Kucina Italian Restaurant at OneKM Mall

Kucina Italian Restaurant
OneKM Mall B1-09/10
11 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437157
Online Reservations: Click here or here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening hours
Daily: 1130am to 10pm (last order 930pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~$50
Recommended Dishes: Spaghetti con Porcini e Parmigiano (S$35), Pizza Bread Salvia (S$5.80)

Have you guys watched The Shape of Water? OMG IT’S SO GOOD!! I was truly, truly not expecting to be quite so taken with it. Honestly I’d read the synopsis about 3 times and each time I did not feel any more compelled to watch it. BUT with the Oscar Best Picture win and my GV birthday one-for-one, I couldn’t find a good reason not to watch it. BOY WAS I GLAD I DECIDED TO!!!!! UGH. It was so delightful and whimsical, but with a solid plot and resonant themes. It felt a little French and a little surrealist to me, like a cross between Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge.

Aaaanyway another recommendation I’m making in this entry is Kucina Italian Restaurant at OneKM Mall!!! I saw on their Instagram that they had flown in a whole cheese wheel from Italy and were gonna make pasta in it as a special menu item 😱😱👅💦

Kucina_Cheese_Wheel2

THE CHEESE WHEELLLLLLLLLLLL

So I first found out about cheese wheel pasta from when John Legend got his wife Chrissy Teigen a cheese wheel for her birthday, and since then I had been absolutely dying to try a plate for myself! So it was really great that Kucina gave me the opportunity to try a halal one!

Before I talk about how it tasted, let me quickly take you through the process of making this cheese wheel pasta:

1. First they torch the insides of the cheese wheel:

Kucina_Cheese_Wheel_Grana_Padano

Torching

2.  Then they scrape off the torched parts of the cheese to collect the scrapings at the bottom:

Kucina_Cheese_Wheel_Scrape

Scraping

3. Then they torch the scrapings again to further melt the cheese:

Kucina_Blowtorch

Re-torching

4. Then they toss in the spaghetti and pour in hot vegetable stock and mix it all around:

Kucina_Cheese_Wheel_Stock

Mixing in the vegetable stock

5. And voila! The spaghetti is all cheesy and flavoured up and ready to be served:

Kucina_Cheese_Wheel_Pasta

Beauty

So the end product is the Spaghetti con Porcini e Parmigiano (S$35), and it is a thing of beauty:

Kucina_Spaghetti_Con_Porcini_e_Parmigiano

Spaghetti with Porcini Mushrooms and Parmigiano Cheese (S$35) – 10/10

OMGGGG this cheese wheel pasta was absolutely all that I’d dreamt of and more. It was SO moist and flavourful – the cheese was slightly bitter and had a nice char, so we didn’t feel like it was too jelak or overly cheesy. The porcini mushrooms and creamy sauce made every bite extra juicy. I finished the entire plate without difficulty. 10/10

My friend got the Al Granchio (S$22) featuring linguine pasta with fresh crab meat in tomato cream sauce:

Kucina_Al_Granchio_Crabmeat_Pasta

I had a bite of this pasta and thought it was a little too sweet for my taste, and my friend def preferred my pasta over hers too. Maybe I was a little biased because I was absolutely over the moon about my pasta, but yeah unfortunately the al granchio came up short in comparison.  The portion of crab meat was generous tho, so overall 7/10 for this one!

Going a little in reverse chronological order here, but for starters we got the Truffle Fries (S$15) and the Pizza Bread Salvia (S$5.80):

Kucina_Truffle_Fries

Truffle Fries (S$15) – 6.5/10

I liked that the truffle fries had shaved parmesan cheese on it (and what I suspect is shaved black truffle, which are the black streaks), but I thought the fries were a little dry and not fluffy. 6.5/10

Kucina_Pizza_Bread_Salvia

The Pizza Bread on the other hand was a nice surprise! It was a decent starter – slightly chewy beneath the crisp outer layer, and savoury too. I’m not a huge fan of onions but these ones were thinly sliced and baked, so they were fine. 9/10

Here’s a flatlay for you kids:

Kucina_On_The_Table

This is making me so hungry rn

 

Kucina_Fizz_Mocktail

The Kucina Fizz with cranberry juice, peach sparkling juice, grenadine syrup and orange juice (S$7.90) – SUPER YUMMM and perfect to cut through the heavy food

All in all I had a terrific time at Kucina and majorly had my dreams of having cheese wheel pasta fulfilled. You guys should def check them out while the special item is still available! It’s not a permanent menu item yet, but for now they’re still importing cheese wheels to make this special item and gauging demand. Otherwise it seems to be a solid halal Italian joint, and I would def go back again to try their other menu items.

