No one does pastries better than the French, but Singaporean bakers sure are trying. From glazed viennoiseries to flaky croissants and perfectly-caramelised kouign amann, here are a few places to swing by for some meticulously crafted, small batch treats.
This tiny bakery at 315 Joo Chiat Road sees a constant stream of customers daily, and walk-in customers can only buy up to eight viennoiseries and three loaves per time.
The owners ensure that their breads are prepared from scratch using natural levain and dough culture, and fermented overnight for 18 to 24 hours.
The bakes come sans improvers, preservatives and artificial flavourings, and are freshly baked in small batches throughout the day. Ingredients range from French flour to Elle & Vire butter.
For walk-ins, get there before 12pm as the bakery usually sells out between 12pm to 1pm. Customers can try their luck by reserving bakes later in the day, for collection when they are ready.
Otherwise, if you’re already there, pick from a glass counter lined with croissants, pain au chocolat, apple danish and raisin escargot. You can also order loaves like baguette, petit campagne, and thick-crusted pain de campagne.
This artisanal bakery café at 23 Hamilton Road is a cosy space where you can pick up a wide range of classic viennoiseries (and more quirky items with a Japanese twist – like Hojicha Mochi Croissant and Twice Baked Takoyaki Croissant with bacon and bonito flakes).
Helming the kitchen is chef Wythe Soon, who honed his baking skills in Japan and was previously head baker at Bakery Brera and Keong Saik Bakery.
Highlights include their beautifully laminated kouign amann – or, if you like an elevated version, the brown sugar kouign amann flecked with coarse Himalayan sea salt. It’s made with dough fermented for two days and laminated with French butter and brown sugar.
Another pastry that’s well worth all the calories is the pain au chocolat, filled with Cacao Barry Chocolate from France.
Can’t decide? Order a box of La Levain Signatures: eight sweet and savoury items that include inventive picks like Bo Bo Cha Cha croissant, Pistachio Salted Caramel Cruffin, and Four Cheeses and Ham Croissant.
This modest bakery at 6 Bukit Pasoh offers 100 percent sourdough-based goods: even their croissants use naturally leavened sourdough levain. Head baker Joey Eng previously worked at Apiece Bakery in Tasmania.
Baker’s Bench uses bread flour that’s ethically-sourced, sustainable and chemical-free; they also mill the flours themselves at times. Pick up popular items like the croissant, pain au chocolat – filled with hazelnut chocolate ganache – and crisp, sugary palmiers.
This neighbourhood bakery also rolls out seasonal specials like bacon, potato and cream cheese quiche, and petit grandma apple tart. If you want to dine in, the menu features a range of bites, including the brunch classic, croque monsieur.
This dual-concept French bistro and bakery was launched at Far East Square in early 2022 by the folks behind the popular Bread & Hearth bakery-café at Keong Saik Road. The baked goods, like almond croissants, and pain aux raisins – are made fresh daily, then presented in a glass display.
Other than cakes, breads and viennoiseries, a wide array of French-inspired food and quality French wines are available, too. The outlet even roasts its own coffee.
The Lunar Rabbit Boulangerie
This newly opened bakery at 16 Hamilton Road offers takeaway only, and owner Elaine honed her skills at Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo. Besides baguettes and fluffy brioche, about a dozen types of viennoiseries are rolled out every day. They include light and airy croissant, kouign amann and apple chausson – flaky pastry stuffed with apples with a touch of honey.
There are also more creative pastries, including Fleur De Framboise (raspberry flower) as well as Trio of C (comprising cookie, cheesecake and croissant in one). Bon appetit!