“I seriously have not slept in about 4 days,” Eddie says matter-of-factly, as he tells us how the different ingredients available in each country is always a problem. “It affects the recipes, so you’ll need to change all your recipes.”
Eddie Stewart, one of the founders of Tokyo Lamington, was also one of the pastry chefs behind the popular Strawberry and Watermelon Cake from Black Star Pastry in Sydney, Australia. “We actually went on a little competition in black star for about 2 years,” he confides with a twinkle in his eyes while telling us about cutting the watermelon cake, and the serrated knife in his 60-piece strong knife collection. “Like, who could be the best cutter; the elite cutters. It’s quite hard and you need to concentrate.”
By then, all that was left of our chocolate gelato was the rich, silky carpet of flavour lining the back of our throats. Made with single origin Valrhona Chocolate, N2’s recipe includes the use of liquid nitrogen to present a smoother masterpiece of tradition, infused with a creative twist of showmanship. In contrast, the Lychee Prosecco Sorbet presents a much lighter and more refreshing flavour with a hint of alcohol, floating on our tongues like indulging in winter in a cup. with a variety of toppings available, we could personalise the flavours any way we wanted.
“So what other one did you want to try?” Eddie asks, recommending the Salted Egg Yolk lamington. Treating us to a show-and-tell of sorts, he takes out a single-use syringe and dips it into the salted egg yolk mixture in front of him. “We have a little thing where we put some sauce inside, so we just kinda inject this in the middle. We have to bring an N2 element to this somehow, so that’s how we did it.”
Tokyo Lamington was founded by Eddie and Min, who was also the founder of N2 Extreme Gelato in Australia. “Four years ago, we only did gelato. Never realised there was more to life than gelato,” Eddie joked, “gelato’s great, but…” Shrugging, he picks up one of the little brown boxes lined up neatly beside him, and excitedly reveals how the packaging came before the cake. “I think this is probably my favourite part of the whole thing, is the packaging. We worked backwards for that, which is cool.” With a file fastener binding both sides of the outer covering together, the environmentally conscious packaging holds up to 6 little boxes of lamingtons, perfect for taking home one each of the six flavours available at every switch.
In contrast to their flagship in Tokyo where they only offer two flavours a month, a variety of local flavours are available at their pop-up located at the level one atrium in Plaza Singapura. “A few of these are experimental, so we are changing them and over the weekend we’ve got a couple more flavours,” Eddie explains as we got excited over the Pei Pa Kao flavoured lamington. “Do you wanna try one now? I haven’t made one here yet. Let’s do it!” he exclaims and whips around, heading into the kitchen to pick up a naked lamington. “This is the one I’m most excited about because, the bubble tea? I love it. So good.” As he dips the lamington in a shallow tray of minty cough syrup, Eddie regales us with tales of his childhood and how he found his passion in cooking.
“When I was young,” he starts, telling us about his younger days at his grandparents’ home and the cooking classes he used to take in high school, as well as stories of his later days as an apprentice in various restaurants. “I’m actually trained in French, Japanese and Italian cookery.” As Eddie progressed in his career, his love for food grew, leading him to experiment in various elements such as the type of charcoal used in grilling yakitori, or japanese grilled chicken skewers. “I would go as far as to get charcoal from japan, binchō-tan charcoal (or white charcoal), which is really hard to find now. It’s got heaps of flavour. Normal charcoal just tastes crap.”
As the conversation turns back to desserts and lamingtons, Eddie divulges his secret in keeping his lamingtons light and fluffy. “Every bakery in Australia sells the lamington. Some of them are terrible, but it’s like a staple. We’re not using a pound cake, we’re using a cross between a sponge and a chiffon.”
With plans to open a store in Singapore in the future, Eddie is taking baby steps in the meantime with having Tokyo Lamington and N2 Extreme Gelato pop-ups for the rest of the year. “Take your time, do it right,” he says, as we continue to chat about the various places he would like to visit while he’s in town.
Tokyo Lamington’s Plaza Singapura pop-up is open daily from now till 27 October, whereas their SingPost Centre pop-up will only be open from 24 October to 3 November.
Tokyo Lamington Pop-Up
( Open daily | 11am till late )
Plaza Singapura, Level 1 Atrium
68 Orchard Rd,
SingPost Centre, Level 1
10 Eunos Rd 8,