It’s been slightly more than a month since LE Castella (樂古早味蛋糕), the famous Japanese sponge cakes from Taiwan, has reached our shores.
To date, these jiggly Castella cakes, which are made of flour, eggs, sugar, and starch syrup, are creating a stir among the masses and attracting long queues at Tampines 1. And, customers are required to enter the queue to place orders and return hours later for collection.
Throughout the queue, there was a distinct aroma of freshly-baked cakes wafting from the enclosed kitchen. It goes without saying that the wait for the cakes — which can take up to a few hours — is excruciatingly painful.
Every 15 – 20 minutes, customers will be teased by the steaming, pillow-sized cakes that are wheeled out of the kitchen, flipped over, stamped with the shop’s insignia, and sliced into 10 equal portions.
Each portion measures approximately 23cm by 13cm, and each cake is perfect to share amongst six to eight people.
The cakes are freshly baked with ingredients directly imported from Taiwan daily. Customers are encouraged to consume the cake within the same day as no preservatives are added.
Despite retailing only two flavours: Original ($9.90) and Cheese ($11.90), LE Castella manages to sell about 600 cakes a day.
Keep your eyes peeled as LE Castella prepares to launch a brand new chocolate-flavoured Castella in the near future. It may also be looking to launch a Singaporean-inspired flavoured in lieu with our nation’s 52nd birthday.
The Original Castella, which reminded me of Chinese steamed egg cake (鸡蛋糕), boasts a light, fluffy and moist texture, that comes with a pleasant eggy flavour. Some may argue that LE Castella retains its traditional flavours, but unfortunately, the Original Castella is a little bland for my liking.
Being an avid fan of cheese, I obviously enjoyed the Cheese Castella more. Light and airy, the Cheese Castella, which contains two melted layers of cheesy goodness, had a delectable mix of salty and mild sweetness. An additional layer (or two) of cheese would have made the cake even more decadent.
The cakes at LE Castella are definitely affordably priced. With all the hype going on about these jiggly sponge cakes, it does make sense to want to queue to sate your curiosity. Then again, we recommend doing so when the rage dies down.
For all that it is worth, the management does need to find a better and more efficient way to ease the waiting time.
Expected Damage: $9.90 (Original), $11.90 (Cheese)