It had been a while since the Pasir Panjang neighbourhood had lost their specialty coffee joint with the closure of On The Table (opened by the same folks behind Lola’s Cafe and Dumpling Darlings; that is until the opening of the kins’ at BIJOU.
Located within BIJOU, the kins’ is the latest F&B establishment to have moved into the Pasir Panjang neighbourhood, which seemingly always had a lack of cafe options in the area. Being one of the first few tenants to have moved into the commercial-cum-residential development, the kins’ occupies two shop units situated within the centre of the property; one unit being dedicated to the dine-in area as well as the espresso bar, while the other unit housing the hot kitchen. Given the layout of the two shop spaces they had taken up, the kins’ is also being able to make use of the space in the middle surrounded by the two units for the al-fresco dining area; the area being well lit from the glass roof which also provides patrons shelter from the elements. Inside, the interior design of the kins’ is very much like cafes of the late, with the extensive use of white-coloured equipment and fittings with furniture that carries wooden elements for a minimalistic approach with a slight hint of European influence. Outdoor furniture is used for the seats situated outside of the cafe, with plants bordering the perimeters of the outdoor dining area which helps to bring the space closer to nature. We visited the kins’ during their soft launch phase; the menu was still being trialed during the period of our visit. Offering a mix of brunch options as well as mains, the menu does not run too far from that of other cafes conceptually, though some items do carry their own unique twist. Specialty coffee is being brewed using blends from Artisan Roastery, and from Two Degrees North Coffee Co. (which is also by the same folks behind The Populus Food & Coffee Co. at Neil Road). For those looking for other non-coffee beverage options, the kins’ also serve up items such as Hot/Iced Chocolate, as well as Tumeric Latte and Matcha/Houjicha Latte, just to name a few.
(Kim’s Big Brekkie)
Going for one of their brunch items, we opted for the Kin’s Big Brekkie; essentially the full works, the Kin’s Big Brekkie features elements such as Eggs, Duck Bacon, Pork Bratwurst, Sauteed Mushrooms, Hash Brown, and Vine Tomato. Patrons are able to choose between scrambled and sunny-side-up for the preferred style of eggs to be served with their order; we went for the former. Served atop a slice of toast, the scrambled egg was runny and silky without being particularly creamy; a great accompaniment to the toast which carried quite a bit of chew and bite whilst being well-crusted on the exterior. Other items such as the sauteed mushrooms were well-executed, being soft, bouncy and earthy while the hash brown was light and crisp without being overly greasy. The Pork Bratwurst was easy to chew; the skin not being overly thick, whilst carrying a consistent texture without unchewable, tough bits within. The duck bacon was also relatively easy to chew, whilst being decently savoury; not overly salty, while the vine tomato provides some balance to the entire plate with its juicy, refreshing tang. A pretty decent big breakfast plate with a good variety of items with a pretty substantial portion that should fill one up; certainly not the cheapest, but the quality does seem to resonate the price tag rather well.
(Gochujang Grilled Chicken)
We also went for one of the mains on the menu; the Gochujang Grilled Chicken is one of the mains which caught our attention when we skimmed through the menu. Featuring elements such as Korean Chili Paste Chicken Thigh, Kimchi Fries and Guacamole, this would be fitting for those who prefer to have something different from the usual brunch-y or western fare served at other cafes. Incorporating their very own twist to the usual chicken chop, the chicken thigh comes marinated and even slathered with a layer of Korean Chili Paste (aka Gochujang), giving the chicken thigh a hint of sweetness and slight spiciness apart from the usual savouriness. That being said, we thought the presentation of the kimchi fries were a tad odd; despite being labeled as kimchi fries, the kimchi was seemingly served separate from the fries; almost akin to that of being a dip for the fries. While we do understand that this was most probably a deliberate move done to prevent the fries from sogging up from the kimchi, we felt that most patrons would end up consuming the fries separate from the kimchi like how we did; albeit not how it was intended to be consumed. Still, the kimchi was a fitting condiment to be served along the Korean Chili Paste Chicken Thigh, helping to enhance the flavours whilst being crunchy and refreshing, while the Guacamole was smooth and creamy, and cut through the heavier flavours of the other elements on the plate.
(Kin’s Burnt Cheesecake)
Following the hype of the Basque Burnt Cheesecake of the late, the kins’ also serves up their very own version of the burnt cheesecake, being named the Kin’s Cheesecake. Served in the same manner like ho the Basque Burnt Cheesecake would be, the melted core of the cheesecake was absolutely creamy, while the firmer parts of the cheesecake still carry the smooth textures and familiar notes of a typical New York Cheese Cake. The surface of the cake is served deliberately burnt to add a flavour contrast; a slightly charred flavour that provided the cake its more complex, yet undoubtedly satisfying dimension of flavours that blend together so well. While we have not had many versions of the Basque Burnt Cheesecake to form an accurate opinion, the variant served at the kins’ is certainly one of the better variants we have had thus far.
(5 Oz White)
Opting for the usual cuppa, we found the 5 Oz White to be well-pulled being smooth and creamy, whilst carrying a medium body with a nutty flavour profile and a fruity finish.
(White Cold Brew)
Intrigued by how they were also serving a White Cold Brew on the menu, we also found ourselves going for it. The White Cold Brew here is significantly punchier in terms of its body, being a suitably intense, yet sweetened beverage that works well on a leisurely weekend brunch.
Given how BIJOU is not yet a location that most people are not familiar with and how Pasir Panjang is a little off the beaten track for cafe hoppers, the kins’ does seem to have quite a bit of potential to put Pasir Panjang back into the maps of avid cafe hoppers as a neighbourhood to check out. No doubt that there is some room for improvement to be made to the items that we had (though mostly restricted to that of the Gochujang Grilled Chicken), but the kins’ does serve up pretty quality fare and coffee at a decent price range that goes well with the quality of food that they are trying to serve. Considering the great use of space and the relaxed vibe that the kins’ had tried to design their space around, the kins’ is certainly off a good start if they are able to maintain the quality of the food served in the long run; a space that is certainly worth looking out for in the future, we hereby wish the folks behind the kins’ all the best in what has to come in the future, and we would certainly be back another time, especially for that great Kin’s Burnt Cheesecake that we just simply cannot have enough of!
2 Jalan Mat Jambol
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thekinscafe/