Desserts @ Mad About Sucre

April 16, 2016 in French

My friends and I were in the area. Or rather, when we decided to meet for brunch, we knew Mad About Sucre was just round the corner from the café we were headed to. So it was intentional to head to Mad About Sucre after our brunch for their desserts. =)

And taken from their website, Mad About Sucre’s cakes and confections are handcrafted individually with finely-curated ingredients using French classical confection techniques.

I like that they reduced the amount of sugar used in their cakes. Up to 60% sugar! I mean… I am one who experiment with recipes by swapping sugar out with honey since I am into eating clean. So yeah to like-minded bakers! =)

Reduced sweetness. Organic flour. No artificial flavor. No preservative. No artificial color. Baked with love. Baked for love.

Stepping through the entrance door, I was immediately in awe of the interior. The front half of the long unit was furnished resembling a living room that’s taken out of a storybook. The fairy-tale kind of story book with tiered cakes hanging from the ceiling. Pretty!

And from the display shelf, we ordered:-

1) A compter du printemps, $11.80 (above) – Beginning of spring. Strawberry cream, lemon mousse, French champagne, raspberry, almond sponge cake, croustillant. Available in cake sizes at $60 for small, $90 for medium and $120 for large. We were told to slice all the way though to get the 3 flavours; Strawberry, lemon and coagulated champagne. (This was paired with peony white tea with lemon grass if one opts for the tea pairing). And one can enjoy the cake in 3 ways; On its own, with the sauce or with walnut. I enjoy it most on its own. =)

2) Saveurs de printemps, $11.60 (above) – Flavors of Spring. French earl grey-apricot mousse, savoire sponge, blood orange and grapefruit insert. Available in cake sizes at $60 for small, $90 for medium and $120 for large. We learnt through the staff that chef visioned roses blooming when he came up with this masterpiece. And that earl grey was introduced because it’s the only tea that can be blended with rose. Ahhh… But the real surprise which had my friends and I intrigued was the surprise within the cake. While eating, we were debating on the citrus amount. Which the staff overheard and told us that even the jelly of blood orange and grapefruit were spaced. So sometimes the citrus hit you, sometimes it doesn’t. Wow. And because the cake is of an uneven shape, every mouthful is different since every bite of the cake would be of varying earl grey amount. (This was paired with French rose tea with lavender)

3) San domingue, $12.80 (above) – 70% single origin chocolate, rum jewel box, caramelised plantain, brittany crunch. Available in cake sizes. $75 for small, $150 for medium and $120 for large. To savour this dessert properly, we were told to pop the ‘box’ into our mouth, and to allow the (liquid) rum within to coat our palate. The staff went to explain the chemical reaction between the dessert and rum enhanced the flavour. And since there was 3 of us, we purchased 2 more ‘boxes’ of rum at $3.50 each. Similar to the previous cakes, we were told to ensure every mouthful had the 4 elements; vanilla cream, banana, chocolate and Brittany crunch. And although this was a chocolate-y cake, it wasn’t very heavy. And the best news for a person who’s trying to eat clean was that this dessert is made with 70% dark chocolate, with limited sugar that’s in the caramel only. So feast away? Haha. (This was paired with green tea with mint and lemon grass)

I absolutely love Mad About Sucre. The cakes were delightfully good. And the fact that these treats were achieved with lesser sugar than normal? That made it even sweeter. o_O Haha.

Service was great too. The staff were approachable and friendly. I could feel their great enthusiasm as they talked about their bakes when we asked for recommendation.

And with every cake served, the staff would introduce the pieces. Of how the chef was inspired to come up with the respective master pieces, to how we should properly savour the cakes. Very interesting and nice.

My friends and I shared our cakes. And for that, the staff served the cakes which taste was from light to heavy. Mad About Sucre also does (organic) tea pairing for cake degustation, which we decided to go with. However, the tea was sold by ‘cup per head’. Which meant that if one is only having one dessert but there are 2 people, one would need to get 2 cups of tea. Unless one doesn’t mind sharing. But if one is getting 3 or more dessert, the staff told us for the same price point, we could go for the tea buffet. So we had tea-buffet pairing at $7.80 per person.

