CHOCOLATE RESEARCH FACILITY
Wheelock Place (#02-10)
T: (+65) 6235 8595
Willie Wonka, meet Karl Largerfield, and allow me to introduce Heston Blumenthal: Chocolate goes chic, laboratory style. Form does not outweigh substance though and the chocolate is good – just as long as you don’t like dark choc, as they don’t have much. Try the champagne or lychee martini bar from their Alcohol Series, or the more unusual Szechuan Pepper from the Exotic Series. There is also a Tea, Coffee and (just love it) Seasonal Series which changes with the Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter fashion seasons, offering new flavours twice a year – in February and September respectively. All important cocoa solids stand at 44% for milk chocolate, 55% for dark choc with nuts and 76% is sleekly packaged within their darkest bar. The Millennia Walk branch (#01-30; T: (+65) 6338 5191) also has a small café serving tea, coffee and juices. Chocolate prices range from $8-12.
Opening Times: 11am-9pm daily (both stores)
Ion Orchard (#B4-10)
2 Orchard Turn
T: (+65) 6509 9340
The aptly named Japanese chocolatier that is the Rolls-Royce of chocolate sophistication in Singapore. Try their Nama Chocolate (chocolate + fresh cream + hint of alcohol = refined deliciousness.) A totally triumphant dinner party present in place of yet another bottle of wine – they will even give you special cool packs to keep them at the perfect temperature until you reach your destination. There are two other branches: 1 at Suntec (#01-142; T: (+65) 6738 0153) and at Takashimaya (#B2; T: (+65) 6737 4977). BTW: Worth calling ahead to ensure they actually have the variety of fresh truffles you are after in stock. Their shipments from Japan can be sporadic and almost as soon as they’ve come, they’ve gone.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily (all branches)
179a Telok Ayer Street
T: (+65) 9088 2736
If you feel Royce is running with the crowd (albeit the crowd in the know) then look no further than Truffs. Run and owned by Ei Liang Teng, who is so passionate about what he does, that to make it work, he has two jobs – hotelier by day and chocolatier by night. Cordon Bleu trained, he has mastered the art of making the perfect truffle. Beautifully presented, these make for the ideal foodie gift. He’s a one off and so are his creations. Go and support him! BTW: If you are not familiar with his Telok Ayer Chinatown ‘hood, pop in to VANILLA (T: (+65) 6423 0366 – see EAT ME, DRINK ME/Brek/Brunch/Lunch) for a pre-purchase lunch. A post purchase lunch is sadly not possible, or your truffs will melt. Bring a cool bag if you have to drive far to get here. There are plenty of arty/design led boutiques and lots of things to discover nearby.
Opening Times: 12pm-7pm Mon-Fri; 12pm-4pm Sat. Closed Sun
Central Mall (#B1-54/55)
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
T: (+65) 6238 5178
A fabulous find in the basement of the Central Mall. This franchise of the well-known Australian company is as much about eye candy as the actual tooth rotting variety. Get there after midday and you will almost certainly get a chance to see these extraordinary artisans at work, pulling the fantastically coloured hot sugar into beautiful rock in a myriad of different colours and flavours. The watermelon is our favourite, hotly pursued by the endless possibilities of bespoke rock with your name embossed in the centre.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily
42 Kandahar Street
T: (+65) 6297 7289
A wonderful little gem just around the corner from Arab Street. Owned by a lovely local couple (he is a retired lawyer) that have fallen in love with the Blue Ribbon brand of Japanese chocolates. He imports them himself and has just started experimenting making ice cream with it. The truffles tend to be quite alcoholic – a bonus as far as we are concerned, but the real treats are their shards of dark chocolate with fruit and nuts and their classic dark truffles. A good pilgrimage for those that love white chocolate too as he has an unusually good quality range of real white chocolates and truffles.
Opening Times: vary a little but go after lunch and before dinner and you should strike lucky!
Tanglin Mall (#B1-19)
163 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6734 1326
Nothing exciting as chocolate shops go, but a great and easy stop for proper dark chocolate for baking with (they have so many shops, it feels as if there’s one in every mall). Try Frey’s extra dark bittersweet chocolate ‘Noir Authentique’ which is usually on offer ($7 for 2 100g slabs…AND it’s Swiss) and has 78% cocoa solids. Don’t even consider cross checking with Tanglin Market Place that has a wildly disappointing cooking chocolate section. Cocoa Trees also carries the rare, hard to find but heavenly, Bendicks Bittermints as well as dark choc, praline-filled Baci.
Opening Times: 9.30am-9.30pm daily
Block 11 Ghim Moh (#1-64)
T: (+65) 6468 4237
Looking for the perfect pirates’ treasure chest cake for little Johnny’s birthday but don’t want to crack in to your treasure chest to pay for it (or make it yourself – by the time you’ve bought all the ingredients, you’re gonna be paying more than these guys’ll charge you)? Perhaps you are after a Hansel and Gretel creation or a proper 3D castle…whatever it is, look no further than this awesome HDB bakery who have oodles of designs to choose from – check out their website which is pretty comprehensive. A sweet secret worth smiling about, these cakes are priced at $50 per kg (1kg is the minimum order). You can collect your creation, or they will deliver it to your door (for a fee). You won’t need much more than a kilo as they are so sweet a sliver for each of the little people will be more than enough!
Opening Times: 9am-5pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
Serene Centre (#01-05)
10 Jalan Serene
T: (+65) 6468 8859
Island Creamery is in the Serene Centre, as well as Upper Bukit Timah. Choose from their classics (burnt caramel in a choc cone is hard to better and their cookies n cream is a winner) as well as delicious local flavours that we love, including cancer-busting soursop, durian and chendol. Priced at $2.80 for a single scoop and $4.50 for a double.
Opening Times: 11am-10pm Sun-Thu; 11am-11pm Fri & Sat
REGENT TO GO
Under the Regent Hotel
One Cuscaden Road, 249715, Singapore
T: (+65) 67253243
One of the few places that, come Easter, you can get genuinely fresh-baked hot cross buns, a must for all the pining expats. The bakery is cute, with a lovely café area to sit in and enjoy a coffee with a delectable pud or pastry. It is also a fab place to buy desserts – particularly individual ones that you would be proud to serve/pass off as your own creation at any dinner party!
Opening Times: 9 til 9 everyday
15 Upper Dickson Road
T: (+65) 62942334
Fab little foodie find that is worth the detour. Actually, a great place to finish the meal if you had dinner at Lagnaa across the road. It isn’t all about ice cream – you can pick up little indian tapas style bites too but the reason you go is for their mouth-wateringly beautiful frozen indian style gelato. Made by boiling milk as the base for the ‘ice cream’ this is a good option for those that don’t want to or can’t eat eggs. Slightly more solid than western ice-cream as it isn’t aerated, this rich dessert comes in many flavours often with indian leaning spices or embellishments such as rose petal syrup, cardamom, cinnamon and toasted almonds. Check out the chocolate served with broken pistachios and little cubes of jelly and basil seeds or the mango and lychee kulfi, a taste sensation enhanced by the ever constant gentle hint of incense that pervades the joint. Finish with a palate cleansing mint tea with a hint of eucalyptus served in brass hand carved mugs.
Opening Times: seems to vary but pre dinner is always a good bet
Tanglin Mall (#B1-07/08)
163 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6738 0629
A half decent bakery where you can get freshly baked bread and, most surprisingly, Cloud9 ice cream – a new artisan brand boasting interesting flavours for the discerning gelato connoisseur. BTW: Check out the recommended Salted Caramel or the new Earl Grey & Fig. Heaps of other branches including Great World City and Wheelock – see website for more details. They also do good take-away sarnies if you are noodled-out.
Opening Times: 9am-8pm daily
390A Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6735 5391
A bit of a local bakery staple, there are branches pretty much everywhere (a grand total of 39 in S’pore) but their kueh lapis is excellent. If you want to sample Singapore baking, this is a one stop shop, from eggs tarts to kueh dadar. BTW: Striped, multi coloured lapis sagu makes for a really fun change from boring old jelly for kids’ parties. Their tinned cookies are good, relatively inexpensive presents.
Opening Times: 10am-9.30pm daily