Fans of Cédric Grolet are in luck — for the first time ever, the man (the myth, the legend), who was voted the world’s best pastry chef by Grand Tables du Monde and World’s 50 Best Restaurants respectively, has opened a patisserie in Singapore.
With two shops in Paris and another in London, this is the the award-winning pastry chef’s fourth shop (and first foray into Asia), so we have much to be excited about!
You’ve probably come across at least one of Grolet’s exquisite and eye-catching creations on Instagram or TikTok, given that he has over 12 million followers on social media.
The 40-seater Cédric Grolet Singapore is housed on the first floor of COMO Orchard on Bideford Road, a 19-storey luxury hotel and fashion retail concept, and boasts a monochromatic interior filled with motifs or fruits and flowers on the walls.
The cafe and patisserie offers a range of desserts, pastries, and sandwiches inspired by the twin universes of fruits and flower.
It is open for both breakfast and afternoon tea, but everyone who visits, no matter how time of day it is, must make a beeline for the selection of oven-fresh viennoiserie.
If you can purchase only one item, let it be the plain Croissant (S$8), which was, frankly speaking, one of the best croissants I’ve ever had.
I’ve had my fair share of croissants that were too oily, buttery, sunken in the middle, overly doughy— you get my drift. However, this was soft and impeccably fluffy on the inside, with a subtle sweetness, as well as a crisp, flaky exterior.
If you’d like to to dip your croissant into your choice of coffee, as encouraged by Cedric himself, the Cappuccino (S$15) and Hot Chocolate (S$15) are your best bets.
Do note, however, that the coffee served here didn’t particularly stand out — the Double Espresso (S$11) was way too acidic for my liking — but you can also try other drinks like Chai Latte (S$16), Milk Punch (coconut milk infused with cold brew, from S$15), and even Hot/Cold Bubble Tea (S$14).
Moving on to the other pastries, the Pain Au Chocolat (S$10) was a sight to behold (let’s just say it boasts the best lamination I’ve seen in a French pastry), with ribbons of decadent yet bittersweet dark chocolate.
If you like it even sweeter, the Pain Suisse (S$16), their take on a Swiss brioche bun, a layered croissant with a vanilla crème pâtissière and a chocolate core, will take you to that happy place.
Another sweet pastry I thoroughly enjoyed was the Parisian Flan (S$14), which is served warm, featuring a soft and custardy filling specked with vanilla bean encased in a flaky laminated brioche pastry.
Think of it as a really elevated egg tart.
Viennoiserie aside, the menu also features “Sweet” and “Savoury” dishes. A standout from the sweet section that’s as eye-catching as it is elegant is the flower-shaped French Toast ($26) served with vanilla chantilly cream and an excellent mango marmalade.
Feel free to slather as much cream and jam as you like onto this thick pancake-french toast hybrid, because portions are pretty generous. There’s also a Waffle (S$26) version served with the same accompaniments.
As for the savoury items, you won’t go wrong with the Avocado Toast (S$28), which is topped with a perfectly runny yolk, though it’s definitely not the most value-for-money brunch option out there. Otherwise, you’ve also got Cedric’s Omelette (S$18) and an intriguing-sounding Benedicte Ham Croissant (S$28) to choose from.
However, Grolet is best known for his trompe l’oeil creations, hyperrealistic fruit-inspired pastries that look like the real deal, be it oranges, strawberries, figs, or fruits of the more exotic variety. For instance, the Singapore-exclusive Dragonfruit (S$26) comprises dragonfruit gel, fresh dragonfruit and passionfruit, and light vanilla ganache encased within a thin shell of white chocolate and cocoa butter.
There are also intricately decorated tarts befitting of any special occasion (or fancy dinner party), such as the Mango Ginger Flower (S$26) and Paris Brest Flower (S$26), all of which can be pre-ordered here. If you pop by for Afternoon Tea, you’ll be able to enjoy these exquisitely modern creations along savoury sandwiches, cookies, chocolate cake, and perhaps a bottle of champagne if you’re in the mood to treat yourself.
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Photos by Christabel Tan