I think I might be related to Willy Wonka. As a card-carrying member of Chocoholics Anonymous, I’ve come out to friends and family, and I can fully admit that I do, indeed have a problem. Lest you think I’m prone to hyberbole, (who me?) there is evidence to suggest that this is an actual medical condition. I read it on Wikipedia.
Whether this is the case or not, there’s just something about chocolate that makes all your daily irritants seem insignificant for a brief, happy hiatus when you’re savoring that velvety richness.
In Singapore, we eat as a hobby, so there’s never a shortage of new patisseries, restaurants and bakeries to score the next fix. At The Hunt Guides we live to scout out smaller, independently run places to shop and eat locally, so read on for our picks of the crème de la crème of ambrosial choco-liciousness, run by people who are genuinely passionate about feeding you.
Janice Wong is the undisputed dessert queen of Singapore. Her 2am:dessertbar in Holland Village is a late-night lounge where the lights are low, couches plush, and the wine list carefully curated to match each dish for the ultimate pairing. This is for serious dessertarians only; dabblers need not apply. So the star of the show? Janice’s signature Chocolate H20, a blissful symphony of aerated chocolate mousse, caramel bavarois, salted caramel and Yuzu sorbet. The varying textures and flavors complement one another beautifully ‒ this is one to be savoured slowly. Heaven on a plate.
2am:dessertbar is located at 21A Lorong Liput, Tel: 6291 9727. Go to www.2amdessertbar.com
Intense Dark Chocolate
Warm melting chocolate cake? ‘Not again’ I hear you cry! The ubiquitous lava cake is everywhere. But an oozing centre does not guarantee a good time. First off, you need to be using the highest quality chocolate, and not too much sugar, or you end up with a saccharine overload of goo. The bite size babies at Smoulder fulfill all my molten desires, using premium Barry Callebaut Belgian chocolate. They come in a myriad of colors and flavors, like White Chocolate Pistachio and White Chocolate Raspberry, but I prefer the classic ‘Intense Dark Chocolate’ with 70 per cent cocoa content. Plus, they come in miniature sizes, which is handy for gluttons like me. Take it home or just stuff the whole dang thing in your mouth at the counter. I love that Smoulder does a ‘grab and go’ concept with reheating instructions for this typically restaurant-only indulgence.
Smoulder is located at China Square Food Centre, 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-04, Tel: 6225 6422. Go to www.smoulder.it
Truffle & Chocolate Earl Grey
Blink and you’ll miss it. Tucked away up a flight of stairs on Telok Ayer, Truffs specializes in, well, truffles … as you might have guessed. The handmade little balls of bliss come in 55 per cent, 66 per cent and 70 per cent dark chocolate, and are coated in a bittersweet cocoa powder that offsets the creamy dark goodness of the centre. These babies are worth a visit alone, but having heard rave reviews about the Chocolate Earl Grey cake, I had to try it. It’s a ganache with a layer of sponge cake and earl-grey infused chocolate mascarpone mousse sitting neatly above a hazelnut feuilletine base. I’m normally a purist and don’t like to mess around with anything other than nuts in my chocolate, but this is really quite special.
Truffs is located at 179a Telok Ayer Street, Tel: 9088 2736. Go to www.truffs.com.sg
Matt’s The Chocolate Shop
Chocolate fudge cake
The tagline at Matt’s is: Rich. Dark. Irresistible. Available. I couldn’t have said it better myself. At Matt’s simplicity is key. If you’re after good old-fashioned piece chocolate fudge cake, you’ve come to the right place. No frivolity, weird flavor combos or OTT add-ons. Just luscious, dense, fudgy goodness with a perfect coating of icing. Available in full cake or cupcake size.
