The hype: Many might remember Sugarhaus solely as the retailer of one infamous taro galaxy cake, but the dessert parlor’s second revamp brings to Serene Centre a larger menu, and an all-new speakeasy-style steakhouse named Fat Belly.
The vibe: Ice cream parlor by day and gastrobar by night, Sugarhaus (and Fat Belly) share the same fondness for cozy, casual dining any time of the day. Minimal wood finishings keep the space clean and fresh, while the green leather chairs and slick bar-top seating at Fat Belly convert it into an effortlessly cool space at night; perfect for clinking wineglasses as you watch the friendly chefs prepare your food right in front of you.
The food: Fat Belly may be the unproven new addition to the parlor, but it stands out as the highlight rather than a weak link. The 10-seater steakhouse specializes in alternative cuts of steak that boast stronger and more robust flavors. Like their meats, the menu is lean—but sufficient. The flat iron ($22) is tender and generously portioned, but our vote goes to the short rib ($25); it’s juicy, fat and bursting with flavor that remains on your mind long after it’s left your tongue.
Sides are priced affordably at $5 each with any order of a main—of the four available, go for the creamed kale, an indulgent, milky dish that transforms the usual treatment of trend veg; or the bar-food classic truffle fries.
Despite being located within Sugarhaus, Fat Belly has its own small selection of desserts. The simply named Foie Gras ($13) is an explosion of sweetness with foie gras ice cream and speculoos, balanced out with brulee banana and roasted nuts. Take heed that the foie gras ice cream packs a highly concentrated punch.
End off your meal with a real sugar overdose from Sugarhaus’ expanded dessert menu. The psychedelic space-themed treat returns in the form of the new-and-improved galaxy tart ($8). We went in with reservations, but were pleasantly surprised to find rich chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly hidden beneath the galaxy-printed exterior; itself an expertly crafted glaze of light white chocolate. For something a little less sinful, there’s the lemon popsicle tart ($8), a beautifully plated dish of lemon sable, parfait and meringue.
If you still have room, order Sugarhaus’ classic ice cream-and-waffles pairing that holds its own against the more uniquely plated items on the menu. Waffles are $6, baked golden and perfectly crisp, and go excellently with any of the homemade ice cream flavors—for now, the brand new hibiscus yogurt ($4.30) stands out above the older flavors like sea salt toffee, Dutch chocolate and gula melaka ($4.30 each) for its refreshing floral accents that close the meal nicely.
The drinks: Drinks aren’t the parlor-bar’s strong suit, but Fat Belly does boast a decent selection of reds and whites, as well as coffees if you aren’t in the mood for a drink. Sugarhaus has a small selection of wines and prosecco too, but we rather enjoyed their range of teas, available bottled (cold) or fresh in a pot.
Why you’ll be back: Centrally located, Sugarhaus and Fat Belly make for a convenient all-in-one stop for indulging both your appetite and your sweet tooth. The short rib alone is reason enough to have you planning your next trip to Bukit Timah even before you leave; the affordably priced menu and cozy set-up are just secondary factors. You’ll want to come between 6-10pm, when Fat Belly is open, so you can taste the best of both worlds (ie. savory and sweet), get spoiled rotten and be left in a glorious food coma.