I like to take a day’s leave from work once in a while to relax and to run errands. On 2 such occasions, I found myself at the Baroque-style The Cookie Museum in Esplanade Mall spending a quiet afternoon reading, listening to operatic pop and enjoying a good pot of tea. Incidentally, the Esplanade is referred to by many Singaporeans as “The Durian Building” or “Twin Durians” because of the prickly-looking exterior.
The shop produces a wide variety of interesting cookies, which they are eager to let you sample. The good thing about the sample sizes is that they’re shaped into little bite-sized morsels (as opposed to broken bits of the actual cookie) which allows you tummy room to sample more flavours sans the mess of cookie crumbs. Each cookie that you sample is accompanied with an explanation about whether the flavour is seasonal and the ingredients that went into the cookie. Its a rarity to find a place in Singapore where the service staff actually know what they’re serving. All too often, we find service staff who have to keep checking with the kitchen before they can explain what’s on their menu or they’ll simply read the cryptic description on the menu (great! why would we ask if the menu could describe what it was?). The service is excellent here. Careful attention is also paid to hygiene and presentation here.
Earl Grey Sencha @ S$15 per pot
This place has an interesting selection of teas though the most impressive selection I’ve seen so far in Singapore was at “The Rose Veranda” (closed for renovations till Sept 2008) @ Shangri-La Hotel. On my first visit to The Cookie Museum, I tried the Earl Grey Sencha (an Earl Grey & Green Tea mix) as I was feeling a little under the weather. It was a mildly flavoured tea which I enjoyed with some honey. Its best to let it infuse for a little longer than most teas as it was very light-tasting. I have a preference for more robust teas, so I felt that this tea was just a tad too mild for my taste. Nonetheless, its worth a try for Green Tea fans who want a Bergamot twist to their dose of antioxidants.
English Toffee Candy @ S$12 per pot
On my second visit, I wanted to try something different. I picked the English Toffee Candy Tea. This was definitely more up my alley as the tea was more robust and had a pleasant hint of butterscotch flavour. It went well with milk and was a “pick-me-up” on a sleepy afternoon. This is worth a try if you like the aroma and flavour of toffee/butterscotch!
Bailey’s Irish Cream Teacake @ S$19
The star of the menu had to be the Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquer Teacake! This is the most popular item on the menu and regulars are addicted to it! I can totally understand what all the fuss was about from my first bite. The cake was steamed for moisture, which resulted in a firmly textured sponge that was richly-flavoured yet not too heavy on the stomach. It was topped with freshly whipped cream that had gold specks sprinkled over it for a touch of luxe. The “icing on the cake” was the wondrously fragrant Espresso sauce fortified with the rich chocolate-y flavour of Bailey’s Irish Cream. I let my cake soak in the sauce for more flavour! This was such a divinely pleasurable dessert that I had to have it both times I visited, despite the knowledge that it was wreaking further havoc on my historically ill-disciplined & ill-fated weight-loss plan! I don’t care what the calorie count is for this dish, something that tastes sooo good cannot be all that terrible! This is definitely a MUST-TRY!!!
English Lavender Cookies @ S$30 per tin
On my first visit, I bought a tin of English Lavender Cookies (one of their classics) as I love Lavender in almost any form! I loved the calming aroma of lavender as I bit into the crumbly but not overly sweet cookie, which had a texture akin to that of local Sugee cookies…albeit a tad less dry and hard compared to the ones that we get these days.
Whilst one doesn’t get too many cookies in this tin, it’s just as well as the cookies are best consumed fresh (ie. within 10 days). No problem on my part, as I finished the entire tin within 2 days. I shared the cookies with my colleagues. Some of them said that it felt like they were eating soap, I guess its because Lavender is heavily associated with aromatherapy products like lotions, soaps and shampoos. I have eaten Lavender cookies, Lavender cakes and drunk Lavender honey so I didn’t have any problems associating lavender with food. It was a great way to relax on a busy working afternoon…of course, the sugar rush kept me happy too. 🙂 This is worth a try if you are able to associate Lavender with food, else it might be an unpleasant experience if you keep thinking of it as soap-flavoured cookies.
Vanilla & Melon Cookies @ S$35 per tin
On my second visit, I bought a tin of Vaniglia e Melone (this Italian name translates into Vanilla and Melon). It was a thinner but slightly more buttery cookie that was made with Cantaloupe, Chocolate Cereal and Vanilla beans. I love cantaloupe, chocolate and the irreplaceable flavour of real vanilla beans!
If you look closely at the cookies, you can see the black specks of vanilla seeds. I would never order a vanilla dessert if it didn’t contain any black specks (check with the service staff before ordering) as they’re invariably made with vanilla flavouring which has an overpoweringly artificial flavour that doesn’t do justice to the natural fragrance and flavour that real vanilla pods have. The dried bits of cantaloupe and chocolate cereal added texture to the cookie. This is definitely worth a try if its still in stock.
Mums & Daisy Cookies @ S$35 each
They were taking pre-orders for Mother’s Day Cookies, which was named Mums & Daisy. It was essentially a tin of Apple, Cranberry & Macadamia Nut Cookies. I love all 3 ingredients, especially cranberries and macadamia nuts. It looked irresistible so I ordered some.
Here’s a close-up of the Mums & Daisy cookie. This is a variation of one of their previously wildly popular flavour, which consisted of cranberries and rose extract. I’ve forgotten the name of the cookie but I was fortunate to sample them on my first visit. (Please refer to the first picture in this blog entry.) It was just a tad too sweet for my liking but the slight tartness of the cranberries helped to balance the sweetness out.
This place is definitely worth checking out both for the experience, the interesting selection of teas, cookies but most of all, for the Baileys Irish Cream Teacake!
The Cookie Museum
8 Raffles Avenue,
#01-02/04 Esplanade Mall,
Tel: +65 6333-1965
@ 9.30pm (Sundays – Thursdays) & @ 10.30pm (Fridays & Saturdays)
PS: Dear Personal Trainer, this entry was written by my evil twin sister who can’t get her paws off calories!