Hatter Street Cafe, the hipster cafe near Kovan MRT

Hatter Street – Bakehouse & Cafe

Address (Google Map): 212 Hougang Street 21, #01-333, Singapore 530212

Opening hours: 1:00pm – 10:00pm, closed on Monday

Introduction

When i first know about Hatter Street Cafe, i was quite excited as there are rather limited (hipster) cafes along the north-east MRT line. Hatter Street Cafe is walking distance away from Kovan MRT and it’s literally beside a rather well-known Thai neighborhood eatery Nakhon Kitchen (see my previous review).

When i first visited this place, i remember it was not as crowded,  and a fatherly figure attended to my order. Not knowing that i blog about food, he was so painstakingly selling the pastry concepts, the thoughts behind it and explaining the effort put in in decorating the cafe in hoping to get more returning customers. i figured that he may be the father of the boss and if he really is, that’s a good father all right!

Hatter Cafe is a rather cosy restaurant that has an indoor sitting capacity of no more than thirty pax. The interior design is inspired by the popular animation Alice in Wonderland. It sells mainly drinks, pasteries and waffles. Apart from their brownies and waffles, i think they do not have a fix food menu.  What ever you see in their fridge is what ever you can order for the day.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Waffles drizzled in Salted Caramel $8.90

I had this twice and it’s still as good on the second time.  In fact I thought the portion is bigger. Their waffle is exceptionally crispy and yet the inside remain moist. I find caramel sauce quite sweet most of the time but not for Hatter’s salted caramel. There is a good balance between the sweet and salty taste that goes perfectly with the waffle.

There’s no complain for their ice-cream. It’s rich, creamy and good till the last drop. At a price of $8.50, this should be among the best waffles (in term of taste + value) that i had.

Pandan Ice Cream Waffle with Gula Melaka $8.90

This is also another interesting flavour as Hatter decides to drizzle their waffle with Gula Melaka and pair it with a unique pandan flavour ice cream. It is largely popular on social media and many said that it’s the best waffle that they ever had.

For me, the pandan ice cream don’t taste exactly like what I imagined it to be, probably lacking the fragrance of a real pandan leaf but the Gula Melaka drizzle works for me. This is good but if you ask me, I prefer the vanilla ice cream waffle with salted caramel.

Alice (White Chocolate Brownie) with Home Made Ice Cream $6.80

Apparently the intended signature dish of Hatter Cafe is their home made brownies. However the waffle is much more popular instead. With much curiosity, i ordered their white chocolate brownie.

As expected, the cocoa taste is not as rich as a typical brownie but the sweet milky white chocolate taste is unique in it’s own way. The brownie is not too dry but lacks in texture. It taste like a compact sponge cake. I feel that their brownie is ok, but if I know in advance that their waffle is sold out, i probably won’t specially make a trip down for their brownie.

Other Pastries

Here is a list of what you may find In Hatter Street Cafe:

Chocolate Ice Cream Whoaffles with Chocolate Sauce – $8.90

Mad Hare – $7.50 (Rich Brownie topped with Home Made Ice Cream)

Alice – $6.80 (White Chocolate Brownie served with Home Made Ice Cream)

Oh My 天 – $7.50 (Cookies and Cream Brownie with Oreo Ice Cream)

Kick 来 Liao – $6.20 (Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake)

It’s so Kumquat – $6.00 (A Chinese New Year inspired Tart)

Smoked Saw Dust Pudding – $5.00 (Experience Macau through the journey of food)

To Arthur with Love – $6.20 (Guiness & Tiramisu)

水井坊 Tiramisu – $6.20 (Tribute to a very fragrant Chinese White Wine)

Conclusion

Apparently Hatter Street Cafe intend to market their home-baked brownie as their signature dish but it is their waffle that stood out in the end and I totally agree. For those who love crispy waffle, i am willing to bet that you will enjoy this. For the first to comment that you don’t like these waffles, i’ll do up a review base on your choice of restaurant. Not too ex please. Hahaha.

One thing to improve is the air conditioning. During busy time,  the air-con is not strong enough and the cafe is a little hot, especially when people are going In and out of the cafe. Apart from that, Hatter Street Cafe had made it’s way into my list of best waffle in Singapore.

