Lately, I’ve been having a mad dessert streak. Of all the sinful eats possible though, my biggest indulgence has got to be pastries. There’s just something about the combination of sweet filling and buttery shell that I will never cease to love.
On my trail to sample more sweets, I was rather surprised to find a good number of patisseries started and managed by locals. ‘Patisserie’ refers to bakeries that specialise in sweets and pastries (duh), and the word finds its origins in France. I rejoice in the discovery of these passionate Singaporean individuals, who have learnt the fine art of French pastry-making and gone on to start their own such bakeries, bringing us authentic desserts in the comfort our homeland.
Not only are these pastries beautiful and intricate, they are a labour of love. If there’s anything I love more than a decadent dessert, it’s gotta be accompanied by a good backstory. I thought I’d give my fellow countrymen a thumbs up by compiling a list of 10 patisseries started by enterprising Singaporeans.
10. Patisserie G
Patisserie G is run by Singaporean Miss Gwen Lim. The chef-owner herself surrendered her corporate job to pursue her culinary interest, chalking up an impressive amount of experience.
She completed a diploma course at a renowned French culinary school and worked two-months at the distinguished Pierre Hermé before finally opening her own patisserie in 2012.
The patisserie sells a small but luxurious selection of artisanal French pastries and cakes, such as the gorgeous Saint Honoré ($8/piece), a caramel-glazed choux puff and the G Spot ($9/slice), a sultry minx of a chocolate tart.
Patisserie G: 9 Raffles Boulevard, #01-40, Millenia Walk, Singapore 039596 | Tel: 6338 7578 | Website
9. Mad About Sucre
Mad About Sucre’s talented pastry chef Miss Lena Chan is another female who takes the cake (to a whole new level, that is). As the story goes, the mother of two left her job to train at Le Cordon Bleu, and later sharpened her skills at Sugarplum Cake Shop in Paris.
The offerings at Mad About Sucre are all created from scratch using French classical confection techniques and the menu changes depending on the season. With confections like the exquisite Le Caillou, a stunning golden sphere containing rum cream, mandarin orange and pecan nut short bread, how can one resist?
Mad About Sucre: 27 Teo Hong Rd, Singapore 088334 | Tel: 6221 3969 | Website
8. L’Eclair by Sarah Michelle
Don’t let the name Sarah Michelle mislead you. L’Eclair by Sarah Michelle is actually Singapore’s first eclair specialty store and boutique cafe, founded by two friends Sarah and Michelle (hence the name!).
The two close friends are alumnae of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris, honing their skills in crafting tender choux and glossy glazes. The two noticed an untapped market in Singapore for eclairs, and brought the concept of specialty eclairs back with them.
The classic Ispahan ($8.50) is girly and romantic. The pretty little thing is dressed in pink hues and features the delicate flavours of lychee, raspberry and rose, but don’t underestimate its size — it is quite a substantial eat.
L’Eclair by Sarah Michelle: 190 Clemenceau Avenue, #01-28, Singapore Shopping Centre, Singapore 239924 | Tel: 9101 1971 | Website
7. Les Delices
Pastry Chef Georgina Sim pursued her calling at Le Cordon Bleu Paris before starting up her patisserie in the middle of Chinatown. Refusing to market Les Délices as a generic, run-of-the-mill patisserie, the Teochew owners worked alongside a Chinese tea specialist to produce pairings for their European cakes. The result is a patisserie with local flavour, seamlessly melding Western and Eastern influences by complementing the stylish European cakes with Chinese tea.
Les Délices’ signature dessert is their choux puffs, which come in three flavours: Valrhona Guanaja, Matcha and Earl Grey ($5.90/piece), each as tasty as they look. Having perfected choux pastry, each golden-brown pillow has a crisp, crunchy cookie exterior and is tender within.
Les Delices: 333 Kreta Ayer Road, #01-14, Singapore 080333 | Tel: 9843 0808 | Website
6. Kki Sweets
Kki Sweets is the brainchild of Miss Delphine Liau and her husband, Mr Kenneth Sia, a self-trained chef. The food-loving couple spent their honeymoon savouring pastries across Japan, where they garnered inspiration to start a dessert cafe in Singapore. The cafe serves understated, but nevertheless splendid Japanese-inspired French mousse cakes.
The Amelie ($9) is one of their creations, comprising champagne mousse with white peach. Kki’s delicate mousse cake showcase French craftsmanship but incorporate Eastern influences, such as in their characteristic Japanese minimalism as well as using ingredients native to Asia.
Kki Sweets: 1 Zubir Said Drive, Singapore 227268 | Tel: 6225 6650 | Website
5. Niche Savoureuse
Mr Melvin Tang helms Niche Savoureuse, a quaint patisserie located in the humble neighbourhood of Toa Payoh. A rather soft-spoken man, Melvin explains that he spent two years in France equipping himself with the fine skill of pastry making before returning to set up Niche Savoureuse.
