Shop Wonderland is the newest addition to the Telok Ayer strip, where countless artisan cafes and eateries lie.
More than just a cafe, Shop Wonderland is very floral-centric, with floral arrangement workshops that you can register for on the second level. If you’re feeling a little extravagant and want a bouquet for your partner or yourself (because why not), you can also get one there.
Shop Wonderland truly transports you to a botanical and rustic wonderland, complete with warm neon lights.
Walking in, you’ll notice that the cafe is actually more spacious than it looks on the outside. The white walls are lined with real foliage and foliage-themed wallpaper, coupled with rattan chairs and tiled flooring, exuding a verdant charm.
As you can imagine, the pastries available are mostly botanical-inspired, with earl grey and lavender cake, rose blossom cake, tea cakes and many more. They’re not only pretty to look at, but taste pretty damn awesome as well.
Shop Wonderland boasts an exciting menu, which really sets them apart from your run-of-the-mill cafes. The beef goulash, thyme honey and blackberry toast and breakfast pies are must-haves. There are also seasonal items on the menu, which guarantee return visits.
While I was wow-ed by the elegance of the food, I actually came for… bacon cupcakes. Yupp, you heard me right. But first, coffee.
Dirty Chai ($6.50)
I hadn’t come across any cafe serving dirty chai in Singapore before, and while I did occasionally try to recreate it by ordering a chai latte with a shot of espresso, chances of success were really low. So, when I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to have it.
The milk was frothed and steamed to the perfect temperature and the latte art remained intact throughout many sips. The chai flavour was not overly sweet, unlike the many places I’ve been to that seem to empty the whole syrup bottle into the mix.
The chai aroma blended perfectly with the espresso, and created a well rounded cuppa that was not too intense and not too sweet.
Chamomile Honey Tea Cake ($4.50)
How could I not try a tea cake, especially when it’s this beautiful and loaded with chamomile. Go for the tea cake if you’re looking for something that’s more dense. The tea cake contains chamomile flowers, which give a really intense chamomile flavour.
When eaten on its own without the icing, the flowers might prove to be rather bitter, leaving a strong aftertaste. But when combined with the icing, it takes on a delicate flavour, with hints of chamomile and honey coming through.
Maple Bacon Cupcake ($8)
Oh. My. God. A bacon cupcake!! Someone finally decided to marry two of my favourite things.
Don’t you just hate it when the cupcake base is too dense, or too under baked in the middle such that it is still wet and goopy? This baby over here was eons away from that – it was soft, warm and fluffy throughout, which is quite a feat to achieve with a savoury cupcake. The chiffon cake base was slightly sweet and very aromatic with a hint of vanilla.
Now on to the caramelised bacon. Maple and bacon has got to be one of the best combinations ever and now all I want is nothing more *cues Kodaline*.
The caramelised bacon is a mix of salty and sweet, coated with maple syrup and sprinkled with cracked peppercorn. It might prove to be a little salty on its own but pair it with the cupcake base and it balances out, creating layers of flavours.
I’m now camp Maple Bacon Cupcake forever. If I had to choose, I’d pick this over the Chamomile Honey Tea Cake just because I found the chamomile flavours too intense for my liking. With such a wonderful ambience and so many other things on the menu though, I’ll have to come back to try everything!
Who am I kidding, I already know I’ll be back just for the Dirty Chai.
Expected damage: $20 – $30 per pax