A new japanese-italian cafe, Dolce Tokyo, has just opened in 313 Somerset recently. The cafe is owned by the Ministry of Food group of F&B outlets, headed by young female entrepreneur, Lena Sim.
“Dolce” means “sweet” in italian. The cafe serves a variety of japanese desserts from Mitsu Mama (jelly cubes), Kakigori (shaved ice), Zenzai (red bean dessert) and many more.
Rachel and I had the privilege to dine at Dolce Tokyo a week ago, together with Lena herself.
It is interesting to note that the cafe’s dessert menu is thicker than their main course menu. For this reason, the cafe enjoys very good business outside of lunch and dinner timing.
Although main courses are not their emphasis, Dolce Tokyo still offer a pretty good variety:
According to the owner, more dishes will be added in their main course menu once the cafe’s traffic flow stabilises. For now, dessert is still their main focus and they are already attracting many fans.
Look at some of their dessert selection below and you will understand why:
A recommended order is their signature Dessert Bento (S$18.90) which comes in a combination of desserts in tasting portions. It is ideal for sharing between 3 to 4 pax or if you have a sweet tooth, you can finish it alone.
I enjoyed their japanese-style cakes which are light, fluffy in texture and most important of all – not overly sweet. The cakes are presented in quaint japanese bird cages when served. Lena said she had to specially import the bird cages from Japan as the ones in Singapore are not suitable.
The cakes at Dolce Tokyo are baked and sold on the same day, with no preservatives added, using only the freshest ingredient. The prices may seem a little steep at S$10+ per slice, but you are paying for quality. Rachel and I particularly like their Yuzu cake, made with fresh japanese yuzu.
If you are interested to visit, here are the cafe’s details:
Trattoria Gallo D’Oro (The Golden Rooster) is a cosy italian restaurant located at Central Mall. It specialises in home-styled italian cuisine and is helmed by Chef Carlo Marengoni, one of the co-owner of the restaurant.
When you know the chef himself has a stake in the restaurant, you can certainly be assured of quality.
Chef Carlo has over 17 years experience in fine dining restaurants in 5-star hotels. Instead of lavish fares at Trattoria Gallo D’Oro, Chef Carlo is proud to share with his patrons, the goodness of home-cooked Italian food, particularly from his hometown, Bergamo.
When Chef Carlo Marengoni first arrived in Singapore in 1995, he knew not a word of English. Taking this in stride, he took on the role of Head Chef in Restaurant Fratini. His affable nature combined with the universal language of food soon established him as a culinary superstar in italian cuisine – he was chosen to host the inaugural dinner for the Singapore delegation of Italy’s most prestigious gourmet association, the Accademia Italiana della Cucina (“Academy of Italian Cuisine”) and in 2010, prepared a feast for then-president SR Nathan at the Istana. He is also an ambassador for italian food, being one of the approximately 200 Master Chefs certified worldwide by the Academia Barilla.
Rachel and I dined at Trattoria Gallo D’Oro a few weeks back and had the privilege of meeting Chef Carlo in person:
Friendly and passionate about his cooking, Chef Carlo shared with us his concept for the restaurant, opting for simplicity and homeliness in both the decor and the cuisines so that patrons can feel the warmth of true home italian cooking.
This does not mean less effort is put into cooking in the kitchen of Trattoria Gallo D’Oro. Chef Carlo recounted to us the details when preparing his dishes. To ensure authenticity, some ingredient like the fresh sardines used in one of his signature dish have to be specially imported from Italy.
There items on the menu are specially crafted and selected by the chef and there are daily specials, depending on what’s fresh in season. For regulars, you can also order hard-to-get items like authentic whole italian roast pig that is not on the menu. Note that ample time must be given for preparation and you should call in to check in advance if you are interested to make such special orders.
Rachel and I tried one of the daily selection sharing menu for two (S$68 per pax, minimum 2 pax to order):
We enjoyed ourselves very much at Trattoria Gallo D’Oro. The menu has many sharing options, true to the restaurant’s emphasis on home-cooked goodness where good stuff is meant to be shared. In this way, one can sample more dishes, instead of individual portioning.
The fresh sardines were superb and will amaze Singaporeans who are used to only seeing sardines being packed and preserved in cans. I quite like the linguine too while Rachel voted for the antipesti for her favourite dishes that night.
Here is the restaurant’s details if you are interested to visit:
Blk 7 Magazine Road #01-03 Central Mall Singapore 059572
On my first visit, I tried their items from their Chinese New Year menu for a Lo Hei session:
The restaurant is helmed by award-winning Chef Yong Bing Ngen and is the Majestic Group‘s first seafood themed restaurant. Chef Yong is previously responsible for the success of Majestic Restaurant and Jing. Opening a seafood restaurant is a first for Chef Yong who is known for his contemporary Chinese cuisine.
The restaurant is located below the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay and can seat 110 pax for family, group and corporate dining. It offers an impressive waterfront view of Marina Bay and the interior is done up like a ship deck to fit the “water” theme.
On the second visit, I got down to trying some of their signature seafood dishes:
One of the restaurant’s specialty worth mentioning in particular is the Bay’s Signature “Kopi” Crab 冠华咖啡焗肉蟹 (market price):
Cooked with a special sauce made from a blend of 3 different coffee bean varieties, this special creation took Chef Yong over 3 months to “brew”. Apple jam and a small portion of marmalade and orange juice are used in the Kopi Crab sauce, giving it a fruity taste.
The crab is then flambéed at the table with a mixture of rice wine and coffee liqueur, and coffee beans are added to the alcohol mixture just before serving for an extra burst of fragrance and caramelisation.
I find the sticky texture and caramel taste on the crab shell very intriguing. These are not the usual stuff you will association with a seafood dish. It’s like eating caramel popcorn which enjoying your crab, a rather fascinating experience.
Overall, dining at Majestic Bay was a pleasant experience with a good view of Marina Bay and pretty good food. Price is a little steep, but you pay for quality and the restaurant is located in the Marina Bay precinct where everything is expensive (in fact, I believe Majestic Bay is priced pretty reasonably compared to many other restaurants in the area).
Thank you for being with me and loving me through all these milestones in our lives. Although I seldom say it and although both of us do not believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day, I still want to say I love you my dear. You have been a wonderful wife to me and a caring mother to Asher.
This post is dedicated to the woman behind Alvinology.com – my dearest wife, Rachel Chan.
A toast to more wonderful years ahead and to growing old together. 🙂