Food Picks: Allpress Espresso pop-up, Japanese-Indian menu collab

Coffee Basque cheesecake and Allpress affogato at Allpress Espresso's pop-up. PHOTOS: ALLPRESS @ 73 DUXTON

Allpress Espresso Pop-up

You may have had Allpress Espresso’s coffee brewed in various cafes, but now you can have it directly at the famed New Zealand brand’s pop-up, which will run for six months at 73 Duxton Road.

Fuel up with quintessential brews – prices start at $5 for an espresso – or go for a cold canned coffee ($5.50). The canned coffee options – iced black or oat flat white – are made with double espresso shots brewed with spring water.

If you are dining in, pair the coffee with, well, more coffee. 

The Allpress affogato (from $10) comes with a scoop of ice cream, a robust shot of espresso to pour over, and crispy almond florentine. Other highlights include coffee Basque cheesecake ($8) and vegan-friendly Allpress cold brew sorbet (from $6). 

Where: 73 Duxton Road
MRT: Maxwell/Tanjong Pagar
Open: 8am to 5pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, closed on Mondays

Japanese-Indian Four-Hands Menu

Japanese king crab thosai. ST PHOTO: EUNICE QUEK

It is the season of collaborations, and this is one you do not want to miss. 

Japanese chef Akane Eno of kappo restaurant Ichigo Ichie and Vasunthara Ramasamy – former MasterChef Singapore contestant and founder of private-dining outfit Cutlery Optional – have created a six-course dinner ($328++ a person) for a one-night-only event on June 10. 

Reservations for this special meal open on May 23.

At an early preview of the menu, I get to taste some of the new, thoughtful dishes that marry Japanese and Indian flavours, ingredients and techniques harmoniously. 

The meal starts with grilled Japanese sweet corn served with bafun uni, curry leaves and peanut podi.

Chef Vasunthara’s spicy podi packs quite a punch – the best way to whet the palate for what is to come. 

The next dish is Japanese king crab thosai, my favourite dish from the menu. The sweet crab meat is topped with kimizu (white miso, red vinegar and egg yolk-based sauce), cubed lotus root, fermented chilli paste and sudachi juice. 

Chef Vasunthara is known for her thosai, and this one has been fermented for 10 hours with added koji to enhance the aroma. 

Iga beef sirloin served with green mango kasundi, and fried plantain with bael and black garlic miso chutney. ST PHOTO: EUNICE QUEK

The main course features Iga beef sirloin served with green mango kasundi (mustard sauce) as well as fried plantain with bael and black garlic miso chutney. 

Another highlight is the ayu pulao, which is a brilliant cross between a donabe and the Indian rice dish. 

Fragrant basmati rice seasoned with coriander oil and curry leaf oil is paired with sweet ayu fish and perfectly complemented with Japanese amera tomato rasam to finish the remaining rice. 

To finish, dessert is a long pepper ice cream topped with a black sesame, miso and jaggery sauce. 

This is the second edition of chef Eno’s collaborative series. Her first was with Lolla’s head chef Johanne Siy in April. I cannot wait for the next one. 

Where: Ichigo Ichie, 02-07A InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, 1 Nanson Road
MRT: Havelock/Fort Canning
When: June 10, 6 to 8pm, 8.30 to 10.30pm
Tel: 9018-2897

Tonkatsu and Gyukatsu 

Oroshi Rosu Katsu set with deep-fried yuzu pork loin katsu topped with grated daikon. PHOTO: EN GROUP

I love a good tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet) and my go-to has always been Tonkatsu by Ma Maison at Westgate mall. 

I am now adding the new Tonkatsu ENbiton by EN Group – which runs various Japanese restaurant chains – to my list. It launched its first outlet in April at VivoCity, followed by another at Causeway Point this month.  

Its selling point is its “yuzu pork” tonkatsu, which basically means that the Kagoshima-bred pigs’ feed includes yuzu. 

No, it does not add extra flavour to the succulent meat, but the pork is said to be rich in Vitamin C, pectin and citric acid. Fried food that makes me feel nourished? I am sold. 

Prices start at $22++ for the pork loin katsu set, which comes with free-flow rice and salad. 

Miyazaki Gyukatsu comes with a hot-stone grill to finish cooking the beef. PHOTO: EN GROUP

The other star on the menu is the Miyazaki Gyukatsu (Japanese beef cutlet, $39++), where you can finish cooking the A4 or A5 beef on the accompanying hot stone grill. 

Do not worry about overcooking the beef – it is fatty enough to be grilled for a few minutes to release its delicious juices. 

There are fried goodies for the seafood lovers too. 

Kaisen Mix Fry Kuro Kare set with assorted seafood and black charcoal curry. PHOTO: EN GROUP

Go for the kaisen mix fry set ($25++) with deep-fried assorted seafood comprising prawn, Japanese oyster, scallop and salmon. There is also an option ($27++) that comes with black charcoal curry. 

Where: Tonkatsu ENbiton, B2-27/27A VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, and B1-19 Causeway Point, 1 Woodlands Square
MRT: HarbourFront/Woodlands
Open: 11am to 10pm daily

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