FOOD REVIEW: Hello Kitty x Kumoya is formulaic, but it works

·Lifestyle Editor
·3-min read

DISCLAIMER: Does a dish exist if there are no online reviews? At Yummy!, we aim to be honest and transparent about the food we cover. As much as possible, we paid for the food. Where meals are offered for free, don’t assume for a moment we will disguise our delight or displeasure. What is guaranteed, however, are honest opinions (though we recognise taste is subjective) and relevant deets, to help you make a decision about a visit. For more Yummy! content, visit yhoo.it/yummy

I'm not sure if it's just me, but this pandemic has changed how I enjoy steamboat forever. As long as I'm not dining with my immediate family, all I can think about when seeing chopsticks dip into the soup and into people's mouth is, "Is that safe?" (Or yea, you can continue to pretend that you religiously use separate pairs of chopsticks for cooking and eating.)

Good thing is, a mini steamboat for one can be a solution to this mental discomfort. Toss cute animated characters we love such as Hello Kitty into the equation, and we get the saccharinely cute Hello Kitty x Kumoya Mini Shabu Shabu pop-up cafe located in Orchard Central.

Storefront of Kumoya at Orchard Central. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
Storefront of Kumoya at Orchard Central. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

For a limited time only from 1st September 2021, indulge in kawaii Japanese motifs, Hello Kitty inspired food and drinks crafted by Shirley Wong (@littlemissbento) in collaboration with the Kumoya kitchen team, and most importantly, shabu-shabu in your personal pot. All things considered, it's not difficult to imagine that you are in Japan while having your meal. 

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Each set starts from S$24.90, giving you the choice of:

  • 1 soup base (10 flavours to choose from including Szechuan Mala and Oishi Dashi)

  • 1 mixed vegetables pot

  • 1 meat, seafood or vegetarian set (from S$24.90 to S$33.90)

  • 1 Hello Kitty rice or beetroot noodle

  • 1 dipping sauce

There are also add-ons ranging from S$1 to S$44.90 that can be added to the mini shabu-shabu.

We had the Collagen Beauty Soup and Tom Yum Soup, the latter of which is on the blander side, but continuously comforting to the last drop. Bruce's Tom Yum soup tastes like what you might enjoy in a banmian store, sufficiently satisfying for a shabu-shabu experience.

Individual shabu shabu pots at Kumoya. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
Individual shabu shabu pots at Kumoya. (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

For meat, the Beef Short Rib Boneless (S$15.90) and Ribeye Sliced (S$11.90) came recommended, which could not, and did not, go wrong. 

We also had the Housemade Seafood Paste (S$14.90) and Tobiko and Fish Stuffing Fortune Bag (S$11.90). The seafood paste was underwhelming if one is used to those offered by the flashier, full-fledged steamboat joints. However, the fortune bag is a nice surprise in the mouth, one that aforementioned joints should consider adding into their menu. 

The Hello Kitty Fluffy Rice (S$3.90) is cute enough to look at, but the real MVP is the Beetroot Homemade Noodles (S$3.90), wonderfully pink and nary the earthiness of the beetroot. 

After filling our bellies, there's exclusive Hello Kitty Mini Shabu-Shabu merchandise to shop for, especially attractive if you're a Hello Kitty collector. 

Hello Kitty Plushie that's not for sale, but there are other collectables that are! (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)
Hello Kitty Plushie that's not for sale, but there are other collectables that are! (Photo: Stephanie Zheng)

If there's one word I'll use to describe the food and experience, it's formulaic. But, it works, because the sum of its parts come together to make for a decent mini shabu-shabu experience, one best enjoyed with a group of friends who revel in all things cute and joyful. 

Important things to note:

- There's a 90-min dining time limit.

- Kumoya is not halal-certified. However, their menu has no pork, no lard and no alcohol. 

- There is a minimum spending of S$25 per person.

- Prices stated are subject to seven per cent GST.

Kumoya @ Orchard Central

181 Orchard Road #04-08 Orchard Central Singapore 238896

11am to 9:30pm, daily. Last order at 8:30pm

Reservations can be made online or via Kumoya's social media platforms

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