juice and sesame oil, topped with an onsen egg
Tsukiji ($16), with tuna tataki, asparagus and edamame tossed in lemon juice and sesame oil, topped with an onsen egg PHOTO: NINJA BOWL
Macarons ($2 each)
Macarons ($2 each) PHOTO: SHIBERTY BAKES
Prosciutto Ham ($20)
Prosciutto Ham ($20)PHOTO: MOCA CAFE
 Banana caramel gateau ($12)
Banana caramel gateau ($12) PHOTO: MINGLE MANGLE

1. GINZA KUSHI KATSU

You may be familiar with tonkatsu - breaded and deep-fried pork cutlets - commonly served in Japanese restaurants.

Now, try kushi-katsu, which refers to deep-fried Japanese skewered meat and vegetables, at the new Ginza Kushi Katsu restaurant in Paragon.

The signature item is gyu-katsu, premium beef fillet deep-fried for 60 seconds at 210 deg C. This results in a crisp crust encasing medium-rare beef. Eat it that way or cook the meat to your desired doneness with the mini hotplate provided.

Prices start from $20.80 (a la carte) for Australia beef fillet gyu-katsu (90g) to $49.80 (set) for United States Angus tenderloin gyu-katsu (180g).

For a more indulgent meal, opt for the kushi-katsu party set ($29.80 for 12 skewers, $54.80 for 24 skewers) and add $5.90 for either cheese or demi-glace fondue to dip the skewers into. There is a free flow of shredded raw cabbage and housemade dressing too.

Other menu highlights include Chef's Special beef hashed rice ($15.80) and pork loin kushi-katsu ($18.80 for a set), which includes prawn, pumpkin and salmon skewers.

Ginza Kushi Katsu is owned by Japan Foods Holding, which runs restaurant chains such as Ajisen Ramen, Osaka Ohsho and Menya Musashi.

Where: Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, B1-47

Open: 11.30am to 10pm daily

Info: Call 6262-1304 or go to www.facebook.com/ginzakushikatsu

2. NINJA BOWL

Head to Ninja Bowl for a guilt-free meal.

The 46-seat outlet specialises in Japanese-inspired Ninja Bowls with ingredients such as aburi chashu (torched pork belly) and yaki unagi (grilled eel).

Add quinoa, orzo pasta, garden greens or a blend of vinegared Japanese pearl rice and brown rice with seaweed flakes.

Menu highlights include Tsukiji ($16), with tuna tataki, asparagus and edamame tossed in lemon juice and sesame oil, topped with an onsen egg; Genki ($16), a yaki unagi bowl topped with roasted pumpkin, Korean mung beansprouts, pickled beets and an onsen egg; and Kaisen ($16), with pan-seared Hokkaido scallops, New Zealand mussels, carrots, and shimeji, shiitake and button mushrooms.

All-day brunch options include Gyu & Tama ($17), Ninja Bowl's signature 24-hour braised beef cheek with a side of scrambled eggs, white button and shimeji mushrooms and semi-dried tomatoes; and Fancy French ($16), thick-cut housemade brioche stuffed with fig jam and drizzled with honey infused with umeboshi (pickled plum), served with slices of figs, plums, green grapes and edible flowers.

Ninja Bowl is owned by The Astronauts Group, which also runs Chillax Cafe in Serangoon Garden and Babette in Tyrwhitt Road.

Where: 15 Duxton Road

Open: 9.30am to 7.30pm (weekday), 9am to 6pm (weekend); dinner service starts next month

Info: Call 6222-8055

3. SHIBERTY BAKES

Satisfy your sweet craving at this new dessert cafe by blogger-turned-baker Jessica Loh.

The menu features Shiberty Toast ($16 each), which is Shibuya-style thick toast in three flavours: Classic, with berries, maple honey and sea salt caramel; Rocher, with chocolate, fudge sauce and hazelnuts; and Matcha, with cookies, white chocolate drizzle and green tea.

Waffle lovers can opt for Gourmet Waffles ($14) such as Red Velvet, with cookies, fudge sauce and strawberry cheesecake; and Charcoal, with macaron, white chocolate drizzle and hazelnut. All toasts and waffles come with vanilla ice cream.

Other sweet treats include cupcakes ($4 each) such as lemon meringue, Kinder Bueno and Cookies & Cream; and macarons ($2 each) such as salted egg, Ferrero Rocher, red velvet, Earl Grey and honey lavender.

For drinks, check out the loaded milkshakes ($9) such as strawberry cheesecake, sea salt caramel and matcha as well as coffee frappes ($7), sodas ($4) and iced tea ($5).

Where: 46 Owen Road, 01-277

Open: Noon to 9pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday

Info: Call 6291-5221

4. MOCA CAFE

The Museum of Contemporary Arts (Moca@Loewen) has opened a 60-seat cafe amid the lush greenery of Loewen Road.

Appetiser options include calamari ($22) with caper mayonnaise; pumpkin soup ($10) and rocket salad ($16), with shaved pears, toasted walnuts and balsamic reduction; and Prosciutto Ham ($20), Parma ham with mixed salad, green olives and cherry tomato.

Choices of main course include seafood spaghetti ($46), with half a lobster, clams, prawns, crabmeat and fresh herbs in tomato sauce; prawn linguine ($28); braised veal cheek ($32); grilled lamb chops ($34), with polenta cake and sauteed asparagus; and pan-seared black cod ($34), with sauteed baby spinach and mashed potatoes.

Complete the meal with desserts such as chocolate banana dome ($13), tiramisu ($14) and panna cotta ($12), with mixed fresh berries.

Where: 27A Loewen Road

Open: 10.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30 to 10pm (weekday), 10.30am to 10pm (weekend)

Info: Call 6509-4730 or e-mail cafe@mocaloewen.com

5. MINGLE MANGLE

First conceived as a place for the photography community to gather, this cafe has morphed into a place for ice cream and coffee as well as a photo gallery supporting Singapore talent.

Unusual ice cream flavours include pepper crab, chilli crab, white truffle and watermelon soju. Prices start at $3.80 a scoop (classic flavour) and $4.50 a scoop (premium flavour).

Waffle prices start at $5.50 for the Golden Waffle and $6.50 each for the charcoal and red velvet options.

Special dessert creations include Durian Durian ($10.50), with durian ice cream on durian mousse cake; and banana caramel gateau ($12), with peanut butter ice cream, sliced bananas and toasted butter brioche with caramel sauce.

Pastries such as croissants ($3), chicken pie ($5) and double chocolate brownie ($5) are also available.

The coffee (from $3 for an espresso) is from home-grown roaster Chye Seng Huat Hardware.

Where: Block 476 Upper Serangoon View, 02-07

Open: Noon to 10pm (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday); noon to 11pm (Friday and Saturday)

Info: www.facebook.com/minglemangle.com.sg

Eunice Quek

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 24, 2016, with the headline 'Open For Business'. Print Edition | Subscribe