Japanese-style dessert bar at Bugis crafts quirky cakes that look too good to be eaten


Joshua Lee | September 15, 2020, 09:13 AM

If you like instagrammable desserts, then you might want to check out Kki Sweets.

The Japanese-style dessert bar located at 3 Seah Street offers a range of plated desserts and cakes that are literally works of art.

In fact, experiencing the desserts at Kki (pronounced "kay ki" — Japanglish for "cake") is quite like visiting a museum in that the entire affair — from making your reservation to finally having your cake — is very curated.

Make a reservation before you visit

Before you visit, Kki recommends making a reservation.

The dessert bar can only sit 24 people (14 with safe distancing measures in effect), so you might want to reserve your seat to avoid disappointment.

When we visited, a Kki staff said that there might be seats for walk-ins if they arrive before 3pm.

When you're making your reservation, Kki will ask for your choice of desserts and beverage before directing you to a menu with... no pictures.

The menu is so spartan that each entry only has a name, a price, and a list of ingredients.

No visual hints about what you're signing up to put into your mouth.

"It’s just our way of inviting you to take a pause from the world of visual clutter," says Kki. "So dive in and let your imagination guide your taste buds."

No signboard

Kki's shopfront is as spartan as its menu.

There is no huge signboard announcing the shop's name. Instead,a semi-transparent "KKI" lettered on the window next to the main door is the only hint that you're at the right place.

The exterior of Kki. Image by Joshua Lee.

You won't find photos of cakes and desserts in the shop. Neither does Kki have a cake display.

Desserts at Kki are made to order and customers can actually see their food being prepped via a glass partition that separates the kitchen and dining area.

The dining in Kki. Image by Joshua Lee.

Another view of the dining area. Image by Melanie Lim.

And so the deliberate suspense that built up from the time we made our reservation to arriving at Kki finally made sense when we saw our first dessert for the first time, because our first word was, "Wah!":

This dessert is called "J". Definitely not what we had in mind when we read "Black Sesame, Yuzu, Matcha" in the menu. Photo by Joshua Lee.

"J" (S$13.50) consists of a black sesame mousse (yeah, that's not a solid pot), yuzu pudding, matcha, and white chocolate rice krispies. The "soil" is made of bittersweet chocolate. The different textures and tastes work together very well.

Aside from "J", we also got the Japanese Tomato, Strawberry & Red Pepper plated dessert (S$24).

Again, a very well harmonised dessert consisting of a tomato & strawberry sorbet, basil sugar tuile, red pepper & blood orange coulis, and a tomato & strawberry salad.

In particular, the sweetness and tartness of the tomato & strawberry sorbet and the red pepper & blood orange coulis were very refreshing.

Photo by Loh Wei.

Other Kki desserts that friends of ours recommended include the Nero (S$12.50), which uses black truffle and dark chocolate, and Teh (S$9.50), which brings together the bergamot from Earl Grey, sweet poached pear, and hazelnut tuiles.

Another friend recommended Maronnier (S$9.50) for its good balance of tastes — sweet and sour — in between bites.

The Nero. Photo by Phua Zhengjie.

The Teh.Image by Phua Zhengjie.

Clockwise from bottom: J, Maronnier, Arata. Image by Melanie Lim.

In all, Kki's desserts are very well-put together. We particularly enjoyed "J" for its playfulness, as well as the craft that went into creating something so visually arresting.

Kki's desserts are not cheap though.

Some might balk at spending between S$9.50 and S$13.50 for cakes or S$24 for a plated dessert, even though what they're paying for is the craftsmanship.

Kki refreshes its menu every two months, so, soon there will be new desserts to look forward to. Judging from what they have put out so far, we don't think we will be disappointed.

Kki Sweets

Address: 3 Seah Street, #01-01, Singapore 188379 (map)

Opening hours: 11am to 6pm last order (Wed to Sat); 11am to 4pm last order (Sun); Mon and Tue closed

Website: https://www.kki-sweets.com/

WhatsApp: +65 9799 2668

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Top images by Joshua Lee, Phua Zhengjie.