We need this in Singapore!
Believe it or not, despite making frequent visits to Bangkok as a late teen, I’ve never visited Chatuchak Weekend Market. To be fair, I had my reasons. Back then, regional air travel wasn’t as affordable as it is today, and low-cost carriers were still in their infancy – unfamiliar and riddled with punitive scheduling. Air fares over the weekend were simply too hard to swallow for this young, bodily attractive NSF.
I literally shopped till I literally had no hands to carry anything else. I couldn’t even sample the world-famous coconut ice-cream – the perils of being a party of one. With that, my expedition came to an end, and it was time to return to the hotel near Sala Daeng BTS station to unload my shopping before heading out again.
This evening, I continued my retail therapy in a very familiar district, Siam. More than anything, Siam is a boost of inspiration – a place where food and fashion comes together. For me, there’s a gratifying sense of satisfaction simply just by window shopping through the local designer collections at Siam Center; it’s gastronomically satiating just taking in the sights and smells of Siam Paragon’s food hall. It’s a kind of soul food, and it’s a must-go everytime I’m in the Thai capital, even if I don’t buy anything.
Besides coming to Bangkok to shop, I also wanted to eat, and one of those on my lists was After You Dessert Cafe. This Thai pattisserie has literally exploded into Bangkok’s contemporary scene, growing from a very beautiful and photogenic lone outlet in the district of Thonglor to five outlets city-wide.
Its claim to fame? Shibuya Honey Toast, a modern Japanese dessert originated from the hip Tokyo district of Shibuya. It’s classically defined by a fresh caramelised bread with ice cream, usually served with diced fruits and topped with powdered sugar and honey. Besides a whole repertoire of toasts, After You also serves buttermilk pancakes, chocolate lava cakes, brownies and other stunning cakes.
Thanks to Daniel Food Diary and countless other blogs, I was aware of the branch at Siam Paragon. However, when I chanced upon another branch at the new-ish Siam Square One on the opposite side of Siam Station, I thought, “why not?”
Perusing the menu is, well, surprisingly tedious. There are a lot of desserts, and the Shibuya Honey Toast alone comes in flavors ranging from cheddar cheese and chocolate, to matcha, sticky toffee and strawberry. They come in a option of “baby size” at THB 175 to THB 195 (SGD 7 to SGD 7.80) or the regular at THB 195 to THB 245 (SGD 7.80 to SGD 9.80). Do note that the main difference is the size of the brick toast. You’ll still get two scoops of ice cream, and a rise of whipped cream. I ordered the classic, and a Thai Iced Milk Tea (my first since arriving in Bangkok…these supposedly classic Thai beverages are surprisingly rare these days).
There’s no doubt about it. It’s pretty. It’s camera-ready. It’s photogenic. It’s Instagram (as well as Line and WeChat) worthy. It’s tapping on the very young Thai population, which is certainly fueling After You Dessert Cafe’s popularity.
There is some perfection and precision that has gone into this version of the Japanese Honey Toast. At its core, the richness of the sweet caramelised brioche crust has a firm and crisp exterior, which is balanced by the warm, soft, fluffy buttery sponge. Compliment notes of honey, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, in various degrees, function as muses to the main attraction, illuminating the notes of harmony. The relative lightness of the whipped cream for example, helps to neutralize the ultra combination of the ice cream and the honey. Personally, I felt it was well-thought, and offer the palate an exhilirating exploration of the sweet.