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Best Borneo Food Review: Kantin Jewel Changi

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Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Traveling Foodie Extraordinaire

Kantin Jewel Changi: Bornean Cuisine Excellence. Watch out for HeadHunters...

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Kantin Jewel Changi: visit #2, time to take the family to meet Emily and crew

kantin jewel changi family with emily yii

Back we go to see our BFFs at Kantin Jewel Changi. I have to get the family to meet the amazing team there and to get some of that most wonderful Bornean food into their little tummies.  And, boy am I glad I did, because Kantin NAILED it. This now becomes the second of our Kantin at Jewel Changi Reviews.

kantin jewel changi family dinner

Due to different palates and tastebuds, we ordered some new dishes today off the Kantin Jewel Menu, so let me share more about those individual items below. But, firstly let me give you a precise. Family K was as equally WOW’d by the food, drinks, crew, and ambiance. Like blown away. 

Because today I am focused on new items from the Kantin Jewel Menu, I won’t share again the Headhunter Pansuh Set, but I will share that Wifey stated that is some of the very best chicken she has ever eaten in her life, and the most incredible more-ish soup broth. Yes, in unison we discussed with Emily the similarity to Filipino dishes such as Sinigang and Chicken Tinola. Believe me Kantin Crew, that is one bar-raising accolade from Wifey. But, wait, there’s more…

kantin jewel changi sweet potatoes

Wifey’s favorite side dish is sweet potato fries. She is officially a global aficionado on them now. She will order them, guaranteed if she spots them on any menu. Guess what… Kantin Jewel Menu has them front and centre on the sides: yes we ordered them.

You may have seen the ongoing: Wifey’s best octopus / pulpo dish in Singapore competition. Well, this has the same high-standing status as that. Yes, I know they’re just fries, but she loves them so much they get such recognition. 

Kantin Sweet Potato Fries @ $10

I know you know the answer already, but… Yes, these are now the BEST sweet potato fries in Singapore, as voted by a very challenging food critique. Kantin you absolutely NAILED IT. We spent about ten minutes trying to work out how you make these, double-fried, par-boiled and fried, and so on. #BeProud Kantin, this is a heady height to achieve haha.

 

kantin jewel changi jungle pasta

Kantin Jungle Pasta @ $23

Woof!!! Strawb ordered this, and we all tried it, and all went: ooooooooh. Absolutely a stunning pasta dish. Perfectly al dente, with those pungent jungle greens and herbs, and some stunning duck slices. My goodness, yet another WOW dish on the Kantin Jewel Menu, these guys should be a Premiership football club, because they’re scoring so many goals…

This is spaghetti tossed in Kantin’s special pesto blend made with unique Bornean herbs, topped with smoked duck slices and sprinkles of fried basil. I mean. come on… and how beautiful does that look. Amazing!!!

kantin jewel changi cempedak and ice cream

The last one today was on the specials and an uber-cool dessert. A lovely vanilla ice cream, crumble, and (here comes the killer addition) Cempedak.

Cempedak (Artocarpus integer) is a tropical fruit from the Moraceae family. It can be found in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Cempedak is similar to the jackfruit in appearance and in the way the fruit is used.
Kantin Jewel Changi Totem

Kantin Jewel Changi 🌴 Tired of dull airport food? Well, imagine this: You’re at Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore, and suddenly, a wild Borneo-inspired restaurant appears, complete with totem and smoking log fires! Say hello to KANTIN Jewel Changi, the airport’s brand-new culinary gem, and the only Bornean Restaurant in Singapore that will take your taste buds on a jungle adventure.

Exotic cocktails, Bornean dishes, and a casual, open-concept space – it’s the first of its kind in Singapore! So, if you’re wondering where to find delectable Sarawak flavors with a twist of modernity, KANTIN is your answer.

Join us as we hack our way into the delightful journey of jungle food and why KANTIN Jewel Changi is a must-visit haven for food enthusiasts and adventurers alike: believe me, you will LOVE IT. 🍽️🌿 Just keep an eye on your head, there’s hunters about…

kantin jewel changi islifearecipe with emily yi

You know me by now, I love food surprises and today was exactly that. The ISLIFEARECIPE crew was asked to come to visit and try the food and write a blog if we desired to. We had absolutely no idea what to expect from the food, the crew, and drinks. We were blown away, I kid you not: BLOWN AWAY. This is just an exceptional restaurant with top-ranking food, drinks, ambiance, and staff.

