78 Guan Chuan Street
Unit No. 01-43
Tel: 6220 1285 Opening Hours: 10am to 8pm, Mon to Thu; 10am to 9pm, Fri & Sat; closed on Sun Website: www.centre-ps.com (Under Construction)
When Steven Ong, one of Singapore’s top pastry masters, set up shop in Tiong Bahru a few months ago, there was no fanfare saved for the gorgeous French-styled pastries and cakes that made its debut in this very much lived-in colonial estate.
They became the new talking point among neighbourhood foodies who have been raving about the hawker food at the nearby food centre and the czecha eateries.
The shop’s named Centre Ps (stands for “Centrepiece”) cos that’s what Steven specialises in – big, stunning pastry centrepieces for weddings, birthdays, company and business functions.
But like any pastry chefs trained in the French tradition, Steven has to produce medallions of macaron, that petite confectionery which is devilishly difficult to make, to pass muster. He has concocted up to 17 flavours so far, both common and uncommon – mint; violet; caramel with fleur de sel; pistachio; cafe creme; chocolate coriander; matcha; lemon; apricot; rose; champagne; cherry; lychee; lavender; chocolate; black sesame and olive.
The super-thin fragile crusts collapsed into airy, soft chewiness. But Steven’s macaron could be enjoyed with just two bites and the natural flavour is intense without being too sweet. The grainy texture of the sponge of almond meal, sugar and egg white somehow overwhelmed the flavour and the cream sandwiched in between the discs.
Steven’s range includes some with shocking techno shades of metallic blue, silver and copper. Air brush does the trick, said Steven, who’s highly inventive to those familiar with his works previously at Conrad Centennial Singapore and Inter-Continental Singapore where he established a regional training centre for pastry in South East Asia.
His decadent Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch Cake was Conrad’s signature cake for nearly a decade while a fusion-style Manjari Chocolate and Lemongrass Gateaux won him third place at the World Pastry Team Championship 2004 in USA.
Surely third placing means among the world’s best. A creamy, fruity cake I ordered from Steven a few years ago for a child’s birthday was a big hit with many guests who wanted extra helpings and to know where the cake came from. And one of my pals think his dreamy Orchid Cake was the most sensational he’s ever eaten. Yeah, it’s made with edible orchids.
Today at Centre Ps, the Chocolate Royal Hazelnut Crunch, renamed Grand Cru Royal, remains the top favourite among the big cakes. Taking 2nd spot is a dark and white chocolate cake, Ebony & Ivory, made with tanariva and ivoire chocolate and scented with espresso beans.
The 3rd most popular cake is L’Orient, layered with almond paste mousse, praline and kumquat cremeaux with pain de genes.
As for smaller cakes, the Mont Blanc of chestnut and meringue, at Number 1, is spectacular. The next favourite is Douce Fraise, assembled with strawberries and bergamot earl grey flavour.
Don’t just restrict to macarons and cakes at CentrePS. Ask for his eclairs, chocolate tarts, sable cookies, etc.
Note: This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.
I visited Centre Ps on 21 November 2007 and bought some macarons. Five (5) of these cost me S$10! If you buy a box of 10 macarons, it’ll set you back S$18! They are all pre-packed, so you can’t choose whichever flavour you like. If you want that, perhaps you can call in advance to order.
They do have not much variety on display/sale. Check out the menu (Centre Ps Menu) and my advice is to order in advance if you don’t want to be disappointed.
If you want to order their cakes for Christmas, check out their Christmas menu (Centre Ps Christmas Menu).
My verdict? I tried the cherry flavoured one and I like the crunchy pastry. The filling is very chewy and too sweet! Coming from a sweet tooth like me, you can imagine how sweet the filling is!