The Place The vibe and space definitely does not feel like you are in Singapore. I was keen to check out Asaru Studio after seeing images of the space on social media and the space is tucked away in Pearl’s Hill Terrace, a complex on a small hill right behind People’s Park Food Centre in Chinatown. Zen and minimalist are just some of my impressions as I stepped into Asaru, and it is unique because it is a retail store, yet it does showcase the fine Japanese elements of tea whisking. The vibe simply reminds me of the quietness of a teahouse in Taiwan and Japan.
Point to note: you need to book a slot online before heading down. Choose the 1-hour slot which gives you time to browse the store, and light refreshments will be served. This is at S$30 per pax, which can be transferred as credits for in-store purchase above S$50. Think of it as a discounted retail purchase with snacks and beverages included. Alternatively, you can also book a 30 minutes slot just for browsing the store.
The Food I booked the Uchi (S$30) experience and I had the intention of trying the snacks and drinks, whereas the retail bit is secondary for me. There is no food menu per se.
I love the pacing of the experience. Every session accommodates at most 5 pax, and the staff makes to effort to engage individually with each group at their own pace.
The first drink to be served was the whisked Matcha from Japan, and it has a very clean, slightly bitter flavour. I love it.
The matcha is paired with homemade Strawberry Daifuku, where I find it difficult to come across good ones in Singapore. This is really fresh and it goes so well with the fresh matcha drink.
The second drink served is the pourover Coffee which uses beans from Kyoto.
The staff shared that the offerings are rotated periodically, but I really wish that they continue serving the Matcha Roll Cake with Adzuki which is perfect with the black coffee. The matcha roll is not too sweet, and has that perfect soft texture.
In terms of the retail bit, I did pick up some of the Japanese tableware since I am able to use the booking credits to offset the purchase.
Rants There is a tiny restriction basis the one-hour slot but that is probably the best way to keep the space quiet at any one point. The worst kind of experience is the one where the space is gorgeous and zen, but it feels like a marketplace.
Will I Return Again? The experience at Asaru is not found anywhere in Singapore at the moment. Service is very personalised and it is an experiential retail and food concept in an intimate and zen space. A great hideaway in town for some zen moments.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
195 Pearl’s Hill Terrace
Thursday to Sunday: 12pm to 6pm (Last appointment 5pm)
Ranted by The Ranter