Sweet-Tooths and Small Bites

Sweet-Tooths and Small Bites

All things sweet or small for the after-meal satisfaction.
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Overscoop probably doesn’t need much of an introduction these days — the ice-cream parlour had started its operations in a standalone shop space at Junction Nine; they had since expanded their operations with the recent opening of an outlet at Orchard Central, whilst also opening yet another new outlet at Hougang Rivercourt. Being one of the first few tenants which had opened their doors in the new neighbourhood mall within the cluster of new Built-To-Order flats situated just a few bus stops away from Hougang MRT Station and Kovan MRT Station, Overscoop joins the likes of Burger King, R&B Tea, The Fed Giraffe (a florist-cum-cafe concept) and Guan 7 Stars (a local eatery serving up dim sum and traditional chicken rice using a 20 year old recipe from Leong Hainanese Chicken Rice at Shunfu Mart and Guan Traditional Chicken Rice from Empress Food Centre) — the outlet at Hougang Rivercourt being the smallest of the three that they operate at the time of writing. Being a hole-in-the-wall cafe that seats two tables of four pax each, the cafe features splashes of yellow amidst concrete walls and floors alongside wooden furnishing and fittings — a rather industrial yet playful look that fits well to ice-cream. Offering a variety of ice-cream that is pretty similar to what is served at Junction Nine (we hadn’t been to their outlet at Orchard Central), patrons can opt for their ice-cream to come in either cups or cones, as well as with the various cakes and bakes that they have to offer. There are also a few savoury bakes available as well, while some beverages are also served at this outlet as well.

One of the highlights at Overscoop is how there is a choice for patrons to opt for an “overscoop” of another flavour apart from what they have ordered at no extra cost — this is to allow patrons to try the other flavour and to hopefully encourage patrons to go for the full portion of the other flavour in their next visit; something which we silly-ly rejected during our first visit to their Junction Nine outlet when they had just opened since we felt we did not need “a free second scoop”. Since then, we had always opted for the Moutai Liquor as the flavour for the “overscoop”; this unique flavour that we never came across at other ice-cream parlours had improved over time considering how it now has a pretty good consistency where it doesn’t melt away too quickly, yet still boozy as ever — something that would really appease those who love their alcoholic desserts considering the strong undertones of Moutai Liquor in this one. We had also tried the Chrysanthemum Wolfberries for the first time during this visit — the Chrysanthemum Wolfberries here comes in a shade of pale yellow and the flavours of chrysanthemum here vaguely reminds us of the packaged drink from Yeo’s; a similar level of sweetness even (reduced sugar, as Yeo’s would call it) whilst speckled with wolfberries that carried a good bite. Really appreciate how they had stored the ice-cream at an appropriate temperature here — didn’t find the wolfberries anywhere near icy or frozen here; a thing that some ice-cream parlours just don’t pay too much attention to. The waffle cone is also pretty satisfying; crisp, yet carrying an alluring whiff of buttermilk fragrance with every bite.

Some may have their own differing opinions about Overscoop but I do feel that this spot isn’t only all around the hype — sure, the ice-creams are not anyway near cheap considering how the scoop of Chrysanthemum Wolfberries does cost a whopping $6.20 on its own. That being said, it could be how they seemed to have priced their ice-creams in consideration of the “overscoop” that they are including with every scoop of ice-cream; not to mention we do find their ice-cream flavours being pretty different from what most other players have to offer — the Moutai Liquor being an example of how bold they can be with their ice-cream. Whilst Overscoop does seem to be on an expanding spree of the late, they are a pretty great addition to both Orchard and Hougang; the Hougang outlet providing residents of the North-East yet another interesting option for dessert within their neighbourhood even as a quick grab-and-go.

Have heard of The Pantree when they were still at CT Hub 2 quite a number of years ago and was actually really skeptical about the raving reviews that they were getting; still weren’t too convinced to head down when they had first relocated to Marina One in 2016 thinking it is overhyped Min Jjang Kueh. That being said, now that I am usually in this area, I did find myself curious to give them a go; the thought of having a savoury variant of the Min Jjang Kueh was pretty tempting on a day where I was looking for something light. Being a modern iteration of a typical Min Jjang Kueh stall, The Pantree not only serves up classic variants such as the Peanut Pancake and the Kaya Pancake, but also more inventive ones such as the Cookie Butter (Speculoos) variant and the Floss, Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg one as well. For folks looking for a more substantial eat, The Pantree also does serve up Curry Chicken, while the list of beverages here largely includes coffee.

