New pâtisserie Tarte by Cheryl Koh has been making headlines - rather, trending - for its beautiful, delicious tarts. Opened in April 2015, this tiny minimalist space sandwiched between Caveau and La Strada along Shaw Road is the newest F&B venture by the Les Amis group. Les Amis' pastry chef Cheryl Koh helms the new takeaway concept, bringing fine desserts of premium ingredients to the everyday diner.
Koh packs tons of experience when it comes to desserts and pastries. First trained in Singapore's Raffles Hotel, Koh later worked in huge establishments across the globe, from Paris to Dubai, Italy to Hong Kong. With many accomplished pastry chefs in Singapore specialising in delicate entremets, it's curious that Koh's focus is on the simple humble tart.
On that, Koh says, "I focus on tarts and carolines because of the great combination of pastry, flavours, colours and textures." Tarte is her outlet to sharing these as she would serve them at Les Amis: "freshly made with good ingredients and best fruits of the season".
For the supreme ingredients, Tarte's tarts are going at a reasonable S$8-S$9 for their petit 8cm tarts, and S$30-S$34 for the larger 16cm ones. Prices are inclusive of 7% GST.
We had our tart fix as takeaways, which Tarte does in twos or fours. What most surprised us was how these tarts, though complex in flavours and quality, looked simple and unpretentious. I especially loved the perfectly perpendicular tart shells. Little details like that show the amount of effort and attention put into creating each little dessert.
Pistachio (S$9) - Iranian green pistachios
Crunchy toasted nuts, buttery pate sablee, and a smooth creamy pistachio filling. It was fragrant, bold, yet extremely delicate. An absolute delight.
Mixed Berries (S$8) - Seasonal mixed berries on light vanilla cream
One of my favourites, this is everything a fruit tart should be. A wonderful crust, lightly sweetened elegant cream, and the freshest berries one could get his hands on. It's simple compared to the other tarts where the fruits are meddled with; but I like it this way. It allows the berries to shine.
Caramel Hazelnut (S$9) - milk chocolate filling with feuilletine base
Piemonte hazelnuts tossed in a bittersweet caramel, with a milk chocolate filling and crispy feuilletine to finish it off - this is ferrero rocher from a fine dining restaurant. The balance between the slightly bitter caramel, sweet chocolate, and crunchy nuts was wonderful.
Dark Chocolate (S$9) - Cacao Barry origine raw Venezuela, 72% dark chocolate
The less adventurous would adore this. It may be a classic, but not everyone can make a good chocolate tart. Tarte nailed the balance between sweet and bitter.
Lemon (S$8) - lemon curd
If only I could buy jars of their lemon curd. Light, gooey, creamy, Tarte's lemon curd is one of the best I've had. Unlike some that curdles up and becomes dense after a while, this was smooth and decadent. It is very very tart though; the slice of candied lemon helped tone it down a little. Still Tarte's tart tart (see what I did there) is definitely not one to be missed.
Strawberry (S$8) - French Gariguette strawberries on light vanilla cream
Hands-down our favourite of the pack, this strawberry tart would impress the toughest of judges. The meticulously layered generous slices of sweet - and slightly tart - Gariguette strawberries were an absolute joy. Each bite was a burst of summer. Using the same elegant vanilla cream allowed the beautiful berries to shine. I simply can't get enough of this tart!
Tarte may be young and really small, but this boutique outfit is definitely one to be reckoned with. Beautiful, simply, light and delicious sweet treats: who could resist them?
Tarte by Cheryl Koh
1 Scotts Rd #01-12
Opens daily from 10.30am-7.30pm