Both Maple & Market, and The Hideout could not survive long at Cassia Crescent. That is quite near the famous Old Airport Food Centre where some of the best hawker stalls in Singapore are located.
Therefore, I must say Sweet Garden Dessert Café is very brave to take the space left vacant by The Hideout.
While Singapore has recently been flooded with ‘instagrammable’ hipster cafes with basically similar cookie-cutter industrial interior, Sweet Garden Dessert Café is completely different.
Green-coloured walls, fake flowers, a wooden signboard that says 甜蜜花园 (Chinese translation to the store name), and a rather homely feel, the entire vibe is Taiwanese meets Malaysian style café in the early 2000s.
Don’t get me wrong – I think there is a certain charm in this, and appeals to a certain segment of customers.
Therefore, I wished that its offering can be more distinct, unique, in line with the family-style ambience.
The menu consists of “Dessert In Pan” – Apple Crumble ($15.50, $18.50), Banana Flambé with Grand Marnier ($17, $20); “Dessert In Plate” –Golden Banana Bread ($12, $15) and Chef Signature Brownies ($15, $18), Belgium Waffle ($11.90, $14.90), Charcoal Waffle ($12.90, $15.90).
Ice cream is from a local supplier.
Sweet Garden’s price point could also be a few dollars too much for a café in the heartlands, and I wondered if nearby residents would make this a regular haunt.
Its signature Loved Banana Flambé with Grand Marnier ($17 with a scoop of ice cream) unfortunately lived up to the shop’s name of ‘Sweet’ Garden.
It didn’t help that almost every ingredient in the pan was sweet, from the ice cream, crumble, to the marshmallow and sauce. Needed something plainer to balance it off. (We gave some feedback, and they apparently lessen the sweetness.)
The recommended Sweet Garden Cheese Bread ($7.50 for 8 pieces) was well, o.k.a.y – didn’t excite in terms of both texture and taste. Can it be softer, fluffier, and have some fillings of sorts?
During the initial days, there would be many relatives and friends coming over to visit. Owners Barry & Carmen seem to quite a bit of support in that aspect. The serial café hoppers would most likely make their way for a token shot for the Instagram feed.
What happens after that, can be a journey and process that may not be too sweet.
(My humble recommendations for the café would be to fine-tune the sweetness level of some of the desserts, and to think about offering items that would be in line with its branding, and unique enough to get customers further away to come.)
Sweet Garden Dessert Café
Blk 32, Cassia Crescent, #01-50, Singapore 390032
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11pm (Tues – Sat)