For a bakery that cannot sound anymore cheena (read: Oriental) if it tried, Tiong Bahru Bakery sure walks and talks like a bona fide Frenchie. From the French country serving china to their complimentary imported French butter (the utterly shameless me will now confess that I koop-ed more than a couple home...heh), ooh-la-la coffee and specialty French breads, Tiong Bahru Bakery is carb-heaven for Francophiles (or hell, depending on who you're talking to).
We've dabao-ed a couple of their croissants before, but waited till the fuss has long died, before attempting a proper sit-down in the café for afternoon tea. Without the hipster pretense, the café is charmingly laidback and enticingly aromatic.
I'd heard rave reviews of the Kouign Amann ($4), and the fans were right. Petals of buttery chewy pastry lightly glazed for a spot of sweetness and crisp, this was so good I was three-quarters through before I realized the Hubs hadn't had any. A little nugget of information for you to impress your dates: if you are ever in Paris, you will unlikely find the kouign amann there, as the confection is native to Brittany region of France.
I wasn't that impressed with their plain croissant (overhyped, and Antoinette's is noticeably better), but their Chocolate Almond Croissant ($4) was pretty awesome. This got the Hubs' vote of the lot. Somehow, the shaved almonds, semi-chocolate filling and icing sugar dust elevated the plain croissant to a work of art (and taste).
Some people have found the classic version too sweet, so the fruity accents of the Apple Kouign Amann ($4.50), gives a nuanced balance to the classic one.
Don't leave without getting coffee from TBB. Their Latte ($5.50), rich and frothy (they use Meiji milk here, the best for achieving that delicate sweetness, methinks), with a hint of chocolatey sweetness, is punchy and seriously good.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street
Tel: 6220 3430
Open daily from 8am to 8pm