[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap]t Non Entree Desserts in Rangoon Road, fancy plated sweets by a former fine-dining pastry chef are the stars of the show. The cafe has been operating for just four months, but pictures of its signature chocolate lava cake served on top of a glass dome has already garnered over 831 likes (and counting) on Instagram.

This is part of a rising trend where cafes use visually stunning creations to “self-market on social media”, says co-founder Alex Toh. The aforementioned dessert, named Chocolate Avalanche, is a sight to behold, thanks to head pastry chef Francis Wong, who trained in the kitchens of Equinox in Swissotel the Stamford and Basilico in Regent Singapore. Here, cutting into the warm cake releases a steady stream of molten “lava” that flows onto orange ice cream and almond nougatine in the glass dome below. Many have ordered the dessert just to capture that particular moment.

Looks matter at Non Entree – the beautiful showpiece desserts reel in the crowds.

Over at Fatcat Ice Cream Bar in Bedok, chef-owner Charles Tan spent a year in the kitchen of award-winning Restaurant Andre, and now uses housegrown mint and basil to create fancy gels that garnish his sweets. Tan shares that the dessert often found circulating on Instagram is the lime mojito sphere, served on a handmade wooden plate and sprayed with a special brew of osmanthus wine made exclusively for Fatcat.

Lola’s Cafe in Simon Road also extended its menu recently to include a section explicitly named “plated desserts”, done by head chef Travis Goh who worked at Iggy’s in Singapore and Attica in Melbourne.

“We created this section called plated desserts because these additions did not fit into our usual categories of tarts or cakes and are made up of several unique components, besides being served a la minute,” says June Tan, co-owner of Lola’s Cafe.

“We hope to introduce fine-dining techniques, flavours and presentations to our diners this way,” says Tan.