Advertisements

St. Marc Cafe – Simple and delightful pleasure

St. Marc Cafe (Vivo Branch)

Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-108-110 Vivo City

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Mon to Thu, Sun) 10:00am – 10:30pm (Fri, Sat)

St. Marc Cafe (Marina Square Branch)

Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-105/184/185 Marina Square

Opening hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Everyday)

Introduction

There are two branches in Singapore and i personally prefers the Marina Square branch as it is more spacious with a larger seating capacity, so there’s no or little waiting time to get a seat. This branch is only opposite Lady M Confections. I was attracted by the colorful display of their desserts outside their shop and decided to have a try.

Click to enlarge

St. Marc Cafe mainly serve bread, pasty, sandwiches, soft serve and their most popular Chococro and Little Fuji. Their soft serve dessert mainly range from S$6.30 for the little Fuji to S$8.80 for their Choco Banana Split. I thought St. Marc Cafe is an ideal place to have rest and to re-energise myself with a quick sugar boost.

St. Marc Cafe’s items are not exactly the most premium or the most special of all. However, their simple and yet delightful dishes are the reasons why i re-visited this cafe again. It’s the piping hot Chococro chocolate filling that attracted me back, and the crispy biscuit-like crust of the Little Fuji that made me want to visit this place again.

Little Fuji – S$6.30

I actually think this is one of the star of the show of St. Marc Cafe. Many people are either ordering this Little Fuji, or the Choco Banana Fuji, with added chocolate sauce and banana.

So what exactly is the Little Fuji? It’s a freshly toasted buttery flavor croissant dough with soft serve with caramel sauce. There is always at 5 to 10 minutes of waiting time for this Little Fuji and to collect at the counter when it’s ready.  Therefore Little Fuji is always served piping hot and it’s duper crispy.

It’s arguable that the ice-cream taste a little like McDonald’s but what does it matter when the combination of the croissant with soft serve is too good to nitpick.

The Signature Original Chococro (S$2.40)

By the name Chococro, it actually stands for Chocolate Croissant. Best part about this? When it’s freshly out from the oven, or at the minimum, it’s warm.

Somehow a pastry can’t go too wrong when there is warm molten hazelnut chocolate and warm crispy croissant involved.  This is quite an ideal snack to go with a cup of latte even if you are feeling a little full from a meal. The portion is just right, and the chocolate is not too greasy so it’s almost always a good time to have a Chococro.

Seasonal Flavor – Matcha Daifuku Chococro (S$2.60)

Daifuku (大福) literally means “Great Luck”. Daifuku is a Japanese confection consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweetened red bean paste. So a Matcha Daifuku Chococro is a actually a confection within a pastry. I initially thought the white filling is green bean paste but i think it’s actually mochi, and was stuff into the croissant together with the red bean paste and matcha cream. This is a rather interesting flavor which is not easily found elsewhere. Catch it before there’s a change in season.

Salsa Egg and Custard Bread (S$3.50)

Apart from sweet stuff, St. Marc also offers some savory items like sandwich and bread. There are actually plenty of ingredients in the Salsa Egg Bread – salsa sauce, mayonnaise, bacon slices, pepper and whole egg. It’s almost as good as it looks and only too bad the egg is quite well cooked. It would be best if the egg is only half cooked with the runny egg yolk. The price is also not exactly the cheapest in it’s class.

Custard Bread with Almond Flakes (S$2.60)

This bread is rather pricey at $2.60, but you will be able to tell the difference between a $2.60 and $1.50. The warm creamy custard flows out from the bread upon cutting it into two. Comparing to ordinary custard, this one has a stronger and aromatic milk taste. The bread’s texture is similar to Barcook’s Raisin Cheese but a little bit softer. This or Chococro at the same price of S$2.60? After some consideration, Chococro will be my choice! But this is actually not bad too.

Conclusion

I still ordered their Little Fuji or Chococro for my subsequent visits. I personally prefer their croissant dishes rather than their bread. St. Marc Cafe’s ambiance is very similar to Starbucks or Coffeebean kind of ambiance and can reasonably sit for as long as i like. The one thing i like about St. Marc Cafe is their patrons can get free cold water from their water dispenser. This means that i can get to rest in this cafe, and spending only S$2.60 on one Chococro, and to rehydrate myself for free.

