Interactive, edible sugar art goes mainstream in Singapore.
SINGAPORE’S award-winning pastry chef Janice Wong launched her first sweets retail brand at a pop up in the city state’s Gardens by the Bay. Simply called JANICE WONG, the brand is made up of “interactive, edible art” which is a feast not just for the palate, but for the eyes and the imagination.
Expect to see a whimsically artistic collection of candy-like marshmallow paintings, bespoke lollipops, abstractly artistic fruit gummies, chocolate kites and balloons, spherical cakes and chocolate paint with up to 38 colours and flavours such as passion fruit, green mango and smoked chocolate.
Taking her sweet treats to a larger audience beyond her Holland Village restaurant 2am: dessert bar, the shop moved from its pop-up location to the level one atrium in ION Orchard last December where it will remain a permanent fixture.
Designed to resemble an ice cream cart with racks of sweets, you’ll find over 70 types of sweets here, all of them one-of-a-kind. A highlight at the store will be the edible art section where customers can look at JANICE WONG creations like an art installation: flip through racks of candy-like clothing displays in a fashion boutique, and choose marshmallow paintings like they were art pieces in a gallery.
“I hope we can delight consumers and re-ignite nostalgic childhood memories of the wonders of being in a candy store,” she says.
“I have always liked the idea of edible art and wanted to inspire customers with my own childhood memories and experience.”
Among her personal favourites are the Marshmallow Paintings, the Chocolate Paint and spherical cakes. For the Christmas season, Wong rolled out classic candy cane flavoured lollipop, S$3 (RM8), spherical cakes, S$10 (Rm27) in seasonal flavours like praline Christmas ruby and green mistletoe.
Occasions like Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day will inspire other limited edition treats.
At the same time, she also plumbs local cuisines for inspiration to eventually roll out adventurous morsels like laksa-flavoured chocolate bon bons.
Thinking big, the petite chef admits plans of overseas expansion to establish her brand as “an international name synonymous with innovative and imaginative desserts”.
Having started her 2am: dessert bar only in 2007, the baby-faced chef who is known for her bold combinations of sweet and savoury, has already become a household name among high-end dessert lovers worldwide.
She’s a familiar face in the global pop-up culinary circuit and has been anointed Asia’s Best Pastry Chef by San Pellegrino Asia’s 50 Best for the last two years. So why not try to top Willy Wonka’s game with her Asian-laced brand of sugary fancies?
While her haute art edibles may not really ring any bells of childhood nostalgia for many Singaporeans brought up on Cadbury, Van Houten and ice kacang, it will no doubt fascinate and lure in fans and adventurous ‘desserters’ in search of the next new edible experience.