The Hainan Story 海南寶 has launched a sister brand – a standalone bakery also located at Hillion Mall.
Bread lovers at Bukit Panjang now know where to head to.
This is a modern bakery shop with an extensive range of items, from classic buns, Swiss rolls, kueh, sourdough bombs, sourdough pizza, curry chicken pie, to cookies.
While you may not get the traditional ‘Hainan Kopitiam Bread’, there are traces of Hainanese influence in creating the breads’ firm yet fluffy texture, alongside locally-inspired flavours from Curry Chicken to Ondeh Ondeh.
Interesting to know: the breads are made daily and baked fresh in individual steel trays – in rectangular or circular ones, as a nod to tradition. (Tip: Have a firmer grip on the kiap as you are taking the bread with trays off the bread shelves.)
The packaging’s looking quite aesthetic as well, with pretty-in-pink pizza packaging and emerald-green coloured boxes.
You may remember the Swiss Rolls previously only available at The Hainan Story at Hotel Boss. You can find them here as well, except that they come in mini bite-sized versions with six different flavours.
Choices, choices. Here are some of the recommended signatures items from The Hainan Story Bakery:
Hainanese Classic Curry Chicken Polo Bun ($3.80)
A cross between the famed Hong Kong ‘Polo Bao’ and Singapore’s Curry Chicken Bun.
What you get is a top layer that is golden-crunchy and sweet (wished it could be slightly sweet), and beneath that is a soft bun filled with chunks of boneless curried chicken.
Worthy to note is that curry is not made from premixes, but from scratch which contains blue ginger, chili, curry leaves and freshly-ground pepper. Pretty interesting and comforting.
Hainanese Classic Curry Chicken Bun ($2.80)
If you like a more nostalgic taste, then this ‘original version’ with soft, doughy bread probably has a ‘better’ blend with the curry chicken fillings.
The special flour mix perfected via months of R&D gives the bun a chewier yet soft texture and more volume. Safe choice, good for the family.
Bak Kwa Pork Floss Bun ($3.80)
One of my favourites so far (perhaps because its going to be CNY period as well), filled with barbecued sweet meat, whole slice of bak kwa and sprinkled with pork floss on the top.
Take a bite that you would find varied textural bites, and I enjoy the sweet-savoury flavours of the moist fillings.
Uncle Otah Bun ($2.80 for large, $1.90 for mini bun)
The mackerel fish otah is sourced from Uncle Otah, a local business which has been making otah since the 1970s.
The recipe was passed down by their founder’s uncle, and is one of the very few “home-made” otah suppliers in Singapore.
You get two homely-tasting otah pieces on top of the buns, glazed with mayonnaise and sprinkled with chopped rosemary and thyme as garnish.
Creamy Truffle Mushroom Bun ($2.80)
Bun with creamy and earthy-tasting fillings of shiitake, shimeji and white button mushrooms.
Bacon & Cheese Bun ($2.80 for large, $1.90 for mini bun)
The classic bun with bacon strips and cheese slices all rolled up. Also available in a Mini Bun version which makes for a lighter snack any time of the day you feel like having a nibble.
Orh Nee Pork Floss Bun ($1.90)
Something unique, featuring sweet yam paste and savoury pork floss fillings for a creamy and fluffy contrast.
Hainanese Kopi Nutella Crispy Crust Bun ($1.90)
This is supposedly a mini form of ‘Polo Bun’ though I thought the crust could be more cookie-like.
This is still worthy to have with its fragrant Nanyang coffee-flavoured outer layer. Break it open to reveal the rich hazelnut spread of Nutella filling.
Ondeh Ondeh Coconut Pandan Crispy Crust Bun ($1.90)
Fresh pandan flavoured crust topped with desiccated coconut, with sweet and moist coconut fillings within.
British Hainanese Mini Swiss Rolls ($10 for box of four, $2.50 each)
There are six Mini Swiss Rolls available here, with flavours of Nanyang Yam Orh Nee Roll, Premium Belgian Chocolate, and new flavours of Teh Susu, Red Velvet, Ondeh Ondeh, and Oreo.
The recommended are the Teh Susu with a fragrance that may just remind you of teh Tarik; while the Red Velvet features light whipped cream cheese filling.
Sourdough Pizzas ($24.80)
Not just the typical pizza, but sourdough pizzas with classically Hainanese toppings – that includes the Hainanese Curry Chicken and Hainanese Pork Cutlet with Pineapples.
The 10-inch thin crusted pizzas use a sourdough base which gives a slight crisp texture and a soft interior with a little chew, together with the slight tangy flavour.
A dessert version is also available in the form of the Gula Melaka & Coconut Sourdough Pizza.
Hainanese Curry Sourdough Bomb ($19.80)
Something that would be great for a dinner (to be shared between 3 to 4 pax) or brought to a house party, this whole sourdough bread bowl (shaped like a Diglett Pokemon) is to be cut opened or torn part.
Within the bread is a bowl of Hainanese curry chicken, with gravy cooked thick and more lemak complete with tender chicken chunks (no bones) and soft potatoes.
Eat it fresh and hot; easily heat it up in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for 15 mins and serve. Tear some of those crispy bread to dip your way into the rich coconut-y gravy.
Gelato Polo Bun
Experience hot-crusty Polo Bun contrasted with cold gelato in the middle, with various flavours including Ondeh Ondeh, Nutella, and Durian. I hear that there are also experimenting with unique flavours such as Curry Gelato.
The Hainan Story Bakery
Hillion Mall #01-43, 17 Petir Road, Singapore 678278
Operating Hours: 8:30am – 9pm, or till sold out (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with The Hainan Story.