Friday, August 16, 2013

Dolce Tokyo: More than Just Sweets

Opened by Ministry of Food, Dolce Tokyo is not to be confused with the shop with the same name in Shibuya Japan. Like its Italian-Japanese fusion name "Dolce Tokyo", this cafe is an intriguing mix of Japanese and Western sensibilities. 
For instance, Dolce Tokyo does different takes on the classic egg ben. But when it comes to smoked salmon vs unagi, it would be unagi anytime. I could not be any more excited to dig into this decadent Unagi Egg Benedict ($20). 

The teriyaki-style grilled unagi came in substantial portion to match the cheese, poached egg and tangy hollandaise sauce on toasted bread. If you are one who always go for the usual egg ben, why not give this a try? Seems to be only available here :) 

From the Japanese style selection, Dolce Tokyo offers hearty dishes such as curry omu rice, shrimp toji, unagi fried rice and many more. We settled for the Pork Belly Curry Toji Set $17 , which includes Fried Rice, Miso Soup and a choice of skewer.


The Pork Belly Curry Toji came bubbling non-stop with rich cubes of soft, simmered pork belly, which are tasty and satisfying, if not as mouthwatering tender as they should be. 

Besides the usual onions, carrots and potatoes, Dolce Tokyo upped the ante by using cherry tomatoes and wolfberries (goji) to sweeten the curry. 
But luckily, the light-brown roux did not wander off into the sweet track and went very well with the fried rice, which was cleverly elevated in taste by the use of Japanese short grains
Despite having pork belly as the main, we had no qualms with even more pork belly when it was slathered in the familiar sweet sauce as a skewer dish. 
Now for the sweet fix. Served in a bird cage, the signature Matcha Black Sesame Cake ($11.50) is a welcome change to the usual matcha-red bean duo. The matcha flavour does not hit one instantly, but creeps in gradually behind the sweet black sesame paste.
Pair your desserts with a strong brew of sencha
When it comes to desserts/pastries, Japan produces excellent ones but it is unlikely that one can find a dessert bento there. So the dessert bento at Dolce Tokyo version is quite rare and fits the fickle-minded. 
Dessert Bento ($19) from top clockwise: Abekawa with Green Tea Gelato, Gyuuhi (soft chewy candies)and Cake of the day, Panna Cotta with Mixed Berries, Sesame Shiratama with Kanten Jelly. 

What's more, diners can choose selected items for their dessert bento. It was very fun to jump from one compartment to the other and back, exploring different textures and flavours. Everything was not too sweet but the abekawa (rice mochi) was over-toasted and resembled asteroid rocks. 


The ganache of the Homemade Chocolate Gateau Cake ($13.50) above was smooth and rich but the overall taste was rather flat. Naturally, we became attracted to the Homemade Yuzu Cake ($11.50) shown below. With a lovely sugary crust and fluffy sponge, the sweetness of honey did not steal the bright zesty flavours of the citron fruit.

Desserts are front and center here, but there are plenty of other delicious options, much of which devoted to the Japanese "soul food" that you can find at a 洋食屋 (Japanese-style western house).  

Personally, I thought the savoury dishes were more memorable than the sweets. Unagi, curry....hmmm, what nostalgic taste! Prices are not eminently affordable but no one will say “no” if you want to treat yourself to a dessert or two. 


Dolce Tokyo
313 Somerset #03-23 
Singapore 238895 
Tel: 6836 5612
11:30am – 10:30pm (Sun-Thurs)
11:30am – 11pm (Fri-Sat, Eve PH)

*Special thanks to Daniel Ang from danielfooddiary and Dolce Tokyo for the invite and hosting


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