Frozen Custard, probably the first of its kind in Singapore. Prices were $4 for single scoop, $7 for double, $9.50 for triple, and $9 for a two scoop sundae with 2 toppings and sauce. The texture was true to its name ‘denser’, smooth and creamy, won’t feel like there is air or ice crystals ‘trapped’ within. It reminded me of a velvety version of thickened gelato. (Read: Density Frozen Custard Short Street)
Density Frozen Custard
4 Short Street Singapore 188212
Opening Hours: 12pm – 12am Mon-Sun
Despite the hype, Dazzling Café dazzled for their toasts, but razzled out for the savouries. The appeal of Dazzling had to be the décor, and hospitable plus cutesy Taiwanese-style service, where waitresses dressed as Japanese-style French chambermaids serve the signature thick toasts in prettiness. We hear varied comments – the toasts were pretty, the waffles were okay, and the pastas flat-tasting. (Read: Dazzling Café Singapore Capitol Piazza)
Dazzling Café Singapore
15 Stamford Road, #01-85 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178906 (City Hall MRT)
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday, 12pm to 8pm
The florist opens a bakery. Ah huh, popular Far East Flora collaborates with Japan’s Signifant Signifé to offer more than 40 types of bread, viennoiseries & snacks. Go for the Hainanese Chicken Bread for chicken rice in a loaf. Made from chicken soup, skinless chicken thigh, garlic, ginger and shallots, best savoured when dipped in garlicky chicken rice chilli sauce. Breakfast doesn’t get that boring anymore. (Read: Crown Bakery & Cafe Bt Timah)
Crown Bakery & Café
557 Bukit Timah Road, Crown Centre #01-03 Singapore 269694
Tel: +65 6463 3066
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 9:30pm (Sun-Thurs), 7:30am – 1030pm (Fri-Sat)
313 Somerset just got sweeter with the opening of Japanese-Italian café Dolce Tokyo. And also more Japanese with surrounding shops like Lowry’s Farm and Uniqlo at Level 3 (which look like where I can get my entire wardrode from). But unlike the fashion stores, Dolce Tokyo is a completely new brand and concept, created due to the void of such cafés in town.
While the 56-seater café looks like a shoebox unit, there is actually a small kitchen behind which can prepare a range of mains and sides for a fuller dining experience. I do notice that more customers come here during off-meal times, perhaps not knowing they serve meals such as All-Day Breakfasts and Japanese casual dishes.
I thought that the strength of its kitchen lies more in the Japanese more than the Western items. Go for the Omu Curry Rice ($19) which has Japanese fried rice wrapped in a gooey bright yellow egg, served with a melt-in-your-mouth pork belly skewer and side accompaniments of salad, baby octopus and jellyfish. My afraid-to-get-fat friend was initially unconvinced of the pork belly, till she took a bite and never looked back.
Dolce Tokyo Cafe
313 Somerset, 313 Orchard Road #03-23 Singapore 238895 (Somerset MRT), Tel: +65 6836 5612
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm
[Tokyo, Japan] The favourite past-time of Japanese ladies seem to be sitting down at a cafe, savouring a pretty tiny piece of cake after a tough day of shopping. One of the cakes places to be caught in is definitely Ladurée in Tokyo, which are available at Ginza Mitsukoshi and Shinjuku Lumine. Having pastries and tea here is ‘tai tai’ life at its best.
Think about it: Luxurious European furniture, macarons of every colours, cakes that are just too pretty to eat, packaging boxes that comes in pink, violet and beidge, with the touch of ribbons and their signature pastel green paper box. This is the place to be seen. And perhaps having silent conversations of handbags and flowers.
Yes. I also felt awkward to be the only guy in the entire store.
For fans in Singapore, if you still have not heard, Ladurée is coming to town. What’s the fuss you may wonder? They ARE the inventor of the double-decker macarons (one ‘O’ please), known to be one of the best macaron makers, and still sell more than 15,000 of them every day.
From Singapore’s hearty love for macarons sold anywhere from Antoinette, Au Chocolat, Obolo, TWG, Canelé, Jean-Philippe Darcis, and Jewels Artisan, you know we have a slight obsession with the dainty brightly coloured sweet things.
The Parisian luxury patisserie chain is reported to be located in town, close to its sister company PAUL Bakery at Orchard. Let me make a guess, Paragon? (Read: PAUL Bakery)
Ginza Mitsukoshi 4-6-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8212, Japan
Tel : +81 (0)3 3563 2120
Shinjuku Lumine 2, 1F, 3-38-2 Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-0022, Tel : +81 (0)3 6380 5981
Au Chocolat is a delightful additional to Marina Bay Sands, with a part-pretty part-whimsical décor, and a huge 4,700 square feet space comprising bistro, confectionary, gelato counter and even a retail segment.
Located above the skating rink at MBS, you may have thought that Au Chocolat (pronounced o ∫okola) with all the chi chi tai tai dining ambience would have been opened by the French. No, it is actually opened by Singaporeans, by the same people who brought us Ku De Ta and Catalunya nevertheless.
There is a childlike charm at Au Chocolat. There is a little girl Danielle (created after the owner’s niece) who is the central character at the retail side, soft toys of two dogs OO and Yu Fa (also inspired by the owners’ pets) and a running train on the ceiling. You almost feel like a child walking into a big candy stall.
The bistro offers a delightful selection of all-day breakfast, salads, pastas, roasted meats, crepes and munchies.