My friends and I have made a pact to return when the menu is updated with the next season. can’t wait. We were having the spring menu. Can’t wait cause I really like the ambience. Mad About Sucre makes a very nice place to just wind down and chill. In fact, if I need a quiet place to have some ‘me time’, Mad About Sucre would definitely come into mind.

They have a food menu too if one wishes to have a meal there before tucking into their desserts.

27 Teo Hong Road, Singapore
6221 3969, Website, Facebook
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Sat : 12:30 – 22:00
Ambience: 8
Sun : 12:30 – 17:00
Value: 7
* Closed on Mon
Service: 9

Sweets @ L’ÉCLAIR

July 17, 2015 in European (cafe)

My girlfriend and I were in town settling some stuff (for our upcoming vacation) and had an empty slot for (early) dinner. That’s when I remember I wanted to check out L’ÉCLAIR after having read about them from The Sunday Times. And with that, my girlfriend and I were off.

L’ÉCLAIR is of walking distance from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. And they are located within Singapore Shopping Centre, the building beside Park Mall. And the main entrance to the eclair boutique is facing the main road. One won’t be able to access from within Singapore Shopping Centre. We did not know and entered Singapore Shopping Centre. And when we asked the security guard, he pointed us in the right direction and said “The one with the black glass.” And my silly girlfriend tried to enter through the shop’s back door which would have brought us straight to their kitchen. Haha.

And heeding my girlfriend’s advise to provide value added-ness to my review. Haha. A little background update… L’ÉCLAIR is opened by Le Cordon Bleu graduates Sarah Tan and Michelle Looi. And citing an interview with Shiok!, the name ‘L’ÉCLAIR by Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies wanted a simple and elegant name, yet one that would pay tribute to their time in Paris since France was the place that gave them the inspiration to start this. In fact, it was Michelle who suddenly said “Why don’t we just call it ‘L’ÉCLAIR’?” as it was simple and meaningful. ‘Sarah Michelle’ came about because the ladies saw many pastry shops in Paris were simply named after their founding chefs.

So yes, their eclair boutique was a move that came about after their online business and doing pop-up cafes. They have a rotation of 10 different flavours, of which 4 are permanent.

And from the display shelf, we ordered:-

1) Banana & walnut, $8 (above) – Light banana cream, banana caramel glaze, walnut streusel.

2) Tahitian vanilla & pecans, $8 (above) – Vanilla cream, white chocolate vanilla glaze, caramelised pecans.

3) Mango passionfruit, $8 (above) – Mango and passionfruit cream, dried mango bits.

4) 66% dark chocolate, $8 (above) – Mexique 66% dark chocolate cream, cocoa glaze, cocoa streusel.

5) Ispahan, $8.50 (above) – Light rose cream, lychees, fresh raspberries.

6) Chicken & bacon pie, $12 (above) – Served with house salad. The only savoury item on the menu, this was good!

Despite not being familiar with eclairs (since we don’t really eat these), we could tell taste that the eclairs were pretty good. My girlfriend and I were discussing about how straight forward eclairs are; One would need to nail the choux pastry before piping and glazing it with the various flavours. To which, we later concluded while it sounds straight forward, it really isn’t as a great eclair should be fresh, evenly tubular, hollow (before filling), crisp on the outside, heavy with filling and uniformly glazed. Yup, I got that from google-ing!

So while it sounds expensive to be paying at least $7.50 for each, it’s because L’ÉCLAIR uses high quality ingredients such as imported French butter, quality chocolate, etc. Will I recommend L’ÉCLAIR? I will if one is looking for quality eclair. But cause I am starting to watch my diet (oh yes, gotta be strict with my ‘eat clean’ diet), I probably wouldn’t. Unless I am craving for quality eclairs, of course. =)

190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore Shopping Centre, #01-28, Singapore
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Fri : 11:00 – 20:00
Ambience: 7
Sat : 11:00 – 21:00
Value: 6
Sun : 11:00 – 18:00
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon

Brunch @ Henri Charpentier

December 4, 2014 in European (cafe)

Henri Charpentier, a French-inspired Japanese patisserie, has opened a dessert salon on our island in October 2014 as part of its global expansion outside of Japan.

