14. 07. 2011
The Duxton Hill area is becoming quite the hotspot for boutique cake shops now, what with Boneheur, Flor Patisserie, and K-Ki all within walking distance of each other. Great for a cake eating marathon! I’d been eager to try out Bonheur’s cakes since coincidentally walking by it one day weeks ago on my way from Flor (you never cease to delight!). Finally headed back to Duxton and did a takeaway of some of their cakes to share with the family, and took one of every flavour they had on offer that afternoon to sample!
Sweet Potato Mont Blanc
A different version on the traditional French Mont Black which is made with candied chestnuts, Bonheur’s Mont Blanc is made completely with Japanese sweet potato, accompanied by coconut cream, a layer of vanilla sponge cake and a crispy layer of puff pastry. Probably the family favourite of all the pastries!
Layers of coffee-soaked almond sponge cake, chocolate ganache and caramel cream make up the Caramel Opera. The densest and richest cake of the lot, I particularly liked the unique caramel cream – tasted like slightly burnt caramel, which I love.
The Chocolate Cake (left) & Rhubarb Cheese Mousse (right)
Neither of these two cakes really made an impact. The best part of the Chocolate Cake was the crunchy hazelnut praline layers, but the Valrhona chocolate mousse and almond sponge just tasted too flat and one-dimensional.
The stewed, almost jelly-like layer of rhubarb cut the creaminess of the light cheese mousse, which sat atop a crunchy biscuit base. A good choice for those who like some tang in their desserts, just not quite for me.
Chocolate Earl Grey
The tea-infused milk chocolate mousse is definitely distinct, especially upon a side-by-side taste comparison with the Chocolate Cake. I like the the multiple twists in this cake, including the surprisingly layer of raspberry jam sandwiched between the sacher sponge.
Overall, Bonheur Patisserie’s cakes are not a touch too sweet, though there are some hits and misses. There doesn’t seem to be much variety on offer at any one time, so give a call ahead of time just to check what they have on that day!
70 Duxton Road, Singapore
Tel: +65 6221 1148
10. 07. 2011
Pique Nique is another brainchild of Pang Kok Keong, the same guy behind Antoinette. It takes the place of the old MacDonalds in the basement of Takashimaya, and while proclaiming itself as a casual American eatery boasts a feminine, floral and French elegant decor. I like how peaceful it feels when you’re there, despite being in the middle of one of the busiest malls.
I’ve grown quite fond of Antoinette, and had headed over to Pique Nique with high expectations too. Those expectations were unfortunately not met. Hum.
Carbonara Mac n’ Cheese
Beautifully presented in a cast iron skillet, the Carbonara Mac n’ Cheese unfortunately was average at best. Studded with bits of bacon, sauteed onions, mascarpone and parmesan cheese, and topped off with a poached egg. Really looks and sounds better than it tastes.
This was actually pretty disappointing. A good Eggs Benedict is just about my favourite brunch order, but the English muffin used here was too big and slightly dried, and seemed more like bread than the chewy moist English muffin I know. There’s somethign to the Hollandaise sauce that was a tad off – a bit too much lemon for my liking, though the yolk did break beautifully. Also, there’s a bit of a plating problem – having the fries (which were decent) stuffed atop the English muffin and filling up whatever free space there is in the rectangular casserole dish just makes cutting and consuming the dish a bit of a messy business.
Sticky Date Pudding
Thankfully, the sweets saved the day. The warm Sticky Date Pudding is moist and sticky and not overly sweet. Paired with the Vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce, mmmmm.
Boozy, spiked milkshakes are the best! Creamy, frothy, delicious goodness.
Lemon Meringue Bar
A nice lemony tang, good for those who don’t like something too sweet!
Chocolate Mud Bar
I forgot the exact name of this one, but it looked really good in the display case so I had to try it. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a textural issue with this one. I was expecting a thick, silky mousse but it was too hard and when I put my fork into it the chocolate kind of… crumbled. Into little chunks. Meh.
I’m kind of disappointed with this place. I dearly want to like Pique Nique – they have the location, decor and concept down pat. The food however leaves much to be desired, and ultimately the food is the key factor in determining whether return visits will be ensured. Overall, the sweets fare considerably better than the savoury foods, but even so, the cakes are of average quality, not somethign I’ll shell out the moolah for again. I’m slightly puzzled considering how Antoinette is on a whole different strata in terms of food quality.
To sum it up – hohum.
