New cafes seem to be sprouting up in Joo Chiat every week — not that I’m complaining. The latest addition to the perpetually buzzy neighbourhood is Café Natsu, a cafe concept offering Western brunch classics with a Japanese flair.
The cafe occupies a shared space with Crane Joo Chiat and the hole-in-the-wall Kohi Roastery & Coffee Bar in a historic corner building. And sure enough, the Coffee (from S$3.85) served here is curated by Kohi.
The cafe’s East meets West philosophy shines through in both the menu and interior design. I absolutely love the pops of dark green, leather, and wood — I’m taking design inspo as we speak.
Japanese-inspired sandos have been making waves in the cafe scene and Café Natsu has jumped on the bandwagon with a trio of sandos, all of which are served with togarashi fries: Chicken Katsu (S$26), Wagyu Beef Short Rib (S$30), and Egg Mayo (S$22).
The classic Benedict (S$28) is infused with Japanese elements like sancho pepper, miso hollandaise, and wasabi spinach, while the Wagyu Burger (S$28) (available at lunch from 12pm) is served with yuzu kosho mayo. You get the drift.
The dinner menu, having been conceptualised by Chef Lewis Barker of One Michelin Star-restaurant Sommer, is predominantly European, but with Japanese flavours for that umami punch. Expect hearty yet refined mains like the Spicy Bisque Spaghettini (S$28), Shio Kombu Gnocchi (S$24), and Wagyu Tartare (S$28).
An impressive selection of sweets is a must for any fully-fledged Japanese cafe. The dessert menu may be modest in size, but do not skimp on quality or presentation. I’ve got my eye on the prize, that is, the custardy Baked Hokkaido Cheese Tart (S$8) and Yuzu & Lime Meringue Pie (S$12).
I foresee the Mochi Fried Doughnuts (S$12) that’s served with salted Hokkaido milk ice cream, and the Warabi Mochi (S$12) to be a hit with dinner guests, myself included. Yes, I am one of those mochi maniacs.
Do note that at the time of writing, only walk-ins are allowed.
It looks like my long overdue cafe-hopping session around Katong and Joo Chiat needs to finally take place.
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📍 283 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427537
🕒 8.30am–5.30pm (Tue to Sun)
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