We weren’t expecting much out of the Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg Pancake and Kaya Pancake which we had ordered — I mean, how different can Min Jjang Kueh be? That being said, we were impressed when we took our first bite into the pancakes; for one, the pancakes here are absolutely crisp — those looking for a Min Jiang Kueh that comes with shattering crisp edges should look no further. It is also little wonder how the pancakes here are so widely raved despite it being priced at a premium compared to others that are typically sold in coffeeshops and hawker centres; as one chews further into the pancake, the pancake does come with a substantial bite where the batter is of concern — it is also especially buttery, but not to the point that it becomes overly flavourful, greasy nor too dense. The Luncheon Meat, Cheese and Egg Pancake was like a sandwich in Min Jiang Kueh form — they are pretty reasonable with the portion of ingredients that go into each pancake. No doubt we did had the issue where the luncheon meat slides around the pancake as we are chewing through the pancake which can potentially make it a little bit of a messy experience, but the addition of cheese does create that classic umami flavour profile that one would get with melted sliced cheese in between their Min Jiang Kueh — the saltish notes of the luncheon meat being just about right here, while the egg brings all the elements together. Something which we found to be pretty suitable as a grab-and-go for breakfast or tea-break, or even just for light lunch.

Having finally tried the pancakes at The Pantree, we were pretty impressed — no doubt it does come at a price point slightly steeper than that of other similar stalls that we often find in the neighbourhoods, but the hype is real with this one; The Pantree is indeed an establishment that serves up artisanal local pancakes with pride and passion. It is also evidently so when you see the folks behind the counter in action — they seemed to have mastered the craft of doing so and in great precision; from preparing the batter to the way they top the fillings and to leave the pancakes to air on a rack with a fan to cool them down. It is that sort of place that we were initially having our doubts on, but definitely somewhere that we will be heading to just to grab a light bite just nearby now that we have finally tried them — a tale on how one should never judge a book by its cover!

Nuage Patisserie & Boulangerie is a spot that we really wanted to revisit after a long while — having tried several items including the Kaya Pandan Brioche previously when they had just opened their doors, we were already hoping to make a return visit some time. Wasn’t really planning to make our way here on the particular day that we actually made a revisit; swung by Nuage Patisserie & Boulangerie mid-day on a weekend and was left with a handful of items to choose from — thankfully was still able to give the Pain au Chocolat a try though, which was an item we had set our eyes on for quite a while.

First look and it is not too difficult to tell that the Pain au Chocolat at Nuage Patisserie & Boulangerie is pretty different from what is served at most other cafes — their Pain au Chooclat comes in a two-tone appearance with swirls of a darker shade amidst that usual pastry. Sinking our teeth into the pastry, we note that there aren’t much layering in their rendition; the one here can be said as a rather airy but we did notice how flaky and buttery the pastry is — was actually pretty satisfying despite the lack of distinct lamination as it seems. We really enjoyed the quality of the chocolate that they have used for the Pain au Chocolat here — not only was it bittersweet, we also loved how it didn’t feel particularly “heaty” for it did not burn the throat, whilst they were also pretty generous with the chocolate here; heating the pastry up also sees the chocolate to come with a more ganache-esque texture that made it pretty luxurious and decadent as well.

We have had a pretty good impression during our very first visit to Nuage Patisserie & Boulangerie and we are glad that they have stayed pretty consistent all these while. Whilst they had only been serving up cakes, breads and other forms of pastries when they had first opened their doors, we were glad to find that they have since also started to serve some form of hot savoury food for those who may be looking for a full meal here — items served in their food menu includes sandwiches such as a Sunshine Chick that comprises of toasted brioche bun, chicken sausage patties, sunny side-up, cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise, as well as mains such as a Roasted Chicken Stew. With their dedication is serving up delicious bakes through the use of quality ingredients and good execution, Nuage Patisserie & Boulangerie is certainly a spot which we are definitely looking forward to revisit yet again soon.

