Ask any coffee afficianados (read: hipster) that have visited Japan in the past few years and you'll definitely hear them name dropping "Omotesando Hill" and "Omotesando Koffee" in the conversation. So when I first heard that the cafe is opening a branch in Singapore I was like "GURL, I AM THERE"
So the question that you might ask me is that,
"Is it really worth it to queue for one a half hour for a cup of coffee Sarah?"
And my answer would be:
If you've been living under a rock and has no clue what Omotesando Koffee is, let me hook you up. It was first opened in 2011 by Eiichi Kunitomi. Situated deep within the Omotesando Hill, the one man shop is tucked within a rustic japanese house.
In contrast, the shop itself was brilliantly designed and branded, stepping into the shop was like entering a futuristic koffee shrine. Everybody paid homage to the Koffee God himself, who takes care of the ordering, creation, and service solo.
Picture by http://www.ten-ele-ven.com/
Picture by fantasticdl.wordpress.com
5 years and a cult following later, he decided to close the shop and open up a franchise in Hong Kong and Singapore. And that's where we come in. Let's check out the store!
As expected, the store carries the same DNA as the one that was in Tokyo. The iconic metal cube is still used to house the coffee crafting area. But instead of being embedded in a rustic Japanese house, the current branch is housed on the fourth floor of a new building called The Work Project.
To be really honest, I felt underwhelmed by the interior design. The area lacked the magic that the original shop had. It felt more like a pop up booth rather than an actual store. The feeling immediately evaporated however, when I saw two long snaking queues. But this was Omotesando Koffee and that long line is a part of the coffee's magic.
That being said,
make sure you have time when you're planning to visit Omotesando Koffee.
After about an hour of queueing, I finally reached the front of the line and honestly I was not even mad. The barista was extremely friendly and apologised to every customer for the wait. She even asked some of the customers if they're late for any office meetings or if they need extra bags because they're packing back for their colleagues.
I felt that part of why we had to wait was that they didn't rush any transaction. The baristas knew that people have come a long way and waited a long time to get their coffee, so that interaction was really important.
Though the cafe offers a variety of options, I decided to go for their iconic Ice Cappuccino (Single Shot $7.50, Double Shot $8.50) and a Latte (Regular $4.80, Large $6). Another drink that is really popular seems to be their Ice Mocha. Which I've ordered previously at their original store in Japan.
First impression? It's almost a 100% match to the original Ice Cappuccino I tasted in Japan. The espresso shot was perfectly timed, creating a sweet caramel flavour and after taste. The coffee was full bodied but it was not extremely strong. Perfect for an after lunch treat. The cocoa topping was also flavourful without being chalky when sipped through a straw.
If you happen to be visiting the cafe in the morning or looking for a strong pick-me-up I suggest going for the latte. This one pretty much blew my mind and made the queue worth it (at least for me.) The espresso shot was perfectly pulled and the milk was expertly frothed. I'm pretty petty when it comes to how the milk is being steamed. I know people drink coffee for the espresso shot, but I feel that it can be easily ruined when the milk is not done properly. But this one was FLAWLESS and I was just impressed the whole damn time.
BONUS: I took half of the latte back to the office to drink it so you can imagine that it was much colder. It still tasted good and not acidic at all.
Final thoughts? The Omotesando Koffee branch in Singapore definitely didn't disappoint. If you've never had the chance to visit the one in Japan, you can be sure that you can taste the same standard here. I hope they are bringing the custard desserts to the Singapore as well (a girl can dream.) Overall, I would recommend that everyone give their coffee a try at least once, but make sure you come early and have plenty of time to wait in the queue.
Omotesando Koffee Singapore Address: 6A Shenton Way #04-01, The Work Project, Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068815
Opening Hours: 8am – 6pm (Mon to Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
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