391A Orchard Road
#B1-01/02 Takashimaya Shopping Centre
Ngee Ann City Tower A, Singapore
Tel: +65 6238 6705
Daily: 10am – 9.30pm
07. 07. 2011
1. Burrata – just about the best soft cheese there is.
2. 3 year-old Parma Ham with Cantaloupe Melon
3. Tagliatelle with Goose Liver and Duck Ragout
4. Pumpkin & Buffalo Ricotta Cheese Tortelli with Black Truffles
5. Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms and Crunchy Pancetta
Gorgeous pastas, and a killer view of the Marina area!
05. 07. 2011
We all love us some time with a book at a hidden indie cafe, or perhaps at a posh patisserie, nibbling away on some delicate cakes (and ain’t our little island getting its fair share of such lovely little places!), but (for me, at least), there ain’t nothing like a good, generous slice of well-made neighbourhood-bakery, buttercream-style cake. I don’t need my cakes in petite portions, thank you very much! It was on my list of top three most craved-for foods while I was away in Toronto for a year (the other two on the list were Japanese-style cakes ie. Flor Patisserie and traditional, authentic sushi. Oh, so glad to be back!).
My favourite two bakeries in Singapore for such cakes are Galicier (ask me about it and I will wax lyrical for eons), and Pine Garden’s Cake. It’s all about simple things – the cream and sponge cake – done well.
My favourite from PGC – moist, moist, moist! And full of that yummy lychee flavour.
Red Date and Gula Melaka
Possibly the epitome of local flavours in a cake.
Other yummy cakes that I’ve had but had never taken photos off previously -
A Must Try for all fresh coconut lovers! It’s almost like a coconut milk agar-agar sandwiched between the sponge layers. May sound a little strange but delicious, I say!
No one can have this and say that they can’t taste the rum – one of the most pronounced (but thankfully not overpowering) rum flavour in a blackforest cake I’ve had.
Thin slices of crunchy green apple embedded in the cake! Yummy in its own right, but Lychee Martini still takes the cake!
Pandan Chiffon Cake
Very fine in texture, on the denser side but fragrant and tasty. Mmmm. The thing about chiffon cake is that it’s all polished off too easily, aye!
It always makes me happy seeing neighbourhood bakeries like Pine Garden doing brisk business, it’s almost like a part of me fears that they will be forgotten and left behind as we get used to fine pastries with difficult to pronouce names that cost three times the price of these no-less-delicious delights.
Pine Garden’s Cake
Blk 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10,
+65 6457 6159
Opens Daily: 8.30am – 9.30pm
04. 07. 2011
The newly opened Antoinette, a lovely French patisserie with luxurious, elegant furniture that exude grandeur, looks set to be the latest chi-chi spot for a cup of fine tea and some exquisite cakes. It may be located in an unlikely area, close to Lavender MRT, but that never deters Singaporeans!
Pastries on display. How they tempt!
The lovely interior – chandeliers and all.
Tart Cafe Caramel
There’s a wide array of cakes on display, some of which are reminiscent of Canele’s creations. Actually, quite a lot of the offerings on the menu reminded me of Canele’s, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise as the owner of Antoinette was the former executive chef of Canele. Nevertheless, there are variations and additions to his menu. The Tart Cafe Caramel is a crumbly shortcrust tart with fleur de sel and coffee elements, and I can find little fault with anything with sea salt caramel!
There’s just something about the Antoinette which was highly addictive and quite sublime. A milk chocolate mousse infused with earl grey, earl grey tea crumble, chocolate biscuit, dark chocolate earl grey cremeux, and raspberry coulis that looks very much like a wobbly egg yolk sitting atop the whole cake. The mousse was silky smooth and airy light yet rich in taste, and I loved the crunch elements. A worthy namesake and a must try!
French Toast with Salty Caramel
The French Toast was divine as well, something I’ll order again in a heartbeat. The salty caramel was delicious, I licked it all up. Plus points for lots of vanilla bean seeds in both the caramel and the chantilly cream!
Scrambled Egg Gratin
Our only savoury of the day, the Gratin with tomato fondue, Paris ham, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan cheese was light and fluffy, and a much needed savoury hit with all our sweets. Good, but nothing particularly outstanding. Sweets are the star attraction here for sure.
An all day breakfast menu, crepes, pancakes, and lots of amazing cakes – I’ll be back within a week, that’s for sure. I promise a part II, and real soon!
30 Penhas Road, Singapore
Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm