’tis the start of the week, and no better way than with something sweet, eh? the 2am:dessertbar (ah, the days when punctuation oft made its way into titles and store names) has a marked place on the asian san pelligrino award list, and a blurb much lauding the skills of its head chef.
and was it good? I certainly thought it was on par with many of the innovative, deconstructed desserts I’ve had at good (and expensive) full-fledged restaurants (as opposed to this slip of a place serving up only drinks and sweet constructions) – which already puts it at an enviable standard. whether she’s the best pastry chef in asia – that’s certainly subjective. she’s certainly prolific, with a menu that runs long and a couple of cookbooks under her sleeve (one teaching you to make the very type of desserts she serves up), and the desserts are certainly creative – but I suppose I would have expected to be more impressed, given that award.
it was an experience observing the action at the bar counter in full view of the plating action. the restaurant has bar seating, slouchy couch type seats (reserve these if you must, as these go quickly) and high tables – the first and second best for couples, the latter good for groups.
it’s an interesting concept, as you realize the chef doesn’t really do much interaction with guests (which is often the point of bar seating), but instead spends the time speeding back and forth getting her components ready since she’s running the show solo (waiters aside).
we took two desserts with the recommendation of our waiter: the mediterranean (olive oil ganache, white peach and rosemary) and the kayambe h2o (a chocolate connection of frozen dark chocolate mousse).
they both arrived as works of art – it’s undeniable the effort that must go into the preparation of the individual components, and you certainly see the involved plating involved – but after such an incredible wait, our experience was tempered both by impatience and hunger.
but I credit the chef, for both plates were delicious, and definitely special. it’s a level of dining you’d expect in a five star establishment as part of a kitchen filled with patissiers and sous chefs running about, not in a tiny bar in holland village. the mediterranean especially for the rosemary air – which was some sort of slightly frozen, melt-in-the-mouth confection that was incredibly savory (and yet not out of place on a sweet plate) – though not to forget mentioning that every component played well together (I would go so as as to suggest rationing components out so they last till you finish).
and of course I have a soft spot for chocolate desserts, and this was tasty, but plenty outshadowed by the preceding dish. both are worth ordering though, even if I might swap the chocolate for the more exotic (and savory) sounding red miso.
I figure this place is pretty unique in itself – first, dessert only, and second, extravagant, fine-dining and technically-exciting desserts at that – it certainly deserves kudos for isolating such beautiful desserts and letting them shine on their own.
best pastry chef in asia? perhaps you should give it a go and let me know if you agree.
21A Lorong Liput
tel +65 6291 9727
$$$: 20-ish at least, per dessert