This little bakery had quite a bit of hype in the papers. One reviewer said it had the best croissants in Singapore, and another said that the French baker is one of the top five in Paris. We found ourselves here at 8.30 in the morning behind a 10-minute long queue. Thankfully it wasn’t too long a wait and we spent the time checking out the displays. Like this rather silly display-only bread.
They got Forty Hands to do the coffee here, and the prices of the various brews are displayed very cleverly on canvas bags hung on the wall.
People were buying more and taking away large boxes because of the sunk cost idea – if you’re going to spend so much effort getting here early and queuing, you might as well buy more. The trays of baked goods were coming out at a fast clip and were snapped up equally quickly.
It wasn’t just the famous croissants going like, er, hot cakes, but also the less breakfast-like fare like chocolate or lemon tarts, and the flan (essentially a harder set custard pie).
Check out the cute name cards. They print the details on one side and the other side is a bun picture. Really adorable on the cake stand.
So we got the croissant ($2.50) and the pain du chocolat ($3.20) since it was the star feature. The croissant was so pretty with its precise cuts. The layers were doughy like bread rather than like puff pastry, and were wonderfully light and crisp. The bites didn’t shatter in the mouth and make a big mess. This is a big plus for people like me! The chocolate croissant was similarly textured and the chocolate nice and dark, though not quite worth the extra 70 cents as it was a rather small bit of chocolate. The cereal baguette ($4.20) and sugar brioche ($2.80) were pretty good. S, who’s French, said that they’re pretty authentic and as good as in Paris. Be sure to grab some butter and salted caramel from the side board to go with your pastry. On less busy days there should also be jam, but on our visit there wasn’t. It was all good quality stuff, the butter and salted caramel, so we were very happy!
To round off, we had two tarts. The lemon tart ($6) was bracingly tart (!) and nicely citrusy. I liked how the pastry stayed really short. It was either masterfully made, or didn’t have the time to get soggy.
The chocolate mendiant ($6.50) was good too. It was thick chocolate mousse atop a nutty orange-flavoured syrup. Decent, but I’d like the chocolate to be dark rather than plain.
See? Quite decent, right?
Overall, it’s expensive but good. I’m not sure how well they’d hold up if bought in the evening and eaten the next morning, like how most of us buy breakfast for the next day. I had the raisin danish ($3.50) the next morning. Toasted, it was pretty decent, but way too small to justify spending what would otherwise buy a bak chor mee.
Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier
56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70
Tel: +65 6220 3430