Quarter to Three
A little unassuming cafe along Tanjong Pagar with a daily cake board of fame.
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 3 user(s)
The sweet treats here are not so good!
My friends and I first discovered this quaint little cafe when we were just roaming around the Tanjong Pagar area after lunch. The selection of sweet treats here aren't fantastic. We settled for a slice of blackforest cake and an apple crumble. The former were lacking in taste and flavour while the latter was cloying!
The sweet treats here fell short of the usual cafe standards. I think a frozen butter Sara Lee pound cake tastes better! I wouldn't return for more, at least for now, when there are so many cafes sprouting up all across Singapore.
"You've Got to Hide Your Love" - and sadly, possibly the cakes too.
Open since 2012, Quarter to Three has gained a reputation as an unassuming dessert haven for those looking to satisfy their cake cravings!
Ambience and Service:
Located along the busy street of Tanjong Pagar lined with Korean restaurants and bridals, the café is certainly easy to find in this crowd and has a simple welcoming feel to its interior.
Arriving on a late Sunday afternoon, I was surprised that the café was empty considering its name seeming to suggest that Quarter to Three is the best time for cake. But it certainly worked out for them as it complimented the rather plain décor making the place feel just a quiet and cosy as home.
In terms of service, its certainly nice when they leave patrons to their privacy but at the same time are attentive to offer recommendations to their many cakes. One will certainly need that with all the desserts they offer!
As many would know, their cakes are named after its characteristics in a quirky way. And though I would probably be the first to call that gimmicky, I believe some may find “She’s so heavy” (a rich chocolate cake) and “Apple of my Eye” (apple crumble) fairly witty. But when they have “For you Blue” which is supposed to be symbolic for blueberry cheesecake, I think they may have gone a tad too far.
Having heard so much about their bestseller, Tiramisu in a Jar ($9.80), we had to give it a try with our personal favourite cake, Hazelnut Feuilletine, called “You Got to Hide Your Love” ($7.20).
Their Tiramisu was certainly decadent when you sink your teeth into the whipped mascarpone cheese, flavourful coffee-dipped ladyfingers and generous top layer of chocolate sauce. Replacing the almost definitive cocoa powder with chocolate syrup, it would have been a welcome change if they had used darker chocolate that does not overshadow the other layers.
When it comes to the mascarpone mixture, as compared to the Tiramisu-s I have had in the past, it certainly was too sweet and dense. But I would be able to understand why some of the fans may like this as a departure from the norm.
As for the espresso and liquor dipped ladyfinger, I certainly must applaud them for the balanced flavour of coffee and fragrant rum – or maybe just a little bit more rum to excite the tastebuds ;)
Overall, the tiramisu in a jar was a good attempt though hardly coming close to what others have hailed as “the best tiramisu in Singapore”. Furthermore, I can’t shake off my suspicions that other than being an easy takeaway option, I can’t understand why they would choose to put a beautiful dessert into a jar.
Next is what we had thought to be the potential underdog, their “You Got to Hide Your Love”. Unfortunately, that also failed to impress. Though the hazelnut chocolate mouse was certainly rich and not too sweet, the Feuilletine layers was like a dry sponge cake that remained “hidden” and didn’t offer the crunch that it otherwise should have. What we ended up with was a cake that ended up too dry and unexciting.
In comparison to the many reviews, blogposts and articles on this simple café, it seems that the much-raved about cakes fell short. Accompanied with a simple interior, uninspiring cake quality and lacking of a definitive identity, it seems hard to believe that this café has survived 2 years in the harsh F&B business in Singapore. Perhaps it’s high time for a revamp?
She's so heavy.
I was going to lambast the place for naming a cake that - She's so heavy - would anyone even eat that? Also I wasn't sure why would they feminize most of their cakes, but I knew that if I went into that abyss of a discussion my friends and I might end up rounding up the night with no cakes in our bellies.
So anyway, the display of cakes wasn't all the fancy nor impressive but I'm a sucker for dense cakes so I went for the cherry lemon cake which is also suitably named 'Step inside love'. It's a great name because even though I have absolutely no idea how love feels like when it's stepped into, I'm pretty sure I felt something close. It was dense, SO dense and thick, tangy with sweet cherry frosting. It all came together so beautifully.
We also got the cheesecake - and I'm sorry I don't have any interesting, slightly sexist wordplay for it here - but that was significantly less impressive than the cherry lemon one. Place is moderately spacious but chatters run LOUD so eat your cake and dash, or just pack it home.