The whole package is one of wonder, and we loved every minute we spent here. #BEPROUD Kantin Jewel Changi crew, you’ve done something amazing in Singapore, and it’s a first. What so surprised me was that the food was quite aligned with Philippine cuisine: my Wife is known for the occasional forage to collect vegetables and herbs from the jungles around our house… Sour and fresh herbs galore, yes there is absolute kindred-ship.

The ISLIFEARECIPE crew had the most wonderful fortune to meet some of the founders, who also have a sister location in Borneo: Kantin at the Granary, Kuching. This will blow your mind as well: Emily is a Video Director, Lionel is a Cinematographer, DJ, and Bartender, and Aya is an Art Director and Operations Manager.

Yes, they are some of the founders of this absolute GEM in Jewel. Did you see a mention of anything related to food or restauranteurship… Nope, nada, but they sure are pulling off some of the best and most unique dining you’ll have in Jewel.

kantin jewel changi shop front

Exploring the Vibrant Atmosphere at Kantin

At Kantin, dining is not just about the food – it is an experience that engages all your senses. As soon as you walk up to the front, you are greeted by a lively and vibrant atmosphere, totems, a roaring fire, and videos of Borneo. The restaurant is adorned with colorful decor, modern furnishings, and tastefully arranged artwork, creating a space that is both stylish and welcoming. The combination of ambient lighting and upbeat cool toonz sets the mood for a memorable dining experience.

The lively chatter and laughter of the patrons fill the air (sure did when we were there), adding to the energetic ambiance: it’s addictive. The restaurant is always bustling with activity, with waitstaff effortlessly gliding between tables, attending to the needs of the diners: with local Sarawak headdresses and necklaces being worn proudly. 

Indulging in a Culinary Journey of Flavors at Kantin Jewel Changi

Indulging in a culinary journey of flavors at Kantin is a delightful experience for the senses: I cannot emphasize this enough. We eat with our eyes, then nose, and then palate: and these guys are smacking you in the face with each of those senses. Each dish is meticulously crafted to showcase a harmonious blend of diverse flavors from the jungle, creating a symphony in your mouth. From the moment you take your first bite, you are transported to a world of super-fresh jungly gastronomic bliss.

The menu at Kantin offers a tantalizing array of dishes, each with its own unique flavor profile. Whether you are a fan of bold, spicy flavors or prefer fresh herbs and citrus overtones, there is something to satisfy. The culinary team at Kantin expertly combines traditional and modern techniques to create dishes that not only taste extraordinary but also showcase the finest ingredients all imported from the jungles of Borneo. Every element is carefully chosen to ensure a memorable dining experience. It really is a: WOW!!!

Let's get to some facts about Kantin Jewel Changi

Borneo Concept Restaurant: 1st in Singapore

Kantin Jewel Changi is Singapore’s first restaurant to capture the essence of Borneo’s captivating cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the mystical rainforests and tribal traditions of this legendary region.

Founded by Sarawak Eye Creative Agency

Kantin is the brainchild of Sarawak Eye, a Malaysian award-winning creative agency. Originating from Kantin at the Granary, known for reinventing Sarawakian classics, they now explore Borneo’s culinary heritage in Singapore.

Recipient of Culinary Accolades Already

Kantin’s food innovations have earned accolades such as Malaysia’s Best Food Awards 2022, the prestigious ASEAN Food & Travel Awards for Best Culinary Experience, and the coveted MyMalaysia Tourism Awards 2023 for The Authentic Sarawak Restaurant. See Emily below, so proud (and rightly so) of the signature Headhunter Platter. 

Kantin Jewel Emily Yi

Authentic and Creative Borneo Cuisine and Cocktails

Kantin’s menu celebrates authenticity, offering a diverse range of meticulously prepared Borneo dishes. From classics like “Headhunter Pansuh Set” to beloved favourites like “Sarawak Laksa,” each dish embodies Borneo’s legendary culinary heritage. Complementing the cuisine are creative Borneo-inspired cocktails, featuring local herbs and unique ingredients, with the famous Tuak (fermented rice wine: Oooooooooooooooooo-AH!!!) as the base.

