Horne Road is once again, cementing its hipster neighbourhood status with the addition of new coffee joints and quaint cafes. One of these newcomers is Ai Cafe, a cafe by day, bistro by night that has made a name for itself with its quirky desserts.
Ai Cafe’s interior is distinctly modern, with an angel wings mural near the entrance for customers to snap their Instagram photos and Boomerangs. The handpainted sketch of the Singapore skyline makes a nice touch for tourists as well.
While Ai Cafe was originally meant to take on a futuristic theme complete with automated machines and robots, that plan has given way to a menu of uniquely-crafted desserts instead.
If the Bao de Litchi ($8.80) rings a bell, that’s because its Chinese bao shape closely resembles a certain signature dessert by Two Bakers just a couple of doors down. Twinning aside, Ai Cafe’s “bao” comprises lychee jelly, raspberry cremeux, and earl grey sponge.
The result is a refreshing flavour profile that is encased by a crunchy lychee mousse gateau. The sweet and zesty notes perfectly complimenting each other also means the dessert is not overly rich – perfect for enjoying with an afternoon cuppa. There’s also a strawberry flavour if you’re in the mood for something pink.
I’m always in awe of edible creations that are able to replicate the very thing they are modelled after, and Ai Cafe’s Matcha Goma ($9.80) is no exception. Made to resemble a Japanese bamboo shoot filled with water in the summer, this Asian-inspired dessert consists of beautiful layers of black sesame mousse, black sesame feuilletine, and matcha sponge. The mix of earthy flavours do remind you of Japan!
The matcha mousse gateau that encases it has a smooth finish, and the yuzu jelly “water” adds some zest. I was also impressed that it didn’t melt as quickly as I expected in the heat.
“Instagram worthy” is a term that often raises eyebrows these days, but Ai Cafe’s offerings are pretty solid. It’s a great spot to escape to for the afternoon, but do come early as the Matcha Goma tends to sell out pretty fast!
Address:74 Horne Road, Singapore 209076
Nearest MRT: Bendemeer DT23
Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 10.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 10.30pm
Closed on Monday
Contact: +65 9369 6788