(Edited 12/06/17: Tiong Bahru Bakery is no longer affiliated with Gontran Cherrier)
Tiong Bahru Bakery does not need much introduction now. Behind this humble name lies the collaboration between celebrity baker Gontran Cherrier and the Spa Espirit Group. The name is pretty suitable as the original location of Tiong Bahru Bakery is at Eng Hoon Street. The outlet that made Tiong Bahru Bakery more known than before is, however, the one at Raffles City, which drew crowds and still drawing crowds on weekday lunches where the office workers would usually grab a bun for their tea break. It is now under The Food Collective group, which is subsidiary of the Spa Espirit Group
The Eng Hoon Street outlet is far more peaceful. At 2 pm in the afternoon, the outlet has still got a few unfilled tables to cater to passers-by who are in for a short tea break or a conversation with friends over a cup of coffee. Push the unique swivel door and you would be greeted by staff on standby while waiting for tables that require being cleaned. From there, the queue branches out into two, where one queue is strictly only for beverage orders while the other one caters to all orders. An array of bread sits on the shelf, trying to grab your attention. It was already a feast for my eyes.
After some hesitation, I went for the Kouign-Amann which looks reminiscent to a Cinnamon Roll. It is one of the most memorable pastry I have ever had; the sugar coated on the top made it extremely crispy and sweet it was heavenly. The bread was also felt nicely layered; while the exterior layers are more crusty and sweet, the insides are more croissant-like, being fluffy and soft yet buttery at the same time. It was immensely sinful, but this is one item that you must definitely try when you go to Tiong Bahru Bakery because it is likely not to disappoint!
Croissants are one of the most commonly talked about topic amongst those who had gone to Tiong Bahru Bakery. Since I had already ordered a full-sized bread, I went for the Mini Croissant instead. These were very similar to the Kouign-Amann in texture without the layer of sugar coated on top. Crusty, crispy, buttery and fluffy, there was this much amount of detail in the texture and flavour being catered in just a single pastry. The buttery taste was only a very light hint of saltiness, which thus does not make it overpowering nor sickening even if you are someone who does not like bread smothered with butter.
(Pineapple, Mango & Passionfruit)
The Pineapple, Mango & Passionfruit tart would appeal to those who love their sour desserts such as Lemon Meringue Tarts. While there is a cheesecake-like layer at the bottom which was smooth and well-complimented by a sweet tasting base, the layer above was tart and can be a tad sour for those who have low resistance to sourness. All these adds up to a dessert which is dynamic in flavour, and definitely something that would satisfy those who are love to feel the small details in their food.
While Tiong Bahru Bakery is definitely not the first for bringing in the Magic to Singapore, it is nonetheless still a solid cuppa. The ratio between coffee and milk was just right, and there was just the right amount of aroma that kicks in after each sip.
Some might see Tiong Bahru Bakery as a place that sells bread. For me, there is more to that. There was so much detail in whatever it serves that is being taken into account in the R&D of the product that makes it seem so different from the rest. Never mind the slightly high prices that they may charge, it is all about quality here. It is not just an average bakery, it is an artisan bakery that truly deserves its title. Now I fully understand the snaking queues during lunch hours at the Tiong Bahru Bakery outlet at Raffles City, because if I were to be one of the office workers there, you would find me in the queue pretty frequently.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street