henri charpentier singapore, dempsey road

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.

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plain vanilla bakery, tiong bahru

not-bad baked goods from this beautiful whitewashed bakery in tiong bahru. from a yuppie enclave (i.e. katong), to this hipster one (the bicycles say it all) – this popular cupcake place actually also serves up a range of other items (that provide more compelling reason for a visit).

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temper by anjali chocolate, loewen road

this is a tale of chocolate, and of chocolate-making in a kitchen that isn’t mine, but that I dearly wished was.

let’s start off with a confession: my favoritest, bestest, most comfortest chocolate to eat is the kit kat, original. now quiet down, you all – the story starts with an a love for dark chocolate, climaxes with an epiphanic (in a bad way) bar of 99%, and finishes with an ever-ongoing love for sugar milk chocolate and bonbons.

it’s weird that I’ve never thought of making chocolate now that I’ve done it – it’s almost as instant gratification as it gets, the flavor combinations are endless, and good chocolate gets expensive very quickly.

so it took an invite from anjali, a lovely, lovely second-careerist chocolatier to wipe these chocolatey finger smudges off my blinkered vision and show me the way of the chocolate.

set in a hard-to-find-but-totally-worth-it space in loewen road (if you thought dempsey was secluded, you don’t know this place), this beautiful black+white building has been refurbed to an air-conditioned chocolate-making palace complete with white walls and marble countertops (but of’cuz).

it was a brilliant time, but could it not be? the space is large enough for a dozen to putter about, sneaking bites of quality chocolate buttons and glasses of a decent chilean wine.

and anjali is like the cool aunt you’ve always wanted – she watches you to make sure you’re keeping safe and guides you along, but there’s no stressful mum-like hawk-eye-on-you.

the class was a truffle-making one, but anjali gave me the chance to make my dreamt-up bonbon – and so I set off to boil up a salted caramel (deliciously browned, even if u do say so myself) to fill a tempered, dark chocolate shell.

the three teams chocolate-ing that day came up with a delicious white-chocolate-and-coconut bonbon in a beautiful white shell, a mouth-cleaning oh-so-minty chocolate mint truffle, and our imperfect first batch of salted caramel treats.

honestly, it’s really difficult to go wrong with chocolate – it’s all about balance and quality, so the base of lovely belgian chocolate and the array of ingredients we had that day were just the icing on the cake.

plus, I loved the casual, homely vibe anjali had going (the wine helped, too) – and the education: she can go deep into the technicalities if you like, and keep it layman otherwise.

she’s marketing the place for events and bonding classes – and while they might cost a pretty penny (not unexpected, given the quality of chocolate and the beautiful space), I can see why she would. the place is intimate and cosy, a little sanctuary in the city full of chocolate and sweets, and wonderful for an adult day out.

Temper by Anjali Chocolate
73 Loewen Road #01-16
Singapore 248843
tel +65 9853 9663

p.s. Anjali makes her own chocolates too, and they are both tasty and gorgeous (and so perfect in their handmadeness) – you can totally skip the makin’ and go straight to the eatin’.

thanks, anjali, for the visit and the lovely lesson!

new asia bar, swissotel

upscale-ish, quiet-ish (crowd, not the music) hotel bar at the top of the swissotel (or the fairmont too, seeing as how they share the same compound). I want to stress the hotel bar part, as it rather explains the customers – not the glamorous, highly made-up sort, these are people who want a drink and a place to sit overlooking the city.

and this place does it well. it’s got an honorary dance floor, loud music and colorful moving lights – and on some nights there are actually quite a decent crowd dancing. but on the most part, it gives me what I want: an incredibly good deal on bubbly, or just a glass of something to glide away the weekend on.

a darker, loungier style than level33 – and I certainly don’t know anything about the food. but if you want a good view and a nice place to escape the crowds (and enough loud music to clear the mind) – this is one of my favorites.

New Asia Bar
Level 71, Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
tel +65 9177 7307
$$: 20-ish

fantasia by escriba, the real look

I gave you guys a peek a couple days ago at fantasia – or what was described as more than charlie’s chocolate factory – and kept it cursory on purpose.

I didn’t want to spoil it for you if you were going – or create too much pre-judgment – but I think enough time has passed, to tell you the truth: it totally wasn’t worth it.

this photo looks almost accusatory.

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fantasia by escriba, a first look

if you’re heading to the festival this weekend, the best must-do item: chocolate shaped and colored like parma, shaved like parma, drizzled with olive oil and speckled with sea salt on melba toast (like parma).

delicious, and rather revelatory. very photographable, too.

have a good weekend!


p.s. giveaways going on!

patisserie g, millenia walk

great little cakes at this popular cakery in millenia walk – so popular, in fact, that they’ve now expanded twice their original size. and for good reason, I think – if the cakes I had were anything to go by, they know their desserts.

and it’s almost friday, people – here’s to giving the weekend a head start!

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2am: dessertbar, holland village

’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.

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canele patisserie chocolaterie, paragon orchard

great casual eating at the paragon. the last time I did a review of this place, I was pretty much fixated on their delicious chocolate cake – this time, I managed a more indicative meal, and it was pretty good too (even though the chocolate cake still makes the most compelling reason for a revisit).

(this chocolate confection makes for a pretty compelling argument, too).

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bistro du vin, zion road

oh my, can someone say dessert please? it’s finally friday – days since I thought I’d be posting, and I’m in the mood for something sweet and chocolatey to end things. this one’s a good choice, the first time I’ve made it to the lauded bistro du vin – and only for dessert (after dinner at indochilli, just a few doors down).

peek in, peek in! there’s a flowing chocolate lava cake after the jump :D

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