Located in the middle of Purvis Street, a stone throw away from the bustling Bugis Junction, is a not-so-tiny Hotel Kai. Tucked inside a conservatory building and built up to 6 stories, Hotel Kai houses 30 rooms which includes bunk beds rooms for sharing and normal double sharing rooms as well as a 30-seater Bistro Kai.
The simple, yet functional and modern aesthetic of Hotel Kai makes it pretty comfortable for foreigners and locals alike, who wants to try out something different, yet not want to burn a hole in their pockets to get such an experience.
We were given the opportunity to view some of the popular and different rooms available within Hotel Kai. To ensure safety and privacy, guests would need their room cards in order to proceed up the lift to their respective floors. This itself, would be a fairly good safety feature which most backpacking inns may not have.
Upon reaching each level, you are greeted with a projection which tells you which level you are on and directions to your rooms. Each room is tagged with an alphabet, making it fairly easy to figure your way around. By the motto of “Small is More”, each room met both the functionality and usability of the spaces available.
The first room that were brought to was the Urban Studio that is a cosy room for 2. A cosy little room, the owners of Hotel Kai sure know how to make use of good space. They managed to fit in a queen sized bed, a small make-up table and a standing shower.
The next room we were brought to was a comfortable for bag-packers and something fairly unusual when you name yourself as a hotel. The Urban Bunk is a room for 2 that has bunk beds! This gives guests a comfortable private space, yet allows you to share a room with someone else.
The last and final room, which I’m sure was the real stunner would be the Urban Skyloft! Located on the top floor, this room gives you a form of privacy as there are only 2 rooms located on this level. What more, you have 2 private balconies which is exclusively yours – talk about a rooftop party!
Each room comes equipped with free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and a welcome drink, remote-controlled adjustable beds, complimentary bicycle rental to cycle all around Singapore and if you’re a foreigner, complimentary 4G personal Wi-Fi device which you can bring all around Singapore (saves you money on buying a data line!).
That aside, Hotel Kai has a simple little Bistro Kai that is tucked on the first floor. With set lunches and happy hour offers, you wouldn’t need to be a guest of the Hotel to be attracted to this joint.
We were in for a treat on this evening where we got the opportunity to try out a large variety of dishes that Bistro Kai offered.
Fortunately for others & unfortunately for me, Bistro Kai’s Happy Hour offers fresh oysters at $2.50 per piece (minimum order of half a dozen) on Mondays, between 5-7pm! Talk about clearing those Monday blues. Also, daily from Mondays to Fridays, their Happy Hour offers for beers runs per hour -$5 at 5pm, $6 at 6pm and $7 at 7pm! If you’re not an oyster lover (like myself), you’d be able to get Tapas at $9 each with every purchase of their HH beers!
For Starters, we got to try dishes which were pretty interesting and not something which you’d usually get at a bistro. Well, not for the bistros that I’ve been to before that is. That aside, it were also dishes which I would not usually order as I’m a fairly picky eater, however, some of these dishes did blew me away.
The first would be the Crispy Baby Squid. Crispy on the outside and smelt abit like Har Cheong Gai (prawn paste chicken), the Crispy Baby Squid was the perfect starter to go with your Happy Hour beers! Each bite makes it fairly addictive, leaving you wanting more.
The next item served was the Broccoli with 63 Degree Egg. When I first saw this, I was quite skeptical cause
1. I didn’t like broccoli,
2. It’s broccoli.
However, after much persuasion by everyone else on the table that said that it tasted really good, I took the smallest piece and tried it. Guess what, I LOVED IT! I guess as long as you deep fry anything, it masks the taste of vegetables and it ain’t all the bad. What more, the deep fried broccoli came with the 63 Degree Egg which helped in masking the taste as well as furikake seasoning on top!
Next up, we tried the Brussels Sprout with Pickled Beetroot. So as with tastings, you would have to try out everything given, or try to at least. Hence, I took a small bite of the Brussels Sprouts and well, it didn’t quite sit right in my tummy. However, some of the others loved it quite a fair bit and cleared it within minutes.
Last of the starters would be the Buffalo Wings. I’m sure that many places have done Buffalo Wings and the variations do get quite extreme. However, the basis for every Buffalo Wings dish would be this – it has got to be spicy; so spicy that you might actually start tearing. The trick to eating Buffalo Wings and not starting to tear within the first few mouthfuls, is to not let the sauce touch your lips. Once it touches, good luck. With that in mind, I easily cleaned up the wings and well, was fortunate that I didn’t start sobbing or turn red. If you’re a contender of anything spicy, this would be perfect for you!
With that, we moved on to the Mains for the evening and looking at the menu that was given to us, we knew that we were in for a carbo and protein heavy night. The mains served at Bistro Kai are a combination of flavours that are drawn from Southeast Asia – think along the lines of Thailand and Indonesia.
First up, we had the Kaibonara. Named after Hotel Kai / Bistro Kai, this in-house named Carbonara consisted of a poached egg, nestled on a bed of linguine with bacon, prawns, cheese, garlic and chilli topped with parmesan cheese. From the looks of it, it does look like Aglio Olio more than Carbonara. Taste-wise, the combination of the salty bacon with the prawns makes it really easy to finish.
Next up, which was one of my top favs for the evening, would be the Spicy Tom Yum Risotto. The fusion between Thai and Italian was something pretty rare and you generally wouldn’t expect Tom Yum and Risotto to mix well. However, the chef’s touch did help and the dish was easy to clear! Only downside would be that it could have a little more oomph and spiciness and it would have been perfect.
Next on the carbs list was the Sawadee Seafood Pasta. Another Thai-inspired dish, this was the winner for the evening! This dish came with Farfelle pasta, Tiger Prawns, Clams and Scallops in Spicy Thai Green Curry Cream. With the cute ribbon-like pasta, it was a great flavours and a touch of fun added to it. If you’d ask me, this would be the dish that I go back for.
Now on the meats, we had the Indonesian Style Barbeque Pork Ribs. Braised Bone Tender Pork Ribs, glazed with Homemade Barbeque Sauce, infused with Indonesian spices and served with seasonal summer vegetables and french fries. That was the description of the dish that we got and I must say, the pork ribs were really tender! By that I mean, pull-off-the-bone-easily-kinda tender. Soft and savoury, this would be the dish for anyone with a huge appetite and loves to get down and dirty (I meant your hands, if you’re thinking otherwise).
Last of the mains would be the Australian Grade Striploin Steak. There were 2 variations that we tried, the first being the actual main and the second, it was a saltier bite-sized version that would easily be used as booze bar bites. The steak was served with a Medium doneness, making it fairly easy to chew and was the type of dish that is simple yet bursts with flavour.
Lucky for us, we ended the evening on an extremely sweet note, with desserts and being able to enjoy it in the comfort of the Skyloft!
First up, we had the Homemade Crème Brulee. This simple dessert was easy to finish and would easily satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth craving!
The last and finish dish for the evening was the Thai Tea Lava Cake. With all the Thai-inspired dishes from the night, we had high hopes for this dish. Unfortunately, it did fall a little short. It could possibly be the lag in time for bringing it up, but sadly, it didn’t look as nice as we thought it to be. Also on a sweet side, this would have been better if Vanilla ice cream was served with it, making it easier to finish. However, I must say the Thai Tea flavour was definitely there, just a thicker version of what you’d drink on the streets in Thailand.
A big shout-out to the management of Hotel Kai for having us on that lovely Monday evening and bringing us around!
If you’d like to check up out, you would be able to find them here:
14 Purvis Street, Singapore 188593
Tel: (+65) 6643 9999
Till the next time,