Come here for the whimsical décor and the thoughtfully designed food and drink menu.

Looks like our Sogirl-in-Chief is all grown up. After founding froyo brand Sogurt at the tender age of 21 (her staff is affectionately known as Sogirls), Lee Li Ping expanded the business to multiple outlets and gained a loyal following. Now, after 7 years, she is branching out in a new direction. Presenting: KARA Café & Dessert Bar, an all-day dining spot featuring health-conscious meals and LA-inspired cafe fare that has replaced the flagship Sogurt shop on Bukit Timah Road.

You won’t find run-of-the-mill brunch offerings here. The menu is creative, thoughtful and reflects a diverse range of culinary influences. Take the grain bowls. We loved the taco Mexx chicken option ($14, with spiced chicken, avocado, chipotle salsa and corn chips), but you should also consider the Japanese-inspired pork belly miso bowl ($16, with kakuni, onsen egg, cucumber edamame salad and miso cream).

Pork belly miso bowl with kakuni, onsen egg, cucumber edamame salad and miso cream ($16)

Also on offer are grilled cheese sandwiches (one version, $15, has smoked bacon, Blue Stilton and apple chutney), hearty salads (the house special, $16, is loaded with superfoods like roasted pumpkin, berries, feta and quinoa), as well as satisfying snacks for sharing such as Korean wings ($13) and okonomiyaki truffle tots ($12).

Okonomiyaki truffle tots with Kewpie mayonnaise, unagi sauce and truffle dressing ($12)

It wouldn’t be right if dessert were neglected at KARA. Far from it. The self-serve dessert bar now offers not just frozen yoghurt but also ice cream, with flavours like maple lavender and salted speculoos. In addition, chewy and crispy mochi waffles are available as a plated dessert ($12.50), topped with a softie swirl and unusual sprinkles such as cacao nib sablés.

Mochi waffle with soft serve and sprinkles ($12.50)

 

The attention to quality at KARA is apparent everywhere, from the décor—check out the refurbished stools with adorable illustrations by Mark Wee—to the drinks—with loose-leaf teas from Tea Forte, specialty coffees from Papa Palheta, and a selection of craft beers from TSA (Tastes So Awesome!). While the café retains the whimsy and youthfulness of the Sogurt brand, it’s a more sophisticated dining destination that will surely appeal to a wider audience.

617 Bukit Timah Road. Tel: 6468 8940

bites-leaderboard