Hoshino Coffee 星乃珈琲屋 Hot
Hoshino Coffee is a recently opened Japanese cafe that serves pasta, baked rice, and a variety of pancake desserts. It is located in the newly extended wing of Plaza Singapura.
Plaza Singapura, #03-84
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 6 user(s)
It was Better...
When I visited Hoshino Coffee more than a year ago, the food was good; in particular, the desserts were fantastic. I remember trying their thick, fluffy souffle pancakes and being astounded by how delicious it was. However, when I decided to make another visit just recently, I was disappointed.
Even though the prices are still equally expensive, the standard of food had dropped - the desserts were not as nice and for the price, simply not worth it. Even though the food looks great from the outside, it was a let-down. At least the ambiance was the saving grace - I loved the rustic feel of the wood and the lighting was perfect for a cozy meal.
Overall, ambiance was great but the food was simply so-so.
Rustic Japanese Charm
After hearing raves about this popular Japanese joint famous for its hand-drip coffee and fluffy souffle creations, I decided that I had to try it since it's so conveniently located at Plaza Singapura's extension. Hoshino Coffee looks highly promising from its exterior - immensely appealing and attractive food displays that is typically smart of Japanese restaurants tempt your palates even before you step foot into the place. The rustic looking parquet interior makes it an ideal and cosy place for you to get some reading done alone (which I did) on a slow weekday afternoon when it is less crowded. Expect high traffic and long queues during dinner hours and the weekends, however.
The first time I was there, my best friend & I decided to order a chocolate parfait to share. It was indeed very chocolatey, and came topped with a well-baked brownie that was warmed. This went well with the vanilla ice cream & chocolate syrup, making it almost feel like I was indulging in a lava cake dream at the same time. This was definitely a heartening and sinful treat, and is great for sharing.
Decided to drop by for my second visit on an afternoon where I had an hour to kill. I had to try their souffle this time round since I didn't manage to previously. By the way, it was only during this 2nd trip that I realized how limited their menu is. Their drinks, split mainly into coffee-based & matcha-based ones, are considered fairly pricey too. Shaving $9 off my pockets for a matcha latte wasn't too appealing for me, so I settled for a matcha souffle. I was told that I had to wait 20 mins and it came about 30 mins later. I guess it was the worth the wait though, as the pot-based souffle had a tastefully condensed matcha custard housed by a crust-like layer on the outsides. The powdered sugar dusted on top of the souffle accentuated the light sweetness of the custard made of folded egg whites. My only regret is that the souffle did not rise as tall as it should have been - or maybe it had already deflated by the time it reached my table.
Overall, this would be a place that I would return to, but probably only when my friends & I have exhausted other options. Nana's Green Tea just a stone throw away would probably make a better dessert place option with its much more extensive menu.
Bad pasta and weird souffle
I went to Hoshino Coffee on a weekday afternoon and I did not had to queue at all. Thank god I did not have to queue if not I would be even more disappointed with the food. My friends and I ordered a Fuwa Fuwa Souffle, Carbonara spaghetti and Lobster Bisque spaghetti. Probably one of the worst places to have pasta at. The souffle was just weird and did not agree to my palate.
The souffle was a great photo taking object. The puffy look of it in the cup just screams cute. After the photo taking and Instagramming, we found ourselves struggling to get rid of bubbly egg layer which just tasted so odd. Not only was it not to my liking, my friends did not like it as well. We just scooped the bubbles away (loads of it) and ate the tomato rice and ham underneath, which was okay but the egg souffle on top really killed our mood. It tasted really bad to us. Next, the pasta was HARD. The carbonara had only 4-5 pieces of small cut bacon. It was a poor presentation. The lobster bisque spaghetti tasted like canned tomato soup. I've had great bisque before and this was the watered down, what-happened-to-it version of this. We didn't had their famous coffee but if you are thinking about giving this place a visit, do not order their pasta dishes and the fuwa fuwa souffle (unless you really like egg-tasting souffle).
Paying for the ambiance
I tried their Tomato cream "Omu" Rice with Shrimp and Mozzarella. It was great but after a while I got tired of the dish as it was too rich. My friend had the Hoshino Pot Baked Curry rice. Nothing special although it was supposed to be pot baked. Tasted like any ordinary japanese curry rice.
I ordered their famous coffee too as i thought it was supposed to be their specialty as their food was average. The cup was very oldies style and they gave a mini metal jug with had mug in it. The coffee was really bitter and had a slightly sour taste to it. I had to add alot of sugar in order to be able to drink it. It's not because i'm not used to drinking coffee. I've drink coffee everyday but this coffee was really not to my taste. I was expecting it to be rich, smooth and aromatic but it was neither.
The ambiance was unique as it had a woody feel and looked slightly like a english cottage. I didn't try their desserts though it looked good as my taste buds we gone because of the horrible coffee.
Horrifying queue but worth the wait.
I really couldn't help but grumbled silently to myself as my friend suggested dining at Hoshino Coffee, looking at the snake-long queue. I was actually dragging my feet to queue for food on a Friday night.
We ordered their "Fuwa-Fuwa" (fluffy) Hoshino Souffle and I was really impressed with the richness in taste, that it simply kept me off all conversations and I couldn't take my fork off the dish. The egg crust was soft and fluffy, with big generous servings of ham. Really awesome!
And so was their Pot-Baked Curry rice. The serving was just right for sharing. But one thing that I did not quite enjoy was the very diluted milk tea with whipped cream. The taste was just weird. Although it took us a long time before we got seats, it was really worth the wait I must say. And the ambience is just good for a girls' night out.
Go for the mains, leave out the sweets.
Among the three or four Japanese-themed eateries in the new wing of Plaza Singapura, Hoshino Coffee is perhaps the most popular, as one might notice from the queue and the number of occupied tables during lunch hour. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait very long to be seated. We had beef omu-rice, squid ink pasta, an iced latte topped with a huge crown of soft-serve ice cream, and a matcha soufflé for dessert (which also came with their soft-serve ice cream).
The mains were satiating, and every forkful of noodle and spoonful of rice was packed with that irresistibly delectable savoury oomph that we have come to associate with top-notch Japanese food. The omu-rice was somewhat visually disappointing for me, as I thought the omelette was overdone. It came in the shape of a pillow, which was cute, but lacked that glossy appearance I was expecting, that surface glaze of semi-cooked egg. I stopped thinking about that though as soon as I had my first bite. Nestled in that pillow of egg was perhaps the most flavourful rice I've ever had; it was surprisingly cheesy and had that tart, tomatoey tang, which is one of the things I love about omu-rice. The sauce, what gave the dish its umami character, was itself tangy, but also both sweet and savoury. No carb junkie can ask for more than this simple but superb combo of egg, sauce, and rice, except maybe for more sauce, which I thought was too little.
The squid ink pasta didn't make as huge an impression but it was definitely one of the best we've had. The noodles were cooked al dente, as with any good pasta dish, and there were huge, meaty rings of squid and tiny rings of chilli flakes. It was another delectable, umami-laden dish, but we would have preferred that they add an extra dimension by upping the spiciness level.
The mains were spectacular, but the beverages and desserts were not. The iced latte was only so-so, even though it came with ice cream, but of the sort which one could get at Macs for cheaper. The matcha soufflé, which hyped me up the most, was most disappointing and not worth the nine over dollars we paid. The first bite was great but subsequent bites grew worse, and cloyingly so. We wanted a side of whipped cream over their ice cream, since we already had the latter in the latte, but got bamboozled by the darned waiter who claimed that whipped cream doesn't go well with soufflés. So our soufflé came with a cup of ice cream, and we made the mistake of plopping the whole cupful into the soufflé, which honestly ruined the soufflé for us. There was just too much ice cream that we could barely taste any matcha. Come to think of it, whipped cream would have been the better choice, since it's lighter and doesn't really taste of anything on its own.
So, my recommendation would be to go for the mains and leave out the sweets.