Edward, where’s your favourite place for cakes.
That is one question I always hated answering. How can I pick a favourite cake when everything is my favourite?! I get that a lot whenever I attend Sunday church when everyone is trying to mingle with anyone nearby. I can give you a few but usually I try to be diplomatic and ask them back the same question.
But if you really have to ask me about the specifics, like my best place for chiffon cake? That will be Dulcet & Studio at Liang Court. The cakes have been around for a long time since my poly days. I remember sitting by the tables and chairs opposite Tampopo Deli at the basement where they were made. It was like a must-have whenever I happen to be at Clarke Quay and it still remains till this day.Fast forward to 2015, Tampopo Deli no longer sell their tall and light chiffons. Dulcet & Studio (D&S) is the new place to go for Tampopo’s awesome cream puffs too. The Japanese cafe is not exactly new since they been around since 2012 and they will be holding a chocolate fair for the month of October and November 2015. I tried four of their chocolate desserts and I’ll be honest with you: I couldn’t resist having seconds and thirds during the recent media invite.
It was only in recent time that D&S is known for their éclairs but they are definitely the highlights of the upcoming chocolate fair. Just look at the glistering dark chocolate glaze of the Venezuela Éclair ($5.80), a dark chocolate choux filled with single origin Venezuelan chocolate cream. The description given to me was a tangy, fruity with deep bitter chocolate flavour éclair complemented by coffee nips and candied oranges. If you ask me in short, this is the dessert to go for if you fancy dark bitter chocolate desserts with citrus notes. I really love the intensity of the single origin. It was quite unlike the standard chocolate desserts at other establishments.
On a plus note, all their éclairs have a glaze topping instead of the artificially sweet fondant commonly used.
Whenever I think about Madagascar, it’s either that animated zoo animals movie or Bourdon Vanilla pods that pops up my mind so it didn’t occur to me that good cocoa plantations were available in that island until I was introduced to the Madirofolo Éclair ($6.00). Filled with chocolate from Madirofolo Madagascar, a single plantation origin chocolate cream, it is not as heavy and dense compared to the Venezuela with an initial acidic taste to every mouthful. I probably attribute that taste to the gluten free choux. Both were really dainty, almost like super mini Christmas log cakes from the way they were designed.
The Chocolate Chiffon Cake ($7.00) was without doubt, a marvel to enjoy. Where most cakes would be shun for having too much cream, D&S did it right without compromising the classic air light trait that chiffon cakes are so known for. For their chocolate rendition, it was denser compared to their other flavours but I still proceed sharing another slide with my two partners.
The dark rich chocolate éclairs are clearly French while light chiffons are very Japanese. I felt it was still the two desserts were distinctive and not really fusions of both until I saw with the Berry Chocolate Mousse Cake ($6.80). Keeping in line of the cocoa theme was sort of like a combination of both cuisine traits: A raspberry gelee (jelly) sandwiched by a top subtle sweet white and bottom dark rich chocolate mousse, on another chocolate base. The additional intense berry taste completed the two contrasting chocolates.
I didn’t expect lunch to be serve during tea timing and when they served up sampling portions of their new ala carte menu, I regretted having a heavy pasta lunch at Saizeriya prior to this invite.
The Sous Vide Kurobuta (above) was a black pig shoulder loin steak cooked in sous vide style for 12 hours, then seared off at a high heat before serving out to diners. Achieving the golden rule of meat: Crispy on the outside yet soft and tender within. Served with balsamic cream to even out the heaviness of the meat. My personal favourite was the Sirloin Steak with Chocolate Sauce which was tender and definitely unique for the use of chocolate as a spice to bring depth and additional flavour to the red wine sauce.
Loco Moco is a Hawaiian dish, compose if multigrain rice topped with a Sunny-side up that came with a huge slab of black pig burger patty then dowsed in brown onion gravy. The meat itself was very tender (best eat it hot) and the gravy did not overpower the taste of the dish too.
The Crab Meat Arabiata was leaning toward spicy with its tomato sauce but still made bearable. Saute with zuchinni (squash), shimeiji (mushrooms), real crab meat from Japan and fresh Hokkaido Tagiiolini. I personally didn’t find this pasta dish fantastic. I thought it could be simplify instead of having too much vegetables. I prefer my pasta to center around just one or two ingredients.
So there you have it. A three years old Japanese cafe launching a chocolate fair in the upcoming two months with a four new ala carte dishes to showcase. I hope Dulcet & Studio will never move out of Liang Court because seriously? it is very hard to find such establishments with new, never-seen-before creations and price-friendy desserts these days.Dulcet & Studio
Liang Court #01-41/42
177 River Valley Road, Singapore 179030
Tel: +65 6338 9248
Note: This is an invited tasting