Famed Cafe Kitsune opens at Capitol Singapore on Thursday

Cafe Kitsune's 40-seat outlet offers a menu of cakes, pastries, drinks and its signature fox-shaped shortbread. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY
Cafe Kitsune's interior with a “Paris-meets-Tokyo feel”. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE – The famed French-Japanese cafe chain Cafe Kitsune makes its debut at Capitol Singapore on Thursday.

First launched in 2013 in Tokyo’s Aoyama district by co-founders Gildas Loaec and Masaya Kuroki, the brand now has 22 cafes across 16 cities.

Here, the chic 40-seat outlet offers a menu of cakes, pastries, drinks and its signature fox-shaped shortbread ($4 each) – a nod to the brand’s name, which means “fox” in Japanese.

For savouries, there are just two sandos available – egg ($13) or chicken katsu ($15).

While 70 per cent of the menu features signature items, the others will be specially curated for Singapore, says Ms Johanna Lellouche, 34, Cafe Kitsune’s director of operations and business development.

Highlights include the Paris Brest ($12), yuzu pistachio strawberry entremet ($13) and chilli chocolate tart ($12) – an interesting pairing of sweet chocolate balanced with the mild heat from chilli.

Special attention is paid to its full-bodied coffee (from $4.50 for an espresso), which is made from two types of speciality coffee beans from Brazil and Guatemala.

The beans are roasted in Cafe Kitsune’s roastery in Okoyama, Japan, and flown here every month. It is available for purchase from $15 for a 100g bag.

To ensure the perfect cup, the cafe’s baristas here went for training in France.

For a good hit of caffeine, go for the cortado ($6.50), which is two espresso shots with an equal amount of milk.

The store also sells a small selection of merchandise including cups (from $35), notebooks ($33) and tote bags ($75) .

Plans to expand into Singapore had been in the works “for a long time”, says Ms Lellouche, with more outlets in the pipeline – including a cafe-restaurant which will offer a wider range of hot food.

The brand is continuing to expand overseas, including Los Angeles, Bali, Kuwait City and Taipei.

Calling Singapore a “key market”, she does not rule out opening Cafe Kitsune’s sister fashion brand Maison Kitsune here as well.

Cafe Kitsune’s (clockwise from left) coffee, fox-shaped shortbread, yuzu pistachio strawberry entremet and chilli chocolate tart. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

After all, Maison Kitsune is the lifestyle empire’s first brand that launched in 2002, and now has 41 locations worldwide, including Paris, London, New York City, Tokyo and Seoul.

The co-founders also have a music label, Kitsune Musique, which features budding talents who are about to make a breakthrough in music.

Diners at Cafe Kitsune will be able to hear Kitsune Musique’s soundtrack, adding to the ambience of the laid-back space.

While all outlets will have a “Paris-meets-Tokyo feel” with a clean and minimalist aesthetic, each one will have its own identity according to the location.

Ms Lellouche says: “In Singapore, we wanted to reflect the city’s lush green scenery with the use of tropical plants to decorate the space. Nowhere else in the world is quite like Singapore. You can feel an undeniable energy.”

Cafe Kitsune is at 01-11 Capitol Singapore, 13 Stamford Road. It opens from Thursday, 10am to 10pm daily.

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