You may have seen Kamil and yours truly up to our antics during Chinese New Year earlier this year 😉 It’s always nice to be able to enjoy a good meal with good company, especially since food is a big part of our Singaporean culture! Last week, we enjoyed a hearty lunch in town after my work meeting in the CBD area. Fairly new, having just opened this April, Ninja Bowl serves up scrumptious all-day brunch, sandwiches and other value-for-money makan options! Although they may seem like the new kid on the block, their parent company The Astronauts Group already owns 2 other successful F&B establishments – Chillax Cafe and Babette Restaurant & Bar. So this is really their third baby!
Stepping through their front door, it already looked very promising to us; we were greeted by a full crowd of happy customers nom-ing at the atmospheric restaurant, located in the hip dining enclave of Duxton Road. Going through the menu as we waited for our table, the two of us quickly realized that yummy food aside, the management decided not to have service charge so all prices are at nett cost! Well played, Ninja Bowl, well played.
Kamil is a big guy, so naturally, the man is also a big eater. I was wondering if the serving portions would be sufficient for him because there’s no way I’m sharing mine! LOL! Business was bustling but the serving staff were first class. Having worked in the F&B industry as a teen while saving up to pay school fees, I totally understand how crazy it can be working at a restaurant during peak hours. Despite it being full house (it seats about 50 people), the folks at Ninja Bowl were cool cats, never forgetting to crack a smile and patiently answer any questions we had.
We were quite hungry (our fault really, because as artists who aren’t exactly morning people, this was our first meal of the day at 1.30pm) so Kamil and I were thrilled that it didn’t take too long for our orders to arrive 🙂 And the portions were more than decent too! No très petit teeny tiny portions here, thank goodness.
We shared this gorgeous plate of Cauli Pops between us… generous chunks of tempura-battered chopped cauliflower with siracha mayo dip… and our tall, dark, handsome actor had his Noka with Ninja rice (a blend of vinegar Japanese pearl rice and brown rice with seaweed flakes). One thing for sure, fellow meat eaters will love this! The hero of the dish are those tender slices of beef cheek that has been braised for 24 hours in veal jus and homemade soy sauce. Accompanied by roasted pine nuts, baby corn and miso dressing, semi-dried tomatoes and that perfect onsen egg for added creaminess, it’s oishiii…
Yep, that is Kamil’s “Ning, can I eat now?” face. He was one happy man and had nothing but good things to say about this terrific dish as he tucked into it. I think for the first few minutes while he was scoffing his food down, Kamil actually forgot I was just there, sitting right across him. LOL.
My Genki “Ninja Bowl” arrived soon afterwards, and instead of rice, I had opted for the carb-free quinoa option (don’t judge me). This girl really loves her unagi (grilled Japanese eel) and the lovely toppings of roasted pumpkin, Korean mung beansprouts gave a refreshing crunch, and its pickled beets and onsen egg really added some dimension to the dish. I had barely taken three bites when the attentive staff came over to ask if everything was okay. Yes, it was really delish, so it’s all thumbs up!
The Japanese influence is apparent in Ninja Bowl, but here is their best-kept secret… when you are there, you absolutely MUST try their Fancy French. It’s actually the creative brainchild of one of the owners! A big fan of grapes and figs, she resourcefully tracked down a reliable supplier who could go the distance to find them good quality figs, so that she could put this beautiful dish together. Essentially a thick-cut homemade brioche skilfully stuffed with homemade fig jam, it is cooked golden brown and drizzled with honey infused umeboshi (pickled plum) and topped with delectable homemade hazelnut butter. It doesn’t stop there; picture perfect slices of plums, figs, grapes and edible flowers adorn this intricate dish. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!
The umeboshi was evident in this photo-worthy classic. It was obvious that they were not stingy with it. Kamil could easily attest to it because he easily recognised its unique taste and smell; umeboshi was something his mom fed him all the time as a child, for “vitamins in the morning”. LOL.
Rounding up our fabulous meal with a nice cuppa coffee and ginger lemongrass tea, Kamil and I were feeling AWESOME and were pleasantly surprised when our bill came. Really, for lunch in town, the price was more than decent! And now that they’re open for dinner in the evenings (previously they only opened for lunch), you really should pop by to check them out. You can also get your Asian fusion fix online at NinjaBowl.oddle.me
Personally, I like lunches that leave you feeling light and ready to tackle the rest of the day. I didn’t feel sluggish after the meal – I felt pretty hyped and in an alternate universe I’d be a kickass ninja capable of scaling walls and jumping from roof to roof – ok, probably not in this dimension but I’ll definitely be back. Ninja Bowl would be quite ideal for that catch up with friends after work or a birthday lunch on the weekend. Check it out before it gets even more crowded 😉 Remember you read all about it here first on NingThing!
Tel: 6222 8055
15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481
Opening hours: 9.30am – 9pm (weekdays) / 9am – 6pm (weekends)