I have been to Capitol Singapore multiple times, and not once did I ever notice Now Bakery nestled in Basement 2 of the mall. On the surface, it appears to be your average fancy cakery with pricey, atas products. We see that all the time in Singapore, so what’s new?
I never paid much attention to Now Bakery until I finally took a closer look at their menu and was instantly intrigued by one item in particular: a sushi cake roll.
That’s right, a sushi cake roll. And not just a regular, sweet cake roll made to resemble a sushi roll. Now Bakery’s Sushi Cake Roll is made with savoury ingredients that you normally wouldn’t find in a cake, like cheese and chicken floss.
The sushi cake roll was enough for Now Bakery to finally capture my attention. Now enraptured, I admired the rest of their menu that came with a variety of different cakes, priced between S$13.90 to S$18.90 for a whole cake.
As someone who doesn’t normally indulge in bougie or overly fancy bakes, purchasing from Now Bakery made me feel like royalty, in some capacity, especially with the elegant packaging that each roll came in.
What I tried
Of course, I absolutely had to try Now Bakery’s Sushi Cake Roll (S$15.90), a unique combination of sweet and savoury elements.
I admired the intricate design of this cake roll, from the contrasting colours of the pink ham, yellow cheese and orange chicken floss, to the stunning precision of the equal cuts along the roll. If you didn’t look close enough, you might almost mistake this for a real sushi roll.
When I was at Now Bakery, the staff told me that this cake was best eaten 10 to 15 minutes after being removed from the refrigerator. I instantly understood why she said that once I tried this Sushi Cake Roll cold, as the cake had a rather firm and slightly rubbery texture. Fortunately, popping it into the microwave for 15 seconds was enough to warm it up and soften it significantly.
The highlights of this Sushi Cake Roll would definitely be the assortment of savoury fillings rolled within the sweet layer of cake, namely being the ham, cheese, chicken floss and mayonnaise. The seaweed wrapped around the cake was the figurative icing on the cake (in this case, the seaweed on the cake).
As I took a bite of this unorthodox combination of ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised by the complexities of the mix of sweet, savoury, salty and even spicy elements.
The ham in the roll was a bit rubbery in terms of texture, but it still provided the roll with a slightly salty and meaty bite. The cheese tasted like sliced processed cheese, but it paired well with the ham.
The chicken floss was incredibly flavourful with complex savoury elements and a stringy, chewy texture. There were little bits of sesame seeds within the chicken floss for an added nutty aroma. The chicken floss was surprisingly quite spicy, which I found unexpected.
Amidst the chicken floss was a small amount of mayonnaise that enhanced its umami-ness and added to the savoury, complex flavours of the roll. Finally, the seaweed provided the perfect finishing touch with its hint of saltiness and unique paper-like texture.
Though the cake on its own was on the blander side as compared to most other cakes, in this case, its lack of a strong profile was what made it the perfect base for the loud flavour dynamics of the savoury ingredients.
Creativity is always something that I cherish, and Now Bakery has certainly impressed me with the novelty of this Sushi Cake Roll. I’ve had savoury cakes before, such as chiffon cake with pork floss, seaweed and mayonnaise, and so far, I haven’t been let down by these eccentric desserts.
Some may find the idea of putting savoury ingredients into cake strange and unpalatable, and to that I say, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
On to Now Bakery’s slightly more “normal” products, their signature Blancmange Roll Cakes.
Now Bakery’s Blancmange Roll Cakes come with a delicate layer of soft chiffon cake wrapped around a block of blancmange, a smooth milk pudding originating from Europe. Though these rolls are marginally less unconventional than the Sushi Cake Roll, seeing milk pudding in cake was also new to me.
The first flavour I tried was the Green Tea Red Bean Blancmange Roll Cake (S$15.90). I’ve had my fair share of green tea and matcha flavoured cakes, and I believe that Now Bakery’s version of this iconic flavour may just very well be my favourite.
Let’s talk about texture. The green tea chiffon cake was ridiculously soft and fluffy. The blancmange, on the other hand, had a solid yet soft and creamy consistency. It managed to maintain its rectangular shape when being cut into, but the thick pudding instantly melted in my mouth. I’d describe the mouthfeel as being somewhat similar to gelatinous custard.
Taste-wise, the chiffon cake on its own didn’t have a strong green tea profile, but the blancmange was a huge stand-out with its slightly floral yet evident green tea aroma. The unique, melty texture of the blancmange complemented the soft chiffon cake perfectly.
There were a few pieces of whole red bean in the cake, which were slightly firm yet mushy. However, I don’t think there was enough red bean to warrant having it in the name.
The Sesame Blancmange Cake Roll (S$14.90) was similarly incredible, with a light, nutty black sesame fragrance embedded within the blancmange and the soft chiffon cake.
Like its green tea counterpart, the sesame-flavoured blancmange was silky and smooth with the same melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Personally I think that this roll could be further improved by incorporating a layer of black sesame paste in between the chiffon cake and blancmange to amplify the nuttiness and gao-ness of the black sesame taste. However, I would definitely purchase this roll again in the future.
While Now Bakery’s cake rolls aren’t exactly very wallet-friendly, I have to admit that they far transcended my initial expectations.
Now Bakery’s cake rolls have managed to stand out from all its other competitors with its quality and innovation. Their signature blancmange rolls are worth every bit of praise, and their unique Sushi Cake Roll impressed me with its novelty and creativity.
Though I had formerly never paid attention to Now Bakery, their incredible cakes have certainly earned them a spot on my cake radar.
Expected damage: S$15 to S$30 per pax
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