The Honey Toast iconic to Dazzling Cafe needs little to no introduction. After all, ever since its soft launch back in April and finally its long awaited official opening at the beginning of this month, Dazzling Cafe located at level 1 of the newly revamped snazzy Capitol Piazza has been making waves on all forms of social media with their super photogenic desserts topped with both ice-cream and cream cascading down the stack of crisp thick slices of buttered toasts.
Dazzling Cafe finds its roots in Taiwan as one of the most widely popular dessert franchise chains that still sees winding queues outside their nine outlets today- 5 years after they first opened. Needless to say, fans in Singapore did what they do best and queued outside Dazzling Cafe as well when business started and while the fanfare has died down a tad bit right now, it is still mostly full house especially on weekends.
I have been to Dazzling Cafe a total of 3 times since they opened and since all 3 visits were on weekday afternoons, the longest I had to wait was approximately 20 minutes. While it is a bit unusual for me to revisit the same place so many times within a span of only a few weeks, I did have my eye on a few items on their menu and since portions were relatively big, I had to space out my visits.
When it comes to ingredients, Chef Benjamin Tan readily admits that local chefs have a lot to learn from foreign chefs. “In Europe, the weather is seasonal and the culture is very different from Singapore so the chefs there tend to be more well-rounded. They can tell you which ingredients are in season and react to the changes quickly.”
Perhaps because he is well aware of that difference, Chef Benjamin places a huge importance on understanding the ingredients he uses. This has made him no less adaptable in the kitchen. The locally-trained 40 year-old helms the kitchen of one of Singapore’s popular wedding venues at The White Rabbit by The Lo & Behold Group. He began his culinary journey at the Singapore Hotel Association Training and Education Centre (SHATEC), graduating in 1996 before taking his first cook position at Au Jardin by Les Amis. After spending eight years at Au Jardin and rising up the ranks, Chef Benjamin joined the opening team at The White Rabbit as Sous Chef.
In 2010, he joined the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West for two years as a lecturer. Chef Benjamin shares that the two years away from the kitchen provided him with the time to think about how he would like to manage the kitchen and allowed him to prepare himself mentally for a more senior position when he returned to the kitchen. He even had some time to experiment with new dishes.
Rejuvenated after two years in 2012, he returned to The White Rabbit as Head Chef with over 15 years of culinary experience. He has since led the creation of its entire menu which has a strong focus on meat and game.
Today, taking some time out after an intensive week in the kitchen is still a must for Chef Benjamin. He shares that watching silly movies helps him to laugh his worries away.
The name “Gordon Ramsay” is no stranger to any foodie on the face of this earth. Some of us may have either dined at one of the numerous restaurants that he opened around the world- UK, America, Europe and more recently, Asia, or seen his face on the small screen- Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell and most notably, MasterChef US and MasterChef Junior, or heard about the impressive 14 Michelin stars under his belt. One way or another, there is no denying that Gordon Ramsey’s culinary reputation far precedes him.
The opening of his first restaurant in Singapore will be Gordon Ramsay’s second in Asia (the first being Hong Kong in September last year). Located amidst all the other celebrity chef restaurants in Marina Bay Sands, this British European restaurant which spans two floors- level 1 and B1, has a seating capacity of 149 and an amazing view of the waterfront.
While we were down at Bread Street Kitchen for dinner, we were extremely lucky to chat and even take a photo with the surprisingly affable and personable celebrity chef as he made his rounds to the different tables talking to diners and spontaneously taking a “wefie” with anyone who asked. He had been in town for the past few days for the official launch of Bread Street Kitchen and shares that he will try to fly in to Singapore as and when possible. The kitchen in the meantime, is run by Executive Chef Sabrina Stillhart whom Chef Ramsay has only full praises for.
The food here at Bread Street Kitchen has a similar concept to that of the flagship outlet in London, featuring an extensive range of British classics and favourites. Starters start from $18, Mains range from $26 to $46 while Desserts are $15 and up. Not exactly very affordable but fairly reasonable for a celebratory splurge with family and friends.
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Words by Rachel Goh (@wowthisisrachel)
Photography by GNineThree
Just when you thought that weekend brunches were typically made for only Sundays, you could not be more mistaken. Calling all fans of Spanish cuisine, Catalunya’s Brunch with Passion is now rolling out on every Saturdays, on top of their current Sunday brunches, from 12.30pm – 3.30pm. With over 40 traditional Spanish dishes coupled with entertaining showmanship at intervals of the brunch buffet, expect a fun-filled brunch affair with family, friends and loved ones.
Set amidst the lush greenery on level 5 of the Terrace Wing at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, Oasis Restaurant, as its name suggests, is an idyllic picture of scenic and tranquil- located in the heart of the city yet preserved from all the hustle and bustle. Flanked by the swimming pool and veiled by the moonlight in the evenings, this al fresco restaurant, with its open charcoal-fired grill, is all about barbecued meat and seafood prepared a la minute for seven nights a week.
From Thursdays to Saturdays however, guests can also relish in an extended buffet spread with a wider selection of grilled items and even a seafood bar on ice. Lovers of fresh briny oysters can enjoy unlimited servings of these molluscs which are shucked and ready to be savoured.