The trend for Basque Burnt Cheesecakes and Cheese Tarts had came and went, but was pretty surprised to be able to find a stall that only serves the two afore-mentioned items and more at Lau Pa Sat. Butter & Cream Bakery is a pretty new addition to the hawker centre, which has seen quite a number of new stalls serving pretty hipster cuisine having moved in to its premises ever since office workers have started to gradually return to their workplaces. What truly was a pretty sight is how they have lined their display counter with a wide variety of muffins — something which we found rather enticing despite the various types of egg tarts (they do have a Chocolate Egg Tart and a Salted Egg Lava Tart) and basque burnt cheesecakes that they have to offer. The items are pretty reasonably priced as well; the highest-priced being the Basque Burnt Cheesecake at $6.80.

Couldn’t resist to temptation so found ourselves ordering two bakes whilst waiting for the bus to head home for dinner — both of the bakes were pretty impressive but our pick between the two would be the Basque Burnt Cheesecake over the Original Egg Tart. Despite being a “hawker centre” Basque Burnt Cheesecake, the rendition served here at Butter & Cream Bakery puts some of the renditions served at cafes to shame — the Basque Burnt Cheesecake is light and creamy; not particularly jelak and easy to eat. Sinking the fork into the Basque Burnt Cheesecake, slicing the cheesecake was almost effortless — the cream cheese layer is decadent without being particularly overwhelmingly cheesy nor dense; all that with burnt top layer that carries a slight earthiness that gives a contrast to the savouriness. In retrospect, some may notice the thicker-than-usual crust for the egg tart; perhaps intentionally done so as the cookie-esque crust was not as dense as one would expect — crumbly, and does hold up the egg curd well despite being a tad soft. The egg curd was however smooth and jiggly; not too sweet and does work well as an entire package.

Western bakes and pastries are often a tough find hawker centres, so an establishment like Butter & Cream Bakery does come as a pleasant surprise — it being at Lau Pa Sat can be said as a safe move, considering how Lau Pa Sat had been pretty gentrified over the years with the opening of more hipster stalls targeting the office folk. What really truly impressed us is not its existence, but how they do serve up some very well-executed bakes that exceed those that some specialty cafes serve up — all at a rather reasonable price point. An option worth considering for post-meal dessert for office workers in the area, and also a spot for an easy grab-and-go for last minute office celebrations/treats if cakes and pastries are needed.

Dropped by the favourite place for the weekly cuppa and found some new pastries hiding behind the display shelf again — had never seen them offer galettes before so it is a surprise to find them serving up not one, but two new galettes on the day of our visit; one being the Rustic Apple Galette, and the other being a Rustic Peach Frangipane Galette.

Since we arrived Brawn & Brains after lunch, we only had stomach space to share just one galette — the Rustic Apple Galette being our choice of galette to go for. Patrons who wishes to go for an additional scoop or Vanilla Ice-Cream can choose to do so for an additional $4. Really liked how the puff pastry was not too dense here, yet enough to provide a good chew as one tears the galette apart; there is that slight fragrance of the dough amidst all the thin and soft apple slices over the top. Whilst the apple slices did carry a slight tang, there is a very light spread of cream cheese between the puff pastry and the apple slices to bring the two together — a pretty decently-sized pastry for one to finish.

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Yet another visit to the dining partner’s favourite place since Tarte by Cheryl Koh had just refreshed their plated dessert menu again. Their current rendition of the menu now features two soufflés that are new to their menu — the two being the Pistachio Soufflé and the Black Sticky Rice Soufflé, while there is also a new “Strawberry Texture” being listed in their current menu as well.

Opting for the Pistachio Soufflé since the dining partner is a big fan of all things pistachio, the item features a Sicilian Pistachio soufflé that is served alongside a Tulameen Raspberry sorbet. As with all the soufflés that we have tried at Tarte by Cheryl Koh, this one is consistent to their previous soufflé offerings where quality is of concern — smooth, airy and light. That being said, we rarely come across a soufflé that uses a type of nut for its base flavour — here, the slight saltish-ness of the pistachio is pretty evident in the soufflé, giving the soufflé a lingering nutty fragrance as one digs through the entire item. The Tulameen Raspberry sorbet helps to cut through those flavours with its zippy notes; served atop a bed of crushed pistachios, having them alongside the soufflé adds a nice crunch amidst the smooth textures of the soufflé for a bit of contrast.

