Among all the countries I’ve been to so far, Japan and France are two of my most favourite destinations to visit and I would do so over and over again. It is no coincidence that their pastries are top notch (and so is their food, both of which is my favourite cuisine. Just look at the number of posts I have for these categories!). I love French pastries like their cakes, tarts and macarons, but it gets even better when it’s done Japanese style. In Japan, pastries are a huge thing and there are endless options for cakes everywhere. A random shop from a department store food hall can easily be so good too. From what I observed, Japanese style of these French classics would turn out lighter and less sweet and this hits the spot for my palate!
Among all the patisseries in Singapore, my favourite few happen to be Japanese influenced, like Chef Yamashita and K-ki (now defunct). I’m glad that I now have a new favourite to add to my (very short, sadly) list of really good cakes in Singapore. Pantler features Japanese style French pastries (not surprisngly!) which looks good and tastes even better!
Disclaimer: this patisserie is NOT new, but I don’t know why I took so long to check it out.
Clearly I am not the kind of opportunistic food blogger who loves to ride on new hypes and only feature newly opened establishments to get attention – I post only whatever I like to eat. Now firstly, Telok Ayer and the surrounding area is known for having quite a number of hipster cafes, and if you didn’t look close enough, you might think that this is just another one of those places. Clearly I didn’t look close enough, not until I started attending Barre classes at WeBarre on Stanley Street and frequented this area a lot more than I used to.
Strawberry Shortcake – $8.50
I think I have found it. The best Strawberry Shortcake in Singapore (for now)! I fell in love with Strawberry Shortcake a few years ago and have been on a hunt for good ones. This is one very simple cake, but it is also notoriously perishable. When kept for too long, and it will be obviously stale – cream no longer fresh, cake dry and strawberries sour. It has to be eaten in that short window where the cake is soft and fluffy and cream fresh. I’d say this one is as good as the ones I’ve had in Japan, just that it cost twice as much. I read in an article that the strawberries they use are a from a specific source and that explains why it’s sweet! Most of the strawberries we find in supermarkets locally are usually sour and sour strawberry will just ruin this cake.
Yatsura – $8.50
hazelnut dacquoise, a dark chocolate mousse and a crunchy hazelnut feuilletine
This chocolate based cake is their signature and best seller. I’ve had similar cakes before of chocolate and hazelnut, but this one takes the cake, pun intended. The texture differences of crispy base and soft and light mousse; the rich flavour of dark chocolate and fragrant hazelnut. It is a good cake, but chocolate cake isn’t always my favourite cake. I mean, I do love my chocolate and I would eat this, but I like cream cakes even more.
Citron Blanc – $8.50+
classic lemon tart with fromage blanc and lemon confit
I had such a hard time deciding which other pastry to get. The options where overwheming. I decided on this one because I love lemon tart (ok, I love almost every kind of pastry…). This one is a lemon tart with some cheese on top. Yes it is good, but I think for lemon tart I would go with French versions. The best lemon tart I’ve had was from Jacques Genin in Paris and that one is very hard to beat. This one was good in terms of flavour and easily better than many others in Singapore, but for the high price and with so many other options to choose in the shop, I think you should only order this if lemon tart is your thing and you don’t like cakes.
Pantler Cheesecake – $6.80
This one is something unique – a cross between Japanese style cotton souffle cheesecake and American New York Cheesecake. The cake texture was light and quite loose like Japanese Hanjuku cheesecake, but yet it was also quite creamy like New York cheesecake but a lot less dense. The texture was something new, somewhere right in between. The top layer which looks beautiful resembles the golden brown layer on top of Japanese Castella cakes, but it could actually be there more for aesthetics than for good purpose because it was hard and the texture does not match the soft cheese beneath it. The whole piece just fell out when I tried to scoop a piece of everything. The bottom biscuit crust was just like those of New York Cheesecake and done so right, I loved it. Overall this cheesecake is one of a kind I must say, and something I definitely will not say no to eating again! (And also because I love cheesecakes. Ok I know I’m losing credibility by saying I love shortcake, chocolate cake, lemon tart and now cheesecake. I just love every kind of cake.)
I later read their description of this cake on their website and indeed, it was intended to be exactly what I thought of it!
” One of our signatures. A melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese cake with a biscuit base. This cheese cake is unlike your dense American cheese cake or your airy Japanese soufflé cheese cake. It’s strikes a perfect balance between the two. A texture unlike any other cheese cake, it appears firm but is incredible soft, with a subtle cream cheese flavour that gently emerges upon each bite.”
Roll Cake – $4.80
Alright I have something different to say this time! Roll cake was NOT my thing. Roll cake has always just been an ok cake to me, it wasn’t one of my favourite pastries. However, things have changed since I’ve tried this one. I think I was never a huge fan of roll cakes because they were always made to mediocre quality, since it’s always the most plain and ugly cake you can find in a cake shop, but now things have changed forever.
This very simple looking cake could actually be the best thing they have! Roll cakes are very common and you can find them almost anywhere, but this one stands out for being so different. The cream was very fresh and whipped to the most optimal texture, and I think this does the trick. No gimmicks involved – just very fresh cream and very soft texture of roll cake. The fresh cream makes so much difference.
If I had to choose my favourites from Pantler among these 5, it would be the roll cake and the strawberry shortcake. I do want to try everything else on their menu someday too!
Overall: Expensive but very good Japanese-French style cakes. One of the best of it’s kind in Singapore.
198 Telok Ayer St
Mon – Fri: 8:30am – 7pm
Sat: 10:30am – 5:30pm
(Closed on Sunday)