Cafe Gui Review: Minimalistic Japanese-Korean Cafe in Novena | Eatbook.sg
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Cafe Gui Review: Japanese-Korean Cafe With Dalgona Latte And Rice Bowls Below $20

28th September 2022

Cafe Gui is a Japanese-Korean cafe in Novena for brunch

cafe gui storefront

There are plenty of brunch cafes in Singapore, but most offer the usual Western fare of eggs and toast, or pasta and burgers. Cafe Gui, a new minimalistic cafe in Novena, brings a refreshing twist to the table by serving Japanese-Korean dishes instead.

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Food at Cafe Gui

cafe gui flatlay

The all-day brunch menu is split into different categories, including small bites, mains, rice bowls, and noodles.

cafe gui dosirak rice

They’re probably most known for their Dosirak Rice Bowl ($15.90+), a Korean-inspired dish served in an IG-worthy gold-tinted bento box. You get a well-varied mix of toppings, in the likes of pan-fried spam, kimchi, pickles, and shredded seaweed, on a bed of fluffy short-grain rice.

cafe gui dosirak yolk

Sitting atop was a perfectly fried egg, boasting a runny yolk that burst without much effort.

cafe gui rice mixed

A big part of this dish lies in the part where some elbow grease is involved: you’re supposed to shake the bento to mix all the ingredients. I prefer leaving the box as is as it looks more presentable, but there’s no fun in that.

cafe gui chicken skewers rice

Another substantial main we tried was the Chicken ($16.90+), comprising three chicken skewers accompanied by furikake rice, tamago, and a few other sides.

cafe gui chicken skewers closeup

The chicken skewers were well-grilled with a slight char on the outside but remained juicy within. Glazed with a sweet teriyaki sauce, these went well with the otherwise bland onigiri.

cafe gui rice ball

While the rice balls looked pretty, I thought they were rather plain-tasting and a little on the dry side. Nonetheless, as the rice wasn’t too salty, it formed a good backbone for the other condiments.

cafe gui sausage

Cafe Gui recently rolled out a new lineup of fusion hotdogs, well-priced at $13.90+ with a side of nori-spiked fries.

cafe gui sausage closeup

Of the two flavours, I much preferred the Japanese Canadian Premium Okonomi Hotdog, loaded with a sweet and umami-packed sauce, and copious amounts of bonito flakes.

The other flavour, the Terimayo, tasted more run-of-the-mill, though the sausage used in both variants was deliciously savoury with a satisfying snap.

cafe gui dalgona

A must-try here is the Dalgona Honeycomb ($9.90+). This sweet and creamy beverage came with strong espresso, fresh milk and foam, topped with crunchy honeycomb candy.

cafe gui dalgona closeup

The honeycomb shards provided a deep sweetness to the coffee without making it jelak. Combined with the magic ratio of full-bodied espresso and creamy milk, each sip was a yummy pick-me-up.

I found the price of the beverage a little steep nonetheless.

cafe gui hojicha pudding

The dessert selection was limited, with only three options available during our visit. We settled with the Hojicha Pudding ($6.90+) that was presented in a cute mini glass jar.

cafe gui hojicha pudding spoon

The pudding was smooth and silky with a faint hojicha flavour. It was light on the palate, though I wished the tea fragrance was more prominent.

Ambience at Cafe Gui

cafe gui ambience space

Cafe Gui sits in a quiet corner of Royal Square, which is right next to Novena MRT Station. The cosy and minimalistic cafe, decked in clean and simple furnishings, comfortably fits around 16 diners. For the best lighting, head all the way inside and chope the long white bench closest to the windows.

I can foresee Cafe Gui getting busy with the lunch crowd considering its prime location; it’s within the vicinity of those working in the nearby Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Mount Elizabeth Hospital, with numerous offices in the area too.

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The verdict

cafe gui verdict

There aren’t that many brunch cafes in Novena, so Cafe Gui is a pleasant and aesthetically-pleasing addition to the neighbourhood. While the dishes were not anything out of the world, their generous portions and affordable prices are reason enough to draw me back for a second visit.

If you’re craving more Japanese food in the hood, visit Bari-Uma Ramen in Novena Gardens for flavourful tonkotsu broth and cheese gyozas. Alternatively, read our Velocity food guide to find out where to head for legit sushi, Japanese BBQ and more in Novena.

Address: 103 Irrawaddy Road, #02-10, Royal Square, Singapore 329566
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 5pm
Website
Cafe Gui is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Chew Yi En.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg.

Cafe Gui Review: Japanese-Korean Cafe With Dalgona Latte And Brunch Below $20 In Novena
  • 7.5/10
    Cafe Gui Review: Japanese-Korean Cafe With Dalgona Latte And Rice Bowls Below $20 In Novena - 7.5/10
7.5/10

Summary

Pros:

– Bright and cosy space
– Very near to the MRT
– Well-priced mains

Cons:

– Some dishes were just average
– Dalgona Honeycomb was expensive

Recommended dishes: Dosirak Rice Bowl ($15.90+), Dalgona Honeycomb ($9.90+), Japanese Canadian Premium Okonomi Hotdog ($13.90+)

Opening hours: Tues-Fri 9am to 6pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 5pm

Address: 103 Irrawaddy Road, #02-10, Royal Square, Singapore 329566

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