Henri Charpentier – Stunning Desserts, But Way Too Expensive
Yes, Henri Charpentier, that famous popular pretty Japanese patisserie chain is in Singapore.
Their opening at Dempsey Hill would set some hearts thrilling for some of their signature cakes, pastries, madeleine, financiers and flambé desserts.
Though I must qualify, that I could possibly be of the few, who would say something vaguely negative about my experience.
I was full of anticipation, especially when walking down the covered walkway lined with a fuchsia pink carpet, entering a space where booth seats are spacious with silky draping, all rather French and romantic setting.
A scenic view of green outside the window. You feel all beautiful and wonderful… until you see the menu. And that’s when reality sets in.
Oh, a slice of tart or cake was between $7.50 to $9.50. I could accept that. $13.00 for Iced Royal Milk Tea. $13 without taxes yet. That set me deliberating a while. $29 for a plated Dome dessert… that was when we went “Heck it!” and just ordered for happiness.
THE dessert of Henri Charpentier is the Crepe Suzette ($22). After all, the name “Henri Charpentier” came from nineteenth century French chef who created this dessert.
Two slices of thin crepe were prepared in front of our eyes. Butter, orange juice and Marnier cognac liqueur were poured into a hot pan. Then came the burning flambé, and the multiple cameras.
Oh, this is it huh.
The set-up was entertaining, but the taste more underwhelming.
All right, the crepes were silky with a unique tasting alcoholic-orange sauce, that could send some people drunk and red with the Asian flush. I won’t deny it was tasty, but could be too heavy-going without sharing.
There were some desserts specially created for the Singapore market, such as the Flower Temptation ($25.00) inspired by the Botanic Gardens, Coupe de Peche ($21) a cool dessert of peach compote, Dome ($29), Rouge ($19) a parfait of marinated strawberries, financier and passion fruit, and Tarte Tatin ($18).
If you are ready to spend, the Dome ($29) was quite a dramatic delight. The chocolate sphere had chocolate parfait biscuit of fraise d’amande enclosed, and you could imagine the transformation as the ball was lighted with the magical blue flambé. Very stunning.
For a Japanese based set-up, I did wish for less service hiccups: You couldn’t sense a system, waiting time was long (about half an hour for some items to arrive), some questions asked were left unanswered or lost in translation, and we certainly wished for more smiles and interactivity.
Some of the Singaporean (judging from accent) wait staffs were rather prompt and friendly though.
Going to Henri Charpentier can allow you to try some unique-tasting desserts, get their coveted cookie gift boxes, and earn some bragging rights. Though we really wished, most of the items could be about 20% cheaper.
Henri Charpentier – Dempsey Hill Shop
9A Dempsey Road. Singapore 247698 (next to House)
Tel : +65 6479 5518
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
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