Confession: I have a major sweet tooth. I love cakes, macarons, brownies, chocolate covered meringues — you name it, I’m there. So, when I chanced upon Chalk Farm, you can’t begin to imagine my excitement at finding a cake shop specialising in simple, elegant cakes.
I later learnt that the store is affectionately named after a stop on the London Tube, and this unsuspecting cake shop is located in Parkway Parade, its simple decor belies the quality of its cakes.
Chalk Farm caters to a wide selection of tastes and preferences from classic crowd favourites, such as red velvet and black forest cake; to their take on local/traditional cakes, such as sugee, pandan inti and kueh salat.
I always appreciate it when cake shops make an effort to include local flavours into their menu, it might not always work but when it does the pay off is huge. In the case of Chalk Farm, it did.
To start the cake rolling, I tried the Salted Caramel Red Velvet (S$8), a definite crowd pleaser. A little-known fact about Red velvet cake is that the ‘red’ actually comes from beetroot juice.
Most commercial red velvets are made with food colouring, which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Chalk Farm’s, on the other hand, sticks to the traditional way of colouring their red velvets.
The red velvet is even topped with dried fuschia petals, making this cake a visual stunner. Chalk Farm changed up the American classic and use a salted caramel frosting instead of cream cheese.
The red velvet cake tasted rich and crumbly, the sweet and salty frosting enveloping each delicate burgundy morsel. The salted caramel frosting is a good touch, balancing out the sweetness of the cake and toning down the richness of the cake.
Following the well-loved American classic is another favourite, Sugee Cake (S$6.40), the quintessential dessert in every Eurasian home. Chalk Farm’s Sugee Cake is made with semolina, butter and almonds, resulting in a textured feathery cake punctuated heavily with the scent of almonds.
While I am not partial to almonds, the scent of almonds does permeate quite strongly throughout the cake. If almonds aren’t your thing, I suggest you give this one a miss.
Next, we move to more nostalgic flavours with the Pandan Inti (S$8.40). The bright green sponges are the result of freshly extracted pandan juice and coconut cream.
To make this an even more decadent treat, Chalk Farm included freshly shredded coconuts in between the pillowy sponge layers for texture. The cake is then slathered in a luscious gula melaka frosting. What arises is a deep toffee or caramelly flavour that enhances the pandan and coconut flavours.
While the pandan sponge was airy and fragrant, the cake veered on the dry side. The frosting in between the layers moisten and improve the cake marginally, but it was not enough.
Chalk Farm’s cult favourite is their variations on the Nonya delicacy, Kueh Salat. In this case, it is the Gula Melaka Kueh Salat (S$6).
Kueh salat is a two-tiered dessert that has a glutinous sticky rice bottom with a creamy coconutty custard on the top. Visually not the most attractive cake, but in terms of taste and texture the most interesting and hearty.
Good news for durian lovers, Chalk Farm also does a Durian Kueh Salat (S$8). Plus, Chalk Farm only uses Mao Shan Wang or Wang Zong Wang durian flesh as the top layer. Talk about an indulgent dessert!
Even though Chalk Farm has a wonderful selection of treats such as cupcakes, cake loaves and brownies. I wanted the last item to be featured from Chalk Farm a local treat, Pandan Koswee (S$5).
Essentially, it is a fragrant pandan pudding, topped with a mountain of the freshly grated coconut. The kueh itself was soft and melted in my mouth instantly, the shredded coconut provided a nutty fragrance to the pandan koswee. Nothing groundbreaking but a sweet little treat for days that are just a tad bitter.
As I sat at Chalk Farm, I observed how popular the cakes are with the people who frequent the area. Often buying two or three slices of cake, some even bagged whole cakes.
Chalk Farm has a few hits and misses but one can’t deny the elegant simplicity and earnestness in which they present their baked goods.
Expected damage: S$4 – S$8.40 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 3 / 5
80 Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449269
80 Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449269