Once again, i need to emphasis that St. Marc cafe is not offering the most special kind of pastry, or the nicest pastry in Singapore. Their dishes are some very safe recipe that can’t go wrong easily. I personally like them for the reasonable price and the overall comfort offered to their patrons. Sometimes, life’s simple pleasure can be the best kind.

Lady M Confections Singapore – Crepe Cakes, Strawberry Shortcake and more

Lady M Confections Singapore

Marina Square Shopping Mall, 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-103

Opening hours: 11.00 am – 9.00 pm

Introduction

Lady M Confections Singapore markets itself as a popular confectionery situated in New York. This is only their fifth outlet worldwide and best known for their signature light cream crepe cake. They also offer other dessertss like strawberry shortcake, chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cake, baked cheesecake, Eclair, Mont Blanc, and many more.

The checkers. Looks good, and the chocolate layer is good, but it’s actually an ordinary sponge cake in the center.

I visited this place on a weekday evening at about 6.15pm and i was rather surprised that there was not much crowd. Probably the crowd will come after dinner? Apart from the signature crepe cake and strawberry short cake, i asked for recommendation from the counter staff and this guy recommended their banana mille feuille.

*Update 24 June 2014*

New menu with indicated price. The green tea crepe cake has became part of their regular menu and Lady M is now selling savoury items. I haven’t try it though, but it looks pretty expensive to pay $21.06 net for a ham and cheese sandwich.

Updated Menu: Click to enlarge

Green Tea Crepe Cake ($8.50)

For people who don’t like something too sweet and creamy, their Green Tea Crepe Cake is a better choice than the original crepe cake. Many said that the green tea version is better than the original. For me, i thought the green tea taste is a little too heavy though, but i figure out that those who really like green tea may like this. I still prefer the original crepe cake.

Signature Crepe Cake (S$7.50 S$8.00)

Lady M’s signature crepe cake took around ten hours of preparation before serving in the restaurant which they proudly boast that their crepe is so thin and finely prepared that there are at least twenty layers of crepes and cream in every slice of Lady M’s crepe cake.

The cream is really soft and smooth, until some point, if it’s left in the open for a while, the crepe cake will just collapse when I try to cut it with the fork. I recommend them to provide fork and knife for this cake.

The fillings had a very light aromatic cream taste followed by a bit of sweet condensed milk after-taste. I thought it would be really ideal if the cream can just be a little less sweet. The paper-thin crepe is really good. Much much better than some that I had tried some where the crepe is so thick that I can feel that I am biting on the flour.

If i am comparing this to the very well-known Malacca’s Nadeje crepe cake, and not mentioning about the price, i much prefer the texture of Nadeje’s. Here are some photos of Nadeje’s crepe cakes:

Their crepe cake can be sliced through beautifully by using just a fork and therefore I can taste the well-defined crepe and the layering of their aromatic cream with every bite. But I thought it’s because Nadeje kept their cakes slightly chilled. To be fair, Lady M’s crepe cake fares better than quite some of the crepe cakes that I had.

Strawberry short cake (S$7.50 S$8.50)

This cake is also one of their specialties. The best part of this cake is for it’s center sponge cake portion and I can say that it’s not too exaggerating to say that it literally melts in my mouth. I quite like the overall texture of the cake, with a layer of strawberry puree at the center with thinly sliced sweet sour strawberries mixed into the cream.

And for those who are going to try this out, can you tell me did you taste a tinge of hazelnut in it’s cream? I know it’s weird, but i really tasted some kind of nut taste in the cream.

Banana Mille Feuille (S$8.00 S$8.50)

Their mille feuille is unlike the traditional mille feuille, the strudel pastry is crushed and sprinkled generously on a thick layer of cream and sliced banana. I thought the cream would be infused with banana but it didn’t so this cake did not surprise me as much. The cream taste really fresh and somewhat similar to the crepe cake’s cream but with a layer of vanilla sponge cake in the middle. This taste quite decent, but if you ask me, i will choose the crepe cake over this anytime.

Gâteau aux Marrons (S$7.50)

I did a look up for Gâteau aux Marrons (pronounced as Gair Two Ox Meh Ron) and it means “Brown/Chestnut Cake” in French. The top layer is covered with sweet chestnut infused cream topped with crushed walnut, and it’s slightly, only slightly sweet for my preference. Another layer of non-sweetened cream is sandwiched by two layers of almond flour.

I like the Almond flour layer very much, easily the best part of the cake. I think the whole idea is to not eat the layers separately, like what i did, as i wanted to taste what exactly are these layers, so that the sweet cream layer will balance with the non-sweetened cream. The taste of this cake is rather refreshing and glad that i tried this.

Conclusion

*update on 24 June 2014*

It had been lest than 9 months and i noticed that price for most cakes had increased. The strawberry short cake increased it price from $8.75 net to $9.95 net and that’s a 13.7% increase. It seems not as worth it as before, especially with so many new cafes popping up that offers similar dessert at a much more reasonable price.

Apparently, seems like Lady M did not bring on the hype that i was expecting, which is a good thing. I don’t want to queue for 120 minutes just for some Dim Sum. Anyway, I thought Lady M is quite decent, and may come to my mind if i am looking for a decent dessert in Marina/Suntec area.

Probably i will also feast on the crepe cake immediately when it’s served. I wonder did i take too long to shoot the cake and that is why the cream melted. Lady M, can you also serve me with a knife next time so that i won’t make a mess out of my crepe cake.

Baker Talent (Serangoon Branch)

Baker Talent

Address: Blk 261 Serangoon Central #01-11

Opening hours: 9.00am – 10.00pm daily

Other Branches

Boon Lay: Blk 221 Boon Lay Shopping Centre #01-154
Clementi: Blk 442 Clementi Avenue 3 #01-89
Choa Chu Kang: Blk 303 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4 #01-723
Jurong West 1: Blk 495 Jurong West St 51 #01-100
Jurong West 2: Blk 964 Jurong West St 91 #01-1338
Tampines: Blk 828 Tampines St 81 #01-266
Yishun 1: Blk 415 Yishun Ave 11 #01-319
Yishun 2: Blk 846 Yishun Ring Road #01-3633

Introduction

Where can you get the cheapest golden sand custard bun (黄金流沙包) in Singapore? Baker Talent’s golden custard bun only cost me $0.90 each. This bakery’s bread is not exactly the best tasting one in Singapore but i can say that it’s definitely one of the cheapest around town and the taste is actually quite decent.

The price of every bread in the Baker Taleny does not exceed S$1.00 each. Even the Polo Char Siew bun only cost me S$0.95. That’s cheap isn’t it?

I have yet to try this “Butter Boom” (爆浆奶油) at only S$0.60. A friend told me the taste is only so-so and the butter don’t even “burst” out. If anyone had tried before, feel free to leave a comment on the taste.

Golden Sand Custard Bun

Baker Talent had kept the price of their Golden Sand Custard Bun at a “promotional price” at $0.90 for a couple of years since their opening in Singapore. I had also tried Barcook Bakery’s version and the main difference between the two is taste of salted egg yolk. Barcook Bakery’s version is more buttery and sweet and i can’t taste any salted egg yolk while the Baker Talent’s version is almost similar to those at Dim Sum place but only it’s the bread version. I prefer Baker Talent’s to Barcook Bakery’s because i like the salted egg yolk taste rather much. The custard is smooth with a moderate taste of salty egg yolk but the only thing is it’s a little sweet.

It may not be the best tasting molten custard bread bun around and… wait… there aren’t many molten custard bread bun around in Singapore! And don’t forget it’s only S$0.90. I thought this is value for money at a rather decent taste.

Polo Char Siew Bao

I also think that this should be Singapore’s cheapest Polo Char Siew Bao at only S$0.95. A crystal jade bakery one would had cost me about S$1.50? The crust on top taste a little like a less sweet butter cookie coating and the Char Siew is a little bit dryer, comparing to Crystal Jade’s but taste is OK.

Conclusion

Again i need to emphasis this may not be the best tasting bakery in Singapore, i thought that Baker Talent offers their bread at a great value and i hope the price remains this way. I still remembered Barcook Bakery’s nachos cheese bread only cost S$1.20 and now it’s like S$1.60 or $1.70.

The bread of Baker Talent is soft and fluffy enough for same day consumption and if you are really broke and waiting for pay day, why not drop by to stock up some bread. LOL.