first love patisserie, raffles city

not to be overtly pedantic, but have you ever seen those notebooks with the rather strange english phrases? like “little bear love tea and you happy day”, or something that sounds like it’s been composed with little (or an awkward) grasp of grammatical understanding.

the name of this place rather threw me off in the way those phrases too do – it’s a little too cutesy, and too strange to countenance seriously, and certainly doesn’t breed expectations for high standards.

but, I am always happy to be proved wrong (well, sometimes) – and that’s exactly what happened here: the cakes are properly good, with thin layers of crepe sandwiching subtly-flavored fillings. very delicious.

I’m not entirely certain yet how I feel about these mille crepe cakes (as a genre), which were pretty much under the radar until Lady M decided to turn up on our shores. essentially thin crepes sandwiched with whipped cream or creme patisserie (or any thing, really), the skill lies in making substantial but ethereal, whole crepes that gain structure and moisture from its filling, without any excessive dampness (which renders the crepes mushy).

so it’s not really a cake – though it depends on how scrupulous you are with definitions. done right though, it does admittedly look and behave cake-like – when the crepes are moistened just enough to be pliable, and the filling adhesive and structured enough, you should be able to cut right down without the entire thing crumbling.

we bought these at the raffles city basement, at a store with no kitchens in sight – the cake slices/ whole cakes come out a deep chest freezer, in a decent variety of flavors (we got all that day: original, matcha, oreo, coffee and chocolate). rather like a semifreddo, these guys need expert defrosting – too little and it’ll be too hard or icy to cut neatly through, too much and it might get a little too slide-y and wet.

about an hour and a half in air-conditioned room temperature did them good. the cakes were lovely – incredibly thin crepes but nicely elastic (which gave it that sense of substance), the cream fillings only mildly sweetened and with all the glorious hold and give reminiscent of a good buttercream.

the flavors are pretty quiet and sophisticated – but my favorites were probably the coffee and matcha (though all the slices were finished rather quickly). not cheap, but the quality’s there – and it makes for a not-cloying or not-too-rich finish to a meal.

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paddington house of pancakes, farrer park

surprisingly satisfying pancakes-and-all-that-flap(jack) at this malaysian chain outpost in the rather quiet sprawl of the city square mall. this place jumped right out of the radar because of my love for the eponymous breakfast food – but I resisted going for a while because it seemed rather too good to be true (and I got caught up in the new brunch places): my dream is for IHOP to set up in this tiny island, and this seemed a rather fortuitous manifestation of it.

but suffice to say that we were pleased when we finally came – the selection is huge, our dishes pretty much deftly executed diner-style, and we left with full bellies (and only-slightly lighter wallets).

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