A couple of stalwart Halal spots have been knocking up some really good desserts, including soft serve ice cream, cupcakes and churros. With a good many of these desserts tailored to local tastebuds, expect familiar flavours like ondeh ondeh, chendol and pandan to feature heavily. For a guaranteed food coma, traipse down this list.
Almost tucked away on the very quiet Arab Street, this cozy, airy boutique cafe offers wholesome but still somewhat indulgent food, including all day breakfasts, savoury salads and hearty rice bowls. Kind of like the Ottolenghi concept in London. Unlike most places though, All Things Delicious do a good bread and butter pudding and an earl grey creme bruelee but people always go back for the platter of bakes. The health conscious will delight to find that all bakes are made with organic unrefined sugar and free-range eggs. Try the Gula Melaka Scone ($3.50), that is all at once crumbly and compact, with gula melaka baked into it. And yes, gula melaka is also drizzled on it. Sometimes seasonal specials are featured, so keep your eyes peeled.
34 Arab St.
Chulop has been around for 3 years and is still going strong, so they must be doing something right. Everything about their menu seems right, churros all dusted with cinnamon sugar with a variety of basic chocolate dips—think white, milk and dark chocolate; and Mexican chocolate even on top of all of that. If you prefer the exotic, more premium dips, try the Thai Milk Tea dip or the Kinder Bueno dip. If you fancy toying with strange textures and familiar tastes, definitely go for the Pandan Churros with Gula Melaka ($5); and of course, don’t leave without trying at least one of their churros with toppings ($6). The classics are s’mores; or banana and Nutella.
430 Upper Changi Rd.
If All Things Delicious is semi tucked away, Fluff bakery is completely sequestered away in the middle of the rich ethnic enclave that is Kampung Glam. The entrance located in the backalley and requires a bit of fumbling about to get to it. Fluff is known for their intrepid flavours, with cupcakes coming in flavours like Solero (yes, ice lolly inspired cupcakes, anyone?), durian pengat, pandan kaya cheese, mango stick rice or apple speculoos amongst others. Props for novelty.
Although a stalwart artisanal bakery which has amassed a keen following, I personally found the cakes here too sweet for my liking, which was unfortunate because I love the concept of women-owned artisanal bakeries. We had one Ondeh Ondeh cupcake with a bland icing, and I took issue with the hardened bits of gula melaka that provided a strange crunch to the cake itself. Apart from cupcakes that start from ($4) a pop, Fluff also has cakes on its menu, but always call ahead to find out what they’re offering for the day and what they have left because they sell out fast.
4 Jln Pisang.
Some travelers often wax lyrical of an era bygone, of a lush tropical greenery that is Singapore, where everyone has the leisure and discretionary income to while away their languid afternoons with ($7) cups of coffee and ($10) for artisanal bread and jam. Halia is one of the most authentic places we can enjoy this fantasy although some were unhappy that the new found Halal status meant alcohol was removed from the menu. Go for the Pain Perdu ($16), available weekend brunch and public holidays, from 10am through to 5pm—all luscious berries and chocolate ice cream topped with a nutty praline sauce, atop a soft hazelnut brioche. The ultimate, calorific sin but who can fault you?
A personal favourite, and also something I always look forward to, sometimes all through the week, is Halia’s very own freshly baked milk rolls ($12). The bread rolls are six neat squares that are subtly sweet, with toasty bits and all warmed up. It comes with two locally-flavoured jams and a coffee butter. Slather coffee butter with a lick of kaya jam all over—you can ask for more later—and you’re good to go. Simple it may be, it is so addictive. Also, I love that weekend nights are live jazz nights
1 Cluny Rd.
Julie Bakes has been around for almost 6 years, and as one of the stalwarts halal artisanal bakery, has garnered its fair share of loyalists. Julie’s first started off as a home business but gradually expanded to own a brick-and-mortar. Go crazy with their traditional open-faced Halal pineapple tarts (incredibly difficult to find) and Puteri Salat among other beautiful sweets. The other thing that has courted customers back time and again is undoubtedly Julie’s finely-textured, buttery soft cakes. All of Julie’s cakes are layered with thick licks of jams and fresh creams, all bringing to life the diabetes-inducing dreams of a starved child; or fantasies of Willy Wonka’s creations. If you’re not into fresh cream…what is wrong with you?
14 Baghdad St.
Moosh, one wonders how they come up with this name. Then again, people have been asking the same question about us XINDOTS, so what can I say? Anyway, we all love a good creamy, milky soft-serve and at Moosh, that’s what you’ll be shelling out for, and then some. There are two sizes ($4.50) for the regular and ($6) for the large.
The crowd favourite is of course the ondeh ondeh flavour, with a light-tasting pandan sauce swirled into the lush ice cream, and topped with desiccated coconut flakes. The serving cups look small but this dessert is really for sharing. Bon appetit!
44 Haji Ln.