Today’s Munchy Monday is a bit of a contradiction – On one hand, we are in the mood for something quick and low in calories (especially with Christmas coming up and all the feasting beginning soon!) and on the other hand, well, we can’t really say no to desserts either. Featuring DoSiRak, a wholesome takeaway meal all packed into a single container, as well as Japanese eclairs and parfaits, Karafuru Desserts, whatever your choice may be (or they could be just like ours), read on!
Started by 2 brothers who are half Korean and who wanted to create healthy food, most of the rice buckets offered on the menu are below 500 calories, with the exception of 3. Made using fresh ingredients, there is n0 MSG/corn syrup/refined sugar used, hence you will only get the best taste of all the ingredients offered, as little to no oil is used in the preparation for everything. You get a nice mix of fibres to go with your carbs as well, thus ensuring a balanced meal in each bucket, and with the sauce served at in another container, this gives you the option to either dip, or toss everything together in the tub. There are two plus points here that we are really impressed with – 1) the sauce is made of fruit essence, as opposed to the traditionally made ones with a high fructose concentration, and 2) rather than having to make a mess as you attempt to toss everything with perhaps a fork and a spoon, all you need to do here is simply close the lid and shake! (Nothing will fall out, but do keep a hand on the lid!)
Packed with soft, short grained white rice and layered with an array of vegetables consisting of beansprouts, shredded carrots, red onions and spinach, the combination of vegetables are highly similar to that found in a regular bibimbap. Against the grey meat, the colours pop out nicely, thus inciting your appetite to want more.
On its own without the sauce, the beef may be a little too bland for some, although the natural meaty sweetness was evident through the light seasoning. Unlike traditional bibimbap which can be rather heavy from the sauce for seasoning or even the liberal use of oil in the creation of the dish, DoSiRak’s version is an enjoyable light rice salad instead. Even when topped with the sauce, it makes for a great option for meat lovers who are weight watchers as well, as you won’t feel guilty having this meal.
The variety of noodles used here at DoSiRak isn’t your common high-starch noodles, but rather that of Korean cold noodles instead, which makes it a healthier choice. Diced neatly into cubes, each and every single piece of chicken meat is coated with the soy sesame sauce which was moderately honeyed and savoury. As chicken breast is used here, it is remarkable that they remained juicy and tender, and not a single bit too stringy nor extremely chewy. Everything about this dish too, felt very homely to us, as it was a flavour similar to home-cooked food. Without the need for the sauce, should you mix everything up nicely, you will also be able to taste hints of sesame oil nicely on the light-weight cold noodles, which makes this option extremely excellent on a hot day.
Best paired with the sauce, as the salmon pieces do not come with any additional seasoning, the huge chunky pieces of salmon were fresh and sweet, although as with any sashimi slices, do be cautious as there might be bones in it. We quite like the option of having this on the noodles, as it was pretty much similar to the Japanese cold soba, and with 5 – 6 slices of salmon, the price was pretty justifiable too. Black beans found near the base of this were delightful to bite into too, as they were crunchy and huge!
A fuss-free place with just a counter bar and a couple of high chairs, the direction that DoSiRak goes for is quick meals that you can takeaway, and have them in the comfort of wherever you might be heading after grabbing your meal from here. Nonetheless, if you are alone and really need a spot to have your meal, you can do so here at the outlet too.
Majority of the rice DoSiRak here are below $10, and adding a drink to make it a combo will only set you back by less than $2 too. Thus, nothing here goes beyond $17 really, unless you decide to go crazy and customised your DoSiRak with all the additional toppings! For all the calories in the bucket, these are also explicitly stated on their menu and website, hence for the weight conscious, you can be able to be as precise as you like in balancing your diet. Currently, 4 types of bases are offered – white rice, brown rice, cold noodles and the newest addition of cauliflower rice!
by Hong Ziru
Literally meaning “Colourful Desserts” in English, Karafuru Desserts is situated in the similarly vibrant and upbeat hipster district of Kampong Glam. Merely 3 months old, the establishment has a sleek designer vibe to it, which stand out from its heritage filled surroundings.
As the name implies, well, the establishment specialises in just that – desserts. Their two mainstays on the menu are their delicate and almost bite-size eclairs, and parfaits presented in singularly unique presentations.
What we find most surprising here was that despite the eclairs having the same puff as their base, the consistency is remarkable as they are firmly condensed with minimal air bubbles in it, which is evident as you bite into it because it does not give you a hollow feel. Most eclairs we have come across so far have a rather unpleasant airy consistency to it, but here at Karafuru, what you get is a comfortable satisfaction instead.
To begin with, we were served 5 of their signature eclairs – (anti-clockwise in main photo) Marc De Champagne, Ume Shiso, Jasmine Matcha, Sakura Rose and Gianduja, all of which sat prettily onto the pristine white plate they were presented on. Although they were made smaller than the usual eclairs elsewhere, the size is still suitable enough to be easily shared amongst at least 2 – 3 persons, especially since that way, everyone can get a taste of all the flavours there are offered here!
Marc De Champagne ($7) – infused with champagne, and topped with marzipan with carefully inlaid edible silver leaves, it gives off an almost white Christmas vibe due to its colour scheme and combination. The champagne fills up the olfactory upon the first bite and remains constant throughout, with the marzipan smoothing out the sweetness and balancing the taste of the overall eclair nicely.