At Niche Savoureuse, all pastries are handmade in-house, demonstrating the brand’s focus on quality and authenticity rather than trend-chasing.
Niche Savoureuse’s allure lies in its beautiful, rustic bakes that lean towards a more affordable end of the spectrum for artisan cakes and pastries. I really enjoyed the Bed of Roses ($6.90), a sweet and feminine cake with classic French elements like soufflé sponge and rose tea gelée, as well as a more contemporary lychee martini mousse.
The Abinao Chocolate Tarte ($6.90), on the other hand, had a more commanding presence. The crisp tart base is filled with a bittersweet 85% dark chocolate ganache and topped with supremely crunchy caramelized hazelnuts.
At the reasonable price of $6.90, this is a very solid dessert guaranteed to satiate cocoa cravings.
My favourite of all its offerings was the elegant Niche Mont Blanc ($7.50), which is a rare find in local patisseries. The French chestnut cream atop the cake tasted distinctly earthy and nutty, though not overpoweringly so.
I also really like the inclusion of a whole chestnut and crunchy bits in the middle of the roll, adding texture to an otherwise pillowy soft cake.
4. Tart Blanc
Tart Blanc was started by a pair of sisters who were self-taught in pastry-making. If that doesn’t convince you of their passion, I don’t know what could. Unlike some patisseries which feature classic French sweets, Tart Blanc is more adventurous and innovative in their approach to pastry.
The tangy Blueberry Lavender Chocolate Tart ($7.50) was borne from that creativity, crafted with lavender honey-soaked joconde cake, lavender chocolate ganache, homemade blueberry jam, and blueberry mousse.
Tart Blanc pushes boundaries with unconventional ingredient pairings and still executes their pastries with surprising finesse. Other modern creations include their Banana Chocolate Silk Tart ($7.00) and Blood Orange and Matcha Tart ($7.50).
Tart Blanc: 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-102, Singapore 039596 | Tel: 6238 6893 | Website
3. Tarte by Cheryl Koh
Opened in 2015, Tarte by Cheryl Koh is a pastry shop started by the Les Amis restaurant’s pastry chef Cheryl Koh and the Les Amis group. Within the span of a year, Chef Cheryl shot to international recognition, as she was crowned ‘Asia’s Best Pastry Chef’ in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards 2015.
Tarte’s philosophy is simple, the tarts are “freshly made with good ingredients and best fruits of the season,” as Chef Cheryl herself puts it.
2. Cream and Custard
The inspiration behind Cream and Custard began a long time ago, when resident baker Melissa first stuck her fingers into pastry-making at age nine, under the tutelage of her Le Cordon Bleu Paris-trained aunt. Chef Melissa then underwent training at culinary school and worked at another patisserie before eventually starting her own, with the strong belief in baking only from the heart so that you can taste the love in each slice.
Everyone’s been raving about the Watermelon Cake from BlackStar Pastry in Australia, but Cream and Custard has produced an equal. Their Strawberry and Watermelon Cake ($6.80) is light and dreamy, with a slice of watermelon between layers of almond dacquoise and rose-flavoured cream. A union of things soft and fragrant and pretty.
Cream and Custard: 46 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee, #01-894, Singapore 160046 | Tel: 9111 8696 | Website
1. Les Patisseries
Les Patisseries tells a story of dedication and nothing by sheer dedication, starring three friends, Kenny, Jeremiah and Louis who graduated from local culinary institutes Shatec and At-Sunrise.
Some are quick to assume that the origin of a chef’s degree (i.e. whether or not he attended prestigious culinary school) correlates with the quality of his food, but I personally feel that the latter speaks for itself.
In that right, I think the team at Les Patisseries have done very well for themselves.
The cafe was originally located in Toa Payoh, but shifted to Thomson where they now monopolise the patisserie scene as the only establishment serving French pastries. Decked out in a monochrome colour scheme, the cafe is quite a lovely spot for a chill-out with friends.
While more well-known for its unique waffles, it serves a sizeable spread of different pastries. French classics like the Gateau Basque ($7.00) and L’opera ($8.00) are available (left to right respectively), while the kitchen also churns out modern pastries.
Their Rose Lychee and Raspberry ($10.00) takes after Pierre Herme’s Ispahan creation. Comprising lychee mousse, raspberry compote, rose Bavarian cream and crunchy feuilletine biscuit, the dome is as delicious as it is beautiful. The alluring mousse cake is subtly sweet and the floral, fruity flavours come through quite distinctly.
The Dulcey Hazelnut Tart ($9.00) has been their signature since the beginning. The tempting tart contains hazelnut dacquoise, hazelnut praline, caramelised hazelnuts and dulcey ganache.
The thick chocolate tart base and plenteous hazelnuts are crunchy, perfectly contrasting the sticky caramel ganache. I really enjoyed this one, though I couldn’t finish all of it on my own.
Les Patisseries:222 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574354 | Tel: 9744 0504 | Website
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