There are some cafes which ride on the café hopping hipster waves, some which put in clear thought and execution to its products – Pantler obviously belongs to the later. (Read: 150 New Cafes In Singapore 2014)
Pantler is located along the buzzling Telok Ayer Street, footsteps away from Tanjong Pagar MRT (Exit G – I walked, I knew), Amoy Food Centre and My Awesome Café.
The shop name is unusual and would remind some of that fast black cat, though is a word used to define “a servant or officer in charge of the bread and the pantry in a great family”.
The ‘pantlers’ involved here Baker Matthias Phua and Chef Tomoharu Morita, who knew each other from working at Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Joel Robuchon Singapore. Chef Tomoharu Morita was part of the award-winning pastry team at Grand Hyatt Tokyo, while Matthias was in the bakery department. Matthias knew where to find his talent and allies.
Despite the hustle-bustle rush of the CBD crowd right outside, Pantler takes on a contrasting quiet restraint, featuring a long counter of elegant bakes with minimalist finishes of dark green and woody colours. It reminds me of one of those chic cafes at Aoyama Tokyo.
The team at Pantler describes themselves as “extremely quality-minded”, featuring freshly baked
bread, cakes, pastries, tarts, puddings and baked desserts created with carefully selected ingredients, such as flour from Japan, butter from France, and seasonal fruits.
Their line-up of signature products include the Pantler Roll Cake ($20 and above), Ricotta Cheese Tart ($8.50), Crème Caramel Pudding ($5.80), and daily danishes such as Croissants ($3). Coffee is from Dutch Colony ($3.50 for Espresso, $5.80 for Café latte and Cappuccino).
I asked Matthias to recommend his personal favourite. (He happened to there and I was surprised to see someone so young.) The Yatsura ($8.50) picked was a layered dark chocolate gorgeousness, delicate and not-going overboard with its richness.
The Choux Crème ($5.50) was at a price tag a dollar or two more than what I would be willing to pay, but was bountifully appealing after I took a bite of its smooth vanilla crème filling. The afterthought: Never judge solely by how it looks.
Its savouries may need some work though. There could be a greater variety of that, and the Croissant ($3) we had felt flat and could be crisper.
Many of Pantler’s items are beautiful in a subtle way, not the type that would immediately wow, but you would appreciate its craftsmanship more with every bite.
198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637 (Tanjong Pagar MRT, 10 min walk Exit G)
Tel: +65 6221 6223
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm (Mon-Fri), 10:30am – 5:30pm (Sat)