Sunday, November 25, 2012

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique: The Confessions of A Pastry Lover

I am not experienced enough to give comments on savoury food even though most posts here are about them. However, when it comes to sweet food such as pastries, cakes or desserts, I can talk non-stop about them. Having tried and is still trying the pastries in Tokyo and in Singapore, I personally still believe that the variety and quality of those here still cannot match those in Tokyo. The local patisserie market has seen an exponential growth of specialty cake shops in recent years but still, there is still potential for more.

TWG's Matcha Millefeuille
Even though there are already good reliable Japanese brands such as Kki, Flor, Patisserie Glace or Tampopo Deli,  I am still in search of a shop that can match those in Tokyo.Their cakes are undeniably tasty but is still towards the safe side.
 
Smooth Dark Chocolate Ganache, Tea-infused Milk Chocolate Mousse, Vanilla, Crunchy Praline Base
 
N years ago even way before I went overseas, I tasted almost every single cake from TWG Salon when it first started in Republic Plaza. Back then, it was the one and only outlet. I would say "almost" because I would record every variety of cake that I have tried there by drawing them in my notebook. There is always something new and unexpected whenever I drop by and I've bought the cakes so many times that the staff there could remember my face.

It may sound odd but I try to avoid trying the same slice of cake twice (that happens when I thought I haven't tried it but realised later that I did try before). After I returned, I eagerly tried out the cakes from the new openings like Tiong Bahru Bakery, Dean & Deluca, etc....in search of the right one but then soon I find myself stepping into TWG again.

The patisseries at TWG there rarely disappoint and I would dare say that it is the only place in Singapore that matches those in Paris or Japan. ( I was surprised when I walked past one branch in Jiyugaoka).
 
Why? Simply because the pastries have textuality, technicality, creativity and of course flavours. Most local pastries shop are still marching on a safe route serving up classics such as strawberry shortcake, opera, matcha azuki, carrot cake, etc...

Meringue, Lemon Curd, Cheesecake, Chocolate Sponge, Crunchy Sable Breton
 
The Republic Plaza outlet no longer display their cakes on the outside but fortunately they can still be found in Ion and MBS. I do agree that Canele and Antoinette are strong contenders but more seasonal offerings/changes might be good.  The pictures here are those which I have tried after returning home but I believe the list will continue with the chef's ambitious experimenting mindset.

Meringue, Lime Gelee, Pandan Rice Pudding, Crunchy Sable Breton 
 
This could be a Thai-inspired fusion pastry. The pandan custard is not too sweet but forms a very rich and thick texture of rice pudding.

A Chestnut cake topped with Berry Chocolate and Raspberry whipped cream
 

 Chestnut ganache coating, chestnut mousse, Pistachio Financhier, Raspberry Gelee, Pistachio Sponge
While this contains chestnut mousse, it is not overly sweetened like a Mont Blanc.
 
I like the presentation of this vanilla cream on top of a vanilla breakfast tea infused custard tart at the base. Reminds me of Pierre Herme Vanilla Infiniment
 
Millefeuille of Tea-infused custard with strawberries
I prefer this to the matcha millefeuille (at the top) as the puff pastry of the matcha version was not crispy enough but the custard of both version was rich but not too creamy.


Caramel Ganache, William Pear Mousse, White Chocolate Truffle filled with Pear compote, Chocolate pearls, Chocolate Sponge 
 
Crunchy Sable Balls, Caramel Mousse, Walnut Dacquoise

Pistachio Ganache, Fromage Mousse, Pistachio Sponge, Raspberry Compote
 
Most of the pastries at TWG are mousse cakes besides tarts. What impresses me is that the texture of the mousse is always just right while the sponge remains moist (perhaps some have been soaked in liquids). Fruit compotes of different berries ( raspberry/blueberry/cassis) are usually very sour which curbs the creaminess from other components.
 
The tart shell has remained consistently crispy. While I can't say that every single piece I've tried is 100% perfect, I appreciate the chef's efforts to keep on inventing, playing with the flavours, textures and presentation. It is hard to spot a classic pastry here (perhaps the millefeuille or the signature chocolate fondant) but it is still possible to find new flavours in their classic pastries.
 
Coconut ganache, Dessicated Coconut Sponge, Mango Mousse, Hazelnut crisp and Biscuit Base
 
Apart from their Singapore Surprise Tart which has always been regularly sold in the outlets, I highly recommend pastries lovers to try their pastries. The high price might be a factor but I believe the quality is competent. Nonetheless,  I doubt what I put here will be available since the selection keeps changing. Amazed by the rapid expansion of this Singapore tea brand in Singapore and overseas in such a short period of time, it will be interesting to see what new exciting flavours TWG will offer in future.
 

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
(Singapore: ION/ MBS/ Republic Plaza/ Takashimaya)

 
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Aimmie,
      Great to read your comment. Thank you and glad to know that you enjoy these pastries too :)

      Delete

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