A new year, and the once insipid dining offerings at Plaza Singapore have finally been invigorated with the opening of its new extension. With Japanese food chains such as Hoshino Coffee and Tsukada Nojo, Malaysia’s celebrity Chef Wan’s first restaurant, and many more food joints, it is definitely a foodie’s new favourite place. What’s not to be missed though is Nana’s Green Tea Café.
If you are a hardcore Matcha lover, this is the place to go. It is famously featured as ‘Japanese Starbucks’ and also voted as the No. 1 Japanese café for matcha lovers! After all, it has been a major influencer in the cultivation of the tea drinking culture. All the green tea leaves in the cafe are imported from Kyoto only, which is the most famous production center of “Matcha”.
Matcha is a finely ground and powdered green tea. The tea used to create matcha is grown in the shaded misty mountains of Japan. This region receives very little direct sunlight. Incidentally, matcha is commonly known for its use in the traditional Tea Ceremony. The proper growing and harvesting of matcha is what gives it its characteristically vivid green color and incredible health benefits.
But if you’re not a die-hard Matcha fan, fear not, they do have an extensive menu which features delectable Japanese comfort food which originates from true-blue Japanese’s authenticity. What’s even more commendable is that despite the premium quality of the food, they have affordably market themselves in terms of prices.
Trust me, before this, I have never like Matcha at all. I remember when we were in Kyoto a long time ago, we went to this all-Green-Tea dessert cafe as my sister was a Matcha die-hard fan. And well, since I was too young then to fully understand flavours, I never understood why she had such an intense liking for Green Tea. Yes, I finally understood after this.
Thin Matcha Green Tea, served either hot or cold, is a signature drink that you should not miss. Without any sugar or milk, it is green tea in its purest form (equivalent to your “Teh-O Kosong”). If you’re not a regular matcha or tea drinker, like me, you might find it bitter and extremely bland. However, after more sips, I finally realized how strong the taste of green beans actually is – refreshingly sweet.
Unagi Don. Nothing not worth being satisfied about unagi 😉
Sukiyaki Goma Dare Udon. This was sukiyaki and udon noodles garnished with cherry tomatoes, corn and cucumber in Nana’s special sesame sauce. Served cold, the sesame sauce was somewhat salty, sweet and creamy all at the same time. I actually loved this dish a lot! It’s almost like a noodle salad drowned in delicious sesame sauce actually hahahahah 😉
Locomoko Don: Beef patty served on warm Japanese rice garnished with lettuce, tomato, broccoli and sunny side egg. The patty was flavourful and cooked perfectly. The sunny side up egg was divine. The yolk was still runny which I absolutely adore (It is these simple things that make a café stand out). And finished off with the sweet and sour sauce, it was extremely enjoyable.
Ebi Curry Udon. I’m not a curry person but my sister loved this without a doubt.
We were too full for dessert but when we saw the menu, we just had to make way for the Matcha Anmitsu: Green tea ice cream served with Green tea jelly, red beans, mochi and caramelized brown syrup. The green tea ice cream, silky and smooth, had a strong distinct flavor. The green tea jelly was addictive too! The brown syrup provided the much needed sweetness to tie the entire dish together and bring it to a whole new level.
So now… I hope I have persuaded you enough to visit this place.
Nana’s Green Tea Café focuses on the social aspect of a Japanese tea ceremony, offering a Zen experience for family and friends who gather over a common love and respect for quality matcha and Japanese cuisine.