Janice Wong’s new 2am:dessertbar degustation menu is a mash-up of sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes

Soursop Garden. Photo: 2am:dessertbar
Soursop Garden. Photo: 2am:dessertbar

Janice Wong, the local dessert maestro known for her elaborate confectionery works of art, has recently introduced a new degustation menu to her long-standing Holland Village restaurant, 2am:dessertbar. In classic Janice Wong style, combining her expertise as a pastry chef and an artist, the new treats showcase her edible art creations — all prettily plated to gorgeous effect.

Inside the dimly-lit, cozy space, which is situated atop a bar with a slightly hidden entrance, you can plop down by the counter to watch the chefs artfully arrange your dishes or take a booth seat with tabletops made colorful by splashes of chocolate paint.

Regulars or newcomers looking for a fresh approach to desserts can skip the signatures in favor of the new degustation menu ($58) that calls attention to unconventional flavor combinations. Every detail is carefully thought out and placed on the plate, with ingredients you’re unlikely to see elsewhere in sweet treats such as shungiku, the Japanese leafy vegetable that’s turned into ice cream here.

In collaboration with the dessert bar’s pastry chef Tomo Nakashima, Wong looks to Japan for inspiration, making use of items like kinkan (kumquat), yuzu, and Japanese black sugar. The result, in line with what Wong is famous for, is a variety of delicate creations that are elaborately designed yet deceivingly simple in appearance.

Start with the Soursop Garden, a bright, vibrant dish of herb-marinated kiwi, pink grapefruit, soursop sorbet, garden grapefruit foam, micros lemon balm, lime peel, and a few fragrant spritzes of bergamot aroma spray. It’s refreshing and light, perfect for balmy summer days when you’re fresh off an afternoon spent at the beach.

Raspberry Fromage. Photo: 2am:dessertbar
Raspberry Fromage. Photo: 2am:dessertbar

Next, the Raspberry Fromage is a little pearl of rose gel, kaffir lime leaf parfait, fromage blanc cream, sanshou pepper, and juniper berry jelly sheet, topped with fresh raspberries and olive oil caviar, and given a burst of extra color with a sprinkling of petals. A mix of fruity and floral notes, it’s a melt-in-your-mouth type of treat — the kind you wish there was more of.

Pandan Chocolate. Photo: 2am:dessertbar
Pandan Chocolate. Photo: 2am:dessertbar

Since dessert’s not complete without the help of the cocoa bean, Pandan Chocolate is a welcome sight. A blend of pandan sponge cake, Japanese black sugar caramel parfait, green grape, Orelys ganache, and a dark chocolate coating, the modest-looking rectangle of chocolate breaks open to reveal a complex interior, with layers of flavor that are familiar yet different.

Kinkan Osmanthus Tea. Photo: 2am:dessertbar
Kinkan Osmanthus Tea. Photo: 2am:dessertbar

When you get to the Kinkan Osmanthus Tea, you’ll finally try that scoop of shungiku ice cream surrounded by kinkan compote, pistachio crumble, osmanthus tea gel, smoked cream, yuzu powder, and olive oil-marinated pomelo. It’s got a tinge of bitterness with a dollop of citrus and sweetness, taking you in an entirely different direction from the previous, richer creation.

Lemon Ginger. Photo: 2am:dessertbar
Lemon Ginger. Photo: 2am:dessertbar

Finally, Lemon Ginger ties it all together with spice and zest in a recipe that includes torched meringue, milk chocolate financier, ginger spice confit, toasted tiger nut, ginger ribbon tuile, spice jelly cube, lemon cream, and lemon sorbet.

To go the whole hog, throw in another $40 for the cocktail pairing option. Alternatively, there’s also a smaller $38 three-set degustation menu, with cocktail pairing priced at $30, for those of you who prefer a condensed version.

 

FIND IT:
2am: dessertbar is at 21a Lorong Liput
6291-9727. Tues-Fri 3pm-2am, Sat-Sun 2pm-2am
MRT: Holland Village

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