You're sleepless in Singapore and craving some cheesecake. But it's past closing time at your usual dessert haunts.
These days, your best bet might be 2am: dessertbar, a dessert and wine lounge in Holland Village that, yes, opens till 2am. This bar had me at hello one recent night. Maybe it was the soft-lit, soothing interiors I fell for, or the deep, comfy couch I climbed onto after kicking off my shoes.
But I knew I would be back even before two friends and I were served our desserts.
And when we were, we were pretty impressed.
Chef Janice Wong, 24, who trained at famed culinary academy Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, does a mean cheesecake ($15++). Served with blood peach foam and mangoes, it was light, deliciously covered in breadcrumbs and satisfying to the last bite.
For some good old-fashioned sweets, get the warm chocolate tart with blood orange sorbet ($14++) which passed my ooze test (warm chocolate desserts, in my book, should ooze when I break them with my fork and this one did).
If you are feeling adventurous, try Wong's take on tiramisu (which is listed as Espresso, $15++, on the menu). Forget espresso-soaked cake. This dessert was little more than Kahlua jellies in lots of foam but it fascinated me and I couldn't quite get enough of it.
We also tried savoury side dishes like crab and coconut salad ($15). Sprinkled with bits of lemongrass and drops of coconut milk, the dish tasted Asian - like a light laksa without chilli. How very creative and appetising.
And after you have snacked to your heart's content and tummy's capacity, you can go back to enjoying that couch. I sure did.
|LATE BLOOMER: The cheesecake (left) tastes as good as it looks, the chocolate tart ozzes great flavour (center) and the ambience is comfy at 2am: dessertbar (right)
2am: dessertbar, 21A Lorong Liput, Holland Village, tel: 6291-9727. Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 6pm to 2am.
A friend spoilt me rotten recently when he went to Europe, tracked down an outlet of Parisian patisserie shop Laduree and got me a box of what he said were the world's best macaroons.
Oh, they were good. So good - with so much luxurious flavour jam-packed into two discs - that I became something of a macaroon snob, finding fault with all other small biscuits that came my way. This one was too sugary, that one wasn't tasty enough and so on.
But then a colleague shared some macaroons with me last week that gave me pause.
We were literally pausing between bites to make sounds like 'Oh my...' and 'Mmmm...'.
The object of our noisy food lust? Confectioner Canele's new creations in flavours like marron glace (candied chestnut), citron vert (green lime), sesame and matcha.
My favourite was the sesame one. With its almond shells and sesame cream, it went off in the mouth like a small explosion of nuttiness. Or like a tang yuan (Chinese sticky rice ball) stripped of its rice skin, offering only sweet-scented filling.
Now, I'm pretty sure Laduree doesn't do sesame yet.
Limited-edition macaroons, $22 for a box of six, from Canele Patisserie Chocolaterie. Two outlets: 01-09 Robertson Walk, 11 Unity Street, tel: 6738-8145; B1-25 Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, tel: 6733-8893.
The limited-edition macaroons were created for Les Amis Group's Macaron Festival, which includes a $55++ weekend high tea macaroon buffet at Macaron Dessert Restaurant, 01-08 Robertson Walk, tel: 6235-7277.
This is posh chocolate spread.
Confectioner Chocolat Factory has these jams in four flavours - pear, orange, chestnut and mint. After a cautious consultation with the shop girl last week, I went with the mint which she said would be smooth and refreshing.
She was right. That clean smell of peppermint made me wake up at breakfast.
On bread, the jam was light and not overwhelming. And when I am out of bread, I could eat it on its own.
Chocolate & Mint Jam, $14, from Chocolat Factory, Spain 2Dream, 01-18 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, tel: 6376-9108.