One of the greatest grumbles in my life as a foodie so far is the lack of decent cafes in the heartlands where I live. Sure, cafes in heartland areas may never have been a common thing. So why not start the trend? When I first got to know about the opening of a patisserie in Hougang I was undeniably excited and anticipating for future visits. I may not exactly reside there but a group of close friends do which means another place nearby to chill.
Go grab some seats before it gets more popular. Ciel Patisserie has only 3 tables indoors (seating about 10 people) and 2 outdoors. The space here is conceptualized to be simple with white-washed walls, brown wooden tables and a bare cement flooring. Somehow it brings life to the otherwise monotonous row of clinics, provision shops and hardware shops downstairs a HDB block of flats.
On our first visit to Ciel we ordered 5 items just for the 2 of us since we were rather hungry. The Chocolate Caramel Tart ($4.20) may look as simple as can be but surprisingly it was one of our favorite items amongst all. I believe they’ve got the chocolate in this tart very right and suitable for my taste buds. The biscuit crust may be a tad hard but with the chocolate they became a pair.
A special rendition of the Brownie ($3) can be found here. Unlike normal brownies which are chocolate rich and thick, theirs was less rich and dense. What’s more, there are nuts and a subtle layer of what I believe to be salted caramel on the sides of the brownie, making it an instant hit. We later even went on to have another brownie, so that’s 6 items in total.
Bombe ($5.80) (which looks like a bomb) is a chocolate mousse with blueberries in it. Nothing spectacular though.
Next up, meet Scarlet ($5.60) – a raspberry, heart-shaped cheesecake. The cheesecake here is a lot less dense with cheese, somewhat akin to Japanese styles. With a layer of raspberry in the middle, it gives texture and a refreshing feel. By the way they do have teas, coffees and italian sodas on the menu as well.
I guess the only savory item they have here is the Quiche ($3.20) which comes with a nice crumbly crust. It’s a good break from an overload of sugars, definitely.
From a second trip, we went easier on our stomachs this time. Satine ($4.80) is the normal cheesecake – it’s quite normal. The Opera ($5.80) on the other hand was much loved. It’s rich layers of coffee and chocolate makes it seem rather tiramisu-like, except that the layers are harder.
I also happened to see 3 different macaron flavors at the display (previously there was only the pink one) so I decided to grab all 3 of them. At 3 for $5, there are only 3 flavors currently: Rose, Pineapple Passionfruit and Chocolate Salted Caramel. With harder shells and less creamy ganaches, the macarons here sadly don’t hold a match to my favorites in Singapore. There are differing opinions on them though.
I’m now holding Ciel’s membership card which entitles me to a 10% discount on any visit and a 20% discount for a birthday month visit. The pastries here may not be the most photogenic; the environment here may not be the most extravagant. But, reasonable prices and their desserts being well-received overall makes it one of the many places that I’ll hold on to in my mind.
124 Hougang Avenue 1
Tel: 6383 0803
Tuesdays – Thursdays 11am to 8pm
Fridays – Saturdays 11am to 9pm
Sundays 3pm to 9pm