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 Fong Sou Bing Sat at Blk 131 Jurong Gateway Road, situated just at the HDB estate right beside JCube the other day which is essentially a Hong Kong Char Chaan Teng that serves up cart noodles, macaroni soup, French Toast, Bolo Bun and Skewers alongside neighbourhood bakery-esque breads — a slightly more limited menu for its soft launch as compared to the menu to be served when they are officially opened.

Served in the classic style, the French Toast is simple yet satisfying — just two slices of bread dipped into egg batter and fried with peanut butter spread in between, the bread comes lightly crisp on the exterior, while the creamy peanut butter provides a nutty flavour profile against the sweetness of the honey and savouriness of the knob of butter that gives the Hong Kong-style French Toast its signature flavour that we are familiar with. Liked how they seemed to have taken care of the details here by serving up the knob of butter over ice; keeps the butter solid just in case the patrons decide to have it as a dessert item after the meal despite it being served up almost simultaneously with the other dishes. Would not mind having this on a idyllic weekend whilst hanging out with a friend and sipping on some authentic Hong Kong-style Milk Coffee.

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Pretty excited for the return of this one — possibly one of my favourites when it comes to the range of limited-time only soft serve that they have to offer. Really liked how the consistency of this particular flavour of soft serve is fairly different to the others; somehow holding up to the climate better given how it does not seem to melt so easily, yet carrying a pretty evident but subtle hint of sweetness amidst the earthiness of sweet potato without an aftertaste — all contained in a crisp waffle cone. Something which I would most certainly go for whenever it comes back on the menu.

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From the newly-opened Unique Dessert Labo “Mel Pot”; a stall that had recently opened its doors at Hokkaido Marche within Don Don Donki Orchard Central replacing now-defunct Hokkaido Buta Don.

Serving up a variety of desserts and beverages, the Espuma Shaved Ice is intended to replicate the Japanese Kakigori experience; a short-lived trend that had hit Singapore some time back where establishments such as Matchaya and now-defunct Kori King used to have it on the menu. Digging into the dessert, we felt that the Espuma was smooth and creamy, though a a tad too sweet for our liking especially at parts which lack Houjicha powder; which was probably the only element that helped to strike a balance with the sweetness by providing a distinctly bitter and roasty tea aroma. The ice inside was a tad bland however; drizzled with Kuromitsu, the flavours felt like it was not punchy enough — almost akin to that of a “weak” Chendol, while the shaved ice felt almost similar to that of local desserts being slightly coarse and fell short of that lightness that Matchaya’s Kakigori used to have (which uses Japanese Spring Water). Would say this does serve as a decent dessert to the masses who aren’t too picky with their food and have not tried a proper Kakigori before, though probably this is the same reason why it carries the names “Espuma Shaved Ice” rather than “Kakigori” ...

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Headed down to Sembawang Mart the other day to try this new western food stall named Pui-Pui Western Delights that had recently opened its doors at the Koufu foodcourt there — apart from serving up pasta and meats like other western food stalls serve up, they also do serve up grain bowls and this molten lava cake as well; pretty interesting.

Thought the Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice-Cream here was actually pretty well-executed; almost that of one from a cafe that does it well — slightly crusty on the exterior, whilst featuring a rich and aptly sweet molten chocolate centre that oozes so eagerly as one pokes through the cake from the middle. Liked how they had seemingly placed a lot of thought by even adding a berry compote that helps to provide a zippy note to cut through the varying sweetness from the vanilla ice-cream and chocolate — very delicious, and something I would not be expecting from a food court stall serving up western cuisine indeed.

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From the new Double Up Coffee, located at Jalan Klapa; a hole-in-the-wall coffee nook that serves up both caffeinated and non-caffeinated beverages, as well as a small selection of bakes.

Really liked the minimalistic, yet unpretentious vibes that evokes a funky style that pretty much gives them their character; the Peach & Pecan Crust is a comforting treat that compliments well with their coffee selection here — a flaky pie pastry that comes with chunks of caramalised peach and pecan nuts over the top, it comes aptly sweet with a soft bite and crunch for varying textures and goes well with our Spro with Milk; essentially Espresso with Milk and js much the same as a Flat White. A great place for coffee and light bites for catch-ups with friends, or a grab-and-go takeaway cuppa.

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One place that one would not have missed if scrolling through social media over the last few weeks, LUCID is a new space that serves up specialty coffee and cakes at Hamilton Road in the Jalan Besar neighbourhood; the latter sourced from Thoughts Bake.

The Cloud Beta v0.1 features elements such as Ivoire Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Basil filling, and Shortbread base; slicing through the white chocolate mousse layer on the exterior, the mousse was considerably smooth, while the inside reveals a tart filling that gives a refreshing tang from the infusion of basil into the strawberry filling — a very classic combination of flavours, with the shortbread base giving a good buttery crunch. Not the first place to serve up a cloud-shaped cake, but a pretty decent one nonetheless that fits that raw aesthetic of the space

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From Plentyfull Bakery & Deli, opened by the same folks by Plentyfull at Millenia Walk focusing more on its bakery and deli operations.

