December 9, 2016
With nine outlets in Hong Kong, Dian Tang Ji has finally decided to spread its sweet treats overseas, with its first outlet in Chinatown, Singapore. This dessert cafe has a penchant for innovation on top of all things sweet, while boasting an extensive menu catering to a wide range of audiences.
From humble traditional Chinese style desserts, to more flamboyant contemporary ones, this cafe does it all while being affordable.
If the bright lights and wreaths of flowers weren’t enough to draw some attention to Dian Tang Ji’s grand opening, the lion dance sure did. Nothing gets the crowd’s attention like banging on drums and cymbals accompanied by a prancing lion.
Bringing in hot favourites from Hong Kong as well as new creations, here’s what’s in-store.
Of the more extravagant dishes, the DEVIL’S chocolate ball ($9.80) is a sin à la chocolate. Three layers of chocolate made with 65% Italian cocao in various forms make up this dish, that’s more like an edible ornament.
As the warm luscious dark chocolate sauce is poured over the cold chocolate sphere, the two elements become one. As the solid shell melts away, the scoop of ice cream formerly sheltered and hidden from sight invites you to dig in.
Chip away at the remnants of the shell, dig into the smooth chocolate mousse and be sure to get bits of the crunchy chocolate-popcorn mix that reminded me a lot like Kit Kat.
A contrast of warm, cold, crunchy, soft, chocolate and vanilla — DEVIL’S chocolate Ball is extravagance at a wallet friendly price.
Get high off the sweet pungent durian, I say that meaning well and as a statement of appreciation of the king of fruits. Not just any regular durian dessert. The D24 durian paste Napolean ($9.80) is a puff pastry stacked high with layers of D24 durian cream holding it together.
Cut into the puff pastry and listen to the crisp layers crack, and with a healthy schmear of durian, it’s a straightforward dessert that’s fittingto the king of fruits,
Pudding in a egg shell ($6.80 for 4) is a novel way of serving up petite portions of delicate egg custard. The smooth custard infused with vanilla pods is chilled before being consumed by peckish customers.
While I’m sure the box of four was meant for sharing, clearing all four on your own shouldn’t be a problem. Even for the smallest of stomachs.
Layers of crepe and whipped cream, these cakes took social media by storm a while back. Delicate, yet decadent and textural, we tried Dian Tang Ji’s strawberry mille cake ($6.80) and mango mille cake ($6.80). Overlooking the irregular layers because of the slices of mango-wedged between, we dug in to find our favourite.
Between the two, the mango… took the cake for us. No crazy layers of complicated artificial flavour, the mille cake was packed full of sweet juicy chunks of mango and tasted just as real as a mango gets.
Smooth, almost pillow like sheets of flavoured shaved ice accompanied by fresh fruit and toppings aren’t anything new. But, Dian Tang Ji does it well. Really well. With Korean bingsu hitting our shores, the shaved ice dessert seemed to be the defacto dessert.
Chendol and other shaved ice desserts are going through a revival as well, as cool kids look to elevate them and sell them off at equally elevated prices.
My feelings towards bingsu and other various versions of shaved ice are luke warm at best, however, the mango & strawberry shaved ice ($7.80) isn’t sickeningly sweet and instead is layer upon layer of fresh fruit goodness.
With a menu that evolves every three to four months, new dishes are added while unpopular items are culled. Everyone can rest assured that they’ll never get bored. I’ll even say confidently, that Dian Tang Ji is one of the most affordable dessert cafes in Singapore that’s got every craving covered.
Expected damage: $7-$15
*This post was brought to you in partnership with Dian Tang Ji