it’s nearly the weekend!
a (well, no longer) recent addition to our shores from tokyo, charpentier serves up fancy, expensive desserts in this french-styled japanese-feeling cafe in dempsey. a small space filled with curtains for partitioning, booth and sofa seats, it’s the sort of place you expect a japanese housewife to sit with friends for tea.
it’s rather unique in a time where most places are styled casual or hipster (or both), with a fully suited up japanese man serving as maître d’ to the
noisy boisterous group of us here for a part 2 after brunch. but the desserts are lovely, theatrical in a very impressionable sort of way, and tasty for all the fanfare.
I mean, just look at that chocolate dome melting under a stream of lit brandy – how much better can it get?
it collapses into that mess above (not the prettiest of photos, but realistic), full of strawberry tang and creamy chocolate and cream – fantastic, especially with the alcohol.
we followed that with a stream of more typical desserts – the matcha opera in green, the chocolatine, and the lemon tart. these were pretty good, with the chocolatine my favorite of the batch (but I’m biased), though the lemon tart was a close second with its snappy base and tart-enough filling.
I’m inclined to recommend you go straight for the showier desserts on the menu, however, if available stomach space is limited. the pastries and cakes are pretty standard (though a high standard, of course), and you won’t lose out on much skipping them.
you might, as I did, feel that the pour-hot-liquid-to melt-something format is a little overdone here in their desserts – but it doesn’t lessen the impact or photograph-ability of the dishes (until you’ve seen it three times, at which point you get a little inured).
we had it in the flower temptation too, with orange liqueur lit up to melt a clear sugar bowl set atop; and it’s a delicious moussey dessert perked up with the caramelised pineapple slice. there was also another dessert (this last photo here) that I can’t find on their menu – another concoction of chocolate and popsicle with that melty shell effect.
the desserts here aren’t cheap, but they make up for it by being very showy – and it’s well worth a day out.
Henri Charpentier Singapore
9A Dempsey Road
tel +65 6479 5518
$$$: 20-30 per person