Unless you make a turn out of the small exit of The Cathay, and walk past a carpark entrance, you’ll miss The Luxe, a newly built condominium. It would be hard to fault you, as the 2-storey building doesn’t seem to draw people, except in one shop – 1 Caramel, which was set up by the owners of One Rochester and 1 TwentySix and officially opened on July 1.


It was a little surreal, as the brightly-lit cafe not only held the only people in the building, they all looked uniformly happy. Not willing to pass up a chance for that kind of joy, UrbanWire also looked for a table to sit at.

Though only the 30 outdoor seats were available then, because all 30 indoor seats were already taken, the cool and gentle breeze made them no less welcoming an option. Settling down on a cushioned white chair, we were soon approached by a waiter carrying 2 menus. He helped us place 5 items on the order chit based on the most recommended and popular foods at the café.

The drinks were the first to arrive, and they made such an impression in their hourglass-shaped tableware that our curiosity over the cakes built up quickly.


The Café Latte ($5) was milky with a strong aroma, and the froth came in a nice amount. You may rank it somewhere in between The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s café latte and The Coffee Connoisseur café latte, The mixed white and brown sugar cubes came surprisingly in a single small porcelain cup which complemented the overall presentation well.


Tropical Blend ($8), a mix of pineapple, mango and passion fruit had a refreshing colour and taste to it, and would have been perfect if not for the hint of artificial sweetener, which would be missing if the blend was 100% fruit. Although the blend was slightly gooey because of all the fruits, it still had a smooth texture. Overall, the frappe was not too sweet and all the 3 fruits could be tasted.

After some time, the colourful cake slices were served onto the marble table in unique teardrop-shaped plates. The utensils that came with them did not only stand out for their design, as they were broad at the ends but narrow in the middle, but had also brought about an avant garde effect.


The bright pink of the macaron and mini flowers matched the dark red chocolate cake that was Red Velvet ($7.90) very well. Though the dark chocolate was rich, there was also a strong cherry taste that will appeal to those with a sweet tooth. On the other hand, the crisp and fresh macaron wasn’t too sweet in relation to the cake, and balanced out the flavours nicely. The Red Velvet was almost like a richer version of the black forest cake.


Sacher Torte ($7.90), the traditional dense Austrian chocolate cake, looked the simplest among all 3 cakes. However, its light taste was especially delightful with the pitted dark sweet cherries and exquisite Valrhona chocolate ganache. The cake was fluffier than the Red Velvet and it could be felt melting in the mouth.


The Hazelnut Pear Torta ($6.90) looked very appetizing with it’s warm colours and glazed appearance, and failed to disapoint as it actually tasted very good. It’s flaky, crunchy and not too dry. Also, the caramelized pear slices were fresh and firm, thanks to their not being overcooked. On a side note, relatively strong jaws were needed due to the generous amount of hazelnuts mixed in the tart.


All in all, the food and drinks served were pleasing to both the eyes and the tastebuds, while the pleasant ambience and huge window display of desserts made the slightly expensive cakes worth the money. Furthermore, the tableware that serves the light selection of cakes enhances the overall eating experience by presenting a playful yet sophisticated vibe.


1 Caramel is good for small cosy tea parties, a quiet place to read a book or just spending a lazy afternoon.

About the shop

Why it is named 1 Caramel…

According to the general manager, Ms Melanie Ng, 1 Caramel gives the image of sweetness and gratifying desserts. ‘Caramel’, which is derived from the caramelisation of sugar, is used as a base in most desserts, among them perennial favourites Crème Brûlée and Panna Cotta. The sticky substance is also used to shape designs on desserts as decorative art. Therefore, ‘Caramel’ in 1 Caramel represents the range of confections that customers can expect at the patisserie, which welcomes with its intoxicating aroma that permeates through the air.

Why it is found at The Luxe…

The location, also according to Ms Ng, is perfect for targeting a discerning demographic whom may be familiar with the cake-and-coffee culture prevalent overseas, such as in Australia, London and New York; as well as urbanites residing at Emily Hill and Mount Sophia.

Address: 6 Handy Road, #01-01A

Opening hours:
Sunday – Thursday, 11am to 11pm
Friday – Saturday, 11am to 1am

Tel: 6338 3282