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LSA Exclusive: Chef Cheryl Koh expands Tarte into a full sit-down patisserie

Singaporean chef Cheryl Koh, the dessert doyenne at two-Michein-starred Les Amis and Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2016 has done it again. This time, her hole-in-the-wall tart shop is expanding into a patisserie with a dining area offering cakes, chocolates, cookies and bread on top of a curated selection of coffee and tea.

This is a sizeable upgrade as the former ground floor space was a simple store with a marble counter showcasing her tarts. There was no menu nor a seating area.

“Previously, our guests were able to enjoy our tarts next door at Caveau,” says the chef in an exclusive with Lifestyle Asia Singapore. “Now, with a dining area, we are able to provide our customers with the total package – great pastries, well-brewed coffee or tea and a comfortable area for them to enjoy their tarts.”

Chef Cheryl Koh at our recent Pass The Salt interview.

The 1,100-square-foot patisserie will seat 30 diners in a space that oozes modern elegance. Expect quartz counters, circular wooden panels meant to reference tarts as the signature item as well as hand-blown glass spheres for lighting by Canadian design firm Bocci.

It’s further testament to her growing success. In recent times, she has participated in prestigious events like the Formula One Paddock Club in Singapore, the James Beard Foundation’s Gala Dinner in New York as well as collaborated with properties like Shangri-la Hotel to produce tart flavours.

Koh first burst into the scene when she was part of the team along with executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy who breathed new life into Les Amis in 2013. The duo had previously worked at Hong Kong’s one-Michelin-starred Cepage before it lowered its shutters.

Koh stood out as very few female Singaporean chefs make it to the top. Her signature style has always been in showcasing seasonal fruit – a style that she brought with her when Tarte first opened in 2015.

The strawberry tart from Tarte by Cheryl Koh.

Now that she has her own sit down space, how will that change?

“Our focus will still be on our tarts and working with seasonal ingredients,” she explains. “We will also be expanding our range of cakes, which will be sold by the slice or as whole cakes.”

A peek at the menu showed that slices are going at $10, while whole one kilogram cakes are priced at $85. These will come in flavours like dark chocolate as well as classic treats like gateau opera. Craving something savoury? There’s a selection of brioche starting from $6 that will include renditions in cheese as well as bacon and mustard (both $8) as well as two versions of quiche ($10). Wash these down with the selection of coffee and tea by Gryphon.

“At Tarte, we believe that the role of a chef isn’t about just creating a meal or preparing a dessert, it is about crafting an overall dining experience that excites, surprises and delights the individual and their senses,” says Koh. “It is about balancing flavours, experimenting with different textures, and telling a story with the food and beverages.”

The new Tarte by Cheryl Koh is open now. It’s located at #02-12, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, 6235 3225.

Azimin Saini
Azimin Saini is a contributor to Lifestyle Asia. He has spent a decade in journalism, writing for The Peak, Style:Men and the Michelin Guide.
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