Reviewed by Cynthia Ning
Last-minute invites to dinner can sometimes turn out to be one the best nights out and this one truly felt like that.
Sophia and Maddy from The Cru were lovely hosts and started us off with a tasting at the Batch Brewing Company. There was an array of beers and ciders to choose from, with the bartenders providing helpful suggestions and giving samples to try based on your personal taste preferences to help you make your choice.
As the final guests arrived and got to mingle, we made our way down to 789 Korean BBQ conveniently located only a short walk away. The table had already been prepared immaculately and we got a rundown of the list of options to choose from. The staff members were very friendly and helpful with selecting items to share. We started off with the seafood pancake and mild seafood soft tofu stew with a mixed beef, chicken, and vegetable selection to cook on the grill.
The 789 Korean BBQ restaurant delivered all the trimmings, the traditional side dishes including kimchi, pickled radish, and mixed baskets of lettuce to eat the cooked meat with. We received a bowl of rice each and were offered additional helpings of the side dishes, lettuce, and rice if we ran out. There was laughter, deep discussions, and fun playing drinking games with fruity-flavoured soju.
Sophia had one last surprise for us, and we rolled out of the venue to end up at 15cenchi, a Japanese Cheesecake shop that specialises in gluten-free products with a focus on uniquely Japanese flavoured cheesecakes, pudding, tarts, and tea. Co-creator Naoka Kojo warmly greeted us at her Darling Square location and gave us her story on how 15cenchi was created during lockdown with the gift of sharing happiness.
We were lucky enough to be able to pick out a flavour of our choice to take home and try. Of course, I couldn’t pass up the chocolate flavour which simply melted in my mouth and was gone all too soon. I shared the slice with my partner but recommend that each person should get their own!
This was wonderful to get to know the local businesses and the people behind them. The visit allowed the smaller shops to get their own moment to share their message and spread the word about what delicious food they have to offer. Every shop has a story behind it, so why not make a date night with yourself or with loved ones and taste a bit of everything that Darling Square has to offer.