For our fourth edition of Munchy Monday, we will be featuring a dessert shop: L’Atelier TiramiSù as well as a quaint cafe, Five & Dime.
Oh, did we mention we have a giveaway for this edition of Munchy Monday as well? No? Read on to find out more!
Tiramisu, which literally translates to “pick me up”, is a classic Italian dessert. The quest for a good slice, here in Singapore, is not an easy one though. However, we were lucky to have found L’Atelier TiramiSù – a modest little café hidden in the basement of The Central.
Co-owner Judith, who married a French man, had lived in Paris for two years and during that time, she learned the ropes of tiramisu-baking from her Italian relative. What started out as a pastime soon turned into an idea for business when she received heaps of compliments for her bakes.
As a family of drinking enthusiasts, it is evident that they have brought their passion to the table. At L’Atelier, the café offers a splendid range of flavours for their tiramisu – each wittily paired with a different complimenting liqueur to enhance the taste of the dessert.
However, before we delved into the cakes, first up, we satisfied our caffeine cravings with an aromatic cup of coffee each. The layer of thick and creamy foam gives the cappuccino a velvety texture and this was best enjoyed with a piece of caramelized biscuit, as the sweetness of the biscuit harmonizes perfectly with the bitterness of the coffee.
This beautiful green slice of tiramisu is layered with ladyfingers soaked in kirsch (cherry liqueur) and pistachio infused mascarpone. The crushed pistachio, which sits atop, adds a pleasant crunch to the light and fluffy cake. However, we wish the fragrance of the pistachio would have come out stronger as the alcohol was more distinct in this slice. Ah Boon agreed too.
Finally, we sunk our spoons into this rendition of the traditional tiramisu. Unlike most of the tiramisus out there, this one here has toned down on the dense cream cheese and sweetness level. The result is a refreshingly light mouthfeel that caters to the Asian taste buds. This is also a unique feature of the tiramisus here at L’Atelier TiramiSu which puts them a notch above the rest.
Another unique factor of their tiramisu is in the way it is prepared. The moist ladyfingers are delicately layered in-between the cream, instead of being crushed up. This gives the dessert a stronger kick of alcohol – best catered to you alcohol lovers out there.
Dressed in black and red coats of paint, the café exudes elegance and a sense of mystery. The clever play of shapes on the walls also adds on to the modern vibe of the interior. This makes for a great spot to just have a quiet and relaxing tea break as you enjoy their exquisite offers to the faint sound of soft jazz playing in the background.
The drinks and cakes here are priced reasonably, mirroring that of most cafes in Singapore. However, if you would like to stretch your dollar, they are having a promotion for their coffees – just $8 for any 2 cups, available daily from 3pm to 5pm.
Clarke Quay Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Five & Dime
Along the quiet stretch of River Valley Road resides a white-washed building, with the words “Five & Dime” painted above its doors. The name was inspired by the fact that the land previously belonged to a five-and-dime (American’s equivalent to the local mama shop). This café is acclaimed as a hot spot for brunch. Customers have been warned about turning up without reservation on weekends.
Their Mentaiko Pasta is possibly the most popular dish, but I decided to try out something new and less conventional. After a long pause of indecision, I finally took up the wait-staff’s recommendation for the Big Salad.
This huge bowl of mesclun greens with ramen is a Japanese-western fusion dish, newly added to the menu. Not only was it aesthetically pleasing, it tasted just as great too. Drizzled over with French dressing, the springy ramen carries a hint of the aromatic sesame oil and compliments the fresh and crunchy greens well. On the other hand, the chicken yakitori was well-marinated, but a tad too tough for my liking. If you are counting calories, this would be a great option.
I cannot recall the number of times I have been gravely disappointed by cheap-tasting milkshakes, that were overly diluted, or those too thick that I just gave up on drinking it through the straw and ask for a spoon instead. This cup was different. It had the right consistency and tasted just like strawberry cheesecake – blended with vanilla and strawberry ice cream, cream cheese and digestive biscuits. I guess it is right to say that you can have your cake and drink it too.
If you are not a fan of milkshakes, they also serve a wide variety of drinks – from coffee to wine and more recently, coconuts!
One of the few times I do not mind life giving me lemons is when they come in the form of a dessert. The Lemon Yogurt Cake, which is baked in-house, is served warm and garnished with glazed lemon slices. The lemons slices were coated with sugar and torched before serving to elicit the refreshing smell of lemon.
Other desserts served here include their famous Golden Custard Lava Cake – an interesting take on the tradition soufflé – and Truffs’ Earl Grey Chocolate Tart.
From the wooden tables and chairs to the chalk-written boards hanging on the walls, the café radiates an old-school vibe. The overall black-and-white theme is also given a pop of colour from the mint-legged chairs. Previously a two-storey café, it has now been downsized to just one. Despite so, the place remains spacious. The bar counter also makes for an excellent spot to watch the skillful baristas in action while you dine.
Foods served at Five & Dime are definitely priced towards the higher end. However, the nice and cozy ambience, together with the excellent service, makes it worth the occasional visit for a hearty weekend brunch. Wine lovers would also be thrilled to know that they are currently doing a 1-for-1 promotion for their wine, which is available all-day.
Five & Dime
297 River Valley Road
Mon – Thurs: 12pm – 10pm
Fri: 12pm – 12am
Sat: 10am – 12am
Sun: 10am – 10pm