And since we were in Dempsey (for exercise *gasp*), my girlfriends and I managed to pop by twice. On a weekday evening and a weekend afternoon. And because we entered during meal times, the restaurant was a little quiet since Henri Charpentier is more well-known for their desserts.

The first thought that I had when we entered the place was that the massive use of pink did not seem to go well with the shop name. I mean, doesn’t Henri (a guy’s name) sound too masculine for pink? Haha. =p And having read that their prices were on the high side, my girlfriends and I came with the intention to order just a few dishes. A few.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Ratatouille and parmesan cheese tartine, $19 (above) – An original take on the classic open sandwich, made with house ratatouille and parmesan cheese. We were really hungry after our exercise, so we ordered a main to fill up our stomachs. And this tasted very much like our pizza where ingredients were placed on a bread and topped with lots of cheese. Not exactly impressive, but good enough to fill us up as we continued to wait for our desserts.

2) Dome, $29 (above) – The chocolate sphere encloses a chocolate parfait biscuit of fraise d’amande. And we chose to order Dome, 1 of the 6 desserts made exclusive to the Singapore menu. And for this, the dessert was prepared in front of us where we were treated to a flambe performance. As the ball of chocolate was set on fire, the chocolate melted to expose what was hidden within, to which the staff further poured some strawberry sauce over. Not too bad.

3) Crepe suzette, $22 (above) – A signature dessert of Henri Charpentier. We initially did not intend to order this, but we couldn’t resist after we smelled the aroma when the staff prepared this for our neighboring table. Thin crepes cooked by hand in a copper pan. We especially liked the sauce of orange juice and liqueur. But at $22, the price would have been better justified if there were 3 pieces instead of 2. My girlfriend called this “mee hoon kway”. Silky mee hoon kway. Haha.

4) Mille-crepe, $9 (above) – Ten layers of moist, soft thin crepes and thick, rich custard cream.

5) Mont blanc, $9 (above) – Almond financier with chestnut, whipped cream and rum chestnut cream. This was not too bad, although I say mont blanc is a dessert which one needs to learn to appreciate.

6) Lemon tart, $7.50 (above) – The classic French favourite made with a flaky crust and tart lemon cream.

7) Financier, $2.90 (above, left) – This was pretty good. Slightly crispy on the exterior, and really buttery (said to be original cultured butter from Hokkaido) and moist on the inside.

8) Madeleine, $2.90 (above, right) – Almost similar to the financier, but this had a stronger flavour. Vanilla? Taken from their website, this was made from a mixture of Hokkaido wheat, Jamaican rum, Sugarcane Rum, lemons and honey.

So frankly, our dining experiences at Henri Charpentier were of mixed feelings. So while the desserts tasted good, they were expensive especially with the small portions. Service was not exactly brilliant. On our first visit, they forgot to key in our orders and we foolishly waited for our dessert for an hour. (^^lll) We really thought the staff needed that long to prepare our non-cake dessert since we noticed there was only one cart going round doing the flambé performances.

And it was definitely frustrating cause the staff only knew how to smile and apologise. It took 3 enquiries (from us) before the staff realised our orders were not keyed in! But somehow, we still had a roaring good time thanks to the manager. A really tall Japanese guy. He was amused by our reactions as he did our flaming desserts, and joked quite a fair bit with us.

So yes, I say drop by Henri Charpentier for desserts only if one is in Dempsey and if one does not mind the price tag. Cheapest being the lemon tart which starts at $7.50. And if one is coming for the flaming desserts, do try to come in the evening or later. When we were there in the day, we witnessed a table not being able to see the blue flames under the strong sunlight. We were sitting near them and their dessert was in full view, and we couldn’t see the blue flames to their dessert too.

When we checked with the humourous manager, he also said the flames were more visible in the night. Actually, I am not too sure if he managed to understand us right. In his exact words, he replied us with “Yes, yes, After 7pm. Better. (And) I do the cart after 7pm.” Haha.

9A Dempsey Road, Singapore
6479 5518, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 11:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 6
Service: 6

UPDATE: Restaurant has moved to 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, #01-18.