Kuu is very informal Japanese for the word ‘to eat’. I have a feeling that this is precisely what the owners of this cute café had in mind when they named the restaurant. On the other hand, I had a different pun in mind when I visited this cute little Japanese influenced café. One of my good friends had just recently returned from a three year sojourn to Japan. I knew I had to take him here, not only because it was adorable and would remind him of the delicious food he had had in Japan, but also because his last name is Khoo. After all, it can’t just be coincidence that the two names sound almost the same!
The premise itself is small but cosy. Filled with natural light and nick naks, it feels like not a single inch of space is wasted.There are also seats and tables outside, but it was a touch too cold and windy to take advantage of them. I also couldn’t get enough of the charming illustrations on the menu.
A round of matcha latte was in order to start off the day. The version at Kuu is sweet and creamy and full of matcha flavour. Personally, I could have done with a touch less sweet and a little bit more bitterness to really bring out the matcha flavour.
There were so many things on the menu that I would have loved to try, but eventually I managed to be predictable and settle on the lemon wasabi salmon don. The whole plate looked really pretty and summery when it arrived. I really enjoyed the lemon wasabi dressing. The rest of the dish was pleasant enough, but not all that memorable. I felt like it could have done with an extra something, like a mixed grain rice or different leafy greens and pickles to take it to the next level.
Although it had just ticked over to 11:30 they were still accommodating enough to be able to order from the breakfast menu as well. I also had my eye on the smoked trout ochazuke so I’m glad that Ryan ordered it. It had been so long since I had last had ochazuke even though it’s a combination of so many things I love. This was everything a good ochazuke should be. The dashi stock, rice and fish were perfect together. Every bite was comforting and warming.
My last name Khoo friend ordered the Shikiri bento box. When it arrived we were taken aback by just how plentiful and generous it looked. Every compartment was something a little bit different. There was a fair bit of rice, so if you get too full you can always take a rice ball back home, or keep it for an afternoon snack!
Agedashi tofu was another dish that caught my eye. My friend commented on the dashi broth, stating that it was rich and sweet. This is something that I would definitely try if I went back.
Although I liked everything else, the houjicha purin was the undisputed highlight of the day. The small cup doesn’t look like much, but the taste just blew me away. The slightly bitter caramal matched perfectly with the roasted houjicha taste. The earthy taste of the tea was amazing with the sweet wobbly pudding.
The service was a bit slow. All of our meals came out at different times with a bit of a wait in between. This is understandable considering how tiny the kitchen looks, but if you’re in a hurry this probably isn’t the best place for you! That said, everything that came out of the kitchen was a real treat. I don’t think that you can go wrong here if you’re looking for some brunch fare that is a bit out of the ordinary. I can’t wait to come back to try the matcha cake and all the other exciting sounding menu items.