Friday, 13 May 2011

Confection perfection: 2am:dessertbar

Imagine a bar that exudes coolness. A bar where the hip, chic and switched on people hang out. You might be imagining plush white leather seats; modish lighting; trendy staff; chilled champagne and the latest tunes playing in the background… Easy to imagine as places like this exist in every cosmopolitan city across the globe?

Now add the fact that this bar is open until 2 in the morning and serves up some of the most delicious and creative dessert dishes you may ever taste…

Sounds too good to be true? Well thanks to the remarkably gifted chef-owner, Janice Wong, the ‘2am:dessertbar’ is very much a reality.

Located in Singapore’s Holland Village, an area famed for it’s cool bars, cafes and restaurants, the 2am:dessertbar is indisputably the pick of the bunch. The breakthrough concept bar certainly serves up an exquisite selection of avant-garde and progressive treats, our choices were:

‘POPCORN’ sweet and salty, yuzu (paired with a Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris) – Served in a sweeping wave on an in-vogue black slate; this was my favourite of the desserts that we tried as it really captured the salty and sweet flavours of cinema fresh popcorn.


‘ARAGUANI H20’ valrhona chocolate 72%, Evian, caramel mousse, praline, yuzu sorbet (paired with a Tempranillo, Ribero Del Duero).  I love Yuzu, which is an ingredient with a unique citrus zing that is rarely readily available in the UK and I love sorbet… oh, and I adore great quality dark chocolate. For me, this dish was always going to be a winner! The presentation wowed and the texture combinations enhanced the eating enormously.


‘GUAVA CLOUD’ elderflower, starfruit, sweet milk sauce (paired with a Verdejo). -  Light and refreshing, sweet and ambrosial, this was one cloud that could unquestionably be described as heavenly. The starfruit added a subtle sour crunch that perfectly complemented the other clean flavours.   

Each of the dessert dishes on the menu is accompanied by a quality wine paring. Alternative pairings were ably suggested by the Bar Manager who had an extensive selection of ‘off menu’ drinks, including Hitachino Nest Beer, from Japan. Creative cocktail pairings would however, be a welcome addition to the menu and overall experience.

Janice came out to chat and arranged for some delightful fruit jelly shooters; a quirky surprise that were as fun and enjoyable as they were flavorsome. Quiet and unassuming, the young and talented owner is the perfect deferential host. Her food may be theatrical but Janice lacks any pretension in the presentation of her food and herself.

I have two regrets in relation to the 2am:dessertbar. The first is that our visit was the week before they played host to Master Pastry Chef Rosio Sanchez, from Noma - the World’s Number One Restaurant. This would have been an amazing opportunity to experience the exceptional talent food of Copenhagen’s leading-edge food in 2am’s cutting-edge setting. The second is that I live in Manchester and not Singapore.

The bad news is that I will probably not be returning to Singapore until next year. However the GOOD NEWS is that Janice and her 2am:dessertbar staff will be coming to London’s Southbank from the 9th to the 11th June 2011 as part of Singapore's International Culinary Exchange SPICE programme. I will be there.

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