When Sydney-based celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda's cakes were introduced at the recent Epicurean Market food event at Marina Bay Sands, there were long queues.
Like many other people, I did not get the chance to try them then.
But now, you do not have to dine at chef Wakuda's Waku Ghin restaurant to taste the picture-perfect cakes.
A range of 18 pastries and petite cakes are available at Patisserie Platine at Rise Lounge, located at the lobby of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 1.
Executive pastry chef Yasushi Ishino heads the team making the cakes with finesse and attention to detail.
You will be spoilt for choice, so pick a couple to share with friends. As the cakes are light on the palate and not too sweet, it is possible to try a few without feeling stuffed.
Some of my favourites include the Ghin Cheese Cake, which has been the most popular dessert at the restaurant since it opened in 2010.
It is the lightest cheese cake I have ever eaten, balanced well with the slightly tart lemon curd centre.
For a refreshing tropical option, go for the Coconut Mousse with Mango and Passion Fruit. I am not normally a fan of coconut-based desserts, but in this case, it is a perfect combination of flavours encased in passion fruit and mango glaze.
Another highlight is the Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry and Pistachio (photo). It includes chocolate sponge soaked in raspberry brandy syrup, pistachio crunch, pistachio mousse, raspberry sauce, chocolate mousse and a chocolate.
I like how the pistachio flavour is worked into the dessert to complement the chocolate, and not used just as a garnish or afterthought.
The cakes are priced between $10++ and $12++. The macaron selection is priced at $25++ for a box of 12.
WHERE: Patisserie Platine, Rise Lounge, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Tower 1, Lobby MRT: Bayfront OPEN: From 11am daily TEL: 6688-5568 INFO: www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants/cafe/rise-lounge.html
DEUTSCHE SKILLET PANCAKES
When it comes to cafe fare, I am all waffled out, and even pancakes can be boring after a while.
However, d'Good Cafe in Holland Village has introduced Deutsche skillet pancakes that are worth trying.
The pancakes, also known as Dutch baby pancakes or German pancakes, are baked in a cast iron oven.
I start first with The Classic ($8), which is served with lemon juice, maple syrup and cream cheese. You cannot really go wrong with this combination and the sour lemon juice balances the sweet syrup.
The pancake is not too dense and it puffs up in the oven, almost like a souffle. The texture is like a cross between a crepe and a pancake.
I also like the Apple Crumble ($12), with caramelised apples and marshmallows.
I prefer the sweet version of the pancakes, but I can see why the savoury ones are popular too.
The Black Pepper Beef Salad ($12, photo), topped with poached egg, sundried tomatoes and truffle oil, is a pretty filling meal on its own, and the flavours match better than I expect.
Other options include button mushroom; banana, rum and raisin; and sweet corn.
WHERE: d'Good Cafe, 02-01/02, 273 Holland Avenue MRT: Holland Village OPEN: 10am - 10pm (Sun - Thu), 10am - 11pm (Fri and Sat) TEL: 6219-9807 INFO: http://dgoodcafe.com/
FRIED CHICKEN AND BURGERS AT WILDFIRE
One of my guilty pleasures is fried chicken, an instant mood-lifter. So at Wildfire Burgers, I am definitely in a good mood when I order its recently launched fried chicken.
Juicy chicken thigh chunks are fried to crisp perfection and the pieces are boneless to boot. The three options are Sichuan pepper salt fried chicken, umami fried chicken with yuzu kosho mayonnaise, and sticky nam prik pao (Thai chilli paste) fried chicken.
My favourite is the nam prik pao one. It is well-marinated and coated with just enough of the sticky spicy sauce without making the skin soggy. I also enjoy the umami fried chicken, although I wish there is more of the yuzu kosho mayonnaise. It has a light hint of heat, which does not mask the yuzu flavour.
The Sichuan pepper option is not as spicy as I imagine. The ground Sichuan peppercorn gives the meat a fragrant aroma and a tingle to the lips.
The fried chicken is priced at $13 (six pieces) for each flavour.
If you still have space, don't miss Wildfire's Halloween edition black ebi burger ($23, photo). A prawn patty sits between charcoal brioche buns, with butterhead lettuce, sliced tomatoes, grilled pumpkin, yuzu kosho mayonnaise and squid ink aioli.
The patty has generous chunks of prawn and I like the inclusion of grilled pumpkin for added sweetness.
WHERE: Wildfire Burgers, 26 Evans Road MRT: Botanic Gardens OPEN: 10am - 10.30pm (Mon - Thu), 8.30am - 10.30pm (Fri - Sun) TEL: 6734-2080 INFO: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
After opening at The Centrepoint in July, the famous Mak's Noodle from Hong Kong now has a second outlet at Westgate mall in Jurong East and I am pleased that the new branch serves congee.
Menu options include beef, prawn, pork liver, fish, and century egg and pork congee. Prices start at $7.50, or $3.50 for a bowl of plain congee with dried scallop.
I go for the Mak's An Congee ($12, photo), which has chunks of tender chicken, pork liver slices, mushroom and one big prawn.
The congee is smooth and thick and tasty on its own, with no extra seasoning required. I also like the addition of dried scallop and julienned ginger.
For the best of both worlds, order a side of wonton soup ($6.90) to complete the meal.
After all, something soothing in this hazy weather is always welcome.
WHERE: Mak's Noodle, Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive MRT: Jurong East OPEN: 11am - 10pm daily TEL: 6235-5778