Sweet Charity: For the month of Oct, $5 from each signature dessert ordered at any of the 30 participating restaurants benefits the NUH Kids’ Heart Fund. Selected desserts are available for takeaway with 30% of the price going to the Kids’ Fund. If you order takeaway via the Sweet Charity website, hosted by Chope, Chope will donate $1. Alternatively, you may donate directly via SG Gives.
Info on NUH Kids’ Heart Fund
The fund subsidizes heart surgery costs for financially needy children. In many cases, repeated high-risk operations may be needed to correct the heart defects. Obviously the operations are a life-and-death matter but sometimes the families cannot afford the operations. The fund aims to help as many children as possible.
Best Desserts of 2012
Sweet charity is risky business. The rain was so heavy that we couldn’t see past the windscreen. We tried to go by Ridley Park but a tree fell in front of us! So we took a detour and another tree was obstructing our road. So many dark trees along Ridley Park like in a horror movie. The winds howled and the rain lashed. My date was so frightened he asked me to lock the car doors and begged to return home. But in the end, we made it and so many kind people were present despite the downpour, just to support the good cause. As my date says, “Life is short, eat desserts first.”
**Photos show sampling portions.
MOST DELICATE DESSERT – Canele’s Mangue Shortcake
Ever since the high-profiled Chef Pang Kok Keong left Canele, Canele seems to have fallen off the radar. We used to go to Canele three times a week when Chef Pang was around. So without much expectations, into my mouth I popped the mangue shortcake ($7.50/slice, $37 for 500gm, $68/kg), made of kirsh-soaked layers of fluffy white vanilla sponge stacked with ripe mango and freshly whipped vanilla cream. WOW. It was delicate like an early spring bud. So light and ethereal. With a equipoise of tartness and sweetness. It was a simple cake but done very well. This angmoh chef can bake as lightly as a Japanese chef! Good job. It makes an excellent dessert after a heavy meal or a great birthday cake, which I may get for Chiobu’s birthday this month. Available for takeaway.
Canele Patisserie Chocolaterie
MOST TRADITIONAL DESSERT & MOST VALUE FOR MONEY – Jumbo’s Orh Ni
Orh Ni or yam paste is my mom’s and my favorite dessert. At every wedding dinner, I look forward to eating it. Although I thought Jumbo’s orh ni ($4.50) might have carried a trace of seafood taste, my date loved it and went for second helping. The dessert is also available at Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine, Jumbo’s subsidiary.
Chui Huay Lim Teochew Cuisine
190 Keng Lee Road
#01-02 Chui Huay Lim Club
T: 6732 3637
Outlets at East Coast Seafood Centre, Riverside Point, The Riverwalk, Singapore Indoor Stadium, Changi SAFRA Resort, Dempsey. Website.
MOST FASHIONABLE DESSERT- The Disgruntled Chef’s Churros with Hot Chocolate
OMG OMG OMG! The disgruntled chef, who looks younger this year, remembered 14K and me from last year’s Sweet Charity event. This year, TDC offers the Spanish/Latin American dessert churros ($12) or angmoh youtiao. Just like what was in fashion will be fashionable again, the traditional churros seem to be making a comeback these days, making appearances in many tapas restaurants in Singapore. Unfortunately, I thought it was a tad dry and stiff. Perhaps it had been left in the open for too long.
The Disgruntled Chef
26B Dempsey Road
T: 6476 5305
MOST CONSISTENT DESSERT – Epicurious’s Red Velvet Chocolate
Epicurious’s motto must be if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Hence, it offers the same signature dessert as last year’s. Still good if nothing exceptional. $10/slice, $64 whole. Available for takeaway.
Available at Robertson Quay outlet. Website.
FRESHEST DESSERT – Extra Virgin’s Nutella Panna Cotta
If you think all Asians look alike to white people, Chef Matthew White remembered me from my tasting at Extra Virgin! Maybe I’m super handsome. Chef White revealed that this nutella panna cotta ($8) is his grandmother’s recipe and the milk used is imported from an organic farm in Malaysia. Only freshest and best ingredients are used, he assured me.
Extra Virgin Pizza
8 Marina View #01-04
Asia Square Tower 1
T: 6247 5757
BEST CAFFEINE DESSERT – Hummerstons’s Cocoa Java Brownie
Cocoa Java brownie ($11.80) has layers of chocolate pecan brownie, coffee mousse and hazelnut chantilly cream. Very soft but may be a little complicated for me but then again, I’m not a fan of coffee so I am not a good judge. Psst, the chef told me that Hummerstons is opening a new bakery. You heard it first here.
