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Within The Walls Dessert Bar Review: New Hong Kong-Inspired Cafe With Retro Vibes

26th June 2024

Within The Walls Dessert Bar is a Hong Kong-style cafe in East Coast


Ask me to choose between ice cream and waffles and traditional Chinese desserts for an after-dinner treat, and the answer is a no-brainer for me: I’d pick the latter in a heartbeat. I love traditional Chinese desserts so much that it’s one of the few things I miss whenever I’m travelling. And so when Within The Walls Dessert Bar—a new Hong Kong-inspired dessert cafe in East Coast—invited us down, I was stoked to try their wide range of offerings.


As soon as I set foot in the rustic-looking cafe, I knew they were quite a stickler for 80s Hong Kong pop culture decor, as the interiors reminded me of the 2024 film, Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In. Well, it turns out, the family-run cafe is inspired by the owner’s childhood memories at Kowloon Walled City—an infamous neighbourhood that was once dubbed the most densely populated place on the planet.

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Food at Within The Walls Dessert Bar


Back to the cafe: I was served a total of seven different desserts to try, starting with my favourite, the Steady Pom Pi Pi Strawberry ($14.80): a snow ice dessert in a pretty shade of pink, topped with strawberries and a key ingredient which I’ll soon get into. 


I’ll be honest. The first thought that came to my mind was that this would be one of those desserts that tasted akin to strawberry-flavoured Pocky. To my surprise, there was a distinctly tangy flavour that I really enjoyed, and it was only then that I found out there was a dollop of yoghurt placed right at the top. This was a smart addition, as the tangy yoghurt balanced out the natural sweetness of the strawberry snow ice. Also, I write “natural” here because the cafe uses real fruits in most of their snow ice desserts! 


Chocolate-flavoured desserts are usually not my first choice, but their Chocolate Dinosaur ($14.80) snow ice had me going back for seconds and thirds. 


At first blush, the triple threat combination of chocolate snow ice topped with chocolate ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup seemed rather daunting. But worry not, as this dessert wasn’t cloying thanks to the bittersweet dark chocolate base. Plus, the banana bits, peanuts, and whipped cream added textural variety while complementing the overall flavour of the dessert. 


The final snow ice dessert I tried was the adorably named Mango Bo Jio ($14.80).


Similar to the desserts mentioned above, the mango snow ice was well-executed— it was incredibly creamy and refreshing. And kudos to the team for thoughtfully picking out only the freshest, sweetest, and juiciest mangoes to create this treat. But here’s the thing—unfortunately, the dessert became sweeter with the spoonful, leaving me uninspired to finish the whole bowl. 


If you’re like me, a bowl of mango sago is non-negotiable at any given traditional Chinese dessert cafe. For something less cloying than the mango snow ice, their Mango Sago with Mini Taro Q ($7.50) will do the trick. Here, the base struck a better balance with the addition of milk, which helped quell the sweetness of the fruit. 


I also appreciated that this dessert came with fresh strawberries and mini taro balls; the former added some zest, while the latter added a mochi-like texture for variety.


Otherwise, orh nee fans can give their Yam Paste ($6.90) a shot. Unlike the former desserts, this old-school treat was really simple as it consisted of just three ingredients: yam paste topped with ginkgo nuts and a splash of coconut milk. 


Orh nee paste made with too much oil is a no-go, but thankfully, this was nothing like that. Also, I liked that the ginkgo nuts had just the right amount of bitterness to complement the rich and earthy flavours of the yam. My only gripe was that the texture of the paste was a tad dense and thick for my liking. It would have been much easier to enjoy this dessert if it were just a bit more silken and perhaps, a little looser.


Next, I tried the quintessential Steamed Egg Pudding ($6.90), a popular Hong Kong dessert. This was essentially a steamed pudding that tasted similar to a sweet egg custard. While this was a much lighter treat than the Yam Paste, I don’t think it’s for everyone as it had an eggy flavour. 


Here’s also a special shoutout to their Peach Gum with White Fungus + Snow Pear ($7.90), which I wiped out in no time. 


This is one of those refreshing and healthy desserts that tastes good both chilled and warm. Since it’s on the lighter end, I recommend sampling it before you try the others, which hold more intense flavours.

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Ambience at Within The Walls Dessert Bar


The desserts here were decent, but what made this new cafe really pop was the ambience. Within The Walls Dessert Bar’s rustic slash industrial concept, along with the 80s Hong Kong pop culture inspiration, gave the space a distinctive personality of its own. 

Another plus: you don’t have to worry about waiting in line for too long as they can seat about 50 diners at once. My small quibble is that the dessert cafe isn’t the most accessible, and you’ll have to take a bus from Eunos or Kembangan MRT Station.

The verdict


Now that we’re in the warmer months of the year, it’s a good time to beat the humidity with some icy cold desserts. Frankly, the desserts are slightly pricey here, but I might be back if I happen to be in the area. 

Also, if you do face any teething issues, please extend some grace as the cafe just opened their doors to the public.

If you’re in the area, check out La Saigon for legit egg coffee and banh mi. Otherwise, read our Cafe Natsu review, where we tried sando and more at this popular Japanese-inspired cafe in Joo Chiat. 

Address: 378 East Coast Road, Singapore 428985
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 11pm
Within The Walls Dessert Bar is not a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Hor Kia Ee.
This was a media tasting at Within The Walls Dessert Bar.

Within The Walls Dessert Bar Review: New Hong Kong-Inspired Cafe With Retro Vibes
  • 7/10
    Within The Walls Dessert Bar Review: New Hong Kong-Inspired Cafe With Retro Vibes - 7/10


– Lesser-seen rustic interior for a dessert bar
– Real fruits are used to make snow ice desserts

– Not the most convenient location
– Prices are slightly steep

Recommended dish: Steady Pom Pi Pi Strawberry ($14.80), Chocolate Dinosaur ($14.80)

Address: 378 East Coast Road, Singapore 428985

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