Paya Lebar Residents nearby should have heard of the former Geylang Fire Station which is the second oldest fire station built in Singapore in operation from 1929 till 2002.
Even though the former Geylang Fire Station has been subsequently renamed as Paya Lebar Office Centre and transformed into a F45 training centre, the bright red doors remain as an iconic characteristic of this conserved building.
Located within Paya Lebar Office Centre, Patisserie CLÉ (which means ‘key’ in French) has shifted from an online platform to a brick and mortar shop within the compound.
The philosophy is to “Uncover the key to unlocking everyone’s hearts” by creating heartfelt sensations through a balance of flavours and texture, and between Asian and Western palettes.
Opened by 2 friends while learning pastry-making at Ferrandi Paris, both Joy Chiam and Germaine Li subsequently worked at the former Joël Robuchon Restaurant and Les Amis respectively after graduation.
It didn’t come as a surprise to me as the tarts here had a stark resemblance to the ones at Tarte By Cheryl Koh, since Germaine had worked directly under Pastry Chef Cheryl Koh herself.
The small, cosy shop decked in a plain white interior does not offer any seating space, and acts as a takeaway shop for their cakes ($8.50) and tarts ($8).
The selection of Tarts ($8) include Lemon Meringue, Orh Blanc (Orh Nee + Mont Blanc), Strawberry, Tropico (Mango and Pineapple), Passion Sesame (passionfruit curd with black sesame) and Cognac Caramel Chocolate.
The Orh Blanc Tart ($8) caught my attention with the uncommon combination of oriental Orh Nee (Yam) and French tart pastry.
Piped with fresh yam on top in a single stranded hairlike structure like a Mont Blanc, a layer of vanilla chantilly is laid beneath it with another layer of yam on top of the tart shell that is baked with coconut cream.
Gingko nuts are then added on top and within the layer of yam to add some textural contrast to the combination.
The Orh Blanc Tart is light on the palate without being too sweet, suitable for older folks who are adventurous enough to try hipster version of the traditional Teochew dessert.
I was more of a fan of the Strawberry Tart ($8) that comes with a layer of strawberry gel, baked almond cream and vanilla bean cream topped with fresh strawberries.
The vanilla bean cream is light and airy whereas the strawberry gel is fragrant and lightly scented with rose.
One suggestion is to call and pre-order in advance as there are limited flavours available each day.
Another thing to note is that there is no menu at the moment, which makes ordering a little difficult but the owners were enthusiastic to show me their offerings and prepare the desserts ala minute.
Expect 20 minutes of waiting time if you choose to walk in and order but I guess the tarts are worth the wait and will be CLÉ (key) to your happiness.
Paya Lebar Office Centre, 29 Paya Lebar Road, #01-01, Singapore 409005
+65 8127 3925
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 7pm (Mon – Sat) tentative soft opening hours, Closed Sun
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.