Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70
There was (and is) massive hype over Tiong Bahru Bakery, opened by Gontran Cherrier, a Parisian baker. I dropped in one day when we were in the area, eager to try out their pastries and coffee. The cafe was full when we arrived, but there was not much of a queue and we still managed to get a table. It’s pretty cramped in there, however, and definitely not the place to stay for ages chatting over a coffee.
Business is brisk. You queue and pick out your sandwiches, breads and pastries, then pay at the counter and take a seat (if you’re eating-in). The folk behind the counter are really friendly and lovely, and took the time to explain to me the popular items, what was inside certain sandwiches, etc.
We purchased around $80 (!!!!!!!!!) worth of food at the bakery, believe it or not. Truth be told, however, I wasn’t wow’d by any of the food. I found almost everything nice-but-not-outstanding, and not something I’d go out of my way or queue for ages to buy.
The Tuna, tomato, rocket focaccia came at room temperature and I found the foccacia a bit too chewy for my liking – I had to gnaw at it because it couldn’t cut with a knife. The cherry tomatoes were lovely and sweet, but the cheese was hardened into the bread and the tuna was insanely salty. It was, on the whole, average, and I wouldn’t order it again for sure.
The Squid ink bun with smoked salmon was a lot more enjoyable, and I actually really liked this. In particular the bun was lovely – so fluffy and soft! What does a jet-black squid ink bun taste like? Like a regular bun to be honest… perhaps every so slightly more savory, but it’s not noticeable once there’s smoked salmon in there any way. It was a very nice sandwich with lots of fresh ingredients.
I thought the Apple crumble was fairly basic, but still pretty well executed. The crumble on top was crisp and fresh, and I liked the super-thin slices of apple. I would love loved for the whole crumble be thicker though!
The Chocolate croissant (not pictured) was……….. merely average! :( They are famous for this and I’ve heard raves about the awesome ‘layers of pastry’, but I found it was nothing super. The pastry was freshly baked, which was lovely, but there is really really little chocolate in there. It’s also a drier (less buttery) and less flaky version, so if you love super buttery and flaky croissants, you’ll be disappointed. I found theirs just…. nice. That’s all. Definitely would not go out of my way to buy it.
A better pastry was their Kouign Aman (not pictured), which boasted “salted butter and glazed caramel”. It’s a sweet pastry and had a lovely flavour without being overly sweet.
Their Plain croissant also didn’t impress me, as I found it pretty standard. Perhaps it’d be better if they lightly toasted it instead of serving it as-is at room temperature. But it was alright, nothing else to say.
I can’t remember now how much the Latte cost, but it was really expensive for what I found to be a standard-size cup (I ordered the large). Perhaps something like $7? It was nice enough. Smooth and unburnt, which I guess is a good thing for Singapore because so often, Western coffee falls flat here.
It’s a fun little bakery to drop in if you’re in the area and to try it out.. but now that I’ve been, I would really only go back if a friend was super keen to go check it out. There are many bakeries in Singapore and this one just wasn’t a super stand-out for me!