Kafe Utu, First Afro Cafe & Lounge In Singapore – Chinatown, Singapore

Jiak Chun Road, an off-shoot from Keong Saik Road may be dimissed by many, however, there are lots of outstanding restaurants located along this stretch, such as Lime House, Bao Makers (previously at Jalan Besar), Esquina and now Kafe Utu has joined them. It is probably Singapore first African Cafe and Lounge offers highlight dishes from the East and West Africa where the owner grew up in. He hopes to bring a piece of Africa which he sees it as his home to Singapore.

I have never savoured African food; I don’t know what to expect. When we directed the question to the marketing manager, her answer was something familiar which was difficult to comprehend at that time. However, after trying, I fully agree with this statement.

Kafe Utu, First Afro Cafe & Lounge In Singapore - Kafe Utu Interior
Kafe Utu Interior

As we tour around the cafe, we see lots of well-thought details on the design of the cafe, right down to the motifs. The love and passion is showcased throughout the space and even in the menu too.

Helming the kitchen of Kafe Utu is a talented young chef who is in his twenties. After trial and errors he managed to whip approved authentic African dishes by the owner.

Brunch

Without Brunch Menu, it doesn’t make a cafe complete. Beginning with my favourite, the fluffy Ricotta Hotcakes ($23), exremely addictive. I could easily finish the entire serving by myself.

Equally delish is the Quinoa Chia Seed Pudding ($18). The combination of citrusy fruits and the saccharine banana is wise providing a refreshing yet sweetened plate.

2 other dishes which we adore are the Pulled Pork Breakfast ($24) though a little oily, it is tasty. What I like is that the pulled pork are savoury, not sweet. The Utu Bowl ($20) is a bowl of tasty and healthy greens and quinoa.

Kidogo (Bites)

If you are looking for small bites, a total of 6 dishes good for sharing; Pardon Peppers ($14), Marinated Roma Tomatoes ($16), Charred Asparagus ($16), Potato Wedges ($14) and the last 2 are items which I would certainly order, Fresh Cassava Chips ($12) and the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($15).

Salad

Greens are surprisingly tasty too. Kafe Utu is surely a place I would turn to for my greens. 2 outstanding salad are Mama’s Fresh Garden Salad ($25) which has a good mixed of greens and the apple cider vinegar dressing is the key.

Next is the Pumpkin Kale ($18) which I adore as it has all my favourite ingredients; pumpkin, goat cheese, kale and pumpkin seed. The exception is the caramelised onion. Moreover, I am always biased against all pumpkin dishes.

Even the simple Beetroot Burratini ($18) is delicious and pretty. Burrata is burried under the pickled beetroot.

From Mama Africa

We are familiar of the various version of curry such as Chinese, Indian and Malay in Singapore. But certainly not African Curry. Due to the influence of India on East Africa, Curry is one of the many dishes got adapted.

Mildly spicy Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew ($28) reminds me of the Satay Sauce. On the opposite spectrum, fiery spicy is the Malindi Green ($25), consist of meekly bitter fried cassava leaf.

Mutton may not be a popular choice in Singapore, however, I love it hence I would certainly opt for the Caribbean Goat Curry ($28). There weren’t the pungent gamey flavour as the spice and herb has masked it entirely.

Lastly, the popular choice was the Swahli Fish Curry ($29). I love the spices added however it was lacking of the spiciness hence I find it a little disappointing.

Pastries

The list of sweets under pastries is also comprehensive and taste good.

Changin flavours for Utu Soft Serve Ice Cream ($4). We tried the coffee, it was smooth and lightly milky with pleasant coffee flavour.

More delicious dessert, Canele ($6) & Tiramisu ($8) and Nakupenda ($8).

For an authentic African experience, try the Mandazi ($8), a fried fluffy scone-like dough. The feel is akin to crispy biscuit.

Menu

Coffee

Since it is a cafe, coffee is surely available. The coffee offered at Kafe Utu is the dark roast, low acidity with nutty and chocolaty flavour.

Go for the Bidi Bado (abracadabra) consist of peanut butter, mocha and a dose of caffeine. I thought it might be too rich, on the contrast, the elements balanced and offered an intense flavour.

NAHMJ Verdict

With so many exceptional dishes, it will keep guests keep going back to Kafe Utu to try the different dishes. I am sure you will be able to find your favourite dish or even dishes.

Kafe Utu

12 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6996 3937

Website: https://kafeutu.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/kafeutu/

Opening Hours

Mondays – Saturdays 0800 to 1700, 1800 to 2300 | Sundays 0800 to 1700

Getting There

By MRT:

  • Northeast Line, East West Line – Outram Park station

By Bus:

  • Opp Blk 333 along Kreta Ayer Road   80, 145
  • Before the Pinnacle @ Duxton along Neil Road   61, 166, 197
  • Pearl’s Center along Eu Tong Seng   54, 124, 143, 147, 166, 190, 851, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28
  • Opp Pearl’s Center along New Bridge Road   2, 12, 33, 54, 63, 124, 143, 147, 190, 851, 961, 961C, 970, CT8, CT18, CT28

Rating: 8/10

*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.

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