In my opinion, Serangoon Gardens is the Holland Village that never was.
Sure, there’s definitely the small-town community village vibe to this food garden, but unlike the decidedly upper class, cosmopolitan Holland Village, Serangoon Gardens feels somehow, more contrived and ghetto. Indeed, the xenophobics attitudes exhibited by the residents here towards the construction of residences for construction labourers only reinforced that. I might be biased, though: Serangoon Gardens was interesting once, but it has since lost its shine. Without Chomp Chomp, it’d have just been a regular roundabout in the middle of nowhere.
Plus, it’s somehow hot as hell. I mean, seriously, it feels warmer than Ang Mo Kio to the west, or Serangoon to the southeast.
Alas, I was in the area, at Nex specifically, and I was committed to my commitment to commit Sundays to cafe hopping. There was no way in hell I was going to visit Wimbly Lu at Jalan Riang. So, I decided to hop into the further, but a little more convenient Little Wimbly Lu at Serangoon Gardens, and that’s saying something.
I didn’t like Wimbly Lu the first time I tried it. I’ll admit, after sampling Creamier and Salted Caramel – both very “local”, very “down-to-earth”, “accessible” spots, Wimbly Lu seemed a tad pretentious with its contemporary Parisian bistro atmosphere. And really, there were certain things that food bloggers and sites alike were masturbating to that I frankly, found…bizarre. I say “things”, I really mean “thing”, just the one: the root beer cake. I love A&W’s root beer float as much as every MTV generation Singaporean baby, but man, I couldn’t accept it in a cake. The idea of it is just…disgusting, it’s mental.
Located at the mini mall cheesily called My Village, Little Wimbly Lu is the textbook definition of a Napoleon complex. Physically, the cafe is smaller; serves a smaller menu, and serves smaller portions of their waffles, crepes and pancakes…half the size, to be exact, but not half the price. The presentation for some desserts, like the root beer cake, are frankly, cheap.
But it compensates all these deficiencies with a taste that I frankly think, is better than the original outlet. I was literally blown away by the waffles with salted caramel ice cream. The batter was decently crisp, but airy and fluffy on the inside. It certainly missed the typical buttermilk flavor of all good waffles, but the savory layer of the precise salted caramel ice cream balanced it out.
To top it all of, I had the classic hot chocolate which was quite literally, molten dark chocolate. It was rich, and the sweetness was just right – I was shortly after, incapacitated by chocolate – but I could have this every day.