The Fabulous Baker Boy at Fort Canning Hill is a gorgeous escape from hectic city life. After a renovation, it's now nicely air-conditioned and has more seating space. It looks out to a spacious lawn and seems miles away from care. It's hard to imagine that this area used to be the old River Valley swimming pool, but they have retained lots of the old retro tiles and pillars.
I really like the boss Juwanda Hashim who pours all his love, heart and soul into cooking and baking. He's funny, friendly and just awesomely talented all round. It's so fabulous to see someone who is so deep in his passion. Despite this being tiring, there's nothing else he would rather do.
You will find cafe favourites here - breaded appetisers, hearty sandwiches, pastas and pies - all pretty filling. Juwanda has a cook who helps him out.
Ju's Prawn Pasta "cooked in a secret crustacean cream" is one of the signature dishes here. I do like the papardelle (great texture), but the flavours are a little too light for me. They also have a chili crab mac and cheese which had a surprisingly decent chili kick. However, that one was too dry - needs way more sauce and cheese!
The brunch items seem really popular though.
Juwanda does the most perfectly rounded poached eggs I have ever seen. He has a secret technique, which I shall help him keep secret. Hint: no vinegar used!
Oh there's no pork no lard here, although there's no halal licence because they serve alcohol.
Here's another shot of the TFFB Breakfast, in case the Instagram photo doesn't turn up (the embed code has been temperamental).
The main reason people come here is probably for cakes. Juwanda churns out a mind-boggling number of cakes every day, and even more for events.
The cakes tend to be rather tall, layered classics. We tried a few - the FAB Red Velvet Cake, Big Lub's Carrot Cake, Salted Caramel, Caribbean Lemon (with coconut flakes) and the one I liked most - the Sugee Brandy!
Most of the cakes still proved too sweet for me, but then again, I am not a dessert person and my tolerance for sweet stuff is deplorably low. Still, with a good cup of coffee, these would go down well shared with a friend.
What's really cool is "The Spare Room" at one end that often showcases art and design pieces or even performances. Food, art and nature, all in one tranquil space.
THE FABULOUS BAKER BOY
The Foothills, Fort Canning
(opposite Liang Court)
70 River Valley Road #01-15,
Tel: +65 6694-8336
Open daily except Mondays
Tue to Thurs : 11am to 10 pm
Fri & Sat : 11 am to 11pm
Sun : 10 am to 5pm
Brunch/Lunch Last Orders 3 pm
Dinner Last Orders 9 pm
Cakes & Nibbles all day
Thanks to Selena for the invite, and Juwanda for the lovely hospitality!