Kucina Italian Restaurant
OneKM Mall B1-09/10
11 Tanjong Katong Road
Singapore 437157
Online Reservations: Click here or here
Online Menu: Click here

Opening hours
Daily: 1130am to 10pm (last order 930pm)

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: ~$50
Recommended Dishes: Spaghetti con Porcini e Parmigiano (S$35), Pizza Bread Salvia (S$5.80)

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Krave On Bali Lane

Krave
28 Bali Lane
Singapore 189864

Opening Hours
Mondays: Closed
Tue-Thu, Sun: 1130am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 1130am to 11pm
Kitchen closed 445pm to 6pm
Notes: Only cash and nets accepted; order at the counter, nett pricing!
Reservations: Email Reservations.krave.sg@gmail.com 3 days in advance

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10

Average spend per pax: S$25

First things first – I’m typing this review with Toploader’s Dancing In The Moonlight playing on loop in the background. Gosh, remember when it first came out in 2000? It was SO GREAT. It’s been earworming me the past couple of weeks, and as Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas coos in that one song, “I’m addicted and I just can’t get enough”. Dancing In The Moonlight is all positive vibes and happiness; it makes you feel lucky to be alive!

OK to end this paean I’m gonna need you guys to take a few minutes to listen to it now!

OK now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you about Krave. It’s a new little cafe on Bali Lane that I’d been meaning to try for a couple of weeks ever since my friend recommended it to me, saying her cousin is the head chef there. I really should have played the ‘I’m friends with your cousin!’ card to get special treatment but I didn’t 😦

Based on their facebook page here, the cafe first opened its doors in late April 2015 as part of a soft launch, before making it official with a grand opening on 8 May 2015.

Here’s a look at the interior and decor:

Krave_Ambience

Cute waiter guy who asked me if I needed anything when I did a 180-turn back to the cafe right after stepping out, and who laughed when I replied “Sorry, I forgot I wanted to take a photo!”

Krave_Decor

Krave wall decor! Also, is that guy POSING for my picture?! Kidding, I know you’re not. Sorry I accidentally captured your face, stranger 😦

My friend saw the circle Krave logo and said it reminded her of former Home Club Singapore. I honestly can’t remember what Home Club looked like but this I know to be true: the Krave logo looks like my workout t-shirt. Behold:

Image-1

Twinsies!

Krave_Table_Decor


Simple but beautiful table decor! Reminds me a little bit of Rouse’s.

The menu at Krave is actually quite extensive, with a whole page dedicated to pasta alone, complete with a promise that the pasta will be served al dente! Cute. For trivia junkies, al dente is Italian for ‘to the tooth’, meaning the pasta will be firm to the bite, instead of tasting like noodles when they’re overcooked.

To break down the rest of the menu, there are 4 mains with 3 different types of protein (chicken, beef, salmon), 4 different pizzas, 3 salads, 7 sandwiches/toast, and literally 10 items in the dessert section. I have to admit I was really impressed with the variety in their menu. I like that they have uncommon items like the Fried Mars Bar, Mango Prawn Salad, and deep-friend Otak-otak!! Best.

Krave_Menu_3 Krave_Menu_2

Krave_Menu_4 Krave_Menu1

I was dying to try the Truffle Fries (S$12) since it comes with the works – shaved parmesan and chopped parsley! – but I decided to save it for another day, since I had my heart set on the Steak & Chips (S$20), which already comes with its own side of steak-cut fries.

