Nestled in Sunset Way is a cutely themed café bringing Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood back to life. As soon as you enter this gelato place, you will notice that the place oozes with positivity, right from the décor on the walls, to the wooden furniture, to the spirit of the staff. Though it is relatively new, the café had a steady flow of customers indicating its popularity in the neighborhood.
The shop only has 6-7 tables and is suited for smaller groups or takeaways. They have 12-14 gelato flavours on display in the counter which can be paired with waffles, plain cones, or rosemary cones. They also have 3-4 flavours in the vegan friendly, dairy-free section. Apart from this, the menu has a Vietnamese influence since one of the founders hails from there. The menu clearly describes the towns in Vietnam called Da Lat and Tuy Hoa where the ingredients are sourced from.
We ordered the waffles with double scoops and for the flavours we picked Sea Salt and Butter Caramel and Ispahan. The saltiness of the caramel balanced with the sweetness of the ispahan and tasted good as a combination. Texturally, the gelato was smooth and well-made. Ispahan is a combination of rose, lychee and raspberry and had a slight tartness to it. The overall presentation with the chocolate sauce on the rim of the plate was a nice touch.
Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world. Coffee drinking in this café is a nice and slow experience as you wait for the coffee to drip through the filter into the mug. If you want to avoid the bitter taste of coffee, then going for the usual amount of condensed milk is recommended. The coffee was authentic and it is definitely worth trying.
For their unique flavors, for their good balance in vegan gelato options, and for the overall positive vibes of scooping happiness, Hundred Acre Creamery is definitely highly recommended.
With Italian restaurants spread all across the red dot island, it would take some thought and planning to open a new restaurant serving this cuisine. My wanderings this time led me to Lucca’s Trattoria, a quaint and rustic eatery located in Robertson Quay. The quadrangle is filled with restaurants – and a lot of people! The moment you enter the restaurant, what strikes you is the long wooden paneled counter, the huge display of wine bottles, the red-checkered table cloths and counter design. The decor definitely helps in setting up a calm, no-frills and private atmosphere. The counter has a light display which shows the trademark Italian specialties they offer and states that they make everything in-house from scratch.
The Orders While trying Italian cuisine, I like to go for the quintessential classic – pizza. Since they focus extensively in this cuisine, they have a wide range of options on their menu. We ordered the ‘Vegetariano Supremo’ which contained bell peppers, black olives, mushrooms, grilled zucchini, artichoke, onion and rucola leaves. The special pizza grade flour is imported from Italy. The pizza is made in the open kitchen on a oak table top. The crust had a substantial bite to it and the pizza tasted great. It is available in two sizes in case you want to share. There was authenticity in the taste of the sauce too. The house-made pastas are also quite popular at this joint.
Vegetariano Supremo at $21
For my drink, I ordered the ‘Apple Juice’ and steered away from the classic red wine pairing for a change. The juice was refreshing and had the subtle taste of apple to the amount I like.
What ultimately stood out in this place were the desserts. This course transported me to Italy as the taste felt authentic and the chef exactly knew the process for making it in a true Italian style. The item definitely not to be missed is ‘Lucca’s Tiramisu’. They make it using Lady’s Fingers soaked in Sicilian marsala wine and espresso. The mascarpone cheese was dense and every bite was like a dream. Overall, it was lush and boozy – and highly recommended.
Lucca’s Tiramisu at $10
Another yielding to temptation happened after seeing their extensive gelato counter. Prepared by Italian-trained gelato chefs, this has some new flavours that looked exciting. One of my favourites has been the ‘Chocolate Orange’ combination and the gelato was extremely good. The dark chocolate was bitter with the notes of orange cutting through it with elan. Savour every bite of this when you try it!
Chocolate Orange Gelato
This is a restaurant that aims to bring Tuscany fare to the forefront in Singapore. The real connoisseurs can tell how much they have succeeded in doing that successfully. If you are looking for a nice evening in a homely Italian setting with authentic taste, this place won’t disappoint. They have lunch promo deals at $15 and also a tasting menu that looks promising as a promotional offer. For good service, great Italian desserts, hand-made gelatos, Luccca’s Trattoria is worth a visit.
Having grown up in India, I have a soft spot for ice cream parlours. After a nice meal, my family and I used to head out for dessert and try some fresh fruit flavours at the local ice cream joint. I loved the the chit-chat that followed. In Singapore, I got nostalgic about those times when I visited the newly opened dessert place – Simplicité Café on East Coast Road. There was a certain chirpiness in the atmosphere with people of all age groups frequenting the place. It is also a kid-friendly place and a nice way to spend some dessert family time. It can accommodate around 30 people and also offers takeaways. Staying true to its name, the café has truly kept it simple in terms of their flavours and ambiance. The staff exude enthusiasm and strive to make you feel comfortable immediately – I think that comes as a part of being newly opened but it was good to see the drive in them.
Simplicite cafe menu
The Orders Waffles are their specialty – and they have flower-shaped waffles. How cool is that! It wasn’t just a case of looking good – it tasted delicious. They were crisp. buttery and light. I also liked the alternate use of strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce and whipped cream on the petals. It was such a pretty sight.
Our order was ‘Blossom Waffles with 2 scoops’ in which we could choose our gelato or sorbet flavours. Along with the usual flavours like Chocolate, Hazelnuts, Mango, Matcha tea, they also have a ‘Guess what’s this’ flavour. On the day we went it was ‘Cherry Tomato’. Yes! Believe it or not, the cherry tomato flavour tastes awesome as a sorbet and I instantly knew that I wanted it as one scoop layer. So I ordered Mango and Cherry Tomato as the two scoops of my choice. I was really impressed with how fresh the fruits used in the sorbets were. The sorbet was smooth and rich on the tongue with no hard-hitting ice crystals – totally delicious.
Blossom waffles with mango and cherry tomato at $14
They also have some basic drinks in the form of coffee, teas and hot chocolate. When I was waiting for the waffles to be made, I ordered ‘Hot Chocolate’ which could have been a little less milky but that is purely a personal choice.
Hot chocolate at $5
We also had a nice chat with the owner / chef on the science of food and sorbet-making. He was transparent in sharing with us about the finest quality of vanilla and chocolate sourced for their gelatos. It was nice of him to chat with every table and be open to feedback. Even though it is a bit inaccessible by MRT, the place is easily reachable by bus. For those who are familiar with Margarita’s at ECP , this place is right opposite it. For their enthusiasm, fresh quality of ingredients and their experimentation with new flavour combinations, I hope Simplicité Café blossoms into a nice dessert joint just like their waffles.
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Desserts
Nearest MRT: Eunos/Tanah Merah/Bedok
Address: 425 East Coast Road, Singapore 429012
Timings: Tue-Thu, Sun: 12pm – 10pm ; Fri-Sat: 11.30 am to midnight