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Sweet-Tooths and Small Bites

Sweet-Tooths and Small Bites

All things sweet or small for the after-meal satisfaction.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Checked out the new Kizuna at Blk 148 Potong Pasir Avenue 1; a cafe that is run by the third generation of the family behind Shangri-La Confectionary and Delicatessen which it had replaced. Serving up mostly cakes and pastries alongside specialty coffee, Kizuna also serves up a small variety of lunch bowls on some days as well.

While there are still a small selection of bakes from “The Old Bakery” (i.e. Shangri-La Confectionary & Delicatessen) available such as the scones, brownies and Tau Sar Piah, the Honeycomb Cheesecake serves as a good option for those who prefer to try something new. Liked how the cheesecake here is smooth and creamy; while this is intended to be more of the classic New York Cheesecake than the Basque Burnt Cheesecake that is all the rage these days, it is the lightness of the cheesecake that caught our tastebuds here — it’s not doubt rich and decadent, but there wasn’t a moment it felt overwhelming nor heavy. It’s light cheesiness comes with a slight hint of floral aroma coming off the bite of honeycomb mixed into the cream cheese, while the chocolate wafer balls (almost akin to that of Maltesers) provide another dimension of sweetness with a bit of crunch for an added texture; crispy rice puffs are also found on the top of the cheesecake for an extra crispness that further enhances that of the chocolate wafer balls.

A surprisingly easy-to-finish rendition of a cheesecake — looking forward to give the other bakes on the menu a try; a pretty promising spot in a neighbourhood that is often forgotten in the cafe scene, and a space that residents will love to have in the area.

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Longans, Goji Berries, White Fungus, Gingko, Cold Brew Coffee.

Cheng Tng is a classic local dessert that rarely sees a modern take, which is why I was pretty surprised to see the Cold Brew Cheng Tng make its appearance on the menu here at Percolate. Cheng Tng usually comes with a lighter flavour profile that is rather refreshing; the use of Cold Brew here provides the Cheng Tng with a punchier note that is surprisingly not as heavy-handed as how black cold brews tend to be — it gives the dessert a distinct floral note amidst the slightly herbal flavour that is pretty much the signature of the dessert served in its usual form; all that with a pretty clean finish without overwhelming the tastebuds with the aroma of coffee after each spoonful. Coupled with the usual ingredients you will pretty much find in a usual bowl of Cheng Tng, it is interesting how the Goji Berries seems to be in a dehydrated, candied form — provides a sweet crunch almost akin to that of candies fruit which provides a contrasting flavour and texture to that of the Cheng Tng as opposed to the other ingredients such as the Longan, Gingko and White Fungus that provides some bite.

It’s not quite something meant for those who usually goes for safer items on the menu; definitely an item that is more abstract and meant for the slightly more adventurous ones — a take on Cheng Tng that is likely to stir the feelings for some but brings in surprises for those who may be open to such things. Still, this is probably as much of a novelty of an item I had got out of any dish I have tried thus far for the year — an item that is out there to showcase their knowledge on specialty coffee being a cafe that is part of the third-wave coffee movement; also an item that is pretty worth trying out at least once just to step out of the comfort zone, and to see how this modern iteration of a local classic would turn out to be.

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Having their launch this weekend at Cavan Suites, GelatoLabo is a new hole-in-the-wall establishment that serves up quite a range of Gelato flavours for a space of its size.

While they do serve up a couple of pretty safe flavours for those who love going for something more predictable, they also do offer inventive flavours like Apple & Dill and Pear with Thyme.

The Orange with White Chrysanthemum would do well for those who prefer something more light and refreshing without being too milky and sweet — the subtly zesty notes of orange hits the taste buds first, while the floral flavours of the white chrysanthemum compliments that pretty well, providing the gelato with a pretty uplifting and refreshing flavour.

The Lavender Cone was fairly decent; while it hints if a light floral aroma amidst the buttermilk used for the batter mix, the execution of the cone could have been better — though largely crisp, there are some parts that carry a slight chew and a tad inconsistent throughout the entire cone overall.