Really liked how Tarte by Cheryl Koh did something that is slightly more out of the ordinary with their soufflés here this time; both the Pistachio Soufflé and the Black Sticky Rice Soufflé do sound like items that comes that are thoughtful with a unique twist — something more adventurous than the usual fruit-flavoured or alcoholic combinations that they used to offer in their previous renditions of the menu. Looking forward to give the Black Sticky Rice Soufflé a go the next round; does sound pretty interesting considering how it features a black sticky rice soufflé alongside an Alphonso Mango ice-cream; seemingly inspired by the Thai Mango Sticky Rice and also sounding very similar to their Alphonso Mango Tart served in a different format.

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Have been following Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert ever since their days at The Flow along East Coast Road — more or less also a destination which I would go for if I am craving for some Cantonese-style desserts whenever I am in the East. Naturally quite intrigued when they had first announced the opening of their new outlet at 291 South Bridge Road, which is a distance away from Chinatown MRT Station and also a stone’s throw away from Maxwell Food Centre, and the upcoming Maxwell MRT Station on the upcoming Phase 3 of the Thomson-East Coast Line once it is officially open. Taking over the former premises of the standalone outlet of Zion Road Big Prawn Noodle (the stall at Zion Riverside Food Centre is still in operation), the folks at Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert had done a total revamp of the space to include a front porch area that gives a segregation between the indoor dining hall, as well as the small outdoor dining area at the porch. Whilst the new outlet only features a dining area on the ground level as opposed to one that is split between the ground floor and a mezzanine level as per the outlet at The Flow, both outlets are decked in a similar style where wooden furnishing and fittings can be found amidst the largely white-coloured interior — though done in a way that also incorporates some form of oriental flavour but tastefully done for a modern touch. Just like their outlet at The Flow, the menu spans across various categories — the main focus here would definitely be on their Cantonese-style desserts which includes items like their Signature Ginger Milk Pudding, Peach Gum, Grass Jelly, Double Layered Milk, Sesame Paste etc., though finger food such as the Secret Sauce Chicken Wingette are also available. For those looking for something more substantial, they do also offer a limited selection of Chee Cheong Fun (think Mixed Sauce Chee Cheong Fun), and some noodle dishes as well. The menu here at South Bridge Road is said to be the same as the one served at The Flow, though the only outlet-exclusive item would be the tea menu, where patrons can opt for a pot of tea to enjoy with their choice of food items.

Hadn’t really tried the Sweet Glutinous Mixed Rice Balls with Chrysanthemum before at The Flow so decided to go for this instead. Coming with ginger soup, they have also included chrysanthemum flower alongside five glutinous rice balls of mixed flavours to go along. Taking a sip of the ginger soup, the ginger soup is light and refreshing — liked how the soup here is pretty clean without having been sweetened; there is a light hint of spiciness that slowly “warms up” to the throat here as one sips through the entire bowl, though it is of particular note that the floral infusion of chrysanthemum does not quite pull through here somehow. Of the five glutinous rice balls, two of them are of the “crystal” sort with sweet potato filling, while another two contains peanut fillings — the remaining rice ball contains black sesame filling. The glutinous rice balls do seem to be more of the commercial sort which is can be bought from supermarkets; they were decently bouncy without being overly sweet in general.

Jin Yu Man Tang Dessert has come quite a bit in its journey in the F&B scene in Singapore — having started quite a number of years ago, they have sailed through the period where restrictions were imposed on dine-in establishments due to the pandemic, whilst also becoming a rather popular choice for Cantonese-style dessert in the Katong neighbourhood. It is pretty heartening to see how they have come so far — their strongest suit perhaps being in their Signature Ginger Milk Pudding where it used to be served right in front of the patron with theatrics similar to what one would expect at a fine dining establishment. Whilst there are no new items being served in the menu at their South Bridge Road outlet during the time of our visit, this new outlet does serve as a more convenient location for those who have yet to visit the one at The Flow to try them out — probably also the outlet that I would head to if I am craving for their Signature Ginger Milk Pudding in the future as well!

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Went past the new King of Chendol at 79A Road Food Centre the other before they had opened and was told to come back on Sunday where they will be officially opened by then — so that was exactly what I did. The stall is situated rather close to the bus stop nearest to the two food centres; like most other chendol specialty stores that had sprouted up of the late (think Nyonya Chendol, Old Amoy Chendol, Ye Tang Chendol etc.), King of Chendol serves up only chendol on the menu — patrons can choose to opt for additional toppings on the standard chendol ranging from durian, attap seeds, red bean and sweet corn if they so wish to.

