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Desert Desserts? Never!

Desert Desserts? Never!

Mostly raves, plus a couple of rants about the assortment of sweet treats I have tried.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua
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There is an expectation to order wine by the bottle when you’re here and of course one should seeing how extensive, well-curated and high quality their selection is. But as the name “Ma Cuisine” suggests, it is the food that captures my attention more and is the main reason I like this one Michelin-starred gastro wine bar.
Head Chef and Co-owner Mathieu Escoffier does classic hearty French dishes that are hard to beat. This extends to the desserts which he bakes fresh every morning. They are dependent on his mood and therefore, change daily.
When we dropped in last week, it was his Paris-Brest that was on the menu. At $34++, it‘s expensive and no, it isn’t the size of a dinner plate unfortunately. But it was scrumptious beyond a doubt. I loved the contrast of the light, delicately crunchy #choux puffs and the voluptuously rich praline cream.
Chef Mathieu also told me the story behind the wheel-shaped design. It is the work of pâtissier Louis Durand who was asked in 1910 to create a pastry to commemorate the Paris–Brest–Paris bicycle race. Little wonder this delectable energy-booster became a hit with the cyclists looking for a sugar rush. I’d have done the same too. #bestenergybarever 😋😋

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
If you are the kind of person who makes a beeline for the dessert section at a buffet, JW Marriott South Beach has a new weekday “Afternoon Tea” at Beach Road Kitchen that will fit you to T(ea).
Most likely it will be the two-part “Desserts Buffet” table with its eye-catching display that will grab your attention the moment you walk in. Take your pick from the pretty spread of pastries, fruit tarts, macarons, chocolate truffles, fresh fruit and more. Don’t miss out on their Signature Tiramisu that comes in a cup (it truly feels like a cloud in the mouth), the Apple Spelt Cake as well as the Mango Panna Cotta.
If you prefer to start your afternoon with savoury items, have a seat because these will be served to you at the table.
Everyone gets one serving each of the creative canapé-style creations: a Parmesan cheese cookie with truffle cream, a ginger orange muffin with smoked salmon, goat cheese herb cupcake and a toasted sourdough with prosciutto and ricotta cheese.
I’m pleased to say they also serve my all-time favourite tea-time delicacy: scones. In two variants as well of plain and raisins. Most importantly, you get butter, proper clotted cream, strawberry jam and marmalade to spread on them.
Granted this isn’t the hugest or fanciest of buffets (please don’t visit expecting “live stations”) but at the price, it is a very civilised affair with a decent variety of lovely bites in a comfortable setting. Coffee and tea is freeflow too.

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Baked fresh in-house, this Cheese Tart turned out to be a revelation in scrumptiousness.
Both my friend Abbey and I had been actually close to bursting after having eaten our weight in tapas but there was no way we could refuse dessert. I’m so glad we picked this (and the Churros because why stop at one) as it was just perfect.
The crust was thin, crisp and buttery. The filling - an exceedingly light and creamy-soft cheese plus the lively lift of a citrus note from the sorbet.
The only thing is this isn’t available everyday. So if they happen to have it when you’re there, make sure you get a slice.

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For dessert, I tried this and found it pleasing.
The green tea lava cake itself wasn’t overly sweet and when eaten with the slightly savoury ice-cream, tasted even more interesting. Do be careful when you take the first bite of the cake because the matcha lava within can be very hot.
“Halcyon & Crane” is located in the newer wing of Paragon. With an open concept layout and a pavilion-like structure, spotting the cafe is easy as it is done up in light golden and cream tones. The most direct way is to use the entrance by the Miu Miu boutique and head straight up to level 3.

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On a sweltering day like today, something cold would be perfect. And right at this moment, I would love to dig into one of Apiary’s freshly-made waffle topped with their housemade ice-cream.
My visit to this popular spot had been long overdue but thanks to my god-daughter and her cousins in tow. Only then did I understand why Apiary is always packed.
With exciting flavours that can’t help but trigger many sampling requests (think “Blue Milk”, “Despicable” and “Ferrero Rocher” to name a few) and an exceedingly creamy, smooth texture, the ice-cream here is a definite winner. I was especially pleased by how luxuriously indulgent it felt in my mouth. When the icy-cold richness was combined with the piping hot and crunchy, airy-light waffles (they make them with brown sugar), I thought the result was even better.
The friendly owner Travis Goh was kind enough to show me around his kitchen where his pastry chef was busy with a fresh-out-of-the-machine batch of pistachio ice-cream. I got a taste of it and was blown away by its insane intensity. It made me instantly wish I had ordered that instead (of course you know what I’ll be getting on my next visit).
Coincidentally, pistachio turns out to be Travis’ personal favourite and it is the one he zeroes in on wherever he has ice-cream. According to him, it is the flavour that also serves as a barometer of product quality at any ice-cream joint. Because in order to produce a really tasty pistachio ice-cream, there’s heavier investment required.

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H O S T E D
Head Chef Eugene See drew his inspiration for the heavenly “Ice2 Baby” from his trips to Chengdu where he saw many locals enjoying shaved ice with jelly to cool themselves down. Of course, his rendition is infinitely more splendid with an “ice jelly” (this 冰粉 is made from the “ice powder tree”) served with different kinds of seasonal fruit, crushed peanuts, burnt slices of compressed and dill-marinated cucumber and a granita made from Chinese “Lao Zao” wine. It is lightly sweetened with a complex caramel of brown and red sugar with gula melaka.
I highly recommend getting this dessert, especially if you are planning to order the “Sweating Mussels”, one of their popular dishes. There is no better way to cool down after indulging in that pain-is-pleasure, tongue-numbing, lips-tingling experience.

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Of course it would be Bjorn Shen, the irrepressible chef-owner of “Artichoke” to think of coming up with his own take on a certain fast food brand’s seasonal specials. Even though it may be an ongoing insider joke with his team, it doesn’t mean any less attention is given to making these creations taste scrumptious. This Chocolate Salty Pie is proof of that.
My hubby TH was right on the money when he likened it to our local hawker snack - the “hum cheem peng”. This large piece of deepfried pastry really did taste similar. But with the blanket of chocolate powder and filling of dark chocolate cream, it was transformed into pure decadence, the stuff of a chocoholic’s dirty fantasy.
Good by itself, but better with the housemade Burnt Honey soft serve ($6++).

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I N V I T E D
In celebration of Singapore’s 53rd birthday, Cold Stone Creamery has launched two new flavours that will be available from now until 31st August 2018.
Shown above is the “Nasi Lemak” which, as crazy as it sounds, tastes very shiok!
It starts off with a coconut-flavoured ice cream base that has spicy chilli sambal with ikan bilis and peanuts hand-mixed in. This is shaped into a ball that goes into a pandan-flavoured waffle bowl. Crispy ikan bilis, rice puffs and two pieces of cucumber are then added. I love the resulting beautifully lemak (rich) ice-cream dessert with its appetising blend of sweet and savoury.
What I initially thought would be off-putting, that is the ikan bilis with ice-cream, turned out to be addictive. I was poking around in the bowl to make sure I didn’t miss any.
Cold Stone Creamery definitely succeeded in translating everything that makes a good Nasi Lemak into dessert form. I think they ought to keep it on the menu because it’s something to be proud of 😄

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I N V I T E D
The “Pulut Hitam” is the more straightforward of the two locally-inspired creations by Cold Stone Creamery to celebrate Singapore’s 53rd birthday (you can read about the other, the “Nasi Lemak”, in an earlier post).
Already popular as a dessert, the version of “pulut hitam” here is wonderfully indulgent as the rich and creamy “pulut hitam” flavoured ice-cream is joined by a generous helping of black glutinous rice. Carefully folded in, the soft and chewy grains add a very pleasant chewiness to every spoonful. Another plus point about this is the well-controlled level of sweetness.

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It had been ages since I was last here. So I decided to join my niece and her friends when she asked me along.
It’s cool to see the place looking exactly the same, and full with customers on a Saturday afternoon too. After a quick deliberation, we decided on the “Apple Cinnamon Pie” ($7) and the “Earl Grey Burst with Soft Serve” (shown above).
We picked the salted caramel soft serve and found it a delicious fit with the earl grey flavoured lava stuffed in those large, chewy mochi-like balls. I was glad the molten filling was calibrated nicely as well, so it’s fragrant but not overpowering.

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Available between 2.30pm and 6pm at the Bar and Lounge area of Spago are these Kulfi Pops.
Essentially an Indian style of ice-cream, they are a little denser and creamier than the typical popsicle. Made from scratch (but of course), the flavours change with the season. And right now, it’s an Orange Vanilla and a Chocolate with Cherry that rule. Trust me when I say they are both deliciously formidable in flavour.
Another thing I love about these frozen delights is that they come in the most inviting of sizes: big enough for some proper satisfaction but small enough not to trigger the guilt police.

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Deconstructed desserts can go either way - very right or very wrong. This take on the cheesecake is firmly the former.
Anchoring its encore-worthy performance is a full-bodied cream cheese flavored ice-cream. Its thick, luxurious richness has the most fabulous company of fresh raspberries, a bracing raspberry sorbet, coarsely-crunchy biscuit base, fresh cream and sticks of delicately sweet raspberry meringue. My friends and I were too eager to wipe that plate clean.
No wonder this dessert is Executive Chef Dwayne Emuang’s personal favourite.

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Can't cook to save my life but boy, can I eat! 😄 (I pay for all my meals unless otherwise stated)

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