Hello Arigato may be a familiar name for those who frequent cafes, but did you know that they’ve finally opened in Bukit Timah?
Having just visited their Everton Park outpost in May 2023, which sells some of the most delectable milk donuts I’ve ever tried, I couldn’t wait to make the trip down to the popular Japanese-inspired cafe’s fourth and largest outlet yet.
The 40-seater space is located just a short walk from Botanic Gardens MRT, one unit away from another very buzzy cafe, so you definitely won’t miss it!
Aside from speciality sandos and coffee, Hello Arigato Bukit Timah has rolled out an all-new line-up of pastas — Italian classics with a Japanese twist — that we’ll talk about in a bit.
But first, sandos.
The cafe typically offers a selection of signature sandos, alongside a couple of options exclusive to each outlet. In our case, we were faced with the difficult choice of choosing from the Yakiniku Gyu Sando (S$20), Red Curry Kani Sando (S$20), and Wagyu Hamburg Gyu Sando (S$28), which we eventually opted for.
Although the Whisky BBQ Katsu Sando from Hello Arigato’s Everton Park outlet still takes the top spot for me, this was still very tasty and hearty.
This is a step up from the crowd favourite Gyu Sando, comprising a moist and juicy breaded wagyu hamburg beef patty with caramelised sweet onion jam and American cheddar on Japanese milk bread (as always). It’s like chowing down on a satisfying burger, but in sando form.
We were also recommended the CBS (S$14), a sharing plate composed of crispy brussels sprouts with Japanese garlic soy glaze, drizzled with sour cream, fried shallots, and scallions.
Despite not being the biggest fan of brussels sprouts, they were were nicely charred, with most of the bitter aftertaste masked by the sour cream and sweet soy glaze.
As for the pastas, the Hokkaido Milk Carbonara (S$22) may not be authentically Italian, but the addition of shiro miso, Hokkaido milk, and onsen tamago, made for an extra silky mouthful. Instead of the usual spaghetti, it is prepared using bucatini, a thick, hollow pasta, which easily soaks up all that creamy goodness.
My only gripe? I would’ve preferred for the smoked pancetta to be cut into smaller chunks.
The Yuzu Miso Kinoko (S$18) was way more up my alley, comprising tagliatelle with mixed wild mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano, negi oil, togarashi, and yuzu miso sauce, topped with crispy kale. This was incredibly rich, umami-forward, and smoky, reminscent of a Japanese bak chor mee.
Let’s just say I could’ve slurped up every last strand — if not for the other dishes I had to save space for.
There aren’t too many dessert options available, but pistachio fanatics mustn’t miss out the on Choco Pistachio Shibuya Toast (S$16). Golden shokupan toast — crisp and crusty on the outside, with a soft, not-too-dense interior — is paired with roasted pistachio nuts, chocolate chips and sauce, and an excellent pistachio gelato.
I don’t usually order Japanese-style thick toasts, but this is one I’d be more than happy to make an exception for.
Do note that the cafe is still in its soft launch phase (at the time of writing), so you can look forward to even more menu items in September 2023, including this Cloud Coffee, cold brew topped with a layer of vanilla cold foam!
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Photos by Christabel Tan