Being a matcha addict as well as a Japanese dessert enthusiast, I was highly excited when I first figured out there was a new matcha specialist opened in PIK area. Trying to look for the venue last weekend, it's actually quite easy to figure out which one it was since the shiny green color could already be noticed even when my friends and I were still quite far away. It's basically located in the same array as the recently hyped Saine Daise, the elegant Bienvenue Bistro Terrasse, and my favorite coffee shop in PIK - Native Coffee Tribe.
As expected, it's green here and there at the venue. And I was so happy finding that they brought out the Christmas theme to the place, decorating the corners with mistletoes, snowflakes, Christmas cards, gifts, and many more. I could smell it would come real real soon, the season I've been waiting throughout the whole year! OK, back to focus, basically the spot was not that spacious, yet it was just quite similar to the typical size of cafes in PIK area. Despite the consistent green theme it brought out, I didn't think there's anything distinctive from the design. I actually expected something beyond this to boost my amusement. Great news, there was one concept they offered which captured my interest, the homemade-decorated plate displayed on the showcase, which the guest could choose based on the availability. The decoration drawn on the plates was basically made of food-colorings so it's safe for consumption. Just need to beware of getting the colorants stuck on your hand when you accidentally held the colored part on the plate.
Oh yeah, before I misled any of you, let me shared you one thing. When I reached the place and looked at the menu for the first time, I figured out that in spite of the fact that it claimed itself as the Matcha expert, it was actually not a Japanese cafe. It was a Korean one instead, focusing on both green-tea based desserts and drinks, as well as Korean fusion culinary. Trying to do a little bit research, I was then exposed to the fact that the name 'Nokcha' itself meant green tea with natural toasty sweetness and earthy-biscuity fragrance, enjoyed by people who usually didn't like green tea, which was traditionally produced and organically grown in Korea. Well, good learnings ;)
So you could now start your wild guess on what's there listed on the menu. If you've just thought about Bulgogi, Kimchi, fried chicken, etc; yes you got it right as they were indeed there, available to be served. Nevertheless, this time it's only a dessert time as the matcha desserts were indeed my main incentive to come here.
Serving quite rich options for matcha desserts on the menu, they successfully led me into confusion in deciding which one to opt for. My friends and I then tried to get the inputs from the waitress, yet she seemed like not having that clear clue when explaining what's actually inside each of the dishes. Well, never mind, perhaps she just required more training and I wouldn't let her ruin my weekend spirit, including the spirit to try these sweet tooth for the very first time.
Relying on the pictures shown on the menu, I was initially tempted by Durian Nokcha Chocolate Dome (IDR 40k). Nonetheless, I unfortunately had to find out that they're not available. Thus, the choice went to the other desserts having that small thumb besides their names on the menu, showing they're the recommended ones.
Oreo Nokcha Cheesecake (IDR 34k)
Combination of oreo and cheesecake? Perhaps it's already very generic and could be easily found elsewhere. But oreo, matcha, and cheesecake? Well that's doubtlessly the unique selling point. Since I loved every single component of this trio, my expectation was quite high for the taste of this mixture. Sadly, it tasted good but not yet to the level that pampered my palate. Regardless of its enjoyable smooth texture, I personally thought that the taste was neither too matcha nor too cheese, making it arrive at the vague stage. Another thing was the petite size, creating the thought in my mind that it was slightly too pricey.
Nokcha Financier (IDR 30k)
Luckily, my friends and I still had another one to save the day, the Financier. Appearance wise, the first one might look more gorgeous, but the saying of 'Don't judge a book by its cover' apparently applied here. Despite its simple presentation, this Nokcha Financier turned out very palatable! It's not overly sweet, emphasizing the strong green tea taste in it. The texture was quite dense as well, reminding me of matcha brownie. Sharing it with my friend and my sister, all of us thought it should have come in bigger size to satisfy our dessert craving. Especially if you tried comparing it with the gigantic plate size, this dessert as well as the first one even seemed to just occupy less than a quarter of the plate.
Mango Nokcha Ice Blended (IDR 40k)
Besides the foods, we were also curious to try the beverages. Coming there in a hot sunny day, my friend @yennymakanmulu couldn't bear with the heat and decided to go for something cold and refreshing. So she ended up ordering this blend of mango and matcha. As you might have guessed, mango actually had quite strong flavor, making it dominating the whole taste and kind of weakened the matcha touch. Well, it's not bad, yet it's just mainly mango.
Hot Banana Nokcha Latte (IDR 38k)
When my friend preferred something cold, I was more into the hot one despite the dry weather. At first I was quite dilemmatic if I should go for the original matcha one or I should order the version mixed with another flavor. I ended up going for the latter with this Banana Nokcha Latte, which was basically the fusion of banana and green tea. Again, the same issue as the previous one, the banana taste dominated the whole cup and additionally, this was quite too milky for my palate.
All in all, I was delighted that my curiosity was finally answered by the real visit to Nokcha and the trial on some of the menu they served. Though I still expected much improvement from Nokcha, just wanted to thank the financier for making my day, and probably I would go back here for their Durian Nokcha Chocolate Dome as well as to have a sip on their original Nokcha Latte.
Service: 7/10Price: 7/10
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