Originating from Japan, Hoshino Coffee is a cafe-restaurant known for serving up a mean cup of hand-drip coffee made only with premium Arabica roasted coffee beans, as well as a fusion of Japanese and Western cuisine. Truth be told, I am neither a fan of fusion food, nor am I much of a coffee person, but this is definitely my go-to cafe for thick and fluffy souffle pancake stacks!
Hoshino Coffee has many outlets in Singapore, and this particular one in United Square Shopping Mall is nestled amongst a slew of enrichment centres and shops whose target customers are children and parents (this mall markets itself as “The Kids Learning Mall”). My colleagues and I came here on a weeknight and it was relatively empty and quiet, so we didn’t have to wait long to be seated.
Once we were shown to our seats, the staff informed us that the food would take around 30 minutes to be served. There was a sign at our table indicating a dining time limit of 60 minutes and we weren’t sure whether or not this 60 minutes included the 30 minutes waiting time for our food. If you’re planning to order their souffle dishes, take note that it requires 20 minutes to prepare, so do the math and place the order on time. I didn’t realize this initially and only ordered after finishing my main course. Thankfully, they didn’t enforce this time limit, possibly because it was a weeknight and there weren’t many customers to begin with. Not sure how that would’ve panned out if this happened on a crowded weekend.
The space was generally comfortable, although the sofa seats did look quite worn out. One thing that struck me was how narrow the walkways were, which would probably become an inconvenience when the place is crowded. At one point, it got unpleasantly noisy when our neighbouring table started chatting very enthusiastically. In terms of service, staff were quick to attend to us when needed, having an electronic call bell on every table was great in helping to get their attention.
We ordered 3 main courses: Hokkaido seafood aglio olio, omu rice with angus beef steak and the brunch set with sausage and bacon. The food tasted slightly better than average but didn’t wow us. Given the prices of the food here, you’re probably better off dining someplace else with similar fare for cheaper. But what you should come here for are the souffle desserts baked fresh on demand! This time, instead of my usual order of souffle-style pancakes, I went for the pot-baked vanilla souffle with custard sauce. It was soft and airy on top, crusted with a thin layer of sugar, and soothingly warm and substantial on the bottom. The whole dish was just melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Even when combined with the custard sauce, it didn’t become overly sweet, yum (:
My overall rating of the experience: 3 out of 5 stars. Everything here was generally average: The food was okay, the interior and ambience left much to be desired, service was efficient but didn’t make us feel exceptionally welcome. Also, the 30min waiting time for the food can be rather frustrating, especially if you’re coming in hungry. We waited quite a long while for our food to be served, but it wasn’t a huge issue for us as we were caught up in our conversations. With a 25% discount off the bill via the Entertainer app, the prices of our main courses became more palatable. Otherwise, I don’t think it would’ve been value for money. However, what I do think is certainly worth spending on are the souffle dishes! If I’m having a dessert craving, this is one cafe I’d definitely come back to for my sweet fix (but maybe at a different outlet…).