Tiong Bahru Bakery is one of those places where I hear my friends complain about it being “over-rated”, “overpriced”, “hyped up”, “so-so” yet go back time and time again. If this is not the X-factor, I don’t know what is.
Just in case you think this is some old-style historical bakery, this is a relatively new bakery started by the Spa Espirit Group in collaboration with Parisian baker Gontran Cherrier. (Read: 5 Best Places For Cakes At Tiong Bahru)
Spa Espirit Group is also the brand behind Strip, Browhaus, The Tippling Club, Skinny Pizza, O My Dog, 40 Hands, Open Door Policy and Broadcast HQ. From its track record, you know they have a midas touch.
Compared to the more indie café feel at Tiong Bahru, the second branch at Raffles City (which replaced Aerins) seems more up-market, and three-times bigger which can accommodate up to 120.
First things first, the queue system appears kind of dumb (or smart depending how you look at it). Even if you just want to buy a single item, you have to join in the queue line from the breads, sandwiches, cakes, coffee all the way to the cashier. Never a good plan if you are rushing back office.
But psychologically, it works for them. The longer I queued, the more I saw, and the more I wanted to buy. And since I am already spending 5 minutes queuing up, I ended up with more than I originally intended to.
One of their most popular items is the blacked-coloured Squid Ink Sandwich ($8.50) with plenty of rocket leaves, some salmon and little parma ham. This is more novelty than taste to me, nothing remarkable, though very healthy-tasting.
Their croissants ($2.80) are said to be the “best in town” by the Straits Times and TimeOut Magazine.
I had the Almond Croissant ($3.20) which is indeed worthy of mention – chewy yet soft texture, layered taste of almond paste and rum, with a sweet finishing touch of icing sugar on top. Thumbs up for the Almond Croisant.
The Chocolate Brioche ($3.00) also has a pillow-like texture, making it a wonderful partner if you are settling for a cup of cuppa.
Some of the cakes though not the prettiest looking, have a down-to-earth air and makes a fulfilling dessert to end the meal with. Of which the Pandan Flan ($6.00) which has an egg-tart like texture with pandan fragrance, and Chocolate Trio ($8.50)
Some of the other tarts like their signature Mandarine Tart ($6.00) and Orange Blossom ($6.00) have this darker unappetizing look as compared to the Tiong Barhu main branch and an overly tough crust to crack.
Tiong Bahru Bakery – some say “super nice”, some say “over hyped”. While I feel it is more of the latter, I would still probably be back to try more croissants to spend a lazy afternoon away.
Tiong Bahru Bakery (Raffles Place)
252 North Bridge Road #B1-11/13 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Singapore 179103 (City Hall MRT), Tel: +65 6333 4160
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm