Cafes for Sweets: Cake Spade @ Tanjong Pagar; Shop Wonderland @ Haji Lane; Tarte by Cheryl Koh @ Shaw Centre

These cafes only serve sweets, and not savory food. As usual, according to my preference, from least favorite to most…

#3. Cake Spade
1 Tras Link, #01-06, Orchid Hotel Singapore, Singapore 078867
T: +65 6444 3868
M-Th 12pm-9pm, F&Sat 12pm-10.30pm

SO CROWDED. On a weekday afternoon at 4pm. Didn’t people have to work? Was surprised at how commonplace and generic the hummingbird cake ($5.90, coconut, pineapple, and banana) tasted, how dense it was, and how it wasn’t as moist as anticipated given the traffic flow. (It wasn’t dry, just in between.) The tropical flavors, in such combination, were supposed to be playful and light, yet I could taste neither three ingredients. It was just one undifferentiated lump of dunno-what-I-was-eating.

I asked the wrong question at the start. Instead of asking why people weren’t working, I should ask why people were here. At least the male cashier was cute.

(I took a photo of the cake but I couldn’t find it. Too many photos. But I swear I was there!)


Tarte by Cheryl Koh
1 Scotts Road, #01-12 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208
T: +65 6235 3225
10.30am-7.30pm daily

Cheryl Koh is also the pastry chef at Les Amis and after eating her bread and dessert at Les Amis, my expectation rose high. It rose even higher with the repeated photos on my instagram feed.

Tarte uses seasonal fresh ingredients. The tart shell broke cleanly–and I suspect the shells are egg-washed–and the tarts had a clean feel. The fruits were treated with integrity that you could still taste the wholeness. Beautiful.

But the reasons why Tarte isn’t my favorite on this list are (1) while the tarts were very good, they weren’t very special. I had similarly great tarts at Carpenter and Cook, and (2) the beauty of the tarts come from the ingredients and not by any original, smart combination. Because the tarts are dependent on ingredients, the mango tart ($7.50) that day was bland, and my friends didn’t like the sourness of the cherry tart ($8.50) although I liked it. 3 tarts and 4 drinks set us back $55.

tarte by cheryl koh reviewTarte is mostly a takeaway shop, but if you want to dine in, you can bring the tarts next door to Caveau Bar. Note the contrast between bar and tart shop.

tarte by cheryl koh shaw centre

#1. Shop Wonderland
37 Haji Lane, Singapore 189230
T +65 6299 5848
10am-8pm daily

The cakes here probably came from suppliers, but what smart selections of cakes they had, something for everyone. The boring people would take red velvet or salted caramel. The hipsters will take gula melaka. The fairies, that means us, took the earl gray with lavender.

Was surprised how moist the cake was. Lavender was an underlying aroma, so you taste it but it didn’t come on strongly like perfume. I want to know their supplier.

In addition, the shop is beautiful, like a fairy land. Didn’t expect this place to have both style and substance. I want to go back and try other cakes.

shop wonderland haji lane review

shop wonderland singapore

Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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