Ume Shiso ($7) – Made with picked dried plums and with an appearance akin to a dew-laden zen garden at daybreak, this is what we would list as our “personal favourite”. No doubt, it is an unusual flavor, at least on local soil. While the shiso leaf can be found most commonly in Japanese dishes as an ornament, the light spicy and prickly aftertaste of the leaf is a clever combination of crunch, together with the plum filling, as it had a tantalizing sourish edge to it.
Continuing on, the Jasmine Matcha ($6) is yet another unusual infusion. Most matcha desserts are paired with azuki beans (red beans), but here, jasmine is used for the pairing instead, making it similar to a cup of nice jasmine green tea. A refreshing piece, the texture for this is interesting as well.
Decked in pink, the Sakura Rose ($6) is a sweet cheery pink ensemble of sakura rose creme and marzipan, liberally sprinkled with the flower petals and reminiscent of the sakura in bloom at Tokyo’s Ueno Park to us. Sweet and sour all rolled into one, it perks up your senses immediately like the Ume Shiso eclair, just that this is much sweeter in comparison.
Last but not least, the Gianduja ($6). The hazel dragee were delightful, with a roasted fragrance to them, and the candied orange came with a sourish tang, sans the bitterness. However, the milk chocolate hazelnut creme could have been slightly heavier in taste in our opinion though, as we felt that the candied orange stole the limelight instead.
If you are in the mood for desserts after all the eclair, do check out the menu for some of these interesting parfait creation, such as the traditional Daizu version ($16). Paired with fresh Greek yoghurt, kinako cream (soy bean cream) is served in a small beaker by the side, while the yoghurt is surrounded by white miso souffle, soy milk pudding, kuromitsu (black sugar), kurogome sable (black sesame sable), dango (rice ball) and rice crispies shaped like stalks. We were advised by Joseph, the co-founder of Karafuru Desserts, to give the yoghurt a generous drizzle of kinako cream first, prior to digging in. To understand why, we had a taste of this without the cream, and found that the slightly sourish Greek yoghurt could be something that isn’t for everyone’s palate. Drenched in the cream however, the slight beany taste from the dressing lightened the tanginess nicely, and with the white miso soufflé being a little salty, packs the entire dessert full of flavours, while the rest of the accompaniments provided the textures to it. We’ll definitely heading back to try out their other flavours such as yuzu-cha, matchazuke and hanami.
To accompany us and our desserts, drinks are a must, and therefore we had to try some of their house drink signatures – the Soba Seed Stem (Hot, $6) and Soda in Ume (Plum) and Yuzu variants ($8).
The brand of tea used here at Karafuru, is that of Lupica, a relatively well-known brand from Japan. The Soba Seed Stem tea was served in a unique tea strainer combined with the tea cup, and unlike the usual soba tea, the tea offered by Karafuru Desserts has a singularly distinct roasted fragrance and taste to it, which acts as a perfect cleanser after the desserts.
The Ume and Yuzu Fresh Sodas were presented essentially in the same format of each other – fresh fruit syrups and herbs layered in clear glasses accompanied with a bottle of sparkling Perrier. Both were refreshing in their own ways, and the Ume was of course, more sour in nature as compared to the Yuzu but interestingly, it still tasted just like a delicious glass of umeshu, minus the alcohol guilt of course. The Yuzu’s tart nature, on the other hand, was further accentuated by the addition of mint leaves, giving it a cool aftertaste. Overall, these cold beverages will be sure quench as well as cleanse your palate at the same time.
Karafuru Desserts is situated in Jalan Klapa, a part of the heritage area of Kampong Glam. Upon looking out from the spacious interior, one would think that you have been transported to the Iijinkan area in Kobe (a neighbourhood in Kobe with preserved foreign residences with distinct white-washed walls topped off with emerald tiled roofs).
The interior of Karafuru Desserts is also strategically designed. High-ceilings, white-washed walls and a glass front to maximise natural lighting, the brightly lit interior widens up what would otherwise had been a narrow shop space. The eclair counter is thoughtfully placed at the back, where it facilitates the walk flow when customers come in from the front.
Wood-grained tables with accompanying white chairs mirrored the minimalistic design theme with an underlying MUJI-style, even carried through their utensils. There’s a distinctly bigger table facing the front with benches, whereas the rest are lined against the walls which evidently implies that Karafuru Desserts welcomes both large groups and smalls. The seating arrangement seems to suggest flexibility for indoor events bookings as well.
Karafuru Desserts’ branding is also kept consistent, not just on their colourful namecards, but throughout the interior as well, as there are permanent wall fixtures made of latticeworks of their logo.
Eclairs starts at $6 apiece, whereas the parfaits starts at around $15. For drinks, they do offer a range of sodas, teas and coffees starting at around $5. It would seem a little pricey, but seeing the ingredients used, this would be justifiable. Karafuru Desserts currently offers 2 value sets as well – an Eclair set ($16, 2 eclairs with 1 drink) and a Parfait set ($20, 1 parfait with 1 drink), which is pretty affordable if you are in the mood for these sweets.
8 Jalan Klapa, 199320
Opening hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 2.00pm – 9.00pm
Friday: 2.00pm – 11.00pm
Saturday: 1.00pm – 11.00pm
Sunday: 1.00pm – 9.00pm
Closed on Mondays
We are giving away 5 x DoSiRak (valued at $9.90!) of your choice from the menu at DoSiRak!
1. Like our Facebook post for #MunchyMonday
2. Tell us: What base would you pick for your DoSiRak?
Stay tuned to our Instagram tomorrow for Karafuru Desserts giveaway!