Maison Ikkoku: Cafe at Level 1

by Camy Tan on October 4, 2011

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Cafe hunters in town have something to be excited about with Maison Ikkoku in town! And before you dismiss it as “another one of them”, it might just pique your interest to hear that the new spot has is a modern artisanal coffee joint with a distinctive Japanese guesthouse coziness to it. Plus, this 3-in-1 cafe includes a boutique on level 2 (sorry girls, this one’s for the boys only!) plus a cocktail bar to be opened in November on level 3.

This concept reflects the value proposition of the owners (two husband-and-wife couples, too cute!) – Thomas Ho & Janice along with Franz Chua & Shanie Teoh. “We want Maison Ikkoku to be more than just a cafe… it is an experiential destination; a place where coffee aficionados, shopaholics and cocktail-lovers alike can congregate and spend an entire day-out fulfilling lifestyle desires and creating memories,” said Thomas.

True to their dedication to sophisication, the cafe uses coffee beans from Brazil and Ethiopia and are roasted weekly by their very own baristas. Maison Ikkoku even brought in top Latte Art Champion Hiroshi Sawada from Japan to train the baristas so you can only expect top-notch quality cups from the cafe.

If you happen to be down at the cafe on a hot day (and we all know that’s nearly everyday in this island), pick a glass of Iced Americano to cool yourself down. Absolutely refreshing with a rich caramel aftertaste unique to coffees, this is the perfect summer drink!

Those looking to experiment a little can look to get the speciality brews such as the French Press, Filter, Drip and Syphon which creates coffee with different notes. My friend whom I invited along had a lovely cup of drip coffee with the Santa Alina beans available.

We asked two baristas to help create their best latte, or rather, cappucino art. And we were greeted with two rather impressive pieces as you see above! The best part still, the coffee was as delicious as it looks. The capps had a smooth and creamy body, which works well if you want a comforting mid-day drink.

And if you were curious as to what happens behind the bar counters, we got another baristas Lynette to show us how she prepares a cup of Iced Mocha – yum!

Maison Ikkoku also very kindly extended some bite-sized versions of items from their menu for the guests present to taste. Boy and were we in for a treat!

MI has a selection of 6 gourmet sandwiches on its menu and we tried the Ham with Monterey Jack Cheese. We loved the ciabatta used in the sandwich for its good bite with the savoury fillings of the ham and cheese coupled with baby spinach leaves for some freshness.

We also got to try 2 house specialities – the MI Musubi and the MI Pork Bun. The Musubi is a sushi-like concoction made from Japanese short grain rice with seasoning and topped with SPAM luncheon meat. This is some Janice picked up from her experience studying in Hawaii so that’s a bit of exoticness we do not usually get in Singapore! The MI Pork Bun is a familiar sight to the locals. The Kong Bar Pau is nicely braised and goes well with the light and fluffy bun. Definitely a must-try!

Maison Ikkoku is also opened for breakfast and we’re completely excited to try their breakfast menu as we eyed Eggs Florentine and Eggs Benedict on the menu.

In addition to the savoury, the cafe also serves desserts baked by their in-house baker. Simple but delightful, we loved the cakes we got to try as they were soft and moist the way all tea time cakes should be. Have some of the desserts to go with your coffee for a break before the end of work.

And as a little plug, from now till 23 October, you’ll see the installation of the U Cafe at Maison Ikkoku. This is means you’ll get to browse a specially picked collection of unique magazines sourced from overseas while getting a cup of nicely brewed coffee. How’s that for living the life?

Maison Ikkoku
20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885
(Two streets down from Arab Street)
Mon – Thu: 09:00-19:00
Fri – Sat: 09:00-22:00
Sun: 08:30-18:00
Tel: 6234 0078

If you enjoyed the tour of Level 1 of Maison Ikkoku, follow us up to Level 2 to view the boutique!

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