Benz Hui’s Daughter Opens 2nd Cafe Outlet At Orchard Rd With Croffles & Laksa Pasta
The latest outlet for Charmaine Hui’s Cafe Bakeaholic will be open through Chinese New Year.
Rushing to Orchard Road for some last-minute CNY shopping this weekend? There’s a new celeb-linked cafe at Wheelock Place to check out while you’re there. Called Bakeaholic, it’s opened by Charmaine Hui, 25, whose dad is HK veteran actor Benz Hui.
Charmaine, who was born here and splits her time between Singapore and Hong Kong, started Bakeaholic as a home-based business in June 2020 after baking extensively during the circuit breaker.
Her cakes and cookies were so well-received that she decided to open a dine-in cafe six months later — with a “big loan” from her parents — at the Brooks Signature condominium near her family home in Yishun.
Charmaine with her parents
Cafe Bakeaholic has since expanded to include a second outlet, which opened today (Jan 28) at Wheelock Place. Speaking to 8days.sg, Charmaine shares that the cafe decor “will be similar to our current outlet, with a minimalist Korean-Japanese theme”.
There will also be “art projections” on the walls, which will feature seasonal themes like Christmas and Halloween. “When customers return, they will get a fresh perspective every time, it’ll be an interesting experience for people to take Instagram photos,” she explains.
The cafe’s opening was a race against time for Charmaine, as she had faced shipment delays for her supplies. “I also met some nasty local logistics companies that have not been very helpful, even though we made the overseas orders a while ago, ” she shares.
She personally bakes for her shops “together with a team”, and will split her time between her two branches. While she serves “only breakfast, pastries and desserts” at her Yishun outlet, the Orchard cafe will have “lots of new items”. This includes hot food like a Classic American Cheeseburger ($15.90), BH’s Laksa Pasta ($17.90), BH’s Laksa Overload Wedges ($8.90) with minced beef, and house-made Truffle Poulet Pizza ($20.90).
There are also sweet and savoury croffles (croissant dough pressed into the shape of a liege waffle), like the Maple Chicken Croffle ($14.90) and Ice Cream Croffle ($9.90) with a scoop of either chocolate or vanilla ice cream. You can also grab bakes like Sea Salt Brookies ($14 for 90g), a dark choc brownie-cookie hybrid, and Chocolate Basque Burnt Cheesecake ($11 a slice).
There will also be the madeleines, scones and mini loaves that Bakeaholic is known for, plus a Hong Kong-style Bolo Bao ($3.80; $4.30 with butter). For drinks, expect a selection of coffees, teas and Fresh Whisked Matcha ($5 for hot; $6 for iced) with an affogato option available.
Incidentally, Bakeaholic at Wheelock Place will be open through CNY with a selection of festive tidbits available for purchase. This includes pineapple tarts in flavours like Earl Grey and Osmanthus Oolong ($21.80 a jar) and Cornflake Butter Cookies ($16.80).
According to Charmaine, she’s also planning to roll out a range of “seasonal blood orange-themed pastries” as well as “our own customised coffee blend”. While she is in talks with malls in Hong Kong to do collaborations with her cafe, she reckons that she’s currently “not very sure” if she will open more Bakeaholic outlets. “Covid-19 has made everything unstable, but I’ll consider if there are opportunities worth taking the risk,” she says.
She reveals that she’s looking at launching “a new F&B concept” next, though she declines to share further details. “We are still in the midst of planning; it will be a bit different from Bakeaholic,” she says. Charmaine, who got engaged last October to her longtime Singaporean boyfriend, also shares that he has “been very supportive and helpful”. As for whether he will go into F&B with her (he’s currently studying for his Master’s degree in Hong Kong), she says: “He has his own things that he wants to do (laughs). I appreciate that he has been supportive all along.”
#02-19 Wheelock Place, 501 Orchard Rd, S238880. Open daily 10am-10pm. Revised CNY hours: CNY Eve 10am-5pm; Chu Yi & Chu Er 10am-8pm. www.instagram.com/bakeaholic_sg
Photos: Charmaine Hui/ Aik Chen