Bar & BeveragesBusiness SenseCafe Culture Pt 1

MAISON IKKOKU: two distinct personalities, one brand

By March 24, 2016No Comments


maison2Downstairs cafe, upstairs bar. Two spaces within one quaint lot along Kandahar street considered a ‘hipster’ area of Singapore; they are starkly different but a combination that works. With a mix of backgrounds including finance, logistics and foodservice, Franz Chua/Shanie Teoh, Thomas Ho/Janice Ong and Ethan Leslie Leong opened the place which name means “the house”(Maison in French) and “of moment” (Ikkoku in Japanese). Combined, it means gathering people in one place at one moment (to have a good time of food and drink!). It was a concept they saw during their travels to Japan and Paris and thus aspired to bring the experience to Singapore. Their definition of cafe is simply as a place for good coffee and great food where one comes in feeling relaxed and to chill out anytime; be it day or night – to savour the moment hence the hanging cabinets in the cafe symbolising being ‘frozen’ in time. Coarse white brick walls are in contrast to woody and rustic furniture while minimalistic single bulbs hanging off the ceiling play to the laidback cafe feel and also to create more open space within the shop lot that holds a coffee station and back kitchen on one floor. The same design concept is brought up to the second floor in the bar but has its own charm to match a bar experience.

maison3The menu is comforting brunch favourites and as its full menu is only available on weekends, a crowd is to be expected. Also given that it isn’t exactly the biggest cafe in size plus the fact that each item on the plate is prepared upon order with no prepared cut vegetables, cooking ahead and storing methods being used. If you need a comforting and familiar meal, there are classics such as eggs benedict,
big breakfast while the sandwich selection spans across the European continent with Parisien tuna, Nor wegian salmon as well as prosciutto (Italy) alongside salads – a compact and focused menu to correspond with its cosy environment. There’s a little surprise in its Western menu though; an Asian twist is added with the signature snack of steamed bun with home made stewed pork belly and a Japanese short grain rice with seasoning & SPAM ham – a good example maintaining the brand’s voice with an extra edge. By keeping a concise menu; Maison is also able to focus on providing handcrafted coffee to customers; especially when cafe-goers these days are more discerning about having the complete cafe experience of food, coffee and ambience. Don’t forget; the Maison experience extends to the second floor with cocktails designed by one of Singapore’s top mixologist, Ethan and you can also complete your tour with the boutique on the third floor. Food, fun (with creative shots of drinks) and fashion all in one!