KIN by us.

October 05, 2015

An overdue review but a lengthy and photo-heavy one because visiting KIN as a group of 5 meant going in with a YOLO mindset and ordering basically half of the menu. We sure attracted a lot of stares as our food was brought out one after the other. Uel was such a good sport taking our order and he didn't even have to jot anything down in a notepad - what a great memory he has! We were extremely glad that there was minimal wait for a table despite it being a Saturday however parking was a concern and we were lucky to find some parking in the residential area opposite.

Lovely communal setup
I was very fond of the whole layout of the trendy cafe which emanated an open vibe with the opportunity to watch Shannelle and the rest of the team in action. It was certainly reassuring to know that there were no shortcuts to their food preparation. 

Drinks menu
It was a tough decision as everything sounded so appealing but I finally settled on the Golden Gaytime Shake which the majority of my friends chose too.

The food selection
We came after 11:30 so we could order from the lunch menu as well. Can I mention that I adore the aesthetics of the menu, simple and quirky.

Milo Mocha Dinosaur $5
Having dinosaur in the description gave the impression that it would be a beverage of epic proportions but that wasn't the case. A tad bigger than your standard mocha and the heaping of milo made it unique however the verdict was that it wasn't anything special.

Durian Affogato $7
Durian isn't everyone's cup of tea as it has a characteristic pungent smell that can be considered invasive but I for one, love durian and got my friend to order it on top of the multiple Gaytime shakes.

The sloppy result
Ignore the coffee spill there, obviously some pouring skills need to be improved on. The durian ice cream was delicious and jam-packed with durian flavour. The combination of durian and coffee was a little strange at first but I quickly became accustomed to it. The ice cream was of a wonderful consistency and sweetened the coffee quite nicely and didn't find the durian flavour overwhelming although others may think otherwise.

Golden Gaytime Shake $10
Not too thick and not too runny, it was just right. The classic ice cream made for a delightful shake with notes of toffee and honeycomb pervading throughout.  That soft cookie crumble was missing though and would have been a great textural component of the shake if it were present. I would have appreciated a thicker straw too just so more of the liquefied ice cream could be consumed with each sip and also be able to get the honeycomb biscuit sitting woefully at the bottom. Also I thought $10 to be pricey, considering one can buy a 4-pack of Gaytimes for $8.

Kaya Toast $8
Kaya toast is a classic breakfast item in Malaysia and Singapore. It is so simple, yet so delicious. Kaya is coconut jam and you can easily get a jar of these at Asian groceries however I was pleased to discover that the kaya spread at KIN is house-made and I can attest that it tasted very authentic. The toast was warm which allowed the kaya and slather of butter to meld together. The coconut flavour, the consistency and sweetness of the kaya were on point. The only downside was the cost for the amount served. 

Sub-Marine $18 
The soft shell crab was encased in a crispy and salty batter which upon biting into I was met with the juicy innards of crab meat. The chilli was the perfect addition as the spiciness gave it some extra oomph and the brioche roll had a really nice crunchy exterior reminiscent of Vietnamese pork rolls. 

Miso Yummy $17
KIN did no wrong regarding the cooking of the salmon as it was very tender but I wasn't quite sure if I could detect the miso flavour and overall it tasted a bit lacklustre. The ball of sesame spinach on the side was quite unremarkable and didn't do anything for flavour either. Compared to the other dishes we had, there were no surprising flavours that popped. The onsen eggs on the other hand really upped the appearance of the dish with its translucent egg whites encapsulating yolks waiting to burst.

Galbi Back $18
Unlike Miso Yummy, the sheer amount of flavour was a stark contrast. I was so surprised at how tasty the grilled beef ribs were. The ribs were tender and marinated in a pineapple special sweet sauce that was sticky and very addictive. The brioche bun was especially good as it had soaked up some of that delicious sauce and the bed of lettuce was necessary to balance out the rich flavours.

Congee $15
KIN was generous with the pork floss which was super fluffy, melted on the tongue and gave the congee a wonderful salty and slightly sweet flavour. The congee itself was executed well, I thought the texture and consistency was excellent as I prefer my congee on the goopier side and definitely not lumpy. An onsen egg rested at the bottom which was a nice surprise and dispersing the egg throughout the congee made it more slippery smooth in texture. The let down was the Chinese doughnut as I thought it too tough and doughy. I will give brownie points for it not being drenched in oil but at the expense of a crispy and fluffy doughnut stick I will gladly take the latter.

Wing It $8
Super flavoursome chicken wings with strong notes of garlic. It wasn't as spicy as I thought it would be and leaned towards being overly salty. The batter was crisp where it hadn't soaked up the sauce but soggy where it had which was slightly disappointing because I like my batter crunchy all the way.

Waffle Belly $17
The waffle wasn't your typical waffle as it was made of potato making the texture very soft and wholesome but the exterior wasn't crusty enough for me but it was still enjoyable. Now you can't have your carbs without some protein; the braised caramel soy pork belly was delicious and not to mention the glorious onsen egg. There is no doubt they do the best poached eggs, I am impressed at how delicately thin the egg whites were and the yolk was like liquid silk. We've seen their signature onsen eggs intact so it's time for some of that picturesque yolk to make a feature. All of that heaviness was balanced out with some shredded red cabbage and thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms.

Unphogetabowl $21
We didn't order this dish initially and only decided to get it when the some diners close by were presented with it and we watched in amazement the beef broth being carefully poured out of an earthenware teapot. Uel did the honorary pouring for ours.

A Vietnamese classic turned into a visual feast. It was a creative rendition but I only tasted minor similarities to the traditional pho. The beef noodle soup was hearty and simple but really lacked that distinctive flavoursome broth that I am accustomed to. I think the main factor was the absence of star anise to infuse the broth with that characteristic flavour. The chargrilled wagyu wasn't great, it was too tough and chewy which was disappointing since wagyu is synonymous with being tender. It wasn't all negative though, as the rice noodles were quite enjoyable but could have been more slippery and softer in texture and the panko onsen egg was a nice touch just make sure to not immerse it into the broth otherwise the panko batter becomes soggy.

Lava's in the Air $12
After having the green tea fondant at Cre Asion I knew this was a must order. This unassuming chocolate fondant  concealed what would have to be one of the most creative centres concocted.

Salted egg yolk goodness
The egg theme is strong at KIN and of course some variation of it had to be incorporated in their dessert and I was not disappointed. The yolk centre wasn't as oozy as I would have liked but what was of more importance was how awesome that salted egg yolk custard was. It was the perfect harmony of sweet and salty in a delectable creamy custard housed inside a warm and gooey chocolate fondant.

KIN is a great cafe run by MKR couple Uel and Shannelle. There are a range of creative drinks and food on offer and the majority are done well however some miss the mark like the pho and salmon dishes. There is always something different to try as the menu is seasonal and I can't wait for my next visit.

KIN by us. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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