Still; a spot that is worth checking out especially if in the area!

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Yet another one of the few places I am looking forward to return back to when dine-in restrictions are being lifted, the Matcha White Chocolate Tart is one of those specials that was being served up on the first weekend on Phase 2.

Liked the balance between the matcha mousse layer and the white chocolate beneath; the matcha mousse carries a bitter undertone signature of the Japanese tea that matcha lovers would be really fond of, while the sweetness from the white chocolate helps to compliment the flavours from the tea mousse for a perfect balance between the two. The tart base crumbles neatly as one cuts through the tart. A pretty good accompaniment to the Dirty; one of my favourite beverages here that is essentially cold milk with a shot of espresso served in a chilled cup.

Launched during the Circuit Breaker period, I had my first go on these little nuggets of joy a couple of weeks ago in the comfort of my own home when everyone was to stay at home except to grab essential goods and services. With the dine-in restrictions now being relaxed, it’s finally time to head back to the favourite place to have them from a plate instead of from a paper bag, and pair it up with the usual Flat White.

Whilst I am not a fan of donuts, Brawn & Brains does their rendition with finesse (and also somewhat reminds me of the ones from Hock Ann Confectionery at Tanglin Halt, but in a Bombolone form — another donut that I am absolutely in love with); a fluffy donut that is not too dense, yet sufficiently bread-y with a good bounce when chewed upon. I liked how the version here never felt greasy (seemingly baked, rather than fried) be it having them right on the spot, or having it as takeaway/delivery, whilst being rolled in cinnamon and sugar for a hint of sweetness that somewhat resembles that of a churro with a slight contrast coming from the spice itself.

Admittedly this would have paired even better with their Long Black (especially one with a fruity note and a light body), but I am just missing of their Flat White for too long. Yet another item I would not mind going for the next time I am here, which adds on to the other items I enjoy here such as the various croissants and Almond & Vanilla Bun which I also utterly enjoy.

For those who still prefer to enjoy these at home, Brawn & Brains is still taking in delivery orders/takeaways for both their Guillemard and East Coast locations via their own website, as well as through GrabFood and Deliveroo; just so you know 😉.

First came across Ye Tang Chendol’s Facebook page during Circuit Breaker, thus its needless to say it became one of the spots I have marked to visit once the dine-in restrictions are being lifted. Could tell that the stall owners of this humble stall in a corner at the food centre in Beauty World Centre are pretty happy to be seeing people around, engaging in small talks with their patrons while the order is being made; the mention of fresh coconut milk made in-store here speaks volume on their dedication in serving the dessert.

I really liked how the ice turned out of even fineness — not particularly coarse and no big chunks of unshaven ice here; all fluffy and drenched with that smooth coconut milk that they take much pride in serving. The Gula Melaka comes all thick and gooey; aptly sweet and earthy as it lends its sweetness to the entire bowl for flavour, while the palm seeds (Atap Chee) gives a good bite. I should have probably asked earlier, but I reckon that there is a chance that the Pandan jelly is likely to be made in-house too given it’s slightly dull aesthetic (which also means it’s made from the real stuff — Pandan juice) and it’s particularly strong note of Pandan. No red beans for this one right here, but the Durian Chendol seems a dollop of durian flesh that’s oh-so-pungent and fibrous; a great addition considering it’s also time for the durian season. One of the better Chendol out there that is totally worth checking out, even when it seems that the competition in the chendol scene is more happening now than ever before; will definitely be back for more!

Picked up more than just lunch the other day at The Bakehaus; also found myself stocking up some bakes to enjoy over the weekend while I stay home.