Its Truffles Fries ($15), strips of crispy potatoes drizzled with white truffles oil, seasoned with truffle sea salt, and coming wrapped in a made-believe newspaper, is easily one of the best around. The New Paper’s Wee Teck confirmed this. The fragrance of the truffles is impeccable and you can almost do it without the mayonnaise and BBQ sauce served.
Who can deny that eggs benedict is THE IT brunch dish of the year? Au Chocolat’s version ($18) has its eggs almost perfectly poached, coming with hollandaise sauce infused with red wine and dark chocolate. Surprisingly, the chocolate sauce does not overpower the dish, and adds an interesting twist to the otherwise predictable flavour.
Au Chocolat MBS
Bay Level L1-03, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956 (Bayfront MRT) Tel: +65 6688 7227
Opening Hours: 10am – 12am Daily
Tiong Bahru Bakery is one of those places where I hear my friends complain about it being “over-rated”, “overpriced”, “hyped up”, “so-so” yet go back time and time again. If this is not the X-factor, I don’t know what is.
Just in case you think this is some old-style historical bakery, this is a relatively new bakery started by the Spa Espirit Group in collaboration with Parisian baker Gontran Cherrier. (Read: 5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru)
Spa Espirit Group is also the brand behind Strip, Browhaus, The Tippling Club, Skinny Pizza, O My Dog, 40 Hands, Open Door Policy and Broadcast HQ. From its track record, you know they have a midas touch.
Compared to the more indie café feel at Tiong Bahru, the second branch at Raffles City (which replaced Aerins) seems more up-market, and three-times bigger which can accommodate up to 120.
First things first, the queue system appears kind of dumb (or smart depending how you look at it). Even if you just want to buy a single item, you have to join in the queue line from the breads, sandwiches, cakes, coffee all the way to the cashier. Never a good plan if you are rushing back office.
But psychologically, it works for them. The longer I queued, the more I saw, and the more I wanted to buy. And since I am already spending 5 minutes queuing up, I ended up with more than I originally intended to.
One of their most popular items is the blacked-coloured Squid Ink Sandwich ($8.50) with plenty of rocket leaves, some salmon and little parma ham. This is more novelty than taste to me, nothing remarkable, though very healthy-tasting.
Tiong Bahru Bakery (Raffles Place)
252 North Bridge Road #B1-11/13 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103 (City Hall MRT), Tel: +65 6333 4160
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm
Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar has one of the most interesting concepts – bakery with brunch items in the dawn, bistro in the noon, and transformed to a charming bar by dusk with DJs spinning at the side.
Getting a condominium at Nassim Hill has always been one of my dreams (let that be granted), but I now know I can now indulge nearby in a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict ($15 nett) and Country Scrambled Eggs ($16) at an ‘okay-price’ considering this is very prime district.
Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar sits within the iconic Tanglin Post Office building, right opposite Tanglin Mall and near Gleaneagles Hospital. To get here, you have to get to the back of the post office, or climb up a flight of stairs from Swiss Bakery.
If this bar within a post office concept seems familiar to you, it is also done up by Imaginings who is also behind KPO, WALA WALA, Balaclava and 1128. Beer drinkers can rejoice because you can tap your own draught beers at the end of the counter. (I unfortunately, don’t drink beer.)
Considering I am not quite a carb-person, I fell in love with the Grimbergen Ambree bread ($8), a Grimbergen (Belgian abbey beers) infused bread created by Head Baker Audrey from Freshly Baked at Killiney Road. (No wonder the bread and cakes taste so familiar. The KPO probably approached her since they are ‘neighbours’.) The bread is very wholesome, full-bodied and hearty, with a slightly rustic feel to it. Extremely satisfying with the marmalade jam.
That same bread is also used in the Hot Reuben ($16 nett), a sliced corned beef sandwich with melted emmental cheese, sauerkraut (sour cabbage), onions and delicious Russian dressing. Warning: It takes two or more to finish this.
Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
56 Tanglin Road #01-03 Tanglin Post Office, Singapore 247964 (15 walk from Orchard MRT), Tel: +65 6835 1128
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 12:00am (Closed Mon), Breakfast & brunch: 8am – 5pm, Lunch: 11am – 5pm, Dinner: 5pm – 10:30pm
Popular Bookstore opens a café. Yes, the same Popular Bookstores where hungry, I mean kiasu parents hunt down assessment books and 10-years series for their adolescent to get a head-start of their successful life. Popular was my ‘saviour’ in that way too. (Won’t have cleared my Os and As without you, Popular!)
Epilogue Café within Prologue (at Level 4 Ion) provides a completely different vibe – quiet surroundings, lovely music, view of Orchard Road, artistic lights made of recycled books. Overall, a very cosy corner to read a book, drink a cup of cuppa or have casual business lunches.
In fact when I was there during a public holiday, the directors of Popular were having a lunch meeting there. Talk about working hard.
This new café concept offers not only gourmet coffee and cakes, but a plethora of Italian food selections such as soups, sandwiches and pastas.
Epilogue brings in a slight Asian twist to its special menu. I had a Rendang Chicken Set Meal ($11.90) which is really quite an interesting and workable combination with huge chicken chunks marinated in a sweet spicy rendang sauce topped on spaghetti. Thumbs up for this. The drink is an Iced Singapore Sling sans the alchohol.
Epilogue Café ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn, #04-16 ION Orchard, Singapore 238801 (Orchard MRT), Tel:+65 6465 1477
Opens daily: 10:30am – 10:00pm
Branch: #06-01/02/03 Orchard Central