The brand 1-Caramel simply speaks everything of sweet nothings whispering in your ear. With a name that suggest pure decadence, it comes as no surprise that the cafe and sweet patisserie is also a place for Brunch everyday, all day. Items range from the rustic traditional Big Breakfast Platter which comes with poached,scrambled or fried eggs with German sausage, bacon, roast tomato, baked beans, spinach, fries and toasted country bread to a slightly more sandwich treat, the 1-Caramel Cheeseburger.
Formerly located at Handy, 1-Caramel is now located at the 2nd floor of its bungalow style restaurant, 1-Rochester at Rochester Park. And amidst the lush foliage surrounding the compound together with the overlooking view from the balcony above, 1-Caramel gives a private yet delightful escape to a land of the savoury, the tasty, and the sugar.
The media session at 1 Caramel was jointly organised by OMY Singapore and the 1 Rochester Group as part of the OMY Singapore Blog Awards 2011 where GourmetEstorie is a finalist in the Best Food Blog Category. (PS. Read instructions on how to vote here and win Prizes!) Bloggers for the night included finalists from both the Best Food Blog and the Best Lifestyle Blog section, so it was a pretty much rambunctious affair. Cameras out, stomachs empty, everyone was ready.
The meal was started off with the Traditional Eggs Benedict with Smoke Salmon ($14. Tasting portion pictured). To be perfect poached eggs served on a chunky slice of toasted English muffin while being draped in a golden yellow tangy savoury hollandaise sauce all over, its a hard level to be reached. And with all that visual appeal, this serving of Eggs Benedict was very tasty with a smooth tartness from the sauce quelling its slightly rich flavour and texture, while glorifying the smoky scent of the salmon and its roe. Break into the centre of the poached egg, and more of the golden spills out, this time the yolk. I just love the colour.
For a portion to share around the table, one can opt for The Posh Platter ($22). Fingers portion of French brie with truffle oil and cherry tomatoes of a toasted brioche, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and smoked salmon tarts with creme fraiche and ocean trout caviar make up the serving.
While I did not particularly favour the Prosciutto wrapped about the asparagus because of its weird mix in flavour, the smoked salmon tarts were another topic altogether. A burst of savoury flavours in a single bite, with a slight sourness from the smooth creme fraiche, the fragrance of the ocean is recreated with just that topping of trout caviar.
The truffled brie and cherry tomatoes on toasted brioche sound like simple luxury, but I think its more of the visual appeal here.
For the dinner, there was a special serving of Raspbery Chocolate Lollipop. The sourness surprised me, and its gone in a bite.
The 1-Caramel Assiette (Five desserts $24) is strictly made for sharing. Or at least thats the way I feel. I wouldn’t mind settling down for lunch here and having a whole platter to myself, but that would probably be too much sugar sweetness. But still I felt my spoon going back for more (Somebody stop me!). These are all in petite sizes, but if you want a specific dessert for yourself, they have it (in all the larger version) at $14.
Tropical Vodka Trifle is a creation of Pineapple Gazpacho Jelly, Pineapple sponge cubes with crystallized baked almonds topped with coconut sorbet. Not too acidic as I would expect, the flavours are relatively a good complement of each other in the arenas of sweet and sour. The topping of coconut sorbet add an even lighter refreshing lift to the dessert with its tender sweetness and melt in the mouth texture.
I first saw the dish, and I said “Turtle!” The 1-Caramel Baked Alaska is a combination of homemade chunky strawberry and vanilla Madagascar ice cream coated with rhum Italian meringue on top of a nutty chocolate brownie. This was probably my favourite for the night as I couldn’t get enough of the smooth soft meringue that had been lovingly torched at just the right places before revealing the depth of ice cream, strawberry and luscious brownie.
1 Caramel also has a serving of Creme Brulee that is a slightly different take from the classic dish itself. The Earl Grey Creme Brulee is an infusion of earl grey tea leaves in a traditional French baked custard dessert served with grissini cheese straws dusted with tea and icing powder. I would reckon this to be a very ‘healthy’ option of Creme brulee, as the dessert itself is a mild sweetness that does not bode heaviness after the first few spoons. The grissini cheese straw also contrasts any strong flavours with a slight savoury feel, and is a thoughtful way to end the dessert.
My next most favourite dish (pardon the grammar) goes to the Raspberry Lychee Rose Pannacotta, Lychee Lemon Compote. Described as a combination of two exquisite puree scented with the essence of rose in a classic Italian cold pudding served with chunky lychee and lemon compote, it tastes as good as it sounds. The cold pudding akin to that of a classic rose jelly is light and slightly marbled. And pairing that with the lychee and lemon compote, it was a combination that was deeply harmonious. Enjoyed individually, they each are a creation of the lychee fruit. Enjoyed together, the initial sweetness parts to reveal a slightly stronger sweetness that leaves one sated and delighted.
Death by Chocolate by no means suggests that one would perish after eating it. But its pure chocolately goodness that extends from the Varlhona Sofiato molten cake to the dark chocolate sorbet, and bits of different pieces laid behind, just shows a sampling of the different chocolate divineness there is in this chocolate world. Simple though. Really for those who want chocolate as an ending.
The Midori Macaron is 1-Caramel’s signature green tea macaron filled with tonka bean compote and Japanese Yuzu ice cream. Sounds great. Looks good, and it tastes like a macaron. Honest. A shell that breaks in a crisp bite, though the center filling is abit more acquired for each individual.
For a dessert that is savoury instead of all sweet, there is a choice for the Miso Souffle with Yuzu Ice Cream ($14). Japanese flavours inspired, it was really simple and quick to finish this souffle. Enjoy it quick before it falls flat and then dig in to the slightly fruity, sweet tart yuzu ice cream as a palate cleanser.
The Yuzu Ice Cream.
But for a slightly more sour choice and with mixed textures, there is also the Passionfruit Souffle with Banana Passion Sorbet ($14). The bits of passionfruit embedded throughout the souffle add interesting crunchiness to the otherwise airy dessert. And with each bite comes a slight refreshingly sour taste together with the natural sweetness. The Banana Passion Sorbet is also a well crafted creation. I found creamy textures of banana matched with the sourness of the passionfruit to give clean way to end the whole meal on a light note.
Keeping it real, here is what everyone looked like when its cameras out.
Of course a shot for the camera, proper. Though there might be some zany shots floating around soon 😉
Me with 1-Rochester Group Executive Chef Christopher James Millar
E 1 Caramel Signboard
Another place for a beautiful brunch discovered, and the established settings from 1-Rochester make the dessert boutique a very apt choice for a tea time getaway. Though the seats in the cafe is limited to a maximum of 16 guests on the second floor, diners can also sit under the stars and indoors of the bungalow together with the 1-Rochester crowd. Savoury Brunch, plus Sweet Desserts and possibly a Death by Chocolate while enjoying an Earl Grey Creme Brulee, this is 1-Caramel, an all day brunch dining with a sweet ending.
Thinking about having 1 of their fabulous looking cakes at 1-Caramel? Vote now for GourmetEstorie at http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2011/category/?cat=food and voters can stand a chance to win 3 x $50 1-Rochester Group vouchers for orders of 1-Caramel Signature cakes and more prizes! Instructions on how to vote can be found by clicking here. You can vote ONCE everyday till the 3rd of July!
Many Thanks to OMY and 1-Rochester Group for the invitation.
1 Rochester Park
Nearest MRT Station : Buona Vista
Opens from :