The Brownie was something I had enjoyed since my very first visit to The Bakehaus — not quite a brownie person but so glad I had given this a try thanks to that brownie-loving friend I had brought along with that day. While being a brownie that lacks the crusty top that I would usually crave for in a brownie, this makes up for being super thick, yet moist and fudgy — pretty rich and decadent without burning the throat whilst coming with a sprinkle of sea salt over the top for a contrast of flavour amidst the sweetness. Looking forward to devour the remaining two that I still have stocked up in my fridge!

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Picked up more than just lunch the other day at The Bakehaus; also found myself stocking up some bakes to enjoy over the weekend while I stay home.

In any case, the first Chocolate Babka experience was a good one; I liked how this came at a fair size for one or even two to share (if you are intending for it to be a light snack) at $5 — the bread seems to have made its journey well after going through a few rounds in air-conditioned environment before reaching home — fluffy, light and comes with swirls of bittersweet chocolate in all the right corners so that every bite comes chocolate-y; balanced with chopped nuts hiding in some spots for an additional crunch for a textural contrast.

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Caught wind of Wildfire Chicken & Burger’s return to the F&B scene after ceasing operations a number of years ago at both Evans Lodge and [email protected] under a different management, and a new location taking over the former premises of now-defunct Cluck Cluck at NAFA. While I recall that I wasn’t quite that impressed with their burgers back then, I am pleasantly surprised with what they have to offer this time.

The Burnt Cheesecake (a new introduction to their menu with their revival) was much to die-for; that satisfying melty and oozy aesthetic which is nothing short of being creamy, decadent and rich with a browned top that carries a very slight hint of bitterness to put things back in balance — one which I found pretty easy to finish a slice on my own considering how jelak Basque-burnt cheesecakes can be.

Must say that I am pretty excited to return for a dine-in visit when dine-in is allowed; but I am definitely would not mind doing a pick-up either for now considering it’s proximity for me — a place to keep a look out for!

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From SugarTree Gelato; a new gelato shop that is opened by the same folks behind Two Bakers which had been operating at both Horne Road and Teck Chye Terrace for quite a while. Located within Stars of Kovan, the shop is pretty much a takeaway kiosk, though a common seating area is available within the retail and F&B section of the condominium for those who wish to sit and enjoy their gelato.

Went for the Banana Milk; a flavour reminiscent of the beverage it was meant to replicate — the flavours here are significantly less artificial, yet carrying a distinct sweetness from the bananas churned into a milk base. The gelato here are generally pretty smooth, yet not overly sweet — a great respite from the intense heat outdoors these days; somewhere which residents around would likely appreciate having in their neighbourhood, whilst also being a spot worth visiting especially if in the are.

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Hadn’t visited them in a while despite its vicinity, but I guess now having had their Classic Waffles I may actually end up here more often than what I had thought previously. No doubt the ice-cream felt decent but pretty pedestrian overall; the Hazelnut Rocher being a wee bit too sweet as compared to the Cookies & Cream — the latter being a crowd favourites with a generous load of cookie chunks for a good crunch churned with cream, but the star has to be the waffle. Not only does it come plush and adequately dense, the waffle also wafts of a buttermilk fragrance that is nothing short of alluring — a very well-made waffle that could rival that of more established names out there. A hidden gem in a neighbourhood far away for most, but certainly somewhere I should appreciate more considering its location away from my ‘hood.

Having relocated from the Duxton neighbourhood, Group Therapy Cafe had found its new home at Cross Street Exchange — situated just right beside Big Brand Satay, Group Therapy Coffee now has both air conditioned dine-in area as well as al-fresco seating, and offers not just the all-familiar brunch items available previously, but also pizza and pasta dishes from now-defunct Strong Flour.

Really enjoyed the flourless chocolate cake for how rich and decadent it is — almost akin to that of a fudge-y brownie without being in any way dense and overwhelming; just pure chocolate heaven without the sinfulness. The Mint Cookies & Cream ice-cream made a good pairing with the cake, providing bits of crunchy cookies to chew on with a cooling and refreshing base — not my first choice of ice-cream flavour but still one that I enjoyed; a combination that works well for those who love the classic combination of mint and chocolate.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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