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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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Miraculously, Alessia and I and our stuffed bellies, managed to get this dessert to go the way of the dodo. Then again, anyone would have done the same when faced with such a cleverly constructed orgiastic mess of hot crunchy crumble, sweet and tangy berries and a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream lashed with a berry sauce.
I am sure it would have paired well with a black coffee but the glass of housemade limoncello, compliments of Restaurant Manager Giorgio, was a divine and very refreshing alternative.

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A signature here, the Milo Tiramiso has a neat little twist on a beloved classic dessert.
Not only does it incorporate Milo, a familiar local favourite from our childhood but also carries a subtle savoury note from the addition of Shiro Miso, the “white” variety of the Japanese fermented soya bean paste that is known to be milder as well.
It’s not too alcoholic or mushy like some. Instead, it holds up quite well and despite being light, can be rather filling due to its fuller body. Because the serving is large, I would recommend sharing it.

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Are you like me and tend to make a beeline for the stunning fruit tarts here? Well, I suggest you expand your appetite’s repertoire because when I ventured beyond my usual, the pleasure of this heavenly creation, the “Caramel Cashew”, came crashing down on me like a tonne of the most scrumptious bricks.
The way everything—the thick caramel sauce, fragrant roasted cashew nuts, crunchy milk chocolate, an airily light cream and Chef Cheryl Koh’s signature crisp and buttery pastry—harmonised so smoothly had me exclaiming in rapturous delight from my first bite.
This tart was launched very recently for the Lunar New Year. Hence, I think you should not hesitate if you wish to give it a try because there is no telling how long it will be around for.

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Figs is one of those fruit that piques my immediate interest. And it is hard to resist when I know it comes with yogurt ice-cream, buckwheat crumble and a drizzle of honey. The salty facet, courtesy of the butter used for the crumble, gives this light dessert an extra tasty edge that I really enjoy.

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As we groaned our way through the last of the savoury courses, I was under the impression that desserts would be out of the question. How wrong I was.
Once the menu for the sweets was handed over, a miracle happened - suddenly, we all could find space in our stuffed bellies for Churros ($14++), a Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice-cream ($12++) and the Cold Whisky Cake ($16++) shown above.
Proving most popular at our table were the very light and crunchy Churros which we ended up getting double helpings of, and the Whisky Cake which my foodie friend Loo Lin proclaimed as his favourite. The latter’s thick middle of cream riddled me with guilt but didn’t stop me from going after every spoonful of the alcohol-dressed, toasted egg yolk and almond-covered creation like my life depended on it.

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Meta has desserts wonderful to the point of distraction, thanks to Pastry Chef Maira Yeo. Being able to sit at the counter and banter with the vivacious and confident young chef is a bonus. My foodie friend Szeliang and I did just that when we dined there last week. And we couldn’t resist shooting her a bunch of questions, to which she replied easily, breezily with a big dose of charm. None of this distracted her in any way from her craft. During the entire time, the desserts she prepared for us, as well as those for the other guests, were nothing short of perfect.
Because one dessert is too pedestrian (haha) for Szeliang and I, we ended up having two.
The first, something so new it wasn’t officially on the menu yet, was a dreamy off-white creation of compressed dashi pear, amazake cream, pear sorbet, sake ice-cream, a disc of pressed granita, finished with finely grated Buddha’s palm fruit. For me, it was love at first bite. The marriage of delicacy and depth in this was flawless.
Our second desserts differed.
For him, Chef Maira caramelised wedges of sweet, juicy Australian peach, then dressed it with pickled ginger, mint salsa, vanilla cream jelly and a quenelle of lemon ice-cream peppered with banana powder. Of course I stole a bite, and of course it was amazing.
For me, she served a favourite of Meta’s Chef-owner Sun Kim, the “Gochujang Choco”. Daring yet remarkably balanced, it was composed of chocolate ice-cream, wild rice puffs coated in the spicy Korean sauce, the fluffiest pillows of green tea sponge and
black sesame. Eating this dessert had my brain perplexed in the funnest way as it processed the unlikely flavour combinations but I enjoyed it very much.
The petit fours, also by Chef Maira, were a carrot cake madeleine and a mini Mont Blanc macaron. I found the former very fragrant with just the right amount of cinnamon and the latter, I considered one the most scrumptious to have ever passed between my lips.

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H O S T E D
All the desserts at the spanking new @restaurant.table65 seem to have a certain wow factor.
Led by Pastry Chef Jurgis (Instagram: @herbs.n.spices) who has worked with owner-chef Richard (@rvanoostenbrugge) for years in Amsterdam, the team dazzled us during the media tasting with not one but three desserts. One of them is this “Chocolate Balloon” which opens up neatly like a flower blooming, once the hot chocolate is poured over it.
Lest you think it is purely eye candy (pun intended), let me assure you the beauty here is more than skin deep. The dark chocolate which forms the balloon, is elegance on the palate, and happens to pair exceedingly well with the savoury elements of miso and ice-cream hidden inside.

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M E D I A T A S T I N G
Without a doubt, the “Drum Of Fortune” is a
serious showstopper. Tipping the scales at 1.3kg, this elaborate fondant-covered chocolate marble cake by Pastry Chef Joe Tan of Goodwood Park Hotel is crowned with eight “mandarin oranges” and a pile of mini gold ingots that are made entirely from dark chocolate.
Whether presented as a corporate gift or as a dessert for a gathering at home, this magnificent dessert is bound to wow.

Part 3 of 3.
In the Swedish tradition of “Fika” where the hustle and bustle of daily routine is paused for the enjoyment of warm cake and coffee, we too had our “Fika” moment on the top floor of Zén, where we were ushered to after finishing our meal on level two.
Once my friend Tim and I were settled into a sofa in the chic, stylish space—honestly, this floor looked like something straight out of the pages of Wallpaper magazine—Beverage Manager Aaron pushed over an overachiever of a tea trolley to serve Tim the final drink in his non-alcoholic pairing. Head Chef Tristin then appeared, bearing a piping hot Pineapple Tarte Tartine. Its dizzyingly fragrant aroma had me thinking instantly of our local pineapple tarts. Taste-wise, despite a crispy and flaky base, I felt it wasn’t far from them either. Zén’s version did come lavished with a black miso glaze which gave it a sexy look and a savoury edge.
What took us by complete surprise though was how after we had eaten only half of it, a brand new Pineapple Tarte Tartine was brought out as a replacement. But even in my gobsmacked state, I was only too eager to dig in for seconds. Because when it’s eaten fresh from the oven, the scrumptiousness was at its peak.

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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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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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