Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lady M

There are four branches of Lady M in the United States, three of which are in New York and the other is in Los Angeles, and two in Singapore. Opened last September, the 1st branch at Marina Square's Dining Edition on the 2nd floor has no kitchen space (cakes are apparently too complicated to be prepared with the limited countertop space and instead delivered daily from its central kitchen). The 2nd, a late-night joint, opened recently at One Fullerton. According to the website, it prides itself on creating the freshest and finest cakes and confectionery delights. Combining French pastry techniques with Japanese etiquette of precision, they are handmade following recipes refined over the years to provide the highest quality in taste and appearance. It is known as the original creator of the well-known mille crêpe cake with 20 layers of paper-thin handmade crepe interspersed with light pastry cream  vanilla, chocolate, citron, coconut, green tea, marron and strawberry.

Last Sunday, my dining companions and I had late lunch at Hamanoya and were still in the vicinity when it was time for afternoon tea. So I queued behind a group of people and could not believe that the two guys, who joined after me, were brought to their table before anyone even bothered asking me the number of seats I needed. Definitely marred my 1st impression of Lady M, but we decided to still try and see if its food could make up for the poor service. And lack of chairs as empty tables were beckoning to those in the queue. Wanted to try Tarte a La Mangue, shortbread crust filled with passion fruit curd and topped with thinly-sliced ripe mangoes, but it was not in season as the mangoes were not sweet. Tarte Aux Fruits (shortbread crust with almond financier base, vanilla custard and fresh fruits) would have been the closest alternative but my dining companion, also here for the 1st time, was eyeing Green Tea Mousse  green tea sponge layered with cream and crumb sprinkles.

In the end, we settled for its favourites  Checkers and Strawberry Shortcake, while another dining companion ordered Green Tea Mille Crêpes. Checkers is a vanilla and chocolate sponge cake arranged so its side profile resembled a checkerboard, though the lines were not distinct in the slice we were served so it looked more like a mess. This is the only chocolate item on the menu, and I liked the rich bitter-sweet chocolate ganache it was covered with. Strawberry shortcake, a vanilla sponge cake layered with strawberry in whipped cream, was not as light and fluffy as others I have tried and nothing to rave about or fault. Green Tea Mille Crêpes was too creamy for my liking with a bitter aftertaste from the fine matcha powder. Argh! For the dining companion who ordered this and has tried its signature Vanilla Mille Crêpes before, the latter was better. My bad experience with its service, coupled with the overpriced and mediocre food, meant I would not be back. Overrated and not worth queuing.

Update: The branch at Marina Square has since closed. It can still be found at Orchard Central and Westgate.

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