yesterday, we took a day trip to the hipster hood of Tiong Bahru to drink good coffee and have a taste of the best croissant in Singapore (as featured in the 6 May Sunday Times).
Tiong Bahru Bakery is located at 56 Eng Hoon Street. getting there is easy: if you travel by bus, alight at “Tiong Bahru Block 55” bus stop and walk into the alley directly behind the bus stop and you’ll see the bakery at the next intersection.
i was actually kinda surprised to find a modern-looking cafe in place of what i had imagined to be an old school chinese bakery store. turns out that they are newly opened by French celebrity baker Gontran Cherrier and the Spa Esprit group.
which, also cleverly, allows Tiong Bahru Bakery (TBB for future reference in this post because it is such a mouthful) to feature a brew menu from 40hands (also under the Spa Esprit group). there’s nothing better like good coffee to go along with good pastries.
the bakery, though more like a cafe set up, was extremely crowded on that Sunday afternoon. and people who flock there aren’t just the young hippies, but are of all ages and walks of life. where there is good food, there are Singaporeans.
thankfully, the staff are very efficient in serving customers as well as cleaning up the tables when people leave. they literally stand around waiting to swoop in onto your table like vultures, in a good way of course. so despite the crazy crowd, we changed our minds from having croissant to-go to sitting down and chilling with coffee!
in fact, the service is actually quite commendable. the staff are super friendly! there’s even a guy stationed at the door to greet customers and open the heavy wooden door for you.
we each ordered a chocolate croissant because we weren’t in the mood for a plain croissant, although it has been said to be the best in Singapore so next time i’ll definitely go back to try it!
in addition to bread, they also have sandwiches and other pastries, including a squid ink bread which looks quite interesting. unfortunately, the variety of pastries that we saw yesterday were quite limited, compared to the pictures i’ve seen in other reviews.
crispy flaky layers of a beautifully baked croissant, with tiny blocks of semi-melted chocolate interspersed between the layers. what can i say? it’s really the best of the best and is not overrated at all!
a self service station, near where the toilet is, is where you collect your cutlery and help yourself to a portion of jam or butter. free water is also available at the station.
also, i really liked their toilet LOL! maybe because they’re new, the toilet is very clean and well deodorized. there are separate cubicles for females and (the usually less hygienic) males. while doing your business, you can admire the biscuit tin which functions as a bin in the loo and make sure you actually use it instead of tossing litter on the floor. at the sink, you can wash your hands with an expensive-looking shower gel that has been customized for bread lovers, or so it says on the handwritten label. i was quite tempted to return to the toilet with my phone to snap some photos but it was crowded at that time and i didn’t want to risk being judged HAHA!
we ordered a cup of piccolo latte to try and i reckon that i prefer the one at Loysel’s/Papa because it tastes less bitter/sour.
at Yong Siak, we checked out some pretty interesting shops, although bought nothing because they were either too expensive or wayyy too expensive.
he eventually found one cat sleeping on the counter of the cashier, snuggled next to a miniature Oscar the Grouch stuffed toy from a long ago Macdonalds Happy Meal. we found the other cat guarding the door when we walked past again after it was closed. so cute!!
although you can tell the difference in tastes between the 40hands and Loysel’s piccolos, the lattes from both actually taste quite the same after a larger volume of meiji milk has been added.
the cream cheese icing was oddly sour, possibly due to the addition of lemon for an additional zest. but it complemented the very nutty cake- there was more nut than cake or carrot but surprisingly i quite liked it!
last of all, a hipster expedition is nothing without some hipster alley photos haha!
hope to be back soon! love that my future workplace is only 2 bus stops away from this hangout! hoping to try other eateries like Drips, Social Haus and Orange Thimble too.