The pastry scene in Singapore seems to be getting more interesting over the past year or so, with quite a number of new outlets opening up, sometimes in places least expected. Many of them operate as cafes or coffee shops, the seeming craze in Singapore now, offering cakes and pastries in interesting flavours and combinations to woo the crowd. This was especially so with the SG50 jubilee celebrations going on this year, which brought innovative creations like pulot hitam cake, orh nee tart etc, to stay relevant to the theme. I very much hope this stream of creativity is not just a sudden spur, but instead would continue to encourage our local budding bakers and pastry chefs to work harder to create a pastry enjoyment culture which would be here to stay.
Patisserie Platine joins the scene as one of the latest kid on the block and arrives with much pomp and circumstance, launched by the haute dining Japanese cuisine establishment Waku Ghin, under the helmage of celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda. Some like-minded pastry loving friends and I made a date to come here, not only to sample the wide range of pastries Patisserie Platine provides, but also to soak in the ambience it has to offer.
Wondering down the streets of Central, Hong Kong after our morning walk in the Mid-levels/Soho area, we were feeling a little hungry and could sit down somewhere for a pitstop. In between meals, we didn’t want something too heavy so high tea seemed like the perfect choice. There are many 5-star hotels dotted along the coastal stretch overlooking Victoria Harbour from Sheung Wan all the way to Causeway Bay. Since we just came out of H&M along Queen’s Road Central, it seem to make sense to head in the direction of Pedder Street to a place which I have on my “to-eat/do” list. We didn’t make reservations as high tea here isn’t part of the travel itinerary but we are here nonetheless to try our luck. Thankfully, it was a lazy weekday afternoon and there were empty tables available, though not very many. High Tea @ Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon it seems destined to be…
If I have to pick a confection which I love to eat and eat a lot, it has to be scones. In fact. there was a point in time a couple of years ago when scones become much of a personal fanaticism when I snacked on them at every opportuned moment. Much to my disgruntlement, they are not the easiest pastry to find here in Singapore, barring sophisticated English High-Tea sets at 5-star hotel cafes. The latter usually mean a hefty price tag which isn’t exactly appealing for me. The Connoisseur Concerto (previously The Coffee Connoisseur) serve them as part of their afternoon tea sets but the quality seemed inconsistent. A local bakery chain, Four Leaves produce fairly decent-tasting ones, and its here that I get my supplies. Still, me aint entirely satisfied, which leaves my stomach still lingering…
A couple of months ago, I chanced upon Chef Gregoire Michaud’s blog and incidentally his scone recipe, which he professed to be from a well-known afternoon tea joint in London. While I have complete faith in its authenticity, I was skeptical if such delicious stuff could be so simple to make. So the recipe was bookmarked but KIVed for quite a while but never materialised. Then more recently, Chef Gregoire was featured in a video for Wall Street Journal. Watching the expert at work certainly helped. And when I finally saw the product at the end of the video, I was sold! They really looked imbued with all the desirable qualities of what I look out for in a good scone, the right degree of crumbliness, the right degree of crusty appeal on the outside and the right degree of soft and buttery textures on the inside. Sound really anal retentive I know. But while some discoveries were made through accidents or luck, many good things are really produced through sheer perserverance and being anal retentive, to the last detail.