The basic chendol here comes only with shaved ice, red bean, pandan jelly, coconut milk, and Gula Melaka — those who wish to have attap seeds would have to opt for the add-on at 50 cents extra. First impressions of the chendol is how the pandan jelly used here seems to be made in-house; the pandan jelly Is of a duller hue than those generic ones that are typically served at most dessert stalls located in hawker centres. Digging into the entire bowl, it is noted that there was ample coconut milk being poured into the ice; the ice being soft and fluffy whilst also absorbing that earthy sweetness of the Gula Melaka that was drizzled onto it. Whilst we did initially feel that they could have been a little more generous with the Gula Melaka especially since the chendol here lacks of that glistening aesthetic that the chendol of some other chendol-centric stalls do serve up, we note that it did carry quite a balanced sweetness that didn’t quite overwhelm the other elements when all the ice had started to melt — also a move to control the level of sweetness for the chendol considering the older demographic that stays near the food centre which they are located. Otherwise, the pandan jelly does exude a light hint of pandan fragrance for those who look into the details, while the red beans included here goes towards the earthy side of things rather than being sweet yet providing a bit of a bite; something which melded well with the other elements in the bowl personally.

After having tried quite a number of chendol-centric establishments elsewhere, King of Chendol does seem to serve quite a competent bowl of chendol amongst the various homemade chendol establishments that we have visited. That being said, there is still a special place in our heart for Ye Tang Chendol especially — one of the places that really puts a lot of effort in the craft considering how they do proudly state that they use freshly-pressed coconut milk for their chendol which is a rare feat on its own. Still, King of Chendol is one stall that I am most likely to order from if I am craving for Chendol in the area — they do serve up a pretty good homemade chendol without a doubt, though I would definitely liked it even more if they are a little bit more generous on the Gula Melaka here in the future!

Was really pretty glad to hear of the news that Le Matin Patisserie was opening two more outlets when the news first broke out — always wanted to drop by their Raeburn Park spot (since closed) for their bakes ever since our first visit there but also found it a chore to head down to that location since it was a little out of the way; their latest two locations at Robinson 77 (which takes over the former premises of Mellower Coffee) and Porcelain Cafe at The Paragon are definitely more accessible. Headed down to the outlet at Robinson Road since it was bigger (and also wasn’t wanting to drop by a skincare shop to have their bakes, despite the one at Porcelain Cafe being nearer) in the late morning on a weekend and was greeted with a wide selection of sweet and savoury pastries — one display counter being dedicated to the sweet bakes which included the likes of eclairs, tarts and cakes, while the other is dedicated to viennoiserie such as the croissants; the variety being bigger than what was previously offered at Raeburn Park. This outlet also offers the Amazake Soft-Serve as well, where patrons can also opt for the soft-serve to come in either a cup of a croissant cone; beverages include the choice of bottled coffee as well as espresso-based coffee amongst other options.

We made were enticed with the various bakes that they have to offer and found ourselves opting for four items — three of which being sweets while one was a savoury item. The Wagyu & Bone Marrow Sausage Roll was something that really quite stood out amongst the range of viennoiseries offered here — not quite the most affordable of the lot since this pastry is priced at $15.00 alone, though the elements used are not quite common for a sausage roll. Slicing through the pastry, it is noted how the pie pastry is immensely crisp and flaky — there wasn’t much of a need to wrestle with the pastry with a fork and knife since it disintegrated easily; all that whilst being buttery and fragrant. Inside, the sausage roll features a sausage that is made of wagyu beef and bone marrow hence the namesake; the sausage roll is immensely meaty and savoury — well-seasoned for flavour but it was the bone marrow that made the difference here. The inclusion of the bits of bone marrow gave a bit of a crunch for a textural contrast — all that whilst giving somewhat of a nuttiness that rounded off the meatiness pretty nicely. Topped with garlic confit over the top, it provides a soft — almost melt-in-the-mouth, buttery and garlicky note that goes with the meaty sausage fillings; very delicious, and something probably only meant for those with a heavier palate that is willing to explore into something a little more adventurous from the usual.

