It seems as though everywhere you look, there’s an article or blog post extolling the virtues of the croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery, the collaboration between Gontran Cherrier and the Spa Esprit group. I’m actually not a huge croissant fan (I prefer my butter straight up on bread, rather than having it weaved insidiously and deceptively into a pastry), but I really wanted to see what the fuss was about, so we popped by on Saturday afternoon.
It was a mad house even at 1 pm – queues at the counter and a general din. The tables are tightly packed, so we took one look at the chaos and decided to just grab a few pastries to go.
Naturally we picked the croissant, and A wanted to try the chocolate brioche. The brioche was a bit of a letdown, though perhaps it’s because A expected a softer, lighter bread, rather than the denser nature of a brioche.
As for the croissant, was it all that? Well, as I said, I’m not a croissant connoisseur so I don’t have much basis for comparison, but it was a damn good pastry. The outside was crisp, the inside was airy, flakey and just chewy enough, and it was buttery without being oily. We had it a few hours later; I can imagine it being even better if we’d eaten it right away.
We also tried the almond croissant and the Kouign Amann, albeit the next day. Unlike the regular croissant, the almond one was pretty dense and almost cakey, due to the almond paste sandwiched inside. This was quite sweet and reminiscent of marzipan because of the almond paste, which I think was a bit too overpowering.
The Kouign Amann is apparently a traditional pastry from Breton, similar to puff pastry and glazed with sugar. I got this because it was described as “Salted Butter and Glazed Caramel”, but in reality this was all sweet; almost no hint of salt at all.
I’ll stick to the regular croissant next time, and maybe try the chocolate croissant as well. It’s actually a stone’s throw from where I practise yoga, so maybe next time I’ll just swing by bright and early before class to pick up a few pastries before the crowds descend later in the day. Though they’ll pretty much negate my entire yoga session, and then some.
Great croissant. The rest was very so-so. I’d like to try the sandwiches next, except the place is seriously chaotic. And for some reason, it gives off a strong poser vibe. As I am a part-time poser only, maybe the next visit won’t be soon.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-70
Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm