So Yiwen started her first year at Duke-NUS a few months ago, and we finally set a date for lunch along with Jaewai. Arranged to meet at the nearby Tiong Bahru Bakery (TBB) on Monday at noon.
I reached the place slightly past that, while Yiwen and Jaewai were supremely late. They each took so long to come that I had the time to get a larger table, set the table with cutlery and serviettes, pour glasses of water, queue and get my food, go back to my table and sit prettily to await their arrival. :P
While I was waiting for them, I realized that Cynthia Chua, founder and owner of Spa Esprit group, which owns several beauty and F&B brands including TBB, was sitting at/standing around the table behind mine! Had read so much about her, but was too shy to say hi like I did with Tina Tan-Leo! Go google her, she is a truly amazing person!
Look at the amazing array of bread they have for sale!
They also sell plenty of pastries but I didn’t photograph those……
I ordered a specialty bun with salmon, ham and pesto sauce ($8.50) and an iced chocolate ($7). Only started eating with Yiwen came and got her food as well.
My bun was exploding with veggies!
Yes, my bun was black. No, it wasn’t burnt. :P It had a sourish although not unpleasant taste, although I couldn’t tell what flavour it was supposed to be. (Did a bit of googling and concluded it’s most probably squid ink! :O) The salty smoked salmon and ham went well with the fresh vegetables, but there seemed too little of the salmon and ham, though!
The pesto sauce in the sandwich seemed non-existent, so the entire thing was a little dry. I added some butter (they offer a free flow of butter and jam!), which improved the flavours somewhat. Overall, the sandwich was good, but honestly, Drips Bakery Cafe serves better!
To my disappointment, the iced chocolate was diluted as those from Drips and Caffe Pralet, although the chocolate TBB used tasted slightly stronger. Will not reorder. (The best iced chocolate I’ve had is from Wimbly Lu!)
Yiwen ordered a specialty bun with salmon and cream cheese ($8.50).
She said her bread tasted normal, unlike mine.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Jaewai appeared, and ordered the same bun as I did.
Incidentally, the three of us are all Cancerians born in July! We sat there chatting until our lunch hour ended and we had to go back to work or school.
I also bought two plain croissants ($2.50 each, rather pricey!) for my family. A few months ago, food writer Tan Hsueh Yun wrote in the Straits Times that the croissant from TBB ‘is the best croissant you can get in Singapore at this time’, and I wanted to find out if this was indeed the case.
When I got home, I left the croissants on my dining table, and in a couple of hours, only one third of a croissant was left.
The croissants were perfectly formed, ‘with [their] flaky layers fanned out prettily’ as Tan wrote. But did they taste as good they looked? They were firm to the bite, and did not disintegrate upon tearing. They were also rich, buttery and delicious, but not oily!
But although they were delicious, I thought that TBB’s croissants were just good, until I tried Swissbake‘s croissants, and realized TBB’s croissants were great! :P And I guess $2.50 for a croissant isn’t all that expensive, seeing that those at Starbucks are going at $3.30 each!
I think TBB should do something about their acoustics. They’ve stuffed as many tables as they can inside the cafe, so that they can stuff as many people as they can at the tables. So it can get pretty noisy, and the music they play certainly isn’t helping things! :P
Anyhow, a return visit to try their sweet pastries is definitely in order!!! :D
TBB’s logo, painted on one of their outside walls! (No, their logo does not say ‘中山合鱼曰’ LOL!)
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street
+65 6220 3430