Saturday, March 23, 2019

Kafe UTU Revisited @ 12 Jiak Chuan Road

Back again after a month or so, and this time to try some new items in the dinner menu with the rest of the foodie gang. It was a somewhat deja vu moment as we sat at the same table as we did, one month ago! Here is the link to previous visit.

While waiting for the last person to arrive, we ordered up our drinks with half the group opting for mocktails and the other half preferred the alcoholic ones.  That night, we left our drinks selection in the hands of Ivan, the Head Bartender at Kafe UTU.

He asked what would I prefer. I said, "Gin based and slightly sweet. Make it special."  After a long while, my drink arrived in a dainty tokkuri (徳利) and it came with a little cute heart. How'd they know I like Japanese stuffs? *winks*

The Alcoholics

Gin-based Special #1
I liked the special gin mix that was not too strong, sweet and refreshing. Thank you Ivan for the thoughtful creation.

Grapefruit Negroni
Whiskey-based  Special #2
Rum-based Special #3

The Mocktails

Fruit-based and refreshingly tangy
Watermelon-based with egg white
Tiki drink
Berry refreshing

Can you guess which of the above mocktail was for a guy? Hehe.

But where's the food? One word of advice, do place your food order quickly before the kitchen gets really really busy with the avalanche of orders.


Malindi Croquettes @$12

I think the Malindi Croquettes came to our table by mistake but we ended up ordering two more plates of it. Smallish in size, but it packed a punch in flavour. Best eaten when served. The insides are super soft and creamy, with a nice golden crisp batter. Pause for 5 seconds after the first swallow and notice the rising burn. Wow, it was deceptively spicy! Well, the menu did say Habanero...but guessed we just didn't noticed it. But it was shioks!

fresh cassava leaves, ginger, garlic, Habanero, House spices, Bechamel

Pan Con Tomate with House Smoked Anchovies & Garlic @$18

The tomato cold soup was as how we remembered it, and the difference was in the toast. The smoked anchovies added another dimension to this.


Roasted Pumpkin Kale Salad (V) @$20


West African Charred Aubergine Stew with Angus Beef Cheek (served with basmati rice) @$30

We loved to hear the origins of the dish and the aubergine turns out to be Kurt's favourite birthday dish! Can easily understand why, as the beef cheek has a pleasant smokey flavour yet tender with each bite. Moist with the Liberian sauce, its spices were pleasant and delightful when laden ontop a spoonful of basmati white rice. Yums.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken Tagine @$29

Yes, there was no tagine (طجين) for the Moroccan Lemon Chicken Tagine dish. The tagine is a shallow earthen pot which is often recognised for its upside down cone shaped cover. It's ok not to have the tagine though because the chicken was still very delicious.

The star of this dish, got to be the quinoa. Superbly moist, flavourful and delightful with the onions.

Macanese African Chicken with Mango Salsa @$29

The Macanese African Coconut sauce looked a tad oily but we did not care a bit. Cut a small piece of that chicken, swirl it all over the sauce and into the mouth it went. Lovely.

The Macanese African Chicken With Mango Salsa is served with quinoa, and the quinoa in this dish was rather interesting as well. It was made into a patty and pan-fried, which resulted in a nice crust on its outer part much like the taste of scorched rice.

We also had some of the favourites from the previous round; the Swahili Fish Curry and Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew. These two dishes paired so well with the basmati rice.


We ordered our previous favourites; the carrot cake and the soft serve ice-cream. Malindi Halwa was added after Kurt shared more stories of how this dessert snug into the menu. Yes, we do love stories especially if it was about Sheiks, master craftsmen and their favourite dessert.

Malindi Halwa @$10

"Would it be too sweet?" I was thinking in my mind. "How does Kafe UTU's version of Halwa taste like?"

Halwa is sweet confections made in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. There's flour based halwa, nut butter based halwa but this texture was something unfamiliar. I felt like I might be eating a cube of watermelon (based on visual), but it tasted of spices and a pleasant sweetness with a light but not so bouncy texture. The Kafe UTU's halwa is made of dragonfruit juice, hazelnuts and cashew nuts,  macadamia, pistachios with Malindi spices. There's yoghurt on the plate for a slight sour taste. There's crisp spiced Dukha filo too. Interesting!

Carrot cake was a crowd favourite, but soft serve ice-cream is life! The flavour on that night was dark chocolate. Previous visit, we had coffee soft serve.

UTU Soft Serve Ice Cream @$4


One shall not pass a chance to savour some sipping gin. Sipping gin is basically a gin that is good enough to drink neat.

Cheers to Good Food, Good Drinks and Good Company~

Procera Gin
Procera Gin, is an African craft gin and has African botanicals from Morocco, Kenya, Somalia, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Sierra Leone. It is the first and only gin crafted with African juniper.

Lovely aroma, strong and pleasantly smooth on the throat.

Kurt asked if we would like to try something that is currently not on the menu yet. Would we be too full since we were done with dessert as well? And miss a chance to try new menu? No way. And that was how we ended up with more food.

Off menu special Nigerian Beef Suya

The meat was tender, marinade was on point and the crispy homemade chapati provided the contrast in texture to the tender flavourful meat. Eaten like a wrap with pickled thinly sliced cucumbers and piled with as much kachumbari as you like.

lovely onglet

Once this makes its appearance in the menu, hesitate not. It was delicious.

All in all, expect to spend between $40 to $60 per pax for a drink and a good meal.

An enjoyable Friday night out with Kris, Elle, Rachelle, Tiara, Shermaine, Alvin, Hence and Ivan. Thank you Kurt for your hospitality, and team UTU for taking care of us that night.

Kafe Utu

Address: 12 Jiak Chuan Road Singapore 089265
Contact: +65 6996 3937

Business Hours:    

Kafe Utu
Closed Monday
Tuesday – Sunday: 8am – 5pm

Utu Lounge
Closed Monday
Tuesday – Thursday: 6pm-11pm
Friday & Saturday: 6pm-1am
Sunday: 1130am - 5pm


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