56 Eng Hoon Street #01-70
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-11 Raffles City
310 Orchard Road
#L1-16B Tangs Orchard
Artisan French Bakery With Tasty Breads
(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $15 per person.
Named for its first outlet located in Tiong Bahru, in the south of Singapore, Tiong Bahru Bakery is actually a French / France style artisan bakery, founded by master baker Gontran Cherrier, operating under the Spa Esprit Group. With a wide variety of freshly baked premium qualtiy breads and pastries, and a quirky combination of Western and Asian influences, Tiong Bahru Bakery has won rave reviews from diners.
Ambience at Tiong Bahru Bakery pays homage to the Singapore Coffee Shop, with furniture resembling the wooden ones of old. A wide and bright display case lines half the store, displaying all the baked goodies available, while a coffee machine sits to the side, with its whooshing and whistling sounds.
Service at Tiong Bahru Bakery is largely self-service. There is no menu to speak off, you simply browse the display, pick out the items you want, then pay at the cashier. On occasion, staff do serve your order to the table if a short preparation time is required (mostly for drinks). Still, I find staff at Tiong Bahru Bakery to be friendly and relatively knowledgable about the breads and pastries available.
While there are no main dishes at Tiong Bahru Bakery, this is made up by the over 50 breads and pastries, freshly baked daily, ranging from savoury to sweet to staples. There are usually a range of sandwiches or burgers available as well. Portions sizes at Tiong Bahru Bakery are decent, and for a premium artisan bakery, I find prices to be relatively competitive, similar to a typical cafe elsewhere.
Update Jun-2015: Chef Gontran Cherrier has released several new French desserts, all based on his childhood memories when he was growing up!
The old school coffee shop feel juxtaposed with classic French bread and pastries, exude an atmosphere of France and Singapore, yet is strangly comforting.
|Tiong Bahru Bakery Display|
|Assorted Breads 01|
|Assorted Breads 02|
|Assorted Breads 03|
Said by many to be the best Croissant (SGD $2.90) in Singapore, this is light and buttery, with a crisp, flaky exterior. But as you get to the center, the Croissant gives way to a soft, chewy dough texture, making it a delight to eat. Even eaten plain, this is among the better ones!
Assorted Breads and Pastries line the display, making it difficult to select just one. Like the Choux Puff, Apricot Almond Tart, or Lemon Tart, all made with love.
|Apricot Almond Tart|
The Apple Raisin Brioche (SGD $4.20) has a soft, fragrant dough, surrounding a sweet center of warm apple slices, studded with raisins. Not too overly sweet, the freshness of the apples complemented the soft, sweet dough. Very good as a dessert!
|Apple Raisin Brioche 01|
|Apple Raisin Brioche 02|
The Cereal Baguette Sandwich With Ham, Rocket Leaves, Cheese (SGD $5.30) is nicely portioned for 1, and despite its small looking size, is actually quite filling. I love that the baguette is crisp without being too hard, and has a fragrant aroma. The filling of sliced cheese, ham and rocket leaves are fresh, and complemented with a touch of tangy mustard sauce.
|Cereal Baguette Sandwich With Ham, Rocket Leaves, Cheese 01|
|Cereal Baguette Sandwich With Ham, Rocket Leaves, Cheese 02|
The Quiche Lorraine (SGD $7) is a classic savoury French open-face tart, named after its origins from the Lorraine region of France. It typically contains a savoury custard stuffed with cheese and smoked bacon. The version here takes after the traditional recipe, and is tasty and filling. The bacon lends a smoky, salty texture to the tart. Yummy!
|Quiche Lorraine 01|
|Quiche Lorraine 02|
Get both Western style, and Singaporean style coffee here! The Mocha is rich and fragrant, with a deep chocolate flavour, while the Magic is best described as Kopi Gao (literally means 'Coffee Thick', which is a double shot coffee with condensed milk). The Latte is fragrant with medium strength, decent, but not very outstanding.
I loved the Hot Chocolate (SGD $6.80) here! Rich and chocolately, with a deep flavour, the brew is brimming with fragrance. Loved the precise art as well!
|Hot Chocolate 01|
|Hot Chocolate 02|
|Hot Chocolate 03|
Update Jun-2015: The classic French dessert pastry Paris-Brest (SGD $7.50) is among the latest desserts introduced by Chef Gontran Cherrier, in homage to his childhood. The Paris-Brest here features a light, delicate, ring-shaped choux pastry, filled with sweet hazelnut praline cream. Delicate and heavenly in taste, you get both the taste of the pastry shell and the nutty flavour of the praline. Best shared, as it's quite rich and gets cloying towards the end.
Update Jun-2015: Created by reowned patisserie house Dalloyau, in Paris, Ile-De-France, France, the Opera Cake (SGD $8.50) is a classic French cake, with visible layers wherein each bite would give the whole cake's taste. Made with 3 layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with coffee butter cream and chocolate ganache, and covered in a chocolate glaze, it's named for an opera ballet dancer, evoking elegance and grace.
|Opera Cake 01|
|Opera Cake 02|
Update Jun-2015: The Mille-Feuille Vanilla (SGD $8), also known as Vanilla Slice or Napoleon, is a classic French dessert pastry. The version here stays true to the original, with the traditional 3 layers of puff pastry, alternating with 2 layers of vanilla cream, dusted with powdered sugar. The puff pastry shatters with a satisfiying crunch, crumbling beautifully, although the thick, sweet vanilla cream causes this dessert to be quite messy! Highly recommended! Grab it if you see it, because it tends to sell out fast!
|Mille-Feuille Vanilla 01|
|Mille-Feuille Vanilla 02|
Update Jun-2015: The Lemon Meringue Eclair (SGD $7) features a tangy, slightly sour, sweet lemon curd, similar to the Lemon Tart, within a soft, fluffy, chewy choux pastry eclair shell. Tightly packed, the smooth lemon curd just oozes out when cut / bit. Topped with a light and airy torched meringue, which sits like a beautiful cloud upon this pretty French dessert. Very good!
|Lemon Meringue Eclair 01|
|Lemon Meringue Eclair 02|
Update Jun-2015: The Chocolate Slipper Tart (SGD $7.50) is considered by chef Gontran Cherrier to be the 'Singaporean footwear', thus its shape. A sweet short crust pastry forms the base of this dessert, topped with a light chocolate shell which encases a thick and rich chocolate ganache.
|Chocolate Slipper Tart|
Update Nov-2015: The Double Espresso (SGD $4.80) is suitably strong and robust, with a fragrant aroma of roasted coffee beans. Like a shot of energy!
Update Nov-2015: The classic French sandwich of Croque Monsieur (SGD $9.50) is large and filling! Using toasted white bread instead of the traditional brioche bread, the sandwich contains savoury sliced ham and cheese on the crust, but it's not really melted or gooey, as it should be. Somewhat pricey too, for this amount, they should have given you brioche bread and a better melted cheese. Not great.
|Croque Monsieur 01|
|Croque Monsieur 02|
Update Nov-2015: The Salted Caramel Eclair (SGD $7) is nicely balanced, neither too sweet or too salty. The choux pastry shell is chewy and soft, while the generous filling of salted caramel within is rich and creamy. Good!
|Salted Caramel Eclair 01|
|Salted Caramel Eclair 02|