Sunday 22 May 2016

Ninja Bowl, Japanese Inspired Donburi & Brunch @ Duxton Road

Taken over the space formally owned Department of Caffeine at Duxton Road, Ninja Bowl now serves healthy one-bowl meals and all-day brunch items executed with Japanese flair. At the newest concept, Ninja Bowls comprise Japanese-inspired items such as aburi chashu as well as options of padding them up with quinoa, orzo etc.

Just so you know this is the third outlet by The Astronauts Group that also owns two other successful establishments, Chillax Cafe and Babette Restaurant & Bar. All prices at Ninja Bowl are nett cost and the restaurant does not have service charge. Just simply place your orders at the counter and it will be served to your tables.

Tried one of this interesting drinks at Ninja Bowl, Coconut Lemon Mint $8. This refreshing beverage comprises of coconut juice, lemon wedges and mint leaves. Initially the combination felt a little off for me but after a few slips, it was actually not bad. Individual preference I would say.

These Ninja Bowls comprise Japanese inspired items and you have the choice of padding them up of your choice such as Quinoa (+$3), Ninja Rice, Orzo or Garden Greens (+$2). We had the Yasai $16 bowl which comes in chunks of salmon poke steeped in blend of soy and ponzu sauce, as well as balsamic tomatoes, mixed sultanas and onsen egg. In this case, we had the quinoa for something healthier. Fun fact: Quinoa contains a healthy dose of fatty acids.

For chicken cut, the Kabuki $14 will be for you. This bowl is filled with tender pieces of deboned chicken thigh marinated in miso, soy sauce, garlic and honey. It is then sous-vide before it is seared which results in a crispy and smoky finish. It is then topped with baby corn, pickled beets, onsen egg, Korean beansprouts and fried shallots.

At Ninja Bowl, everyone can find something here to suit their taste. Fans of Japanese chashu will love the Buta $14. I adore the thick slices of homemade cured pork belly where it is blow-torched for a smoky char. Once again, it is topped with an onsen egg, balsamic tomatoes, ume-pickled apples and roasted pumpkin seasoned with seaweed flakes.

Moving on to the brunch items, seafood lovers will find joy in this - Ebisu $18. This bowl features seared Hokkaido scallops and mussels cooked in a unami-filled miso cream sauce, topped with 2 slices of bread. The sauce tasted like the usual pasta cream base to me while the fresh scallops were delectable, it was succulent and juicy.

Gyu & Tama $17 is Ninja Bowl's signature 24-hour braised beef cheek on the brunch menu. The tender braised beef cheek is now matched with a side of scrambled eggs dotted with white button, shimeiji mushrooms and semi-dried tomatoes. Also a slice of toast is added to complete this dish.

Brunch items here are served all day and the all time favorite, Fancy French $16. A portion of homemade fig jam is stuffed in a thick-cut homemade brioche, then cooked till golden brown and drizzle with honey infused with umeboshi (pickled plum) and topped with hazelnut butter. It is overall a sweet dish, together with a moist and dense toast, I find this enjoyable. As this is made to order, this dish has a waiting time of 20 minutes.

There are several other dishes featured on the extensive menu too, such as tuna tataki or yaki unagi ninja bowl. A selection of daily changing sliced cakes at $7 is available too, look out for them! The modern industrial interior of this cafe is indeed cosy to chill. The ninja bowls were interestingly good despite the hefty price tag, worth trying.

Ninja Bowl
15 Duxton Road
Singapore 089481
Tel: 6222 8055
Opening Hours: 930am - 730pm (Weekdays)
9am - 6pm (Weekends)

*This was an invited media tasting.

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