Have your waffles, sweet or savoury
WHETHER it is American or Belgian style, sweet or savoury, waffles never seem to stop delighting diners here.
Of late, however, waffles in Singapore have been getting a lot more posh. Batters are being infused with everything from squid ink to green tea.
Even creations such as red velvet and blackforest, once associated only with cakes, have now turned into waffle flavours and toppings.
Of course, infusing flavours into waffle batters is not completely new. After all, neighbourhood bakeries have been serving the ubiquitous pandan waffle for years. But those are a little different. They are more like a pancake hybrid and are sweeter, soft and floppy.
American and Belgian waffles tend to be more airy in texture and crisp on the outside. There are also Belgian Liege waffles, which are chewy and heavier and have granules of pearl sugar in them.
While lighter waffles are often associated with dessert and drizzled with maple syrup or chocolate sauce and topped with scoops of ice cream and slices of fresh fruit, savoury options are becoming more popular here.
In fact, there are now more savoury options on the market. These include waffles topped with eggs and bacon, and even fried chicken. Fancier toppings include smoked salmon.
SundayLife! found no fewer than eight new eateries with waffles, all of which opened in the last four months.
Life Is Beautiful Kitchen & Bar in Duxton Road has a pecan waffle with roasted beetroot and onion jam, while Waffle Slayer in Kampong Bahru Road serves squid ink waffles with bacon.
In Bali Lane, Stateland Cafe has Red Velvet and S'mores waffles. Over in Hougang, Hatter Street serves a waffle with pandan ice cream and gula melaka sauce.
Owners say they see potential in offering new interpretations of the timeless staple. Mr Yeo Chern Yu, 22, co-owner of Stateland Cafe, says: "Cakes such as red velvet are very popular and I wanted to see how this could be turned into a waffle because they seem to be a trend here."
On the appeal of waffles, a spokesman for Waffle Slayer says: "The more adventurous diners or those in search of new flavours will love these new creations because they are interesting, unique and taste great."
37 Kampong Bahru Road
11am to 10pm daily
The latest waffle-centric cafe to enter the market is Waffle Slayer in Kampong Bahru Road.
It is an offshoot of Strangers' Reunion cafe, which started in the shop space two years ago before moving to a larger space next door.
The month-old cafe is owned by Strangers' Reunion partners Ryan Tan and Mervin Pang, both 28.
On its limited menu are nine waffle dishes, three of which are savoury.
Choice picks include the Matcha Buttermilk Waffle ($14.90), a green tea waffle with azuki beans, ice cream and canned orange segments; the Banana Brulee Buttermilk Waffle ($14.90), with caramelised bananas; and a sweet-salty Squid Ink Waffle With Crispy Bacon ($18.90), topped with bacon rashers, ice cream and pistachio tuile, with a maple-Dijon mustard glaze.
The cafe is always experimenting with new flavours. One of the newest additions is a buttermilk waffle with turkey salad and pineapple jam.
30 Bali Lane
Noon to 10pm (Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), noon to midnight (Fridays and Saturdays), 11am to 6pm (Sundays), closed on Tuesdays
Call 9296-4997 or go to www.facebook.com/statelandcafe
In the hipster area of Haji and Bali lanes near Arab Street is a new cafe offering everything from pasta to dessert.
Two-month-old Stateland Cafe in Bali Lane is run by three young hipster men too. They are in their early 20s and wear fitted black T-shirts and skinny Nudie denim jeans. Two of them also wear trendy dark-framed spectacles.
The trio - Mr Oong Bing Hui, 20; Mr Yeo Chern Yu, 22; and Mr Chia Kai Chao, 23 - met in the army, where they were combat engineers.
They spent all of $1,800 to set up the cafe, as they paid cost price for many of the materials used. Some items, such as wooden pallets, were free.
It was cheap for them because each of their families runs various building-related companies.
The food menu is pretty extensive, considering the shoebox-sized kitchen. Breakfast items include dishes such as French toast ($11.90), scrambled eggs on waffles ($14.90) and Eggs Benedict ($14.90).
For dessert, there is thick toast baked with honey and butter and topped with fruit, Nutella, nuts and ice cream, as well as six waffle variations. A plain waffle with berries and maple syrup starts at $9.90.
Mr Yeo, who uses a yeast starter for his waffle batter, also infuses them with chocolate.
The Red Velvet waffle is served with cream cheese and vanilla ice cream, while The Black Forest waffle is topped with a cherry compote and chocolate ice cream.
Another innovative creation is the S'mores waffle topped with toasted marshmallows, Digestive biscuits and Belgian chocolate ice cream.
OTHER WAFFLE HAUNTS
SPATHE PUBLIC HOUSE
What: For savoury, opt for the Belgian waffles and fried chicken with Mornay sauce ($17). Two more savoury options are available on weekends for brunch: waffles with bacon and eggs ($17) and steak with peppercorn sauce ($24). It also serves waffles with Nutella, kaya or maple syrup, with a scoop of its daily ice cream ($17).
8 Mohamed Sultan Road, 01-01
11am to 11pm (weekdays), 10am to 11pm (weekends)
Call 6735-1035 or go to www.spathepublichouse.com
It serves the American soul food dish chicken and waffles ($20). The chicken is coated in a buttermilk batter, deep fried and served with housemade Bourbon maple-syrup butter sauce.
17 Jalan Klapa, off Victoria Street
5pm to midnight (Mondays to Thursdays), 5pm to 1am (Fridays and Saturdays), closed on Sundays
Call 6295-0017 or go to thebeast.sg
CRAFT BAKERY & CAFE
Try The Craft ($11.50), bacon caramelised in maple syrup topped with a green apple slaw and sandwiched between waffles, or waffles with mixed berry compote ($7.90).
24A Lorong Mambong, Holland Village
9am to 11pm daily
Call 6467-7710 or go to www.facebook.com/CraftBakeryCafe
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN & BAR
Tuck into a pecan waffle with roasted baby beets and onion jam ($22).
99 Duxton Road
6pm to midnight (Tuesdays), 6pm to 3am (Wednesdays to Saturdays), closed on Sundays and Mondays. Last orders at 10.30pm
Call 6423-0939 or go to www.facebook.com/lifeisbeautifulsingapore
The new cafe serves waffles with gelato ($5, additional $2.50 for gelato). Savoury waffles are in the works.
Block 94, Toa Payoh Lorong 4, 01-32
10am to 10pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 10am to 11pm (Fridays and Saturdays)
Call 6258-2254 or go to shrovetuesday.sg
Waffles are served with either maple syrup and butter, or with ice cream. From $6 a serving.
15-2 Jalan Riang
12.30pm to 10.30pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 12.30pm to 11pm (Fridays), 9am to 11pm (Saturdays), 9am to 10.30pm (Sundays), closed on Mondays
Call 6289-1489 or go to www.wimblylu.com