Apart from the Wagyu & Bone Marrow Sausage Roll, we also tried other items that included the Pain Perdu — one of the items belonging to the new range of breakfast-inspired desserts, as well as the Goat’s Milk Eclair; the latter which we found to be particularly intriguing with a rather evident hint of “gaminess” from the goat’s milk cream filling that was piped within that was well-balanced off with an aptly sweet milk chocolate that adorns the exterior of the eclair. We had also revisited the Canele which we previously had at their Raeburn Park outlet — still as good with its crisp exterior and soft interior despite being of a size larger than usual Caneles sold elsewhere. Le Matin Patisserie has grown a lot since their early days being an online patisserie that has established their presence during the nation’s Circuit Breaker — and the hype comes with reason; being an alumni of various renowned patisseries and restaurants worldwide such as that of Adriano Zumbo Patisserie (Australia), Black Star Pastry (Australia), the now-defunct Restaurant Andre (Singapore), and Noma (Copenhagen), the execution and detail placed in each creation speaks for itself, whilst being consistently satisfying. With the expansion of Le Matin Patisserie, we do hope that the quality of their creations remain as consistent as they were — all that whilst they continue to innovate with the bold flavour pairings that they are best known for. We wish the folks being Le Matin Patisserie all the best in what is to come in the future — would definitely find ourselves back to try the other items such as the Amazake soft-serve as well as the Smoked Cruffin when we drop by in the future!

I really do have a soft spot for ice-cream, but I must say I am one who is particularly drawn towards affordable Japanese grab-and-go ice-creams; you know, the likes of Chateraise’s ice-creams — I even remembered those days as university student where I simply walked around the mall with one at hand. So I was pretty intrigued when I found out there is yet another brand offering cheap grab-and-go ice-creams these days — not really Japanese since it is by a relatively familiar brand called Paris Baguette that has its roots from Korea, but it is definitely close enough.

Having recently introduced their new range of products involving ice-cream, the ice-creams are only available in select outlets that has a dedicated chiller storing the lineup of products — locations that I have come across that I recall seeing the display fridge off the bat included the outlets at Northpoint City, [email protected], AMK Hub and JEM; pretty sure that there are more outlets than what I have listed that are carrying the ice-cream products. Whilst most of the flavours do sound a little run-of-the-mill despite the usage of more premium ingredients in general compared to the commercially-made ones usually found in supermarkets, it is the Real Watermelon Ice Bar that is the centre of attraction here. This undoubtedly sounds like a refreshing flavour, but the catch is in the description — Paris Baguette describes the Real Watermelon Ice Bar as “Non-sour strawberry sorbet ice cream with crunchy chocolate balls ending with melon at the end” according to its website and the description card in the display fridge labelling the product; one can literally say that no watermelons were harmed in the making of the Real Watermelon Ice Bar, which directly goes against the namesake. Kudos to Paris Baguette on this one though — the non-sour strawberry sorbet ice-cream carried a hint a very light hint of sweetness that was pretty refreshing; so much so that it tasted almost similar to watermelon. This, alongside with the texture of the icy sorbet, seeming replicated that refreshing crunch of biting through a juicy watermelon — something we thought was exceptionally genius especially coming out of a brand that is also largely seen as commercial as well. It doesn’t simply stop here — the addition of crunchy chocolate balls brings it closer to the actual fruit by replicating that texture one often associate with watermelon seeds; so much that a friend nearly spitted them out until realising that they were chocolate coated wafer balls when he tasted a hint of bittersweet chocolate from within. To make the Real Watermelon Ice Bar look just like a wedge of watermelon stuck with an ice-cream stick, Paris Baguette went with a layer of melon ice-cream at the bottom — the very same ice-cream used for their Melon Ice Bar which we had previously tried and thought was a very good alternative to McDonald’s limited-time only Yubari Melon soft-serve but creamier with the same intensity of melon sweetness. The inclusion of the melon ice-cream in the Real Watermelon Ice Bar is a sound move — somewhat replicates the skin of the watermelon that bears somewhat of a neutral, yet “melon-y” note. Overall, something which really exceeded my expectations of what Paris Baguette can deliver — they were really pushing the boundaries with this one and I must say I was left impressed; definitely going to check out their ice-cream freezers more frequently to see what sort of surprises lie in there if they were to ever release more varieties of ice-cream in time to come.

PS: Paris Baguette is currently running a promotion for their Real Watermelon Ice Bar that makes it a steal to get — whilst the listed price is $2.90 each, there is an ongoing 1-for-1 promotion only for the Real Watermelon Ice Bar till the end of June 2022. Not endorsed or sponsored by Paris Baguette here, but I honestly wouldn’t mind downing two of these at a go considering how oddly refreshing and watermelon-like they are especially when it comes to the non-sour strawberry sorbet here!

