Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuxedo Cafe @ Carlton Hotel

One of the things we remembered deeply during our Europe trip is the coffee and pastries experience we had in Vienna and Rome. Asking around for recommendation from the locals and figuring out what is written on the menu in these cafes was something we have done every 2-3 days during our 3 weeks trip.

With the appearances of Paul Bakery, Maison Kayser and Tiong Bahru Bakery, one can't help but to be curious about the croissants, bread and pastries these guys offer.

Tuxedo Cafe

With all the hype about croissants, there is actually one convenient place that offers fabulous crossiants which can be found at Carlton Hotel Singapore's latest addition, Tuxedo.

Tuxedo, in a simplistic black and white theme, offers a casual environment for coffee, pastries, cake and sandwiches.

Tuxedo @ the lobby of Carlton Hotel

The cafe offers a decent selection of hand-pulled Italian coffee ranging from Espresso to Macchiato and non-coffee drinks will be delighted to know that the cafe offers a selection of tea and juices.

The Coffee Menu

Leading the team of bakers at Tuxedo is Carlton Hotel's newly appointed Chief Baker, Andrew Loong who picked up his skills in European style bread-making from the tender age of 18. He specialises in French-style breads and pastries. Hence it is no surprise Tuxedo features a decent selection of bread including bagels, baguettes, focaccia, sourdough, multi-seed and walnut breads, croissants and danishes, baked fresh everyday.

Display

One of the must-trys of Tuxedo is the hotel's very own lobster pie ($5.00++). However, non-seafood lovers like us and vegetarians will be glad to know that the cafe serves chicken pie ($3.80++) and mushroom quiche ($4.50++). While the famous western chicken pies of Raffles Hotel is on the creamy and peppery side and the chicken pies of M Hotel contains chunks of chicken meat, Tuxedo's version has a nice balance of chicken bits and potatoes. The pastry has a slight sweetness and in general the pastry is light and fluffy.

Pies & Quiche

As mentioned in the introduction, Tuxedo serves a wide range of hand-pulled Italian coffee and Cafe Latte ($7.30++) is recommended. Alternatively if you have a sweet tooth, the Hot Chocolate ($7.30++) is an option for non coffee drinkers.

Iced Chocolate & Latte

With bread freshly baked everyday, it is no surprise that Tuxedo serves good sandwiches. Focaccia with Ham and Cheese is a refreshing treat. What we like about the sandwiches is of course the freshness of the bread, the juicy Roma tomatoes, the combination of bitterness and saltiness from Rocket Salad and Ham ($9.50++).

Focaccia with Ham & Cheese

Now here is the main highlight, croissants.

Croissants lovers will be glad to hear that the croissants here have a decent web of flaky golden brown layers. While we personally find Paul's outstanding in its buttery fragrance, it gets soggy after a few hours; the croissants found in Maison Kayser suffer a collapsed structure. Lately, the croissants from Tiong Bahru Bakery has been rated to be the best croissants in town by several media, but don't be surprised that newcomer, Tuxedo is not too far off. In fact, it is the least oily among all the croissants we had so far, and at the same time retain the airy texture.

Although the plain croissant ($3.50++) and pain au chocolat ($3.50++) showed a slight collapsed structure, we suspect this could be caused by the pressure exerted when the staff halved them. The reason for making such a comment is because the almond croissants ($3.50++) we had for our take-away have distinctive even thin layers. The paper bag that was used to keep them overnight, has very minimal oil stains on it.

Crossiants

The towering 4-layers black and white Tuxedo Cake ($5.80++ per slice, $42++ for 1 kg) is definitely the highlight of this cafe.

If popular "Sacher Torte" is originated at the Vienna locations of the Hotel Sacher. This could be Tuxedo's definition of decadent chocolate cake whipped up with premium Valrhona chocolate.

What we find it unique for the Tuxedo Cake lies in its texture. To a certain extent, it has a density similar to a brownie but yet it is moist and soft without the need to be warmed up. To a certain extent, we thought that the texture is similar to eating a sticky date pudding. In addition, the cake is drizzled with milk chocolate infused with a tangy flavour.

Tuxedo Cake

Coffee house culture is something that is very distinctive in European countries such as Italy and Vienna and though our local definition of coffee culture is the typical kaya toast with a cup of Kopi, it is interesting to switch our attention to cup of cuppa with the freshly baked pastries, gourmet sandwiches or even the signature Tuxedo cake.

Before signing off, special thanks to Ms Leung Yi Wen, Marketing Communications Manager and Ms Tricia Quak, Marketing Communications Executive for the invite and warm hospitality

Tuxedo 
Carlton Hotel Singapore
76 Bras Basah Road
Lobby
Singapore 189558

Operating hours:
7am to midnight (Sunday to Thursday)
7am to 1am (Friday and Saturday)
Tel: 6415 7887
Website

5 comments:

taster said...

The pastries at Tuxedo cafe looks very enticing.

There is a also french bakery called Hediard at Tudor Court near Tanglin Mall. It serves pastries and gourmet coffee.

Fen said...

Noted, hopefully their croissants are good.

I had Tiong Bahru Bakery's "overnight" croissants this morning and I have to add that Tuxedo's almond croissants fare alot better in that aspect. While Tiong Bahru Bakery's butter croissants have collapsed a little and the pastries flakes have turned moist and sticky, the almond croissants from Tuxedo's remain light and fluffy.

So for take-aways, we definitely have a clear preference.

taster said...

I never like to eat pastries that are more than a few hours old after they have been baked, because flaky pastries are meant to be freshly eaten on the spot like pancakes. If you eat it after it is not fresh and fragrant, then there is not much point to eat it because pastries are meant to be eaten for its fragrance and flakiness.

You should always try to eat it fresh on the spot at the bakery itself. But I wonder if such bakeries would sell their pastries in the unbaked frozen form. Maybe you can try to request buying it unbaked so that you can bake it yourself at home in the morning. If more people request it then maybe they would sell their pastries in the frozen form like Delifrance and that Italian gourmet shop that used to be beside Meidi-ya.

I once thought of buying frozen Danish pastries in bulk to bake at home.
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If the almond croissants from Tuxedo's can remain light and fluffy after so many hours, then it clearly means that it is made with pastry margarine or shortening. Pastries made with butter would not be able to retain its flakiness for as long. But I have heard how they say eating hydrogenated fat is not as healthy for the body as butter is. However, butter contains saturated fat and cholesterol. It all depends on what kind of fat you prefer eating.

By the way, I saw that Phoon Huat's Clementi's branch is selling French butter. Maybe the new french bakeries are using these kind of butter for that authentic French taste.

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Fen said...

Hi Taster,

The only time when I ate a croissant freshly out from the oven is when Paul's croissants were sold out and I was waiting for their new batch for 1 hour. Have to admit that there is a stark difference when I ate their croissants freshly baked, a few hours later and the next morning.

However, I think this depends greatly on the turnover as I had Maison Kayser's on the spot. They are just slightly better than Delifrance. The flaky pastries aren't thin and light with a collapsed structure.

I have to admit that the croissants at Tuxedo lacks the buttery fragrance that I adore but Yuan felt that the difference between Tuxedo and Tiong Bahru Bakery isn't big.

Good idea to buy the frozen ones, shall check that out.

Thank you for sharing the information.

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