Last Updated: May 6, 2019
If you’ve always wanted to watch your food being cooked right in front of your eyes, Nuevo Cafe offers that experience. It shares a space with KitchenHub, a commercial kitchen equipment showroom. In fact, the cafe uses this commercial cooking equipment to churn out your food, so you can be assured of the high quality.
Nestled between Eunos and Paya Lebar, Nuevo Cafe is located at 115 Eunos Ave 3. You can get to the cafe through a park connector from Paya Lebar MRT, which will take you about 10 minutes.
What I found unique about Nuevo Cafe was its food, which included all-day breakfast, brunch items, and Western rice bowls with a Japanese twist.
More importantly, all the prices were really affordable, with the most expensive item on its menu being Baked Salmon (S$17.90) and Grilled Steak (S$17.50). Apart from these premium mains, most of the dishes are below S$15, with no additional service charge.
Space wise, Nuevo Cafe is considerably small, sporting about 10 to 12 tiny tables and two long benches.
We’re told it can get super crowded during weekend brunch timings, so be sure to come early or be prepared to wait for a table.
The one dish I was completely floored by was the Yakiniku Wagyu Rice Bowl (S$14.50). Served on top a bed of fluffy Japanese pearl rice, this bowl of tender wagyu rump beef came with an onsen egg, pickled radishes and pistachio furikake.
Do note that this dish is only served on weekends. On weekdays, Nuevu Cafe dishes out a similar wagyu rice bowl instead but with beef striploin — Yakiniku Beef Rice Bowl (S$10.50).
Cooked till a gorgeous pink in a Josper Grill, a high-end oven that’s used by top steakhouses and restaurants, I absolutely loved how melt-in-your-mouth each slice of wagyu beef was.
The Josper Grill gave it a nice smoky taste, while each mouthful was balanced out by its accompanied yakiniku barbecue glaze, which also included sesame essence, miso, soy sauce and herbs.
I also especially loved the roasted pistachio furikake, which was creamy and nutty, and provided just the right amount of crunch.
A new addition to its menu, the Kakuni Pork Rice Bowl (S$9.50) came with grilled kakuni pork belly, Japanese pearl rice, onsen egg, pickled radishes and pistachio furikake.
The kakuni pork was superbly well-cooked. It was springy and firm, but when I bit into it, the meat and fats melted in my mouth like butter. There was also a nice crisp from its time in the Josper Grill, and its skin was taut, supple and smoky.
My only gripe with the rice bowls was the rice. Though it was fluffy, moist and sticky, I wished that it was seasoned with seaweed or mixed thoroughly with more furikake for a saltier and more flavourful taste.
The Mentaiko Carbonara (S$10.50) came in an impressive mountain-like shape, with shaved parmesan and tobiko and spring onions sprinkled generously over the dish.
For a second, I couldn’t even identify that this was a pasta dish. With its cream sauce, tobiko and parmesan, it almost looked like Japanese potato salad to me.
The mentaiko sauce was tangy, sweet and filled with umami flavours. I also liked that the dish was topped with pan-fried bacon cubes, which gave the dish a salty touch.
However, the pasta was a tad too dry for my liking and I wished that there was more mentaiko cream to coat the linguine.
Another a new addition to the menu, the Croque Madame (S$15.50) consists of thick brioche bread, honey ham and three kinds of cheese — parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar.
The brunch dish also comes with duchess potato, a fried egg, grilled tomatoes, mesclun salad, pistachio furikake and mentaiko bechamel sauce.
Don’t be intimidated by its French name or the impressive list of ingredients. Simply put, a Croque Madame is a baked ham and cheese sandwich.
As classy as the dish sounded, I found it familiar, comforting and indulgent. It reminded me of an elevated grilled cheese sandwich, with a thick and fluffy piece of soft brioche and stringy, oozy cheese.
In particular, I loved the combination of parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. It was sharp, pungent, mildly sweet and incredibly satisfying, and went hand-in-hand with the honey ham.
Nuevo Iced Tea (S$3.80) came with a thick slice of lemon and large chunks of ice. The “ice cubes” were actually iced tea frozen into cubes so it wouldn’t dilute the drink.
The drink, though a little on the sweet side from the honey, was really thirst-quenching and refreshing, and hit the spot on a hot and sweltering day.
If you’re looking for sides to share with your dining companion, be sure to give its unique Potato Mochi (S$9.50) a try. It’s made of mashed potatoes, mochi, camembert cheese and topped off with a teriyaki glaze.
To my delight, the soft and creamy camembert cheese oozed out the minute I bit into the round pieces of mochi.
The smooth cheese was sweet, buttery and slightly earthy, and I loved how it complimented the chewy and springy mochi. Every bite had just the right balance between sweet and salty, and smooth and chewy.
Though it’s slightly pricey, especially since it only has three pieces, it’s pretty worth it considering it’s made using premium ingredients like mochi and camembert cheese. And it’s so delicious!
The one knock-out dish for me was definitely the Yakiniku Wagyu Rice Bowl. It was tender, juicy and melt-in-your-mouth, and the pistachio furikake was nutty, smoky and creamy. I could tell that a lot of thought and work had gone into combining both Western and Japanese flavours together, and to me, it worked out really well.
Though Nuevo Cafe is a bit more inaccessible than most, with a 10-minute walk from the nearest MRT, it’s worth the walk and the wait. I’m definitely heading back the next time I’m craving a delicious bowl of wagyu beef.
Expected Damage: S$9 – S$16 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
115 Eunos Ave 3, Singapore 409839
115 Eunos Ave 3, Singapore 409839