Matt’s The Chocolate Shop is located at 44 Amoy St, Tel: 6557 2274. Go to www.matts.com.sg
Chocolate Macarons and Opera Cake
Can you say mmmmacaron? These meringue based confections typically come in a panoply of dazzling colors and flavors, but as you may have guessed, I’m partial to the chocolate based ones. At Francophile tea parlour Antoinette, I alternate between the Praline with milk chocolate and hazelnut biscuit and the 70 per cent Grand Cru. Actually that’s not true. The classic Opera Cake often makes an appearance on my plate too. Almond joconde biscuit, coffee buttercream, dark chocolate ganache and espresso. It’s so pretty I almost can’t bear to eat it. Almost.
Antoinette is located at 30 Penhas Road. Go to www.antoinette.com.sg
Grasshopper Pie and S’mores Pie
Image: Nelson Lee for thefoodnomads.com
Who doesn’t love a good pie? The two baker brothers that run this pie-only place, that’s who. Oh, and me. Especially the Grasshopper pie. I had this once as a kid, and in my childish naïveté thought my friend’s Mexican mother had invented the recipe and dubbed it ‘The Grasshopper‘ due to a proliferation of the aforementioned insect in her country. Apparently not. It’s actually a pretty common mint and chocolate pie in the US. The Windowsill version has a flourless chocolate base, fresh mint cream, shards of chocolate and clusters of salty chocolate cookies. Yum. A close runner up is the S’Mores pie, with milk chocolate pudding, dark chocolate fudge and of course, toasted marshmallows and graham crackers. These are down home, American style pies at their very best. Just add a glass of milk.
Windowsill Pies is located 78 Horne Road, Tel: 9004 7827. Go to www.windowsillpies.sg
Salted Valrhona Chocolate Sable Biscuits
Strangely enough, my managing editor says she isn’t much of a chocolate girl. Sacrilege! But her own nod to sweetooth-dom are these crunchy, moreish little biscuits. I simply adore them and they’re perfect as a post dinner treat to munch on when you’re home in front of the TV. The whole pack will be gone before you reach the second commercial break of Mad Men.
Obolo is located at 112 East Coast Road, #B1-11/29, 112 Katong, Tel: 6636 1073. Go to www.obolo.com.sg
So I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed brownie guru. I have two recipes that have reduced grown men to happy tears. When I don’t have one of my own home-baked goodies on hand, I turn to Sarnies. It’s got the perfect ratio of inner goo to outer crispy shell. To lessen the guilt, I cut it into bite size chunks to share with colleagues. They just don’t realize my chunk just happens to be a tad larger than theirs. It’s the perfect midweek work pick-me-up.
Sarnie’s is located at 136 Telok Ayer Street, Tel: 6224 6091. Go to www.sarniescafe.com
Osvaldo No Menu
Gianduja Chocolate Mousse
At a recent lunch with my father at this Italian fave, I scoured the dessert menu in order to ascertain whether to go for a pasta or salad. And there it was. Gianduja chocolate mousse with hazelnuts and mascarpone. My main course fate was sealed, caprese salad; to make room for the cocoa-fest. The mousse was light and airy and the chopped nuts made a welcome textural addition alongside the creamy mascarpone, infusing the dish with some crunch. Heaven.
Osvaldo No Menu is located at 21-23 Boon Tat Street. Go to www.osvaldo.sg/nomenu/
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Cupcake shops these days are a dime a dozen, and quite frankly I’m a bit bored. Half of them disguise their dry, dull cake with too much icing and most veer towards sickly sweet. The Dark Chocolate Ganache at Plain Vanilla is worth a mention however. The perfectly fluffy, Vahlrona chocolate base is topped with a dense glaze and a sprinkling of cocoa nibs. Yum.
Plain Vanilla is located at 34A Lorong Mambong. Go to www.plainvanillabakery.com
The Hunt Singapore second edition is coming out soon but you can keep up to date with the best independent eating and shopping experiences in Singapore via its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheHuntGuides.
- Barry Callebaut Belgian
- China Square Food Centre
- Chocoholics Anonymous
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- dining in Singapore
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- Food in Singapore
- Holland Village
- hunt guides
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- Janice Wong
- Opera Cake
- parlour Antoinette
- Singapore dining
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