No need to hop on a plane to Sapporo to experience Japanese cafe culture and good coffee as the popular Hokkaido-based cafe Baristart Coffee (BAC) has opened their first 40-seater coffee shop in Singapore located in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood along Tras Street.
2 January 2019 — The opening of Baristart Coffee (BAC) caught my eye for its gorgeous fit-out, but what kept my attention was their delicious coffee made with rare Jersey milk from the only source in Hokkaido is offered.
A little backstory about BAC — A tiny quaint cafe located in a small street not far from Odori Park in downtown Sapporo, Baristart Coffee has made a name in the Japan coffee scene with its distinctive use of Hokkaido BIEI Jersey milk in their latte drinks. The enchanting cafe is a big hit with the locals but was soon enamoured by foreign visitors travelling off the beaten track.
BIEI Jersey Milk? What’s so Special about it?
The milk produced from Brown Jersey cows are from a pure breed of small dairy cattle in Hokkaido — the milk production ranks high in quality, but not quantity (less than 1% cattle breed). In terms of dairy character, Jersey milk is naturally higher in butterfat content and has greater nutritional value than other breed. Taste wise, it is richer tasting with a more full-bodied flavour and boasts a creamy, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
The good news is you don’t need a ticket to hunt down the Hokkaido cafe anymore, as Baristart Coffee will be serving the exquisite dairy outside of Japan, and first in Singapore.
Baristart Coffee (BAC) imports its Jersey milk all the way from Hokkaido to the Singapore location. Customers can choose from 3 types of coffee beans — Baristart Blend and 2 single origin beans that will vary from month to month, to craft great tasting coffee with the perfect complement of Jersey milk.
Baristart Coffee (BAC) serves pour-over filter coffee, along with typical espresso-based drinks such as latte and cappuccino, all prepared concurrently on a sleek Modbar ABR AV machine, the most consistent and stable under-counter brewing equipment backed by La Marzocco from Italy.
The coffee baristas here are professionally trained and under the leadership of Global Chief Barista Yuki Takeuchi, two-time champion of “UCC Coffee Masters Latte Art Section in Hokkaido Region”, — every cup of coffee comes with picture-perfect latte art, free pour latte art is the speciality here.
The beverage menu is not elaborate, but due to the uniqueness of Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk, you will find the high-quality milk presented in a selection of decadent sweet treats and scrumptious savouries.
Recommend to order the signature BIEI Jersey Milk Coffee ($7.50) served chilled in a jar filled with luxurious Jersey milk and a shot of espresso. The milk makes up majority of the drink and dominated the taste of coffee — it’s all about the impressive milk (and it’s great for a good reason), the only drawback is that the drink was too little.
Coffee worshippers can opt for their favourite cup of joe, in black or white. There’s also an option of hot or iced chocolate glace, homemade lemonade and blueberry yogurt smoothie for the non-coffee drinkers.
Baristart Coffee (BAC) serves up a light menu of comfort food that goes well with their coffee. With nothing too complicated on the menu, the simple Japanese fare are so much better than the typical brunch plates.
Whether you choose a salad, sandwich, pasta or the rice bowl, the dishes are as close as you might get in a casual eatery in Japan, but with a little twist.
Try one of my favourite dishes Hokkaido Carbonara, the rich silky sauce in the al dente pasta is prepared with none other than the Hokkaido milk, accompanied with parmigiano, poached egg and smokey kurobuta bacon that will make any carbonara and bacon lover’s dream come true!
The Obihiro Butadon is a simple yet delightful rice bowl greeted with delicious savoury-sweet soy glazed pork. The meat was so tender, perfectly grilled and served with light, fluffy Japanese rice complete with a bowl of hot miso soup.
Tuna and Avocado Salad with Wasabi Dressing ($14.80)
Tonkatsu Sando ($16.80)
Spaghetti Seafood Shiso Pesto ($17.80)
Hokkaido Carbonara ($17.80)
Obihiro Butadon ($18.80)
On the sweeter side of things, desserts run from rich and creamy sweet jars, to Hokkaido shaved ice, Japanese style parfaits and a selection of homemade cakes and pastries.
The Shiro Kuma is a must-order that celebrates all things sweet, cute and refreshing, especially for Singapore weather. The shaved ice dessert presented in a shape of a bear is served with vanilla ice cream, mixed fruits and a choice of homemade syrup; with flavours like coffee, strawberry, mango, green tea and hokkaido milk.
There’s also soft serve ice cream produced from the carefully tended dairy cattle in Japan, — you’d get the full ‘umami’ flavour of Hokkaido BIEI milk with zero additives.
Hokkaido Shaved Ice (Shiro Kuma Kakigori) $9.80
Chestnut and Mont Blanc Japanese Parfait ($8.80)
Japanese Cream Puff ($4.50 for one, $12 for three)
Baristart Coffee Sweet Jar ($7.20)
Baristart Coffee (BAC) opened its door for a soft launch on 2nd of January, followed by an official opening on 17 January and has been getting rave reviews ever since.
The space is flooded with sunshine and good vibes, it can get extremely busy at weekends. The star attraction is, of course, the Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk, be sure to stop in for a morning or mid-day caffeine buzz if you make it out that way.
BARISTART COFFEE (SINGAPORE)
Location: 65 Tras Street, Singapore 079004 (short walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Opening Hours: Daily from 10am to 10pm