Living in Singapore it’s not hard to notice the influence that Japan has on our foodie landscape. You’ll find Japanese restaurants and cafes in pretty much every neighbourhood, and of course if you love desserts, there are tons of spots to grab sweet treats made with ingredients from places like Hokkaido. The latest Japanese offering to hit the island is Baristart Coffee, a unique cafe from Sapporo that rose to fame in Japan’s burgeoning cafe culture for its cool interiors, excellent beans, and a focus on high-quality Hokkaido BIEI Jersey milk.
We’re all about the coffee at UJ, so when we walked by this spot, we were immediately attracted to the coffee aromas wafting out and the ultra-Instagrammable black brick facade with an asymmetrical wooden entrance. Inside it was bright and welcoming with cosy wooden tables and a long bar where you can watch the baristas work their magic. We were pretty intrigued by the coffee equipment, which includes a sleek Modbar Espresso AV machine.
The baristas are real pros here, especially when it comes to latte art. No surprise considering they were all intensively trained by award-winning coffee pro Yuki Takeuchi, who is also the chief barista. Of course we had to try the latte, and we were pretty impressed with the robust flavour of the beans and the extra creamy milk that was heavier than what you usually get.
As for food, there weren’t any breakfast items on the menu, but we did notice a few intriguing lunch dishes made with imported Japanese ingredients like the rice bowl with Hokkaido kurobuta pork belly infused with sweet soy sauce and the tuna and avocado salad with wasabi dressing. The menu sounded interesting, but we reckon this will be more of a coffee spot for us.
We all know that beans are the most important element of a good cup of joe, and Baristart uses only top-grade blends and single origin beans from roasters in Tokyo and Sapporo. However, the founders also believe that milk is just as important when it comes to espresso-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos, which is why they source their milk from Hokkaido brown Jersey cows, a breed that produces uber-rich milk with a high butterfat content and slightly sweet taste. We’re pretty stoked that here in Singapore they’re importing the same quality ingredients that made their Sapporo flagship so famous.
Would we return?
Yes, we’ll definitely be hitting Baristart up for morning coffee meetings. If you’re a coffee nerd and into super rich, creamy lattes, then you need to check this place out. Be warned though, it’s not cheap—a latte will set you back about $7.
Baristart Coffee Singapore, 65 Tras Street, Singapore 079004. p. +65 6904 3169. Open daily 10am – 10pm