First look: 6 desserts we tried at Henri Charpentier’s Singapore store

Now open at Dempsey Road, we got an early taste of some of the signature dishes from French-style patisserie Henri Charpentier

Run by Suzette Corporation, Japanese patisserie chain Henri Charpentier has over 80 stores in Japan that retail its popular financiers, madeleines and biscuits, all packed prettily in boxes.

Now you’ll be able to find them here in Singapore, for the brand has imported these same souvenir-ideal gifts to its newly-opened store at Dempsey Road.

The financiers from Henri Charpentier. Image: Henri Charpentier

But what of the actual fresh pastries and cakes to be served within this 4,400 square feet dessert salon? As you may expect, there will be some variations in taste from the Japanese stores and the first Henri Charpentier Singapore outpost.

According to the company’s executive chef Takahiro Komai, not all of the ingredients used will be imported from Japan; the brand plans on using some local produce to ensure freshness and to cater to the average Singaporean’s palate.

At the media preview we’d attended, Suzette Corporation CEO Goki Akita had said that the high expectations of Singapore diners enticed the brand to set up its first international store here. “If you can succeed here, you can succeed anywhere else in Asia,” says the company head quite candidly; he hopes to take the Henri Charpentier to Taiwan and eventually other parts of Southeast Asia too.

We tried just a sampling of them at yesterday’s media preview; read on for our early verdict on our first taste test at Henri Charpentier.

1. Must-try: Crepe Suzette
The signature crepe suzette ($22) is one of the “performative” dishes that you have to try at Henri Charpentier; these and more selected dishes will be prepared in front of the diners upon order.

Henri Charpentier Crepe Suzette.jpg

Image: Henri Charpentier

This flambé French dessert will make diners whip their phones out for Instagram, as the crepes go aflame when the server pours the heated Grand Marnier cognac liqueur onto the hot pan.



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Mind you, this is one heady dish that not all may take instantly to; the emcee even teases that those who drive should skip on these crepes. But what a treat it is, for those who love more than a touch of liqueur in their desserts. You can sure taste the aromatic blend of its butter and orange juice sauce, brought out by dousing these silky soft crepes in the flaming orange-flavoured liqueur.

2. Fruit tart
Pretty on the plate and as yummy in your mouth. This fruit tart ($8) is the you-can’t-go-wrong treat, with a flaky tart base that it’s easy to cut into; there’s just a faint hint of vanilla fragrance in it too.



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3. Financier
This small French-style cake is another favoured treat from Henri Charpentier, which can be bought nicely packaged in boxes from the takeaway counter.

Henri Charpentier Financiers.jpg

Image: Henri Charpentier

Made with Hokkaido butter, egg whites, flour and powdered sugar and a touch of almonds, the Financier ($2.90) here are happily crispy on the outside while moist and chewy on the inside. The ones that you’ll find retailing in its Singapore shop have been all specially imported from Japan.

In case you’re wondering, these baked treats were allegedly named after its rectangular mold, said to resemble gold bars; these were also said to be popular with the bankers in the Parisian financial district.

4. Strawberry Shortcake

Henri Charpentier_Strawberry Shortcake.jpgImage: Henri Charpentier

We’re less impressed with the cakes including the Strawberry Shortcake ($9.50) and which felt lacking in that ideal airy, light sponge that Japanese-style spongecakes have been known for. The cream used was also a tad sweeter and richer than we would expect too.

5. Chocolatine
Bizarrely in contrast, the flavours were far less heavy for the Chocolatine ($9.50) cake, to the point of being almost bland.

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Image: Henri Charpentier

The cake contains chocolate cream in between its sponge cake layers and was pitched as an “aromatic rich-flavoured chocolate [cake]” with a crunchy wafer-like texture in its centre.

6. Mille Crepe
Similar to the popular Lady M Mille Crepe cake, the Mille Crepe ($9) at Henri Charpentier is light and airy, though the custard cream is still a touch sweeter than expected. Still delectable, this rendition features 10 layers of moist thin crepes sandwiched between cream layers.

What we would like to try next
We’ll love to sample treats like the Dome ($29), a chocolate sphere of chocolate parfait biscuit that is set on fire in front of you with liquor before strawberry sauce is poured over it.

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The Dome from Henri Charpentier. Image: Henri Charpentier

There are a total of six Singapore-only desserts including the Dome, which you won’t be able to find at any other Henri Charpentier store.

Prices: From $2.90 for a financier to $29 for beef bourguignon with mashed potatoes; the patisserie restaurant has a small selection of mains, appetisers, sandwiches and salads along with its extensive dessert and pastry list.

Henri Charpentier Beef Bourguignon.jpg

The beef bourguignon. Image: Henri Charpentier

Boxed pastries include the assorted Petit à Petit biscuit set ($43.90 for a medium box). Prices for these vary from $2.90 per madeleine to $110 for a large box of the assorted Petit à Petit biscuit set.



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You could put it to “teething problems”, as it’s been barely a week or two since this patisserie restaurant’s soft opening. The brand admits that there’s still much tweaking and changes to be done to its recipes, as it continues its search for quality locally-produced ingredients.

Henri Charpentier is located at 9A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247698, Tel: 6479 5518, Opening hours: 11am to 10pm.

Have you dined at Henri Charpentier? Do share more with us, in the comment box below.