Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Cafe Review: Hidden Finds- De La Crème

By Saturday, April 28, 2012 , , , , , , , ,

Another weekend, another 2 days of scouring the island for delectable brunch food,  dainty tea canapes and sinful supper haunts. Absolutely no proper meals allowed. This is why i live for the weekends. Anyway S complained that i didn't credit him for some of the awesome finds that are highlighted on this blog. He is the one who does the searching (most of the time) and i simply eat and review. So here you go piggy. Another one for S. :P

We took a drive around Siglap and Frankel estate to arrive at De La Crème, a french- styled patisserie specializing in the macarons (no wonder S brought me there) and other desserts. The silly me happily brought the camera out without my SD card AGAIN. This happens to me ALL THE TIME! Urgh. Back to the bakery- it is opened by a cute 22yo pastry Chef Rayner Tan who has trained under Le Cordon Bleu and then gone on to intern at 2am and Canele before setting up his own place.  

The cafe is small and cosy, kinda like someone's living room, except there's a delightful display of desserts in the middle. Dear friends, you know what you should do with your living room next time :))) It was quite empty during Sat brunch hours but that's kinda a good thing for us since we hate the crowd.
Couldn't help but be drawn to the desserts chiller. The Ispahan, which was raved about by some reviewers, was nowhere in sight. All that's left were the Mango Shortcake, St. Honore, Lemon Meringue Tart, Mogador and macarons. Desserts are priced around $7-8, which is the market price to pay for something decent. Since desserts were the first to catch my eye, i shall review them before the savories.
On my first inspection, the macarons look amazing. There is a nice height to the macarons and they look airy enough. Is it any wonder that DLC uses quality ingredients to achieve this texture? Ground almond meal, sugar and egg whites. Instead of using jams and pastes, the fillings are chocolate-based, caramel-based, or buttercream-based. I really abhor the wet creamy ones. Can you see the lovely feet as well? Looks wise, it is comparable to Pierre Herme.
There is quite a selection of flavors, with some infusion of local flavors such as Pandan and Gula Melaka. Other flavors include Chocolate Amer, Basil, Yuzu Sel, Pistachio, Rose, Violet, Passion fruit, Earl Grey Chocolate (i chose that of course) and others. Price- $2.40/pc, $12.90 for 6, $24.90 for a dozen

Sadly in terms of taste, it is a far cry from PH. I would have to say the macarons looked much better than they taste. They do have a crunchy exterior but once you bite into them, you will realize that the base has quite a spongy texture in the middle, which is typical of an uncooked beaten egg white. That was disappointing. Even though the filling was dense in many of the flavors i have tried, they were too sweet for my liking. Again, i'm comparing it to the Holy Macaron Grail by PH. I didn't like DLC's at all but it's probably better than Bakerzin. Obolo definitely has better stuff than DLC and i'll introduce another place which has perfect texture. Watch this space!
The other highly recommended item is the Mogador ($7.50), which is made of made of Guanaja (70%) dark chocolate mousse. Again, i didn't like it. Someone must really have a sweet tooth because i have no idea how this is dark chocolate.  The chocolate ganache wasn't crispy or nutty enough for my liking and the jaconde sponge was flat in texture and taste. The sourish raspberry compote attempted to liven things up by breaking the monotony of the intense sweetness but it simply couldn't be redeemed. Use this as a mirror, not for eating.

It's funny how DLC places so much focus on their desserts but they were all sub standard (at least the ones we had). I do however think that their savory items are stellar. Despite the limited food selection- 3 pasta, 3 tartines, 2 appetizers, all the diners finished every bit of their hot dishes. Now what does that tell you? Hmm. And say hello to All Day Breakfast (probably on weekends only). My little eye spotted some truffle fries. The next table ordered it and it smelled deli! Why did we make such a terrible choice to save space for desserts :((( 
What really wowed me was the Duck Tartine.
8 bucks for 4 huge slices of toast generously slabbed with a buttery & savory duck meat paste. Think spongy and cottony white bread that barely holds up the weight of the toppings and a heavenly emulsion that preserves the duck rillettes (in order words duck fat) seeping through the fluffy goodness and into your mouth.
I'm gonna make this my regular afternoon snack from now on. Serious. Love that golden brown crust on the exterior and the soft and moist savory center. They also have a chili crab tartines that is based on Chef Rayner's mum's recipe. I bet that is awesome as well. Tried to find out where DLC gets their bread from but the server wasn't sure. Oh wells.

Standard selection of drinks but it's the first time i see a Roasted Almond Latte ($4.90) being served. Naturally i had that. I'm quite sure it's just syrup but there is a light nutty sweetness to it. Not gourmet but it's still a decent cuppa.
Would i be back? Surely. For the savories instead of the desserts. Maybe i'll give the Lemon Meringue Tart a shot but i'll definitely skip the rest.

Verdict- Recommended
Service- 3/5 Adequate, friendly.
Atmosphere- 4/5 Cosy and quiet. Good place for friends to hang out on a lazy afternoon.

De La Creme
42 Siglap Drive
Tel: +65 6246 2476
Tue - Thu: 2pm - 11pm
Fri & Sat: 12pm - 11pm
Sun: 10am - 10pm
(Closed Mon)

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