I am always searching for new places for tea. It’s almost like a personal hobby. To sip tea and enjoy a conservation with a friend or two is one of life’s greatest joy to me. I can hardly imagine myself not enjoying afternoon tea. Surely it must be very horrible indeed but fear not! For I’ve found somewhere fantastic and being me, I like to share what a wonderful place it is.
Hidden amidst the heartland area of Hougang is Ciel. A French patisserie with serving up all things sweet at heartland price and I can see why since the owners believe that good desserts don’t have to be fancy and pricey. Simple yet heavenly sweet treats and that’s what heaven or ciel (pronounced as see-el) is all about.
I love the sleek white design of the cafe. They even have a little French corner for those to reminisce their time in France! A few alfresco sitting outside the cafe, pretty cozy provided it’s raining or chilly but otherwise I suggest that you sit inside the cafe considering the hot weather. If you do visit them, you’ll be confronted with at least a dozen of different sweet creations.
Trust me once you’re there, you just feel like trying everything or at least I do! So may I suggest the Ispahan ($5.80)? Composed of a white rose Bavarian cream and pink raspberry mousse with a hidden lychee gelee core, Ciel’s rendition is nothing of the ordinary macarons shells with buttercream I’ve seen. I have to say it’s very interesting to see something innovative every now and then.
Just a side note, scoop a little bit of everything. Especially the little rose petals and experience all the flavours coming alive. Easily a must try if you have to ask me.
When it comes to Strawberry Shortcakes ($5.60), it’s either a good or bad. ZX and I don’t believe in-betweens or do we? I must say about the rosey design of the shortcake was very attractive to the eye but taste-wise, I have to say I tried better ones out there. The layered shortcakes weren’t as soft and fluffy as I like them to be and the dreadful sour strawberries. Maybe it’s just a personal preference afterall, this is their bestseller among all.
Tart lovers would be excited to know that Ciel makes them whole and fresh.There’s an array to select from. Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Caramel and assorted fruit tarts. I find the Fraiche Tart’s ($4.60) crust just nice not too thin that it crumbles and too thick that it hard to break apart.
Bombe ($5.80) is one of those chocolate treats that I feel shouldn’t be consumed immediately from the refrigerator. I don’t know about you but I enjoy the softened melted chocolate casing than the harden one earlier on. Made with fresh blueberries hidden within the rich chocolate mousse casing with a crispy hazelnut feulletine base, a good alternative but not the best…
ZX and I both agreed that the best dessert Ciel has to offer is the simple looking Sel ($4.80). I really loved how the buttery sea salted shortbread complements the richness from the dark chocolate ganache layer. I have to say this is my first time tasting a good salty desserts. Not coincidence that Sel also means salt in French…
Sometimes the best things comes in really simple packages and I am so glad that I found this petite piece of heaven and that led me to conclude a definitely must try for the simpleton!
Just like the Ispahan I shared ealier, tea here isn’t your typical TWG or Twinnings but from Allerines Premium Tea, another local tea company. Ciel has a detailed description about the various tea served and one of my favourite now is actually the refreshing blend of rose and cherry and green sencha base known as Sakura.
I shall end off my review with the pricing of their heavenly sweet treats and to sum up my whole experience , if you’re looking a quiet cafe to spend the afternoon with a few friends or over a book, try considering Ciel Patissiere. It’s pretty hidden but still pretty accessible if once you know how to go.
Hint: Take 45 or 113 from NEX and alight opposite Paya Lebar Methodist Girl’s School. Happy finding!
Blk 124 Hougang #01-1444
Avenue 1, Singapore 530124
Tel: +65 6383 0803
Note: This is an invited media tasting.