Japan’s Pablo Cheese Tart just opened its first cafe in Singapore, and Bake and LeTao should be worried

Oh boy, crazy queues are about to start again. And yes, we are talking about cheese tarts – again.

No, the cheese tart craze has not died down. In fact, judging by the snaking queues at Wisma Atria on Tuesday (Aug 8) morning, it is very much still alive and kicking.

That’s all thanks to Pablo Cheese Tart, one of Japan’s most well-known cheese tart makers, which opened shop here for the first time.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

And judging by the size of the establishment – 1,400 sq ft with 78 seats – owner Caerus Holding is prepared to fully bank on Singapore’s love for cheese-related desserts.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

The new cafe takes up prime level-one space in the Orchard Road mall, which is located right next to Ion Orchard, where rivals Bake and LeTao are located.

Bake, a cheese tart chain from Hokkaido, opened its first Singapore take-out store in April last year to much fanfare. Later that same year, LeTao, a Hokkaido brand famous for its cheesecakes, opened its first counter store here as well.

Like Bake, Pablo sells cheese tarts fresh from the oven. Their Mini Cheese Tart ($3.50 each) looks very similar to Bake’s, except that it’s available in three flavours – plain, matcha and chocolate.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

Baking and food preparation is done in full view of shoppers from an “open” kitchen a few steps away from the cafe.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

But unlike Bake and LeTao, Pablo, has the advantage of having a dine-in area and a variety of soft-serve ice-cream and beverage products as well. 

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

It will be interesting to see where customers will eventually choose to get their favourite cheese treats from.

Left to right: Executive director of Caerus Holding, Mr Vijay Pillai, with Pablo CEO Masamitsu Sakimoto. Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

The official opening on Tuesday morning was a loud, fancy affair marked by yellow confetti, dance performances and a live percussion band playing.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

It was a pity that the media-only event appeared poorly organised, with little cheesy delights to sample save for the original Freshly Baked Cheese Tart and Coffee set ($9.50).

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

The store delivered when paying customers showed up to satisfy their cravings.

The first group of customers had stood in line for around 2.5 hours, and told Business Insider that they were pretty pleased with the cheese tarts and drinks they bought.

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

They were even game enough to try out the Classic Cheese Tart smoothie ($7.80).

Photo: Jessica Lin/Business Insider

With such a high level of hype created for the new cafe, Pablo will have to prove it can live up to expectations – especially with its rivals situated so close by.

May the best cheese tart win.