Bread & Hearth – Artisan Breads Cafe At The Hip Keong Siak Street
The buzz words when it comes to food in Singapore lately – café, artisan, bakery, and Bread & Hearth has them all.
This confectionery café joins in the rest of other new places like Potato Head Folk to turn Keong Siak Street (which has none of its traces of being the former red-light district) into a very hip place.
Walking in, I couldn’t help comparing this artisan confectionery to Artisan Boulangerie Co, which signature feature is rows and rows of breads, tarts and pastries displayed under glass shelves.
“No, no, no… we are not like them,” the answer I got when I told them the ambience reminded me of ABC.
Their Le Croissant ($2.80) is evidently their signature, made with unbleached flour from France to produce the croissant dough (detrempe) used to laminate the fats (beurrage).
Emphasis was placed on the lamination and folding technique to achieve the best honeycomb pockets within the croissant, in order to be “as European as possible”.
My verdict: There but not quite there yet. Definitely better the average brands, but without the oomph and flakiness of the buttery crust, that to me, defines a good croissant. Others may like an airy fluffy pastry, and Bread & Hearth’s version goes somewhere in the middle.
To give them credit, the small outfit sells a huge huge variety for its size, with choices from Croque Monsieur, Pain au Chocolat ($2.80), Cream Cheese Sesame ($2.80), Brioche ($2.80), Chocolat Blanc ($2.80), Almond Croissant ($3.50) to Fromage Twist ($3.00).
The team is helmed by a dedicated chef who has more than a decade of experience in artisan baking, and starts work as early as 4am to get the bakes freshly ready for the office crowd when the shop opens at 8am.
The Chocolat Tarte ($6.00) topped with a strawberry was surprisingly delicious, rich yet not overly cloying. Tarts base are made in-house from scratch. The texture doughy yet crumbly – may not warrant an immediate liking, needs time to grow on you, and I will still get one.
This familiar, but not so-familiar sense appears in the coffee – mid-robust, slightly acidic, quite nutty. (My fault Bread & Hearth, I should stop comparing you to the other cafes). You sense more sincerity when you learnt the coffee beans are also blended in house with Arabica and Robusta beans.
Breads, pies and pastries are baked in small batches in Bread & Hearth, rather than mass produced for your pick -me-ups. And it is opened early enough on weekdays, and even Sunday, which is what I appreciate. Honesty & sincerity is what it presents.
Bread & Hearth
18 Keong Saik Road Singapore 089125 (10-15 walk from Outram Park MRT)
Tel: +65 65347800
Opening Hours: 8am – 8.30pm Daily