Epoch Times, Singapore Edition (Issue 495, Sept 19 – Oct 2, 2014)
By Li Yen
Epoch Times Staff
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This famous quote by the Mad Hatter is handpainted on the wall of the Hatter Street Bakehouse & Cafe, a newly opened cafe situated in the Hougang neighbourhood.
Set up by four young and creative individuals who wanted to inject “a pinch of madness” into their cuisine, they dedicated their shop to the ‘Hatter’—a fictional character from Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel.
The Hatter is often described as ‘mad’ and thus the name ‘The Mad Hatter’.
Being fans of the Hatter and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the owners of Hatter Street love doing things out of the ordinary, and through this whimsical cafe they hope to promote creativity and spontaneity. They want to set up a cafe which they can call their own, in an absurd and unconventional way, instead of taking the mainstream route.
Hatter Street’s cuisine is characterised by Asian culinary traditions with the implementation of avant-garde techniques.
Glimpses of the Mad Hatter can be seen in the desserts they serve. They love to break the rules, so be prepared for a quirky and amusing gastronomic experience in this out-of-place neighbourhood cafe.
Last week, we immersed ourselves in a wacky journey at Hatter Street, where waitresses dressed in playful cat costumes serve up a myriad of original and creative desserts.
Yvette Chua, the teacher-turned chef and owner of Hatter Street, trained under the Demon Chef of Bo Innovation, a 3-michelin starred Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong that is famous for its extreme cuisine.
Chef Chua explored her professional development in the culinary arts through a degree majoring in professional studies in culinary arts management. She is inspired by the Demon Chef Alvin Leung, and crafts her desserts with influences from her Hong Kong’s learning experiences.
Her desserts are off the limits of what is accepted as the norm, and her original and unpredictable creations take diners on an expedition that is as amusing as Alice’s in the Wonderland!
Smoked Sawdust Pudding (S$5)
A signature dish at Hatter Street, this dessert is inspired by a popular Portuguese pudding known as Serradura (meaning ‘sawdust’) which originates from Macau.
To make the pudding, Chef Chua grinds cookie crumbs to look like sawdust, and a special gun is used to smoke the pudding before it is served.
The smoke—the highlight and novelty of this dessert—is an idea that Chef Chua got from visiting temples in Hong Kong.
Smoke poured out of the jar as I opened it, and added a lightly charred taste to this quirky dish. The smell of incense filled my mouth on the first bite, but the aroma disappeared on the second bite, and I could taste the sweet-savouriness of this dessert after that.
Chef Chua was actually quite sceptical about the reception for this peculiar dish, and is pleasantly surprised that customers are actually coming back for it.
So folks, do try this unusual dessert, which is guaranteed to tickle your palate!
Hatter Street’s waffle has been mentioned in several food magazines as one of the best in Singapore.
There are many places serving waffles, so what’s so special about theirs?
Unlike the soft versions that most restaurants serve, Hatter Street’s waffles are beautifully crisp.
Chef Chua marries two unique Asian ingredients—pandan ice cream and gula melaka with the waffle. These homely, traditional flavours, when combined with the crispiness of the waffle, make this dessert a yummy treat!
Kum Kuat (S$6)
The Kum Kuat tart is akin to the Lemon Meringue Tart, except that it is made with the puree of fresh Kum Kuat, a citrus fruit that looks like a small, oval orange.
“It’s so kumquat” was my first reaction when I dug into this sweet and sour dessert. I love its strong citrus taste with a dash of sweetness!
Alice is the main character of Lewis Carroll’s famous novel, and so is this dish, which was initially intended to be the signature dessert of Hatter Street.
Alice is a white chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This dessert is a masterpiece that juxtaposes many dimensions of taste, texture, and temperature, ranging from sweet to salty and warm to cold.
Oh-My-Tian, which literally translates as ‘Oh-My-God’, is a unique cookies and cream brownie topped with homemade Oreo ice cream. With its generous helpings of crunchy Oreo cookies, this delightful treat will undeniably be well-loved by Oreo cookies fans!
Blk 212, Hougang Street 21
From – http://printarchive.epochtimes.com/a1/en/sg/nnn/2014/09%20September%202014/495/SEPTEMBER19-OCTOBER2_32_lowres.pdf, http://printarchive.epochtimes.com/a1/en/sg/nnn/2014/09%20September%202014/495/SEPTEMBER19-OCTOBER2_33_lowres.pdf
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