Krave_Steak_Chips Krave_Steak_Frites

OK first of all, anything that is served with ‘jus’, which is the fancy French term for ‘juice’, gets a thumbs up from me. Secondly, this came with shaved cheese on it!!! YUMMMMMM. Thirdly, I requested for a ‘medium’ done-ness, and it came out PERFECT. I mean, just look:

Krave_Steak

Mmmmm tender juicy melt-in-your-mouth goodness

The meat was extra juicy, and I have to say, had ZERO tough bits, unlike the one I had at Royals Steakhouse! I mean the Royals steak was good, but Krave’s was on Krack – I felt like crying with every juicy, peppery, flavourful bite. The test of a good steak is whether it’s good enough to eat on its own without any fancy sauce or accoutrements, and Krave’s passed the test in spectacular fashion. Oh, and the jus was really tasty too! I enjoyed dunking bits of meat and fries into it once in a while to change things up. 10/10 for the steak!

My friend got the Pesto Chicken Pizza (S$14):

Krave_Chicken_Pesto_Pizza

Mmm look at those thin-crust, charred edges!

Krave_Chicken_Pesto_Pizza2

My friend loved it! I had a slice, but only after I was done with my steak, so I thought while it was very tasty indeed, I also felt the pizza could have been a little juicier somehow. I think if I had had it ‘fresh’ right after serving, it would have been better. Also, I’m more of a cheesy pizza person, so I want my pizzas all extra cheesy, but objectively I think this pizza was pretty good, with that distinctive, familiar pesto taste. This scored a 7.5/10 for me.

My friend also got the That Gula Melaka Drink (S$8) smoothie, which was a blend of palm sugar, coconut, and red bean.

Krave_Gula_Melaka_Smoothie

Um, IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!! This was basically like a chendol smoothie, without the green chendol bits. So, so good. I am so partial to anything gula-melaka, so I readily bestow a 10/10 to this smoothie.

Finally, for dessert, I got the much talked-about Chempedak Crème Brûlée ($8) (oh my god it took me forever to figure out the accent keys on my Mac).

Krave_Chempedak_Creme_Brulee2

Funny story – while my friend and I were waiting for our dessert, a group of 5 walk-ins entered the cafe, with the leader of the group entreating the waiter to get them a table and promising that the group would be quick about it, as all they wanted to do was have the delicious Chempedak Crème Brûlée. How delightful! It got me really excited to taste mine.

Krave_Chempedak_Creme_Brulee

To get down to brass tacks, did the top properly crack? Well my friends, it did! I even took a crazy video of it so I could capture the sweet sound of the metal spoon cracking the hard sugar shell. I’m not going to post it here, because that would be crazy, but it was really quite heavenly. Amélie Poulain would have been so happy.

As for taste, at the first spoonful, I thought “mm this is…different!” and then the more bites I had, the more delicious it got, especially with the juicy chempedak bits! The heaty chempedak taste was oh so good, and went very well with the burnt sugar flavour. The one thing I didn’t quite like about this was the slightly watery consistency where I would have preferred it slightly firmer, but I guess this was an unavoidable consequence of baking the creme mixture with the chempedak emulsion. Overall still a great item on the menu! 8.5/10

All in all, Krave definitely exceeded my already-high expectations, and I left the restaurant feeling really happy and super ready to go back soon! I definitely want to try out the other things on the menu (The otak-otak! The truffle fries! The mushroom, truffle & egg pizza! etc). So hopefully I’ll get to review these other items soon!

Don’t forget to make reservations by dropping them a Facebook message though – the place has limited seating and tends to fill up on Friday nights and weekends! Another thing to note is that there is no service charge or gst here; you order and pay at the counter before they serve you your food. Also, no credit cards, just cash or nets here!

Krave
28 Bali Lane
Singapore 189864

Opening Hours
Mondays: Closed
Tue-Thu, Sun: 1130am to 10pm
Fri-Sat: 1130am to 11pm
Kitchen closed 445pm to 6pm
Notes: Only cash and nets accepted; order at the counter, nett pricing!
Reservations: Email Reservations.krave.sg@gmail.com 3 days in advance

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$25