As we drew up this “Best Desserts in Singapore 2017” list, it struck us how cosmopolitan Singapore is. Half of the desserts on this list can be considered traditional: traditionally Austrian, traditionally French, traditionally Italian, traditionally Japanese, and traditionally Peruvian. But their desserts are also modern in the sense that they are innovative.
The other half of the desserts are Asian-inspired, that is, the chefs use Asian ingredients as a starting point and try to modernize the desserts.
Therefore, on both sides, whether traditional or Asian-inspired, desserts are coming to a crossroad of blurred cultural lines. What matters is they are delicious. And these 10 desserts are.
At the Myo
4 Everton Park #01-42 Singapore 080004
tel: +65 8126 0646
T-F 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm
The SHATEC-trained chef-owner Sebastian Ho moved out of his kopitiam stall into his own cafe. His ONDEH ONDEH CREME BRULEE ($9) is one of the best desserts we ate this year. The pandan creme brulee is topped with gula melaka jelly, ondeh ondeh, salted caramel ice cream, and a crispy feuilletine. Very lovely flavors that dance in the mouth. Very memorable. [FULL REVIEW]
Usually fine-dining restaurants don’t serve good desserts. But this Michelin-starred restaurant by Beppe De Vito gives such a delightful finish to the meal. The deconstructed STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE (part of their set menu) sits on a lovely elderflower granita. The cheese mousse envelopes a strawberry jam, giving the most ethereal sensation. What a gorgeous dessert. [FULL REVIEW]
The nomenclature, PEAR TART ($16), seems unfitting for how delicious it is. The chilli-lime ice cream has a merest touch of spiciness, and equilibrizes the sweetness of the pear. The tart shell isn’t typical; it is more like the texture and flavor of buttery croissant. The chef-owner Samia Ahad has truly Asianized the pear tart, owning it to fit into her Asian-inspired grill restaurant. [FULL REVIEW]
Little Bastard is a bar that also serves good Canto-Thai Food. (Try their cold tomyum noodles, $20). To complement the food, bartender Ahmad Shah Herman creates Asian-inspired cocktails and cooks all the Chinese desserts himself. He worries that he isn’t up to the task since Chinese desserts aren’t in his culture. But guess what? His alcoholic CHENDOL ($22) is one of the best desserts this year. Paired with caramelized pineapple that has been sous vide in Jagermeister, the chendol is smooth, thick, and milky. [FULL REVIEW]
I could put any cake from Mad About Sucre (MAS) on this list and I won’t be doing any disservice to readers. I know loyal fans of MAS who rush down the moment MAS changes their cakes by the season. For me, the CASTILE ($12.80), with yogurt mousse, lychee jelly, blueberry-and-strawberry compote, rhubarb, and honey base, is the perfect cake. When you eat it, the tension within your body inadvertently ebbs. It conjures a lovely emotion of peace and serenity. And god knows we need lots of peace in this world. [FULL REVIEW]
Silk Road Restaurant
165 Tanjong Pagar Road, Amara Singapore Lvl 2, Singapore 088539
Tel: +65 6227 3848
Silk Road is a Sichuan Chinese restaurant helmed by Chef Andrew Chong. But they serve a regional dessert, CHEMPADAK (JACKFRUIT) CREME BRULEE ($10). Jackfruit’s strong aroma will drown all flavors, so it takes consummate skills to balance the flavor of jackfruit with creme brulee. When you break through the caramelized surface, the inside is not the texture of a creme brulee; it is molten with bits of jackfruit. The aroma of jackfruit pairs exceedingly well with the creme brulee. [FULL REVIEW]
Spago by Wolfgang Puck
1 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 2 Level 57, Singapore 018971
T: +65 6688 9955
Lunch (daily) 12pm-2.30pm
Dinner (Sun-Th) 6pm-10pm
Dinner (F & Sat) 6pm-11pm
Their signature traditional KAISERSCHMARREN ($36 for 2 persons) is only available for lunch, because it takes 16 minutes in the oven, and the kitchen is too busy during dinner service for the dessert to hog the oven. Although the menu says it is for 2 persons, it is big enough for 4. The Austrian dessert is sometimes known as a fluffy pancake, but at Spago, they add fromage blanc, and the texture is more like souffle. Airy and light, and I’m sure it’s 0 calories.
The beautiful cloud of dessert is to be eaten with USA strawberries done two ways, macerated and ice cream. It is a simple dessert but it brings so much joy and ecstasy and comfort, vacillating between a puffy sweetness, and a mouthwatering sourness. [FULL REVIEW]
This is the first time in 7 years of blogging that a Japanese restaurant made it to the “Best Desserts” list. As everyone knows, Japanese restaurants aren’t known for their desserts. At the end of a meal, they will give fruits at best or ice cream at worst. (I very much prefer Japanese fruits because they are so sweet and pristine, and because they are traditional.)
But Sushi Mitsuya’s dessert is something else. Japanese restaurants may serve hojicha ice cream but here, they reverse the concept. Part of their omakase, MISO ICE CREAM is paired with HOJICHA (roasted tea) PANNA COTTA. The salty miso counterbalances the sweet panna cotta wonderfully and at the same time, the dessert showcases the simplicity of Japanese cuisine. Beat that! A salty dessert! [FULL REVIEW]
This is also the first time a Peruvian dessert made this “Best Dessert” list. Well, first time because this is a rare Peruvian restaurant in Singapore. We fought among ourselves which of the two Peruvian dessert to put on this list. TRES LECHES ($12), or three milks, is a coconut cake soaked in three types of milk, undercut by passionfruit. It’s amazing, rich, nicely sweet, and tart. The ALFAJORES ($12) consists a trio of butter cookies with dulce de leche filling and mango mousse. It’s delicate and wonderful. OK, so this is a cheat; we’re putting them both on the list. [FULL REVIEW]
ORH NEE ($12) is a traditional Teochew dessert and it is hard to please sticklers when one deviates from tradition but at VLV, Chef Martin Foo does a CHILLED version. By chilling it, the flavor of the yam intensifies, but when you chill it, you can no longer add lard (which will solidify when chilled). HPB, list it under “the healthier choice!” Tastewise, it’s extremely smooth and goes beautifully with coconut ice cream. [FULL REVIEW]
To summarize, these are the 10 best desserts in Singapore in 2017:
-At the Myo: Ondeh Ondeh Creme Brulee ($9)
-Braci: Strawberry Cheesecake (part of the set menu)
-Coriander Leaf Grill: Pear Tart ($16)
-Little Bastard: Chendol ($22)
-Mad About Sucre: Castile Cake ($12.80)
-Silk Road: Chempadak Creme Brulee ($10)
-Spago: Kaiserchmarren ($36 for 2 persons)
-Sushi Mitsuya: Miso Ice Cream with Hojicha Panna Cotta (part of omakase)
-Tono Cevicheria: Tres Leches ($12) and Alfajores ($12)
-VLV Singapore: Chilled Orh Nee ($12)
Have you eaten any good desserts this year that are worth sharing? Comment and let us know!
You may be interested in…
–Best Food 2017 Part I: 10 Best Dishes in Singapore
–Best Food 2016 Part I: 10 Best Desserts in Singapore
–Michelin Star Restaurants Singapore 2017 (FULL LIST)
–Michelin Bib Gourmand Singapore 2017
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.