Jalan Besar especially the Hamilton Road stretch, has many new F&B entrants of late.
It joins other new cafes in the Jalan Besar neighbourhood which includes Ai Cafe, Glacier, Pacto 忆缘 by Parchmen, Habitat Coffee, Sweet Cheeks Gelato, Asylum Coffehouse, Sweets Craftsman, to Café Monochrome.
Levain, a leavening agent used to bake bread, is a starter of bread-making, thus the fundamental principle at La Levain.
The 30-seater minimalist space is decked out in industrial-like grey interiors, rustic wooden furniture and neon orange lighting.
More than just a bakery, it offers with brunch fare, pastries and specialty coffee menu-wise.
Chef-Owner Soon is still adventurous and experimental these days. Using his expertise in French baking techniques, he imbues creativity by infusing global influences and local flavours into French classics.
With a wide selection of more than 50 pastries and bakes on display at their counter, customers can look forward to Bread ($4 – $9), Viennoiserie ($3.50 – $7.40), Cruffin ($4.60 – $5.20), Baked Sandwich ($5.50 – $6.50), Muffin ($2.50 – $7.50), and Pies ($32 – $35).
For the undecided, the La Levain Classics Box ($32.80 for 6 items) comes with French Butter Croissant, Pain Au Chocolat, Brown Sugar Kouign Amann with Himalayan Sea Salt, Hojicha Mochi Croissant, Speculoos Cruffin and Burnt Cheese Croissant.
Or get the La Levain Signatures Box ($38 for 8 items).
This comprises of savoury and fusion must-haves namely the Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant, Pain Au Chocolat, Kouign Amann, Banana Danish, Mushroom Onion with Gruyere Cheese Danish, Pistachio Salted Caramel Cruffin, and English Cranberry & Raisin Scone. (Note that actual items and prices are subject to change.)
Signature viennoiseries include Kouign Amann ($4.50), Pain Au Chocolat ($4.50), Burnt Cheese Croissant ($7), Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant ($6.50), Hojicha Mochi Croissant ($6.80), and the insta-famous Cruffins ($4.60 – $5.20).
These Cruffins – a cross between croissant and muffin, were also one of the signatures at Bakery Brera.
They come in various flavours such as Citrus ($4.60), Speculoos ($5.20), Pistachio ($4.80), “Ferrero Rocher” Nutella ($4.80) and Matcha ($4.80).
The croissants are double baked to give it a very crispy texture, flavourful and buttery aroma.
The Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant ($6.50) is recommended, inspired by our local dessert Bubur Cha Cha with a layer of purple sweet potato, yam and coconut mochi.
The sweet potato and yam cubes give it more textures whereas the coconut mochi adds a nice subtle sweetness to the combination.
The Hojicha Mochi Croissant ($6.80) comes with hojicha cream drizzled on the surface and within the croissant, and a piece of hojicha jelly sandwiched within.
The buttery sweetness of the flaky croissant complements well with the earthly profile of the hojicha, though I wished that the latter can be more aromatic and robust in flavour.
Apart from their selection of bakes, La Levain also offers brunch items on their menu from 8.30am till 2pm.
The usual brunch fare can be found here, namely Big Breakfast ($19.80), Avocado Tartine with Egg ($14), Roasted Eggplant Tartine ($15), Cheese Toast ($12), Peanut Butter Tartine ($8), Gruyere Cheese & Ham Croissant ($14) and Ciabatta Club Sandwich ($14).
Smoky Quartz, a 2-beans-blend of India and Brazil from Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee, is used for their espresso-based drinks and starts from $4.
The drinks menu included Espresso ($4), Black ($5), White ($5), Mocha ($6.50), Chocolate ($6) and Hot Tea ($6.80).
My cup of White ($5) was smooth, medium bodied and robust with flavours of hazelnuts, caramel and brown sugar.
Opened at 8.30am, La Levain can be an ideal spot for the early cafe-goers, especially with the fragrant bakes and coffee that will keep the tired souls awake in the morning.
23 Hamilton Road, Singapore 209193
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.