Kantin Review: Authentic Bornean Food At Jewel Changi | Eatbook.sg
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Kantin Review: Authentic Bornean Food At Jewel Changi—Sarawak Laksa, Sotong Bakar And More

15th April 2024

Kantin serves authentic Bornean cuisine in Jewel Changi Airport


If you’re always on social media, you may have heard of the edible dirty sponge cake by Kantin, a restaurant in Jewel Changi Airport. Well, besides this humorous April Fools Prank, Kantin serves authentic Bornean cuisine alongside exotic alcoholic drinks and desserts. For the uninitiated, Bornean food is typically infused with various herbs and spices, and usually involves the addition of leafy vegetables.  

According to the team behind Kantin, their goal is to promote Bornean culture through its traditional food. The team originally opened an outlet in Sarawak, but soon expanded overseas, with Kantin Jewel being their first venture abroad. 

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Food at Kantin Jewel

I’ve never tried Bornean food before and was unsure what to expect. However, one of the bosses, Emily, recommended we try their signature dishes: the Headhunter Pansuh Set, Sarawak Laska, Rainforest
Fried Rice, and Sotong Bakar AKA grilled squid.


Headhunter Pansuh Set ($32++) comes with slow-cooked chicken in a hollow bamboo culm, purple rice and three side dishes, namely paku AKA wild fern, bamboo shoots, and anchovies with pickled onions. The side dishes were all cooked with house-made belacan for a spicy kick. Keropok AKA fish crackers are also served with this set. 


The chicken was tender and fell right off the bone, with a hint of a woody, sweet flavour that probably came from the bamboo culm. Although the flavour was a bit mild, the spicy sides really helped boost the overall taste. The sheer diversity of tastes and textures in this dish meant that there was never a dull moment eating it, despite the aforementioned flaw.


Up next was the Sarawak Laska ($18++). The main difference between this version of laksa and say, our local laksa is the gravy—the former has a thinner consistency and has strong aromatic notes, while the latter uses more coconut cream, creating a thicker consistency and a slightly sweeter flavour. 


The Sarawak laksa included three prawns, shredded eggs, and chicken breast, and I liked how each ingredient complemented each other. Adding the chicken breast introduced a layer of meaty richness to the dish, making the broth more flavourful and savoury. I also noted that the broth had a slightly herbal aftertaste, perhaps due to the various spices used. 


Moving on, the Rainforest Fried Rice ($18++) was unlike anything I’ve seen before. The dish suited its name—it came with heaps of fried cassava leaves, shiitake mushrooms, and cauliflower nuggets, seemingly mimicking how a rainforest looks. There was also a generous portion of rice, so we recommend sharing this as the portion is quite big!


Although I’m not a big fan of vegetables, the Rainforest Fried Rice became my favourite dish. I appreciated the rich, earthy taste of the various greens. Furthermore, each element in the dish, such as the crunchy cassava leaves and crispy cauliflower, also provided contrasting textures. Although my dining partner and I agreed that the fried rice was a bit oily, we still devoured this as each mouthful left a burst of umami flavour. 


“Everyone who comes here orders this!” Emily shared as the Sotong Bakar ($18++) was served. We could smell it even before it reached us—a strong, smokey BBQ scent marked its impending arrival. 


The sotong was cooked just right: it was extremely succulent and lacked a rubbery and tough texture. It had a slight briny flavour, and pairing it with the sambal chilli was a match made in heaven. 


For drinks, we ordered the must-try Iced Sarawak Teh C Special ($10++) and the Three Sour Crush ($12++). The former is a three-layer tea that consists of gula apong syrup, milk, and tea. However, the tea’s astringency was noticeable, leaving a dry sensation in my mouth after each sip. 

Meanwhile, the latter tasted similar to the childhood favourite Solero lime ice cream. It was also ice-blended, making it perfect for a hot day!

Ambience at Kantin


Located near Burger & Lobster, Kantin is on the fifth level of Jewel Changi Airport, a ten-minute walk from Changi Airport MRT Station. Since they’re on the highest floor, expect a majestic view of Jewel’s Rain Vortex.

The service staff are attentive and well-versed in the eatery’s menu. If you’re unsure of what to get, they’re happy to provide you with recommendations! 

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The verdict


With its extensive menu and delicious Bornean food, dining at Kantin is a must-try experience for everybody, despite its high prices. My personal favourites are definitely the Rainforest Fried Rice and the ice-blended Three Sour Crush. The restaurant is also designed with many Bornean elements for a more authentic dining experience. 

For more grubs around the area, check out our Jewel Changi food guide. Otherwise, take a look at Tracy’s Sarawak Kitchen, an authentic Sarawakian restaurant at Serangoon Gardens! 

Address: 78 Airport Boulevard, #05-206/207, Jewel Changi Aiport, Singapore 819666
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Tel: 9684 3690
Kantin is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Casandra Nicholas.
This was a media tasting at Kantin.

Kantin Review: Sarawak Laksa, Sotong Bakar And More At Jewel Changi Airport
  • 8/10
    Kantin Jewel Changi - 8/10


– Service staff are well-versed with the restaurant’s menu
– Spectacular view and ambience
– Authentic dining experience that uses Bornean herbs and spices 

– Can be slightly pricey
– Palate may not suit Singaporean’s taste buds 

Recommended dishes: Rainforest Fried Rice ($18++), Sotong Bakar ($18++)

Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm

Address: 78 Airport Boulevard, #05-206/207, Jewel Changi Aiport, Singapore 819666

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