Known for its carnival-themed interiors and its hulking Shibuya toast creations, the popular Taiwanese eatery in Orchardgateway — with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, black and pink walls, bunny-eared chairs, and plush couches set by large windows streaming in lots of natural light — looks like it’s built to attract ladies who lunch.
But now that it’s turned two, Dazzling Cafe is looking to tweak that reputation. The decor remains the same, but the menu has been revamped with a new chef on board. Think local or Asian flavors infused into typical cafe dishes like spaghetti, rice bowls, nachos, and lava cakes.
On the savory side, starters include small bites like mentaiko fries ($8.90) sprinkled with nori seaweed, Korean hot pepper chicken bites ($8.90) in kimchi paste with gochujang mayo, and pork rendang nachos ($9.90) slathered with nacho cheese.
In mains, there are pastas like mentaiko spaghetti ($15.90) and laksa spaghetti with chicken and prawns ($16.90). The latter is tossed with shallots, garlic, and coriander, which makes for a fragrant, dry rendition of the local dish.
If noodles aren’t your thing, then there’s the mapo tofu rice bowl ($10.90) with minced pork and a gooey poached egg on top — it wasn’t packing much mouth-numbing spice when we dug into it, but we overheard the kitchen say it was low on Szechuan peppercorns during our visit. Other rice bowl options include Cajun-spiced salmon ($12.90), Korean beef bulgogi ($13.90), and Japanese curry chicken ($11.90).
Alternatively, the more conventional items are still on the menu: fish and chips ($15.90), chicken cutlet with eggs ($14.90), truffle-roasted boneless chicken ($16.90), or pan-seared beef striploin ($19.90).
When it comes to desserts, Dazzling’s signature honey toasts come in seven variations, from classic ($16.90) to pandan gula melaka ($18.90) to banana chocolate ($17.90). Its cake selection ($8.80 each) also does a good job at attracting the attention of the sweet toothed, with the likes of Earl Grey lavender cake, raspberry lychee rose cake, roasted chocolate banana cake, and Thai milk tea cake.
But if you’re paying the eatery a visit soon, the Dazzling x SOT selection is what you probably want to go for, given that they’re only around for a limited time (until the menu sells out). It’s the result of a pop-up collab with Malaysian cafe Sugar-On-Top, famous for their lava hotcakes, spotlights four of these bigger-than-usual baked goodies ($13.90 each), all served with a scoop of ice cream and berries on the side. Flavors include charcoal Earl Grey, strawberry white chocolate, Hokkaido matcha, and goreng pisang (banana, basically).
Dazzling Cafe is at #01-12/13/14 Orchardgateway, 277 Orchard Rd.
6385-3639. Daily 11:30am-10:30pm.