You might be greeted by Beyonce or Diana Ross when stepping into The Fabulous Baker Boy. These are just two of founder Juwanda Hassim’s creative cake creations; there are over 14 elegant tiered treats on display, each with an uncanny source of inspiration. From the aptly named Diva series, sample the Beyonce, a take on lemonade with layers of lemon and yoghurt sponge; or try Ms Celine Dione where Valrhona white chocolate and macadamia sponge comes sandwiched between fresh raspberries and raspberry compote.
The self-taught cook and baker believes that all meals should always end with desserts, which is why he pours his heart into creating an impressive line-up of fabulous cakes at his café. More than just tapping into pop culture, he also has a few creations made in dedication to his personal friends and loved ones.
Since closing down its Fort Canning outlet, The Fabulous Baker Boy has now found a new home at Aliwal Arts Centre. The bigger, 70-seater space comes with more room for new additions to the menu – one filled with classic, hearty brunch plates that are hard to go wrong with. Must-orders include the fried chicken and waffles ($24), where the bird comes coated in an addictively crispy garlic-scented batter; or the eggs Benedict ($14/$16) served atop homemade sourdough brioche. In the mood to indulge? Tuck into jazzed up creations that feature a sinful macaroni and cheese ($24), spiced with chilli crab sauce; or the aromatic laksa pesto pasta ($23.50).
But a trip down to the bakery-café will not be complete without some fresh bakes. Everything comes prepped fresh, and the bigger space with an additional oven allows for more toasty creations to be created. Sourdough loaves might come in various flavours, and slices of rosemary-perfumed toast ($4), served straight from the oven, has a crusty, crisp exterior and a pillow-soft centre. It is great on its own, but even better with a smear of butter or some homemade jam. Of course, be sure to make room for a slice of cake, or two. Strawberry lemon yoghurt is light, bright, and all too easy to finish, and the Hossan Leong is a massive 10-layered butter torte with alternating stacks of chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline. Other classics are worth a try too: the red velvet, Valrhona chocolate, and carrot cake, in particular, were the first three cakes that Juwanda first made, and has stayed on the menu till today.
Here, everything is a labour of love. Juwanda insists on making most things in-house, without the addition of preservatives – from the loaves of bread to the jams, and even the yoghurt used in making the cakes. He shares: “When you feed children and families, you have to be really responsible.”