Heard all about the new Black Cherry that opened earlier this week — situated just across Pasir Panjang MRT Station, Black Cherry is a new Italian concept by the same folks behind La Ristretto’s at Novena that has take over the former spot of the now-defunct Kin’s Cafe (the same folks behind Kin’s Cafe currently runs Oak Coffee Co. at Upper Thomson Road. Following the same shop layout which Kin’s Cafe previously had, Black Cherry occupies two units that are by the top right hand corner of the property — one containing the kitchen, while the other consists of a small dine-in area alongside a coffee roastery and a bar counter. To accommodate for more dine-in patrons, al-fresco seating can be found outdoors just right in front of both shop units that Black Cherry has taken up — the same approach which Kin’s Cafe had previously adopted. Being a cafe with an emphasis on Italian cuisine, the menu at Black Cherry consists of sections that are dedicated to starters (think Meatballs, Burrata Salad and Seasonal Chargrilled Vegetables for the day), mains and pasta and sourdough pizza — all these being items available throughout its entire operating hours. Breakfast items such as the French Toast and Italian Ricotta Cheese Pancakes are only available between 9am to 3pm on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays, while Bruschettas are available everyday from 11am to 6pm. Beverages available at Black Cherry includes specialty coffee brewed using beans which are roasted in-house, as well as a selection of tea, and sparkling water; alcoholics would be pleased to learn that Black Cherry also serves up craft beer from Little Creatures Brewing in pints as well.

Whilst skimming through the menu, the staff recommended us to go for their Porchetta in the Starters section of their menu — the item’s description on the menu mentions “Roasted cracking pork belly, mixed herbs, truffle mustard”; it is also noted that the Porchetta is also available on two sizes on the menu (small; priced at $13+, and the large; priced at $18+) here. Only arriving just slightly after our order of the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara has been served to our table, the Porchetta is does come in a serving of around nine pieces. First bite into the Porchetta here and it was undeniable how the skin was so crispy with a good crunch — the skin also being just savoury enough without being overly salty although this is an item that is best had whilst it is still hot; the skin is able to retain its crispy texture, though it does harden up a little once it gets a little cooler. The meat for the Porchetta is sufficiently tender and juicy; again savoury without carrying any undesirable porky stench — something which we really liked about the version that is being served here. Coming with a Truffle Mustard dip by the side, the Truffle Mustard sauce was on-point; the sauce comes with a starting note that carries an evident truffle aroma, while it ends off with a slightly earthy finishing note that came from the mustard — the Truffle Mustard dip being something which we would certainly not mind pairing up with other fried snacks such as nuggets or fries if that was a choice!

Whilst La Ristretto’s is an establishment that is more of a cafe that specialises in specialty coffee and hearty brunches, Black Cherry deviates slightly away from being just the brunch-y cafe — it does seem that Black Cherry has more emphasis in being an Italian restaurant with a secondary focus on specialty coffee instead. We weren’t expecting much on the food served here, but we found that they are serving up pretty decent Italian fare here — the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara being a rather beautifully plated rendition of the classic Carbonara that is a a favourite for most, considering how they even went to plate the dish with edible flower petals that beefs up the aesthetics of the item a little; this is not to mention how their Spaghetti Alla Carbonara features pancetta, parmigiano cheese, garlic and egg, which are all the right elements to have in an authentic plate of Carbonara. We also thought that the prices at Black Cherry are rather reasonable for the type of place that it is — the pasta and mains mostly ranging from $18+ to $21+, while the sourdough pizzas starts from $19 with prices going upwards to $26. One thing remains as a concern with the space here though — with so many concepts run by the Xchange Group surrounding Black Cherry, it does seem a little tricky for Black Cherry to be able to attract the attention of passers-by looking for a meal; a challenge that was also likely faced by the now-defunct Kin’s Cafe previously when they were occupying the same space. Nonetheless, we did spot a few expats having their meal at Black Cherry as we were on the way out of the cafe; a spot that serves up that is worth exploring at least once for what they have to offer!