Henri Charpentier, which started as a dessert cafe in Kobe’s suburb of Ashiya, has opened a new store in Singapore at Dempsey Hill. Its pink canopy and bright orange cushions of the outdoor furniture are eye-catching. The pink carpet leads you to the elegant glass doors reminiscent of doors of stately European banks. Walk through the doors and you are greeted by the sight of beautiful tempting cakes and a colourful well appointed interior. The main attractions of Henri Charpentier may be its cakes and desserts but its menu also offers a variety of light bites, sandwiches and a few mains.
Henri Charpentier has a contemporary elegant interior with tables and booths well spaced out. The line of gazebos with champagne-colour drapes right in the middle of the dining area dominates and creates a romantic atmosphere. The vibrant colours of the interiors and the view of the verdant foliage outside make visiting Henri Charpentier at Dempsey Hill quite an enchanting experience.
Henri Charpentier is named after the 19th century French chef who was often credited as the creator of the Crepe Suzette. The signature item is thus the Crepe Suzette but the bakery cafe in Singapore also features “Singapore originals” such as the Dome, a flambeed chocolate sphere filled with chocolate parfait biscuit and liqueur, and the Flower Temptation, which is sauteed pineapples, caramel-flavored chocolate mousse and dark chocolate mousse in a bowl resembling a flower made of sugar and flambeed with orange liqueur. The Meringue with Homemade Sangria, Madeleine and Tarte Tatin are other items to check out.
We thought we would try out their cakes and desserts and go somewhere else for lunch but were pleasantly surprised to see on their menu items such as Quiche Lorraine, Foie Gras Terrine, Eggs Benedict, Salad, Soup and Sandwiches. Lagsane, Beef Bourguignon and Galician-style Octopus were offered as mains. We decided to have brunch there and ordered a French Omelet with ham and mushrooms ($17), the signature Crepe Suzette ($22) and the recommended Mont Blanc cake ($9).
A portable grill was wheeled next to our table for the preparation of the Crepe Suzette. Two thin slices of crepe were cooked in a copper pan with butter and orange sauce. Liqueur was poured over the freshly cooked crepes to ignite them. The crepes were then served on warmed plates. During the preparation, the staff was recounting to us the stories about the origin of Crepe Suzette as well as the history of the cafe.
The Crepe Suzette was very well done and delicious. We relished every bite. We quite enjoyed the omelet and the cake too. The Mont Blanc cake was an almond sponge cake topped with rum chestnut cream. It was good but we would not say it was exceptional. Our cappuccino came in a tall mug (at $10.50). It was quite good coffee.
We enjoyed or visit to Henri Charpentier at Dempsey Hill. We liked the setting and atmosphere. The luxurious decor, attention to details and the small touches like the utensils holder with special grooves for fork and spoon set it apart from the average cafes. We think their prices are on the high side but, in a sense, you are paying for the ambience and total experience. It should be an excellent venue to bring a date you want to impress or celebrate a special occasion.
Food : 3
Service : 4
Overall Rating : 4 TOPs
9A Dempsey Road
Tel : +65 6479 5518
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
Henri Charpentier’s Menu
#Street fact – Dempsey Road is in the area which was once the British Military Headquarters in the Far East. Dempsey Road is likely named after General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey, who was commander of the British Second Army during the D-Day landings in the Second World War.