Posts Tagged ‘Bakery’

iBake, Prima’s 1st upmarket cafe bakery

*Media Invite*

We are all familiar with the bakery chain big boys. I think there isn’t a soul in Singapore who hasn’t heard of BreadTalk. And of course you have the others such as Four Leaves, DJ Bakery, Sun Moulin, etc. It’s interesting that with the proliferation of so many cafes in Singapore, none of these big boys bakery chains have ventured into a proper sit down cafe featuring their baked goods. I suppose BreadTalk’s Toastbox comes close, but I wouldn’t call it a “cafe” so to speak, because most people just go to ToastBox for kopi and toast.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Prima has just opened it’s 1st upmarket cafe destination bakery called iBake, at Star Vista in Buona Vista. It is the first home-grown full-service destination bakery that uses its own customised Prima flour for its unique offerings of breads. This is offered by no other bakery in Singapore. You may already know that Prima mills its own flour, hence the capability to offer this. I was told that iBake was developed to showcase this special Prima flour, that is used in the atas baked goods that hotels order from Prima. So you won’t be seeing tons of iBakes sprouting all over Singapore, although I would be quite happy if there was an iBake near where I live!

Having heard much about Prima’s flour during my 3 month intensive baking course at Prima’s Baking Industry Training Centre, I was quite keen to find out if the products would live up to the name. iBake offers a fine selection of European crusted breads combined with the light, airy textures of Japanese breads. I personally like European crusted breads as the crust is packed with flavour. When the breads are well made like they are in Europe, you won’t find it so chewy, like what most Singaporeans complain about.

Prima iBake

There is a large sit down area, or if you so choose, you may order the smaller bites for takeaway.

Prima iBake - Bread Basket (Petite French Stick with Milk Cream, Petite Gruyere Cheese, Petite Anchovy Croissant and Petite French Croissant)

Bread Basket (Petite French Stick with Milk Cream, Petite Gruyere Cheese, Petite Anchovy Croissant and Petite French Croissant)

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Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar

Experts say that a catchy name for a business is a marketing tool in itself. I’ve no doubt about this piece of advice and I’m sure many an astute businessman have put it to good use. Just think about all the cafes that have opened recently with names that make you do a double take. SPRMKT, Carpenter & Cook, Henry Congressional, Nylon Coffee Roasters and lots more.

But of all these names, none made me jump off my seat in a bid to rush there, than Nassim Hill Bakery. For those of you who aren’t aware, Nassim Hill is one of the most expensive residential areas in Singapore. If you own an apartment there, well you’ve kind of made it in life already haven’t you. So, for a  cafe that chooses to associate itself with such a distinguished address, it surely mustn’t be any ole run of the mill establishment right?

Nassim Hill - Sunny-side up eggs with choice of beerbeiser sausage, center cut bacon or honey baked ham $15 (1)

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar is located at the Tanglin Post Office building, which is opposite Tanglin Mall. It’s not visible from the main road. You have to turn into the side road as the main entrance of Nassim Hill Bakery is facing the back! The good news is that if you manage to snag a parking spot in front of the bakery, parking is free. The bad news is that there are very limited slots, say 20? And the lots have to be shared with those visiting the post office too. If you can’t find a spot, you will have to use the paid basement parking.

Prior to visiting, I was told that the chief baker at Nassim Hill is the owner of Freshly Baked along Killiney Road. So it was no surprise that baskets of fine smelling artisanal bread greeted us when we entered the spacious bakery bistro. Even the bread ovens are in full view as their kitchen is somewhat of an open-concept. Speaking of space, there is such a vast amount of it compared to other establishments, that you feel you could do a dance amongst the tables and not be an obstruction.

Nassim Hill - (5)

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Baker & Cook Singapore

**Only takeaways available as of 21 June 2012. License suspended for sit-down/dine-in due to traffic congestion issues!!**

Baker & Cook - Chocolate Croissant

Have you been to the Baker & Cook yet? Our President Tony Tan has! More than once in fact! It looks like 2011 was the year of the proliferation of coffee joints. 2012 seems to be the year of the bakery. Paul, Maison Kayser, Baker & Cook, I suspect we’ll be seeing more bakeries popping up with eye catching breads and pastries. For too long, our bakery scene has been dominated by BreadTalk and DeliFrance. Aren’t we all lucky that we now have more choices, or are we just late in catching up with other countries?

 

Baker & Cook - Olive Baton I know how to make this… :o)

I visited Baker and Cook in early February to suss out the place. I think I read about it in the Straits Times, and the minute I saw the photos of the place, I knew I just had to pay Baker & Cook a visit. It’s obvious from my blog that I love exploring new cafes. But did you know that I love exploring new artisanal bakeries as well? Artisan Bakery + Cafe, was it any wonder I zoomed to visit the place so soon after it was open? I wrote a brief write-up about Baker & Cook last month in conjunction with my Waitangi Day (New Zealand Day) article. Baker & Cook is one of the few places in Singapore where you can find NZ influences in the food.

The bakery is nestled in the Greenwood Area. Owner Dean Brettschneider is a New Zealander and so is his head baker David O’Brien. The coffee that they serve here, Allpress, is also a NZ brand. You can get a range of jams, chutneys, handcrafted packaged cookies, cakes, as well as cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I like to tell people that our President Tony Tan has already been here at least twice, have you???

There is no other bakery in the Greenwood area, so I think Dean really captured a fantastic location for his cafe. It is the corner shop to boot! I don’t know if the madness has died down yet, but when I was there last month, it was as crowded as can be that Saturday morning. There isn’t much seating, just a few tables outside, and a long wooden table inside. It can get very hot sitting outside. I should know, cuz my arm got tanned after sitting there for 1 hour. If you drive, you might be better off buying the goodies back home to savour.

Baker & Cook - (17)

Passion is our main ingredient. I have to attest to that. Where there is passion, there is energy, dedication and creativity.

Baker & Cook - Bread and Viennoiserie Basket

We ordered a Baked Bread & Viennoiserie basket $9.95 to share, which basically comprises of several slices of different types of breads, 2 mini croissants, butter and a selection of 3 types of jams. The breads were all the “European” type breads, meaning crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. They were pretty good when spread with loads of jam. I would have liked the crusts to be crustier. But between the 4 of us, we still managed to polish off all the bread. The croissants were so so. Not very buttery in my opinion.

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I have been taking baking classes. I completed my bread module just last week, and gone are the days where I gravitate towards soft bread. I now look at bread with different eyes. Yes I like those breads that can crack a wall if you throw them at one. The aspiring baker in me has actually fallen in love with the French Baguette and I’m not looking back! There is a reason why the supermarket loaves are so soft. BREAD IMPROVER my friends. So be careful what you ask for. I’ve no idea if Baker & Cook uses these chemical additives, but I suspect they don’t, them being artisanal.

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Chef Icon Nature Bakery

After lunch at the railway station, we decided to have a cuppa nearby. We decided to go to Highlander along Kampong Bahru Road, which is very near the railway station. Highlander has really nice coffee and chocolate mousse cake. Unfortunately, it was closed for the Vesak Day holidays so we backtracked and stopped at Chef Icon Nature Bakery a few shophouses away