(Nunkkot has since ceased operations.)
Thomson has been quite a popular spot for cafes recently, with old players such as Windowsill Pies and Les Patisseries moving to the neighbourhood of the late. Despite with the myriad of cafes operating in the area now, it had always been a neighbourhood known more for cheap local eats, waffles and ice-cream as well as specialty coffee.
Nunkkot taps on a market previously left untouched within the Thomson neighbourhood. Being the only Korean Dessert Cafe in the neighbourhood and even in the vicinity, Nunkkot replaces Beegurt at Thomson V Two. Currently, Nunkkot serves only pudding and bingsu, with the latter being the main focus with a variety of flavours available to choose from. The interior of the shop space is almost left untouched, using mainly the same furnishings left behind by the previous tenant.
(Black Sesame Bingsu)
After having seen an image of their Black Sesame Bingsu appear on Burpple, I was keen on trying that particular flavour out. Upon ordering, we were told that they had ran out of the usual rice cakes that tops the bingsu by the default, and were given an option of either picking either cheesecake or ice-cream to replace the rice cake. We opted for vanilla ice-cream amongst many other flavours that were available as it sounded like a safe option. We were pretty impressed with the quality of the bingsu served here at Nunkkot; unlike many places that had opened recently where the ice felt a tad bland and melted a wee bit too fast, Nunkkot’s shaved ice was milky, soft and fluffy; shaved extremely fine and did not melt as easily as most other Bingsu would. It also came with quite a reasonable amount of toppings, such as almond flakes and black sesame powder so the intended flavour remains consistent throughout; there was never a moment where the Bingsu felt too devoid of its toppings. A jar of evaporated milk comes on the side for those who prefer their Bingsu to come a little sweeter.
Caramel Pudding was one of the new desserts that they had just put up on sale on the day of our visit. Coming in a flower pot, it comes topped off with Oreo cookie dust and popping candy. The pudding was eggy and carried a subtle sweetness, while complimented with soft cocoa flavours from the Oreo bits. Popping candy though was not explosive in the mouth, did added some candid moments where you could actually hear all the explosive action while you chew on it; pretty interesting and fun. Perhaps a gimmicky dessert by nature, but definitely fun to have with a friend or two. While the concept of the flower pot is good where the oreo cookie bits and popping candy mimicks soil, they could consider adding a faux flower to the dessert to further enhance the physical appeal of the dessert; after all food these days are not just judged by flavour, but on instagramability as well.
Nunkkot is one place that seemed to have quite a bit of potential, especially in a neighbourhood which seems void of Korean Dessert Cafes. While the food looks promising and actually does deliver, Nunkkot does have to amp up on their business sense. Stating their operating hours as Monday to Sunday from 4:30pm to 11:30pm, one thing they definitely have to improve on is their punctuality; we were around the area since 5:00pm, and they were still closed right up till 30 minutes later when we decided to walk in and ask if they were opened. It was also probably one hour into opening that they decided to switch on the lights in the cafe, as well as the display chiller when we were about to leave; this seemed to have turned off quite a few potential customers who thought that they were still closed when they passed by before the lights were switched on. Also, the staff seemed to have a tendency to hide in the kitchen which is being covered by a shade behind the counter; yet another factor that could have turned off potential patrons as there was no staff manning the counter physically. Yes, it is important that the food being served is good in order for an establishment to suceed, but there are also a lot of tiny factors that contribute along the way. While they are innovative in brainstorming what would be good to draw customers over to try them out, they must also be more proactive in the customer’s experience, for everything has to start with a customer walking through the door.
Thomson V Two
11 Sin Ming Road
10 Sinaran Drive
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/nunkkotcafesg