a really good – and creative – fusionish japanese meal at this hideaway of a cafe at the terrible-to-navigate orchard central. prepare yourself for a multitude of photos of food from different angles – the light at this place was delicious, and we ordered a heck of a lot of food.
this cafe shares its space with a boutique – and is rather gorgeously decked out in concrete and wood; but unlike many other new establishments with hipsterdom ambitions, the food here was flavorful and interesting, with better-than-good execution in most of the menu. reasonably priced, good portions and great cooking – this place reminds me a little of the market grill (for which I had lots of praise).
I’m going for a photo-with-caption post today instead of the usual essay – far too many dishes!
crispy quail eggs were alright. served with a sriracha mayo and crispy chicken skin – this would likely have been more impressive if the yolk was oozey.
zucchini pancakes were slightly bland veggie patties perked up with iberico, rocket and crumbled goat cheese – very beautiful colors.
prawn summer rolls were slightly loose renditions of this vietnamese classic – nothing out of the extraordinary, but easy to put away with that tangy sauce.
the salmon sushi + crispy chicken skin was a great favourite amongst some at the table. fried chicken skin wrapped in rice and topped with salmon sashimi, this was a good play on textures, and the savoriness of the chicken skin was something to behold.
that salmon was plenty tasty and smooth, but eating this made me a feel a little like I was on the cusp of a heart attack. I think I was the only one thus affected – we had second orders.
the dish of baby eggplant was hands-down the best dish at the table, and one of the most memorable ever. fantastic textures from the crisp tempura flakes, soft eggplant and oh-so-creamy mascarpone – and the flavors. dear lord, it was like a umami bomb.
I’m a sucker for hot-cold dishes, and that dollop of dairy melting over the warm eggplant was something to behold. utter and unreserved recommendations for this.
the beef short rib was also done expertly, the deep jus melding everything on the plate. a little fatty (I’m a sirloin/tenderloin kind of girl) – but great flavors.
kilo’s shakshuka is vegetarian – and I think it lacked a meaty richness. it was a huge portion, but a little more liquidy than I’d like. not bad, but the famous wild honey rendition wins out here.
they also have something called the sushiro – really just a large maki. the salmon avocado was alright – but the rice was a bit too compact, almost melding in a heavy mass. highly skippable (also because it’s terribly filling).
the portobello benedict stood out for its eponymous ingredient – it was moist and very tasty; I think it must have been marinated. that ahi mango poke + wanton chips was a little less successful though. it had a seasoning that reminded me of instant noodle seasoning – and the ahi is too subtle a fish to stand up to both the mango and that seasoning.
and of course, we had dessert – though the selection here is both small and uninspiring. the raw’s lava cake wasn’t great – the chocolate flavor was pretty mild, and the cake had a weird texture – a a denseness and lack of elasticity. the basil ice cream is worth ordering though – very moreish.
the banana bites came off the brunch menu, utterly delish. soft and creamy and satisfying, this disappeared so quickly that some people never really got at it (sorry!).
so – it was an experience of a meal. their menu is atypical, the flavors mostly worked out – and there were frequent bright sparks in the meal. worth coming to – even if only for the eggplant and banana bites – especially since interesting gems such as this are far and few in our dining scene.
Kilo at Pact
#02-16/17/18/19 Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
tel +65 6884 7560
$$.5: each = twenty-five to thirty