Saw the flavours which Apiary had collaborated with Uniqlo for the opening of Uniqlo’s newest outlet at [email protected] and was actually pretty interested to try them out. While the promotion where Uniqlo customers could get a scoop of Apairy’s ice-cream for free at the said Uniqlo outlet with a minimum spend of $80 had since ended, Apiary is offering the three flavours in collaboration with Uniqlo at their Jubilee Square outlet for a limited time only.

Of the three flavours created in line for the Apiary x Uniqlo collaboration, we found ourselves going for the Hokkaido Milk x Local Honey flavour — itself being quite a symbolic creation between both brands if one reads in between the lines. It is a combination of Japanese and local elements — Uniqlo being a Japanese brand, while Apiary being a locally born-and-bred ice cream parlour. Uniqlo is also known for being particularly simplistic in its apparel; pretty much the “Hokkaido Milk” ice-cream flavour when compared to other clothing brands — the inclusion of local honey perhaps being loosely linked to Apiary’s namesake, which refers to a place where bees are kept. The combination of both elements is an ice-cream flavour that is simple, unpretentious, yet not being too plain — the Hokkaido Milk ice-cream base is smooth, creamy and milky with this particularly fragrance that is well-associated with Hokkaido Milk. It is the pool of local honey that is drizzled onto the scoop of Hokkaido Milk Ice-Cream that is particularly alluring — there is a particular floral note here that is strangely zingy, but we really liked how it also wasn’t cloyingly sweet; pretty much giving the Hokkaido Milk ice-cream a twist that is rather interesting to say the least.

Apiary has gone pretty far from its days as a freshly started up business at Neil Road back then — they have since expanded their operations to multiple outlets; the latest one being more of a pop-up nature being housed in Antler at Bencoolen Street alongside Shake Coffee. There have also been some notable collaborations; that includes the one which they had with Tsuta some time back. In it’s latest collaboration with Uniqlo, we are also pretty interested in the White Peach Gingerflower Sorbet as well — perhaps something that we would check out if we were to give the Jubilee Square outlet a visit before the limited run ends!

Remembered passing by the Katong V outlet of Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe when they had opened their first outpost there — thought the bakes looked really authentic even though we are probably the wrong folks to judge how authentic the items are considering we hadn’t come across a Burek in our lives ever — so much that we had to give them a try and we were left rather impressed. Was doing some shopping around the City Hall area and was pretty surprised to find yet another outlet of Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe that had just opened — this time taking over the former premises of Eggstop and Truedan at CityLink Mall. Just as per their original outlet at Katong V, Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe has its display shelves and fridges lined up facing the main shopping aisle of the mall, enticing shoppers with the wide variety of Yugoslavian bakes that they serve up; all that whilst having an interior that features a faux bricks wall with wooden floors, furniture and fittings — a pretty cosy and welcoming look. The new outlet also boasts a larger dine-in area as its previous space; all that whisker serving up a pretty similar selection of bakes that are also available at Katong V.

We have tried the Burek (Beef) and the Vasa’s Cake alongside the Balkan Coffee during our previous visit to their Katong V outlet — thought it would be great to go along with their Baklava and their Spanish Latte this time. Available in packs of 4 pieces of 6 pieces, the Baklava is described as a “dessert made of layer pastry, filled with nuts and sweet syrup” on the description card labelling the item in the display fridge — it is also claimed to be 100% handmade as well. Here, the Baklava comes tightly packed so it comes with a pretty firm bite; the top layer being flaky and somewhat crispy whilst going down below is where the nutty flavours are going to come from. Chewing through each layer, the sugar syrup oozes out a little; just sweet enough to bind all the elements together without getting overly sweet. Would say that it would have gone well with the Balkan Coffee especially which we previously tried — something similar to that of Turkish Coffee though with a lighter body and cleaner finish, though it does pair quite fine with the Spanish Coffee (only served hot here, in case one is to used to the one available at %Arabica which popularised the item) if one must have milk in their coffee.

It is pretty amazing to see how Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe had since grown to an establishment that operates more than one outlet — something which caught us by surprise considering how low profile they had been ever since we visited their Katong V outpost which has rarely been spoken about. That being said, its expansion into a centralised location may be a good move to bring Yugoslavian culture and its food closer to the masses — a to-visit spot if one truly wishes to experience something that is less commonly found around!

Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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