Singapore’s Pop up events have started to take a real swing! 2014 has seen bespoke Cocktail Bars Popping up all over town with heaps of creativity and award winning mixologists mixing up notorious local flavours with hardcore liquor. Home-ware and boutique fashion markets appear available for browsing nearly weekly and of course interesting Food Pop Ups are stepping out constantly. Being a foodie city that specialises in local street food delicacies, Pop Up Food cartels in Singapore have high expectations upon them and rightly so. I recently dined at a wonderful pop-up cafe conecptulaised by two Singaporean ladies Michelle Looi & Sarah Tan of L’ÉCLAIR. The event is called DINETTE and is held at the Three Years In A Balloon Cafe.
Dinette is running every weekend from 8-30 November between 1-6pm, serving a High Tea for 2, which showcases their spectacular eclairs and includes some light savoury bites, macaroons and coffee/tea. The ladies were inspired by the fine patisserie they had devoured in Paris and have since been driven to re-create the perfect eclair. After much research and experimentation they have created 8 unique eclair flavours. Their menu had us teased and boy were we pleased when presented with the swirl of mini-eclairs. Top 3 Favourites in taste order – Ispahan (Rose, Lychee, Raspberry), Madagascar Vanilla Bean & Caramelised Pecans and Hazelnut Praline. That said all the eclairs were divine but these 3 were so exceptional for me that I bought a box of eight of them to take away!
It would be wrong to not mention the savoury offerings L’eclair provided as they were the best high tea savoury bites I have had in Singapore. No question these ladies are giving the hotel establishments a run for their money. I was still thinking about their Chicken & Bacon Basque pie the next morning. The pastry was Very Francais – butter, butter, butter!! The “Peking Duck” mini sandwiches were peking good and had me thinking why I had not made them at home before! The pistachio crumbed white bread really showed their ability to go further then the average high tea though. Hats off L’Eclair Ladies!
Their creativity in this pop-up is dreamy and the flavour concoctions superb. Quite frankly the most stunning looking eclairs I have seen to date! Fear not if you are unable to get a table, it has been a booked event with a waiting list – (that does open up though – so try)! or else L’eclair are going to be at Naiise Xmas Pop-up Store on 6th & 7th Dec, 12-7pm at 72 Dunlop Street!
My Meatless Monday’s usually involve an attempt at some healthy home-cooking but when in London I use Monday’s to eat my vegetables in the form of sticky desserts! One dessert in particular – Muriel’s Kitchen’s Famous Carrot & Walnut Cake. Muriel’s Kitchen is an English “no-nonsense” inspired cafe meets restaurant serving healthy plates with locally sourced British ingredients at a reasonable price. The Chef’s change up the menus monthly at their 3 Kitchens (South Kensington, Soho & Leicester Square). As you walk by their pretty window displays lined up with delectable cakes, salads and savouries you know you have to stop and enter to try some of their mouth-watering “healthy” treats.
Having dropped into the South Kensington Kitchen several times in the past I took an opportunity when in Soho to give Muriel a visit. The Soho Kitchen is a wonderful large space with a gorgeous shabby chic interior; mosaic tiles, old leather sofas, velvet stools, bird-cage lamps and fun swinging garden chairs.
We took a cosy seat at the back of the restaurant against the bric-a-brac adorned shed area – see if you can spot me!
Now for the menu, breakfast is popular as is the all day dining menu which enables you to graze on some sharing plates and those yummy house bakes! We kicked off with an aperitif of British Bubbles and Rose Lemonade….they went down a treat!
After deciding on our dessert choice we adjourned back to our selection of savoury plates, Gooey Baked Camembert served with Dipping Crostini’s & Cranberry & Cashew Crunch, Butternut Squash, Feta & Spinach Quiche and Super Greens Salad. When I next pop in I will definitely indulge in the Baked Camembert again!
Now for the Piece de Resistance – The Famous Carrot and Walnut cake! If you are a Carrot Cake Fan then you should try this and stack it up against your favourites. I found it to be light and fluffy as well indulgent and nutty – I would eat it on most Meatless Mondays should my waistline prohibit! As this was a special Monday I also indulged in their very generously sized Chocolate Bread & Butter Pudding with Custard.
If I was poping into Muriel’s Kitchen tomorrow I would want to try their Chocolate & Guiness Mini Pint Cake and their Passion Fruit Cake Stack. The Dulche de Leche Brownie and Red Velvet Cupcake sound like the perfect Take-Away too! My advice – go with a large group and try as much as you can from their dessert menu, its large and catered for all sweet tooth palates!
When in Doubt Eat Cake!