Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ollella : Delicious Choux Heaven in Singapore


Many cake shops or dessert places in Singapore tend to ride on the bandwagon of food trends such as salted egg yolk lava or colorful pancakes but very few have looked into old-school pastry such as eclairs and choux. There is, of course, places like Tart by Cheryl Koh that focused on tarts, as well as L'eclair and Kumoya which turned humble eclairs into colorful statement pieces. 

But for a place that specializes in chouquettes, Ollella is probably the first in Singapore and the first that does it so well. I was glad to have the opportunity to check out this place with @fundamentally_flawed because it restored my hope in the local pastries just when I thought that everyone was too focused on Instagram-worthy stuff and neglect the actual quality.

Ollella is named after the owners, Ollyvia and Marcella, who are sisters of Indonesian parentage. These upside-down choux pastries are the creations of the younger sister, Ollyvia, who used to work at The Peninsua Chicago Hotel and underwent a three-month stint at the prestigious Pierre Herme in Paris a year before opening this shop. Meanwhile, the front service and operations affairs are managed by Marcella, a bubbly personality with corporate marketing experience.

Some might described this as "haute-coute" desserts but I begged to differ because there's a kind of simplicity and intimacy in each of these these 5-cm hollow airy pate a choux are armoured with a delicate craquelin shell. Piped full of creams and custards, there's little not to like in the combination of crunchy, aromatic and creamy.

Presentation wise, they might be a notch below those lightning eclairs but these darlings are gorgeous in my eyes. Prices are eminently affordable and satisfaction guaranteed. It's the next place after Dulcet & Studio that I would recommend for excellent cream puffs.

Our unanimous favourite was the Dark Chocolate, a black ugly duckling that sat right at the corner of the display choux. Yet this was everything a chocolate choux should be ― a perfectly formed, chocolate streusel that crunched loudly in the mouth, oozing forth an exquisite balance of hearty and rich 72% dark chocolate cream. At $4.50, this is the perfect plebeian pleasure.

The Matcha Azuki ($4.50) also hit the spot with a forthcoming tea taste that wasn't ruined by sugar. That said, the amount of red beans could be too much of a good thing to handle, even for those who love their azuki.

Other flavors include bright and tart Lemon Meringue ($4) which could afford a subtle burnt flavor of the meringue had been torched. My friend who don't fancy rose and lychee found the seasonal Lychee Rose ($5) here to be acceptable because the rose Chantilly was only lightly scented with floral notes. Just be warned that the lychee creameux hold no barriers in its fruity sweetness.

Last but not least, there's the Apple Cinnamon ($4) which offers varied textures just like the Dark Chocolate. It's stuffed with cinnamon-infused Apple compote, vanilla streusels and Madagascar vanilla mascarpone cream. Even those who fear cinnamon will find it easy to be acquainted with this choux.  

Apart from chouquettes, it also sells mini chouquettes in plain, chocolate and curry flavor. There's also a 20-layer Kueh Lapis Legit (from $38/600g or $1.50/slice) made based on their grandmother's recipe. Party-sized choux tarts are also available but a minimum 24-hour advance reservation is required.

Despite being new to the scene, Ollella has chalked up a fair share of experience at pop-up stalls with exclusive creations such as the Moon Choux series during the Mid-Autumn festival. With a confident mastery of the craquelin and Pâte à choux, Ollella definitely makes the cut as one of the best patisseries in town.  

Ollella Chouquettes ・Gula
Residences @ Somme
3 Petain Road, #01-01
Singapore 208108

http://ollella.com/

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