Nouveau Cafe – Secret Dessert Spot In The CBD, Instagram-Worthy Cakes At Hong Leong Building Basement
This is a *secret* lunch spot at Raffles Place that not many people know about – the basement of Hong Leong Building opposite Lau Pa Sat.
There are restaurants and cafes such as Monnani Kwabaeggi which is famous for ugly pretzels, Menya Sanji Ramen, Niigata Bento, Osahime Japanese Restaurant (which used to be from Market Street), and Nouveau Café.
After the first outlet at Hillion Mall last year which is a take-away kiosk, Nouveau Cafe has opened a 2nd outlet at the newly renovated basement level of Hong Leong Building.
Some patience is needed to locate the entrance to this basement, and I did not observe much foot traffic that came down.
It can be quite worrying as majority of the options are desserts which may be a challenge to attract the office crowd, plus the café is only opened for half a day during the weekends for cafe hoppers to visit.
The basement will also turn completely quiet come 1:30pm as everyone starts heading back to office.
I was pretty excited when I saw the selection of Instagram-worthy and pretty items such as Marble Pattern Cake ($14.80), Cotton Candy Matcha Red Bean Waffle ($14.80), Cloudy Alaska ($19.80) and Candy Rain Coffee ($7.80).
OLs and office workers in their business attire, drinking a cup of coffee with a huge hanging cotton candy during office hours?
It is hard to imagine them doing that, especially in the fast paced CBD area where diners are usually going for fuss free options like grain bowls and salad bars.
For a more filling option, savoury items include Pizza ($13.80) and Sandwiches ($4.80 – $5.80).
Using cotton candy in most of their desserts, the Cloudy Alaska ($19.80) was a visually pleasing with flaming alcohol poured over the cotton candy, revealing a combination of meringue, sponge cake, lime and strawberry sorbet.
The combination was quite refreshing especially when the sponge cake was soaked entirely in the pool of alcohol.
The Marble Pattern Cake ($14.80) is another signature item, which comes in 3 different flavours: Strawberry, Green Tea, Nutella.
First impression: This looks too similar to Sugar Miss’s version in Taipei.
Second Impression: The Marble Cube in Taipei looks more aesthetically pleasing with dripping molten layer on the outside, served on a marble plate.
While the price point may be on the higher side, the portion is good for sharing between 2 people.
I had the Nutella Marble Pattern Cake ($14.80) made up of chocolate sponge with Nutella mousse within it.
At that price point, I was expecting more, probably molten lava oozing out of it.
Coffee is reasonably priced at $5 for Latte, Flat White, Cappuccino and Mocha.
For a more fanciful Candy Rain Cloud ($7.80), a cotton candy is placed above a cup of hot coffee with hot steam causing the cotton candy to melt and drip into the cup.
Words of caution: It can be really messy and sticky with the melted cotton candy.
The offerings at Nouveau Cafe are interesting but I wonder if the office crowd will appreciate these kind of desserts amidst their hectic working schedule.
Take for example the Nouveau Old Fashioned Cake, coming in exciting flavours such as Passion Fruit Mango, Green Tea Red Bean, and Cotton Candy.
There were many curious onlookers who came back to take photos, and not buying any back. I think the main reason is they were only sold in blocks and not slices, and may deter calorie-watching CBD workers to think twice.
Hong Leong Building, 16 Raffles Quay, #B1-52, Singapore 048581
Opening Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 8am – 2pm (Sat), Closed Sun
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