Unveiling the Signature Dishes at Kantin

At Kantin, the culinary team takes immense pride in crafting unique and unforgettable dining experiences through their carefully curated signature dishes. Each dish is a masterpiece, meticulously prepared and crafted with a harmonious blend of flavors and textures from the jungles of Borneo.

From the moment these dishes grace the table, they captivate the senses and leave a lasting impression. They look stunning, with stunning aromas wafting and then that intense and super-fresh flavour hit. Damned fine!!!

Borneo Food = Jungle Food

Explore the rich diversity of Borneo’s cuisine at Kantin. Sample traditional indigenous flavors like Headhunter Pansuh Set and Rainforest Fried Rice (my Wifey will go mad for this one), or savour Sarawak’s homeland with dishes like “Laksa.” Western-inspired options like Jungle Pasta and Wild Chicken Chop (incredible) are also available. 

Kantin’s offerings, rich in nutritional value, may challenge some palates with their primitive tastes or traditional fermentation methods. However, they are a unique and simply must-try. My mate Spencer was all over the sambals, ikin bilis, pickles, and such… They NAILED his palate and some.

I’m giving you the Kantin Crew’s explanation first and then mine for the tasting dishes we had today… Let’s see how we align.

Kantin Jewel Changi The Rainforest Fried Rice

RAINFOREST FRIED RICE @ $18

A taste of this will transport you to the rainforests

Embark on a tantalizing journey through the lush rainforests of Borneo with our Rainforest Fried Rice. This aromatic dish dances with the earthy symphony of tapioca leaves, kantan petals, and wild herbs harvested from the heart of the jungle. This dish is a sensory delight, accompanied by crispy fried cauliflower nuggets and shiitake mushroom bits. A true ode to the untamed spirit of the rainforest.

This is the one my Mary will clamber across hot coals to get to. This rice was insanely good. So light and fluffy with a beautiful fresh herb infusion. Served atop is the fried-off jungle stuff to give a crunch and then those cauliflower nuggets: those cauliflower nuggets that I could have eaten a whole other bowl of. Goodness me. What a dish, STELLAR!!!

kantin jewel changi headhunter pansuh set

HEADHUNTER PANSUH SET @ $32

The fearsome headhunter’s diet

Dive into the heart of Borneo’s culinary heritage with our Headhunter Pansuh Set—a captivating tribute to this vibrant culture. Savour tender Chicken Pansuh, where chicken is traditionally cooked in bamboo with aromatic herbs. It’s served alongside fragrant purple rice, an exotic twist on the traditional Bario rice, artfully wrapped in a banana leaf. Explore further with the delightful crunch of Keropok Lekor, a coastal delicacy that adds a playful contrast to the meal. As a delightful surprise, your adventure includes three Dayak Side Dishes of the Day, each offering a unique taste of Borneo’s culinary traditions. Every bite unveils a rich tapestry of time-honored flavours.

This was the Spencer dish, yes, this one right here. He even declared: When I come out to dine I will never order chicken, but for this, I would change a lifelong habit. And I totally agree. One of the all-time best chicken dishes ever to cross these hairy lips of mine. It’s just exceptional. The broth is akin to a Sinigang from the Philippines and the chicken is slow-cooked (no sous vide: I love these guys even. more now) to fall apart. 

I could take a shower in this broth and lick myself dry. OK, that’s impossible, but you know where I’m going right…? One of the best broths cum soups ever. I’ll have this every time we visit. Now, the little accompaniments, not so for me but were the much-loved by Spencer. Pickled, fermented, and fishy as buggery. I did try, and nearly passed out, and immediately needed more broth or someone please actually cut my head off…

kantin jewel changi wild chicken chop jewel changi

WILD CHICKEN CHOP @ $26

Asap style grilled chicken

BBQ lemongrass-infused chicken chop takes centre stage, graced by the creamy embrace of mashed potatoes. Experience the thrill of nanas paceri, a tantalising pineapple relish perfectly complements the dish. Tapioca leaves add a wild flourish as a garnish, while our tomato sambal sends your taste buds to flavour town.

Another absolute belter from the guys at Kantin, one I would absolutely order again and again. It truly is just so very good. The intense flavours they’re getting off some humble chicken is bench-mark cooking. That pineapple relish is off-the-charts, and the chicken chop with that tomato sambal is to die for.