Being one of the items that intrigued us so much that got us to make our visit, the Truffle Hustle is a croissant that comes infused with truffle — a typical buttery and flaky pastry with a good bite, the truffle plays a supporting role here; the slight hint of earthiness compliments the buttery notes of the croissant, and is nothing near overwhelming, though some may wish it could have been a little more distinct. The black strips seem to have been coloured as such using charcoal — a pretty decent item which we preferred over the Canele which felt a little dry and stodgy; perhaps due to the fact that it had been sitting in the display for a while considering we made our visit in the evening.

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Visited the new Baker’s Bench Bakery, which had recently opened its doors along Bukit Pasoh Road just beside Eight Cafe & Bar just a short walk away from Outram Park MRT Station. Offering quite a variety of bakes on display at the counter, they also offer a small selection of sandwiches for those who are looking for something more substantial; everything made from scratch in-house with the breads baked freshly on a daily basis.

The Savoury Scroll is best enjoyed heated up; essentially a savoury danish, the pastry is not only buttery, flaky and crisp, but also features a pesto paste and crusty, melted cheese swirled within the pastry for a savoury, herb-y flavour profile that was alluring — very delicious indeed. Also liked the fact that the pastry did not feel all soggy nor greasy; so good we ended up taking away one more. Pretty impressed with the other items they have to offer as well, including the K. Pork Belly Sandwich and the Cherry Chocolate Cake (in the background); certainly a place we are looking forward to return to and a gem in the neighbourhood that it is in!

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Visited the new Alchemist at Design Orchard — a cafe that sits within the lush greeneries draping on the building that it is located within. This outlet of Alchemist follows the design language of the other Alchemist branches at Hong Leong Building and International Plaza more than its flagship Khong Guan Industrial Building store — one that features an industrial theme that carries a raw look, though comes with proper dine-in seats with padded chairs and marble-esque tabletops. Pastries are said to be sourced from Bakehaus; perhaps one of my favourite indie-bakery out there after trying their Kouign Amann and brownies over several visits; the Chocolate Almond Croissant was nothing short of buttery and flaky, with melted chocolate within and a nutty and lightly sweet almond frangipane later for a slight crunch along with the toasted almonds. Opting for the Kotowa Duncan blend for the Flat White, the Flat White was well-pulled; smooth, creamy and carrying a nutty flavour profile with a medium body. With limited good coffee options at Orchard/Somerset, Alchemist would be a place well-appreciated to be in the area.

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From House on the Moon; a new dessert bar which had opened its doors fairly recently at Great World City. Serving up plated desserts at their space at Level 1 of the mall, their space at Level 2 offers the same items available at Level 1 for takeaway.

Collaborating with Chef Juan Amador of Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador, the Moon Walk (also the signature here) features elements such as Yogurt, Nut Butter and Coconut, and comes with its own tea pairing of a Coconut, Cream Tea. A pretty refreshing dessert, this was a dessert that carried a light flavour profile and a light, tangy note; particular of that from the yogurt elements. Featuring a multitude of textures, the dessert hits the senses all in the right notes; cool and smooth ice-cream, creamy mousse layers, fluffy sponge, crumbles for a buttery crunch while the white chocolate helps to add a crisp, shattering sweetness, this was an item that tickles the taste buds — not too heavy, yet very well-designed to give just that right contrast and balance in terms of texture. Hoping to see the folks behind House on the Moon come up with more plated desserts — a very rare destination within a shopping mall, and a spot I will gladly make a trip down to Great World City for an accessible experience almost akin to that of fine-dining, be it in terms of presentation of food and its service.

From Nam Heong Ipoh Heritage Cuisine, which had recently opened its very first store in Singapore at the Food Republic in [email protected] Got intrigued with the various pastries at display at the counter.

While the Nam Heong Egg Tart seems to be all the rage here, the Nam Heong Chicken Sou was actually my favourite item. There seems to be always an impression floating around for Char Siew Chicken pastries that they just feel lesser of those that are made of pork, but the Nam Heong Chicken Sou defies all of that — the Nam Heong Chicken Sou here features a flaky pastry on the exterior with a slight sweetness from the glazing over the top, while the pastry reveals lean meat within that is coated with all that thick sweet-savoury XO sauce (pretty generous with it too) that usually comes with BBQ pork buns; almost on par to that of very well-established dim sum joints. A pretty impressive feat for a variant of a BBQ chicken pastry to say the least; pretty convinced to actually get this again the next time I am at [email protected]!

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Opened pretty recently at North Bridge Road along the same stretch of shophouses as Afterwit and opposite Chowzan Dessert, Monarchs & Milkweed Gelato is a new gelato shop which serves up a wide variety of botany-themed gelato flavours all churned in-house. Really liked how they seem to put in a lot of effort and have loads of passion for their craft, churning out authentic flavours such as Brown Butter Sage, Rhubarb Buttermilk and Soursop Mint that is unique to their own.

The Burnt White Chocolate is nothing like we had expected; none of that sickly sweet, white chocolate madness that other places seem to serve up. Caramelising the white chocolate before adding other ingredients to churn into gelato, we liked how the Burnt White Chocolate comes with a tinge of nuttiness amidst the familiar, mellow white chooclate notes — creamy, yet not overwhelmingly sweet; a very different, yet alluring flavour from what we had expected. Really liked how the shop owner is very honest about his creations here; telling patrons what he truly feels of each flavour from the ingredients he sourced and the process of creating each flavour — a truly humble set-up which we wish for them all the best in what has to come in the future. We would certainly be back to try the other flavours that they have to offer!

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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