Project Acai: It’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee

WordPress has failed me 😦 I typed out a nice lengthy post on this on Friday, and it disappeared T.T

Anyway, here’s a redone post, so hope you enjoy!

Have you heard of the Acai Berry? It’s pronounced ah-sigh-ee not ah-kai-ee, like most of us would pronounce.

Project Acai is the new kid on the block in Holland Village, and is located in an unassuming corner next to Subway.

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I love the colour of the shop front, I mean, what’s not to love about turquoise and lilac right? The font is pretty funky as well.

When you first enter, the shop has a very clean, minimalist feel to it. Much like the menu!

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Currently, they are only selling Acai Bowls (Small, Medium and Large) and Smoothies. I think this is good for now, as they are a new business, so shouldn’t try to have a menu with a repertoire that is too wide. But in the long run, I think it would be good to have a wider menu with unique dishes that incorporate the Acai Berry into it! I’m thinking Acai Berry French Toast 😛 Wonder if that actually exists!

I got an Acai Bowl (Medium) which costs $9.30 to try 🙂

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Let’s start with presentation. I loved how the staff painstakingly took the effort to arrange the meticulously sliced fruits in a pretty design. I was the only customer though, and it took them quite a while to serve my order. I wonder what would happen if the cafe was filled.

Nonetheless, I appreciate the nice presentation, and I wouldn’t mind waiting for it!

photo 2-16It came adorned with sliced bananas, desiccated coconut, blueberries, a lone grape (yes, just one), sliced strawberries (or perhaps it was just one), sprinklings of chia seeds and cacao nibs and goji berries, and topped with diced mango, dragon fruit and pineapple as well! Hidden beneath all that is a layer of crunchy granola atop the acai smoothie.

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The counter top is like Subway or those yogurt shops where you can choose your toppings, just that in this case you can’t choose your toppings. I loved how they used fresh fruits as their display ornaments all over the counter (See the whole row of unripe banana bunches!)

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Acai doesn’t have a very strong taste to it. It tastes like a cross between grapes and berries. But since the flavour is far more muted, it leaves me with a feeling as if I still can’t quite put my finger on the exact taste.

The texture of the smoothie was nice, it was icy, and thick enough to scoop up with a spoon, but too thick to slurp up through a straw!

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What won me over was the texture combinations. I loved the icyness of the smoothie, the softness from the sweet fruits, the crunch from the desiccated coconut, cacao nibs chia seeds and the sweet crunchy granola… the bursts of flavour from the blueberries. It all worked very well.

Even in terms of flavours, there was so much going on! The bitterness from the cacao nibs, the coconutty taste, the sweetness of the mango, and the sour tang from the pineapple. I liked it. I think there’s even Bee Pollen on it, but I couldn’t really taste it.

But I must say though, it definitely tasted healthy. If you’re looking for decadence, this isn’t it. This leaves you feeling very virtuous about yourself, especially with its very clean aftertaste. It’s a good option for a healthy dessert.

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They even sell Acai Berries for you to blend at home, if you’re the kind who likes to “eat clean, train mean”. They come in a pack of 4 popsicles, which you can eat as it is or blend up in a smoothie with some water (I wonder if coconut water would work well) and fruits and pretty much any topping you like.

A pack goes for $12, and two packs go for $20. They even sell Acai Powder as well.

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This place will definitely be a favourite for gym-junkies and the health-concious… not to mention the instagram community, since their acai bowls are so very instagram worthy (And that’s all that matters nowadays right? Haha)

That being said, the acai bowls are definitely pricey. I couldn’t afford to eat this on a  regular basis. I’ll probably come here for an occasional treat, but spending more that what I would spend on a meal on dessert alone wouldn’t really make sense. I’ll probably stick to good ol’ fruits in the meantime. 

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Perhaps they could offer some loyalty cards (I’m sure the gym-junkies would love that) and even student discounts (YES). All in all, I think this is a nice place that has potential to succeed, especially with the growing health&fitness community. Costwise, maybe I’m a student, so it hits me harder than most, but I’m pretty sure >$9 for a dessert is not something you would have on a regular basis.

If you have a friend (hahahaha, this is pretty redundant, everyone has friends… I hope) that is willing to share with you, it’s more economical to buy a large which comes at almost twice the size of the medium, but is about 1.5 times the price 🙂

Rating: 7/10
(+1 for the super-healthy factor, -1 for the price — You calculate based on what matters more to you!)

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