The big surprise call out for me. The mash. I know right, it’s mash. This was jungle root vegetable mash and it was like nothing I have ever had before. That’s some more-ish food right there. I am literally drooling as I type this…

kantin jewel changi ice cream

COCONUT DREAM

Tropical vacation in a cup!

Creamy coconut ice cream, artfully paired with the satisfying crunch of crispy crushed Mukah sago, zesty Calamansi jelly, dehydrated pineapple slice, and grated lime.

Oh, my Lordy Lordy. I wolfed this down. The star of the show is that crispy crushed Mukah Sago. It has an Ovaltine-type taste with teeth-breaking crunch. What a finish. To close on this one, the Mukah Sago is picked, dried, and crushed by hand in the jungles of Borneo and shipped to Singapore for your dining pleasure – how about that?

I have one complaint about Kantin Jewel...

It’s quite simple. Why haven’t you guys thought yet to bottle up your sauces, spices, and sambals? You’d make a roaring trade from those – I’d be ordering in bulk and shipping across the planet…

How to say 'cheers' in HeadHunter?

Oh-ha

Claimed to be the term that Sarawak people use to say cheers when they drink. This night with Emily and Lionel we tried some Bornean Rice Wine: Tuak (not even on the menu, but used in the cocktails) and did a shot. It’s kind of a similar experience to Chinese New Year when shouting Lohei.

For the Sarawakers, that becomes: “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-HA!!!” and drink… and leave my head alone please…

kantin jewel changi rice wine

It's Kantin Jewel Changi Cocktail Time, Folks

Lionel steps away from DJ duties and gets his hands dirty on the cocktail shaker, and what a splendid job he did, because these are quite exceptional with totally unique jungle ingredients. It was funny to see how different my palate is to Spencer’s: me for the citrus and Spencer for the dark and moody… Both are decadent but totally different: WOOF!!!

kantin jewel changi cloud forest cocktail

CLOUD FOREST @ $24

Forest in a glass

Crafted with rum and Tuak, the rice wine of the Dayak tribe. This cocktail delights your palate with forest botanicals, offering a tranquil escape for the adventurous spirit.

I am so in touch with my Dayak-side, I am feeling so tribal and jungly as I drink this. She’s a belter. Citrus, sour, and some like this will make you look like a shrunken head after a few sips; mega sour. I call that: going local. A truly wonderful cocktail, cum palate cleanser all-in-one. Loved it.

shrunken head kantin

Me after two sips of Kantin’s Cloud Forest Cocktail…

kantin jewel changi cocktail

BORNEO ELIXIR @ $24

Bold and exotic

Experience the allure of Borneo in a glass. Our Negroni, infused with motherwort and jungle herbs, is a sip of wisdom from the wild.

I reckon a few of these and you’d lose all your wisdom, ability to speak, and smell. WOOF!!! Punchy, smoky, and deep: ever so deep. Much more Spencer’s tipple than mine, but I have to say she’s a beauty. Great work Lionel.

kantin jewel changi three sour crush

3 SOUR CRUSH (non-alcoholic) @ $12

Typical Sarawak kopitiam citrus drink turned into ice-blended

A citrus symphony! Zingy lemon, calamansi, and orange peel come together in a refreshing burst of flavor.

Again, this one has my name written all over it. Amy and Jude will go mad for this one. Super sour, like the candies they love so. The orange peel is a touch of genius to give some kicking bitterness to the sour. Seriously, a match made in heaven. A beautiful mocktail.

kantin jewel changi sarawak teh c special

SARAWAK TEH C SPECIAL (non-alcoholic) @ $10

Sarawak’s national addictive drink with gula Apong

The drink that makes Sarawakians swell with pride! Also famously known as the three-layer tea, this refreshing beverage is made of authentic gula apong syrup, milk, and tea.

Oh my. Have you ever tried Gula Apong Syrup? Something has been missing from your life if you haven’t tried it. I have been buying Gula Melaka for as long as I know to give the molasses kick to a sweet inclusion in recipes, but this is a jungle variant with some uniqueness. Stunning Teh, and yet another must-try here at Kantin.

A Gastronomic Adventure: Exploring the Kantin Jewel Menu

They’re not on-line yet, so back to old-fashioned, cum Jungle-style, with photos of the menus for their foods, drinks, and cocktails. 

A quick glance at the menu of Kantin is all it takes to realize that you are about to embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other. From traditional classics to innovative creations, the menu offers a diverse range of dishes that will leave you craving for more. Every dish is intricately crafted, showcasing the Bornean culinary expertise and creativity of the chefs at Kantin.

Each dish is meticulously prepared using the finest, and freshest ingredients from Borneo, ensuring that every bite is a burst of flavors. The menu at Kantin has something to suit every palate.

kantin jewel changi signature menu
kantin jewel changi jungle mains menu
kantin jewel changi drinks menu
kantin jewel changi cocktail menu

The Art of Presentation: Aesthetics at Kantin

You can tell the crew from Kantin are all artists in some shape or form, because that really does extend to the food. The presentation of a dish can make all the difference in the dining experience. At Kantin, the art of presentation is taken to a whole new level. Each dish is carefully crafted and arranged, with attention paid to every detail. From the placement of ingredients to the use of vibrant colors, every element on the plate serves a purpose.

When a dish is brought to the table, it is like a work of art, enticing both the eyes and the taste buds. The vibrant hues of the ingredients create visually stunning displays.

What does Kantin Jewel have to say about itself?

A culinary haven that serves creative / authentic Bornean dishes and exotic cocktails.

Our conclusions of Kantin Bornean Restaurant at Jewel, Changi Airport

In conclusion, Kantin Bornean Restaurant at Jewel Changi is truly a culinary gem that transports your taste buds to the heart of Borneo. From the moment you step in, the warm and welcoming ambiance and just downright awesome staff set the stage for an exceptional dining experience. The restaurant’s commitment to authenticity and using fresh, high-quality ingredients from home shines through in every dish they serve.

The diverse menu is a delightful journey through Bornean flavors, offering a variety of traditional and innovative dishes that cater to a wide range of palates: which is seriously important when you have me and Spencer sitting there judging… Kantin Bornean has something to satisfy your cravings.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff further enhance the dining experience, providing insights into the cuisine, history, and even folklore, ensuring your visit is nothing short of delightful, and just fun.

With its picturesque setting within the stunning Jewel Changi, Kantin Bornean Restaurant offers not just a meal but a complete sensory experience. It’s a place where you can savor the flavors of Borneo while basking in the beauty of the surroundings, whilst throwing down some of the best food you’ll get in Jewel washed down with superior cocktails. It’s up there, folks, as one of the best in Jewel: without a doubt!!!

So, whether you’re a local looking for an exquisite dining experience or a traveler on a layover seeking to explore Bornean cuisine, Kantin Bornean Restaurant is a must-visit destination. Your taste buds will thank you for the jungle adventure, and the memories you create here will be as precious as the gem that Jewel Changi is known for. Did you see what I did there…?

Subject to ‘keeping our heads’, my family is going to become a frequent flier for the crew at Kantin. Loved the food, the cocktails, the ambiance, and the crew. What a brilliant dinner that was. Thank you!!!

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh-HA!!!

People also asked about Kantin Jewel Changi

QuestionAnswer
Is KANTIN Jewel Changi suitable for families with children?Absolutely! KANTIN is family-friendly and offers a diverse menu that caters to all ages, including kid-friendly options.
What are the must-try dishes at KANTIN Jewel Changi?You can’t miss the Sarawak laksa and their exotic cocktails. These signature dishes truly capture the essence of the Bornean flavors.
Is KANTIN suitable for vegetarian or vegan diners?While KANTIN’s focus is on Bornean cuisine, they do have some vegetarian options. It’s best to check with the restaurant for specific choices.
What is the ambiance like at KANTIN?KANTIN offers a casual, open-concept space that’s perfect for both a relaxed family meal and a fun get-together with friends. It’s a unique and vibrant setting.
Can I make reservations at KANTIN Jewel Changi?Yes, you can make reservations in advance. It’s recommended, especially during peak hours, to ensure you secure a table at this popular dining spot.

What's the address and contact details for Kantin Jewel Bornean Restaurant?

Address: 78 Airport Boulevard, #05-206/207 JEWEL, Singapore Changi Airport, 819666
Telephone: 9684 3690

What are the opening hours of Kantin Jewel Changi?

Friday 11 am–11 pm

Saturday 11 am–11 pm

Sunday 11 am–10 pm

Monday 11 am–10 pm

Tuesday 11 am–10 pm

Wednesday 11 am–10 pm

Thursday 11 am–10 pm

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