SINGAPORE — Growing up as a 90s kid at an HDB block in Clementi West Street 2, the whirring of my mum’s sewing machine was ubiquitous with the memories I had of childhood. It was an old Singer model with a rectangular pedal at its base that uses principles of gear efficiency to work. When not used for its intended purpose, the machine closes shut with a heavy hinged cover, transforming it into a makeshift surface for homework, revision, and academic rigour.
Eventually, mum’s sewing paraphernalia expanded, such that the machine’s tiny in-built drawers can no longer contain it, its size indicative of the function the manufacturers imagined this machine to be used. In times like this, mum reaches for her trusty blue tin—shiny and adorned with pictures of butter cookies on the front—to store her sewing essentials: needles, thread, bobby pins, a zipper or two.
In hindsight, this blue butter cookie tin was an iconic representation of an era, an easy and cordial gift exchanged during parties and casual get-togethers. There’s no occasion too big or too small for a tin of butter cookies—at least not in the 90s.
I’m reminded of this, no thanks to Leckerbaer, a Copenhagen import that has recently set up shop at Isetan Shaw House as part of rejuvenation efforts to house some F&B outlets on the first floor. It is the brainchild of pastry chefs Gabi and Jakob Baer Mogensen, both rising talents in the Scandinavian Michelin-Star scene. At Leckerbaer, Gabi and Jakob transform the humble Danish butter cookies into creations that not only tingle the taste buds but can easily cinch a coveted spot on your Instagram feed.
The menu is intentionally kept lean with eight flavours to choose from, all priced at S$2.80. All the cookies are made with Danish butter and vanilla sugar—vanilla powder made of pods and seeds mixed with sugar.
To start, there are three fruit flavours to choose from: Raspberry comes with a raspberry jam filling and a topping of icing and raspberry powder; Banana is an aromatic sponge that holds a salted caramel filling and rolled in a shimmery tart berry sugar; and Lemon is the most unique of the lot, made of a base of two butter cookies, one dipped in white Chocolate for the most curious of flavour pairing with the filling of lemon curd. Great for a touch of afternoon tea, I say.
Leckerbaer makes the most of the fillings with base-filling combinations that show off Gabi and Jakob’s expertise in the world of pastry. Vanilla and Chocolate are great examples of this finesse. Vanilla is a simple base of vanilla sponge complemented by a tangy Calamansi curd while Chocolate comes with black currant curd sandwiched in between two chocolate cake bases. My favourite is the Milk, essentially an Oreo cookie with hints of salt and a filling of vanilla cream. This is great for kids and adults who deign to grow up.
Elsewhere, more ambitious flavours are available for customers of a more, ahem, sophisticated palette. Caramel sees a base made of a Gula Melaka cake base with a filling of blueberry meringue. It’s an intriguing pairing of two very bold flavours but in a strange way, works. It’s sweet, but not cloyingly so—the tart of blueberry cuts through all that sugar quite beautifully. There’s also an Almond Financier with a filling of Passionfruit curd, topped with a vibrant yellow passionfruit powder which I thought was too much of a good thing going on.
While you’re at it, have a go at other menu items like the too-pretty-to-eat Mixed Red Berry Tart (S$7) with Rose-coloured swirls that hide a tangy black currant curd. Fans of sour delicacies will adore the dramatic Signature Lemon & Sea Buckthorn Tart (S$7) easily identifiable as the tallest item on the menu. Under the towering Italian meringue is a lemon and sea buckthorn curd—the sea buckthorn is a Nordic alternative to the humble Lemon and consumed widely in teas and glazes.
Knowing Singaporeans and their need to munch, Leckerbaer also has savoury tarts for when dinner or lunch is simply not enough. My favourite is the Poached Egg & Salmon Tart (S$13) because everything tastes good with Salmon, I’m sure. Plus, there’s all that microgreens piled high, so I’m convinced this is as good for my camera as it is for my body-yody. And after all that sweet treats (as a well-earned reward, okay. It’s been a long week), surely a pile of microgreens and a cup of authentic spiced Chai Latte would not hurt.
Website | 350 Orchard Road #01-K2 & #01-K3 Shaw House, Isetan Scotts S238868
Monday - Sunday: 10am - 8.30pm
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