Visitors (including many of us Singaporeans) to Bangkok in the past year would know of the maddening queues in front of popular dessert chain, After You’s outlets, whether in popular upscale malls like Central World Plaza and Siam Paragon, or in the busy suburban malls like the ones in Bangkapi or Bangkae. After You is, of course, known for the cholesterol-laden, diet-busting Shibuya Honey Toast: that block of the softest, tastiest, creamiest “toast” I’d ever tasted in my life.
Back in Singapore, whilst plotting my next gourmet food hunt in Bangkok (in two weeks’ time), there are various copycats of After You’s Shibuya Honey Toast to try in town - none of them come close to the original, sadly. Miam Miam at Bugis Junction is my fave place, but their version is more French toast than that amazing piece of deliciousness I’d yearned for.
Recently, a queue formed in front of the former location of Polo Ralph Lauren store at Isetan Scotts. Unbeknownst to many of us, the Ralph Lauren folks have moved away from its prime location to one with kinder rental rates. In its place is Watanabe Coffee - one of those Japanese-style “French” cafes specializing in yoshoku cuisine. A glean through its menu showed a Shibuya Honey Toast lookalike: Watanabe’s own Matcha & Ogura Honey Toast. We went in, endured a couple of “meh” entrees (Iberico pork katsu curry, and a baked rice topped with salmon and mushrooms & smothered in white sauce) before our sought-after dessert was plonked down in front of us. It was nowhere near the real thing, of course, but a respectable clone. In Kuala Lumpur or Penang, as in Singapore previously, one would go to Miam Miam or Franco. But here in Singapore, we just had another alternative in Watanabe Coffee.
350 Orchard Road
#01-00 Isetan Scotts
Tel: +65 6235 0608