brunch adventures – tiong bahru bakery

brunching: [verb] the art of waking up before midday on a weekend to hunt for a cafe with ridiculously good food for the gastronomist, good coffee for the morning monster and good ambience for the snobbish eaters.

brunching is no easy feat for the heavy sleepers like me.  however if there is good coffee to go with it i usually can manage to drag myself out of bed for it.

to be honest, i’ve always thought coffee in Singapore wasn’t all that great (hate to break it to you American coffee enthusiasts but Starbucks coffee does not even count as coffee), especially after having been accustomed to Melbourne’s ridiculously good coffee scene.  To be fair though that was at least 8 years back.  Now, with a growing number of expats moving into Singapore as a self-sustaining economic hub for Asia Pacific, the standard of coffee has also increased.

welcome to a time where novel cafes with aromatic European coffee and mouth-watering western breakfasts have begun sprouting up in the oddest of areas.

take tiong bahru for an instance – from my childhood memories, tiong bahru was known for it’s smoky, stuffy and congested hawker centre which sold the famous chwee kueh – a local snack which consists of steamed rice cake with fried radish sprinkled on top as garnish.  whilst that famous stall is still around, tiong bahru now is also known to be a hotspot for yuppies looking for their morning cuppa.

A few friends and myself have therefore taken up the challenge of conquering Singapore’s brunch scene – our brunch adventures.

1st up on our list of land to be gained was Tiong Bahru Bakery.

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I had heard lots of gushing reviews about this cafe and the likelihood of getting seats on a weekend morning is something close to an urban legend.

And true enough, when my friends rocked up on Saturday morning at 10:30 there were already a few other early birds waiting to catch the proverbial worm and had to wait about 30 min before they managed to secure a table for 3-4 people. By the time i managed to get to the bakery itself at 11:10 they had just managed to order and settle into their seats. So definitely do be prepared for a 20~30 min wait if you plan on eating in.

To prevent any disappointment or confusion, like it’s name suggests, Tiong Bahru Bakery is more of a bakery which sells baked goods like a variety of buns, bread and tarts as opposed to the traditional brunch foods such as pancakes, eggs with toast.. etc..

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rows and rows of buns and breads

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and rows and rows of tarts and sweets

I decided to go with a ham and cheese sandwich – but really i think there was more cheese than ham and bread put together.  and of course my usual soy flat white to cage the morning monster within me.

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one bite and i was in bliss – cheese inside the sandwich AND cheese melted over the sandwich – the taste is too amazing for words to describe.

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the coffee seriously has to be the best I’ve had since I’ve been in Singapore – very european, very aromatic and oh so smooth.

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altogether, it cost $16 which was probably verging on pricey considering it wasn’t a full big breakfast type meal.

ambience-wise it’s very very casual, nothing novel about the decor or concept just good food, good coffee with a good chat to accompany it if the noise in the cafe is anything to go by.  Wait time was very decent – i got my sandwich immediately from the displays and my coffee took barely 5 minutes before it arrived

Photobucket numbered cubes to identify the twitchy coffee addicts waiting for their caffeine hit.

However, the service is definitely commendable with smiles all round on the wait staff.

This is probably one of those in and out cafes, food and coffee in the mouth and your legs walk you out the cafe.  there isn’t much to keep you hanging around with the almost bordering on noisy decibel level and slightly cramped quarters.  and if those don’t make you get up to leave, the eye power of those waiting for seats outside the cafe by the windows will.

and now whilst i’m already at it with this post, i figured i never really got the chance to show off a few hauls from my bangkok bonanza trip and so here are my outfit deets:

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outfit deets: elephant tee from platinum mall in bangkok S$8 | scalloped denim shorts from Posh S$15 | bejewelled detachable collar from platinum mall in bangkok S$15 | silver casio watch price unknown as it was a birthday present

my most treasured pick up from bangkok was definitely this bejewelled detachable collar which adds some snazz and funk to any t-shirt type outfit.

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so stay tuned as i gear up for my crusade of brunch adventures across singapore – peace out kids! 🙂

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