11 Unity Street
#02-14 Robertson Walk
Singapore 237 995
T: 6737 8863
MOST UNEXPECTEDLY GOOD DESSERT – Overeasy’s Waffles
My date said the blueberry waffles with crunchy streusel ($12) was really good! I tried it myself and yes, it was good. It wasn’t the fluffy kind; it was thin and crispy with a good mix of tartness from the blueberry and sweetness from the dough. I then took a look at the restaurant that offered it and was quite stunned.
1 Fullerton Rd
#01-06 One Fullerton
T: 6423 0701
MOST ATAS DESSERT – Patara’s Lemongrass Creme Brulee
WOAH, $17. I need to get out more. I didn’t know desserts can cost that much.
Patara Fine Thai Cuisine
163 Tanglin Road
#03-14 Tanglin Mall
T: 6737 0818
BEST TART – Plain Vanilla Bakery’s Salted Caramel Truffle Tart
The valrhona dark chocolate crust filled with salted caramel and dark chocolate truffle ganache ($30 4×4″, $65 whole) is very complex with bitterness of chocolate, sweetness from caramel and the saltiness but the flavors work rather well together. I was impressed but I thought it would be too rich and excessive to eat too much of it. Available for takeaway.
Plain Vanilla Bakery
34A Lorong Mambong
T: 6465 5942
BEST DESSERT, MOST INNOVATIVE AND BEST FUSION- Preparazzi’s Ondeh-Ondeh Cupcake
We went to Preparazzi twice: on the first visit, Chiobu and I hated the mains but loved the desserts. On the second, Mr. NGFL, one of our contributors, was so mad at the bad mains that he stalked out, not trying the desserts. Our constructive criticism for Preparazzi is to turn the restaurant into a dessert-bar because the ondeh-ondeh cupcake ($30 for box of 6) is among the best dessert we had this year. Ondeh-ondeh is a Malay/Peranakan snack that is a green ball coated with shredded coconut, filled with gula-melaka-coconut. Chef Jeremy Nguee turns it into a pandan cupcake with gula melaka filling and cream cheese coconut frosting. AND IT WAS AMAZING. It was kick-ass sweet but there were dimensions of sweetness that titillated, rather than dulled each other. The texture was malleable without being crumby. I hate cupcakes, in general–come on, cupcakes are insecure muffins who can’t accept they are bald and so they wear wigs–but this cupcake won me over. If I were an X-Factor judge, it’s very clear in this round of desserts who the winner is. Available for takeaway.
Preparazzi Bar Gourmet
29 Boon Tat Street
T: 6220 0629
CHEEKIEST DESSERT – PS Cafe’s Cherry Teacake
Let’s be honest: people go to PS Cafe for its gorgeous ambience, not for the food. So it’s smart of them to offer a cheeky dessert, cherry teacake ($15/slice, $75/whole). As in, “Hey, I want your cherry… teacake.” Available for takeaway.
JAPANESE DESSERT – Sansui’s Umeshu Jelly
A citron scented umeshu jelly served with yuzu sorbet and umeshu macerated berries ($14).
BEST CHOCOLATE ALTERNATIVE – Tanjong Beach Club’s Chocolate Ganache Tart
To tell the truth, I was disappointed by Tanjong Beach Club’s offering of warm valrhona chocolate filling in a crispy pastry crust, served with candied hazelnut and vanilla ice cream ($15) because they had the best and most innovative dessert last year. I have been championing for the restaurant to be more recognized because the food was perfect in my review. The tart was alright but I expected spectacular.
The Dining Room @ Tanjong Beach Club
120 Tanjong Beach Walk,
Tanjong Beach Club
T: 6270 1355
SAFEST DESSERT – The White Rabbit’s Creme Brulee
What could go wrong? $16. I wish they offer the sticky date pudding instead. I remember it fondly as one of the best in Singapore. Restaurant review here.
The White Rabbit
39C Harding Rd
T: 6473 9965
MOST COMPLETE DESSERT & MOST THOUGHTFUL – Wok & Barrel’s Orange Kaffir Lime Bread & Butter Pudding
I believe that at the end of a meal, the dessert should ALWAYS come with ice cream. Although some of the sweet charity desserts have ice cream, Wok & Barrel was the only restaurant to bring ice cream to the gala launch. That shows their dedication. The fusion of using Asian ingredients in bread and pudding ($11.90) was interesting but the taste didn’t come through. Restaurant review here.
Wok & Barrel
13 Duxton Hill
T: 6220 0595
Other restaurants involved in Sweet Charity include:
Shades of Pink and Purple (Magnum temptation fruit cassis leather, parfait purple puree and blackberry kernels, $15)
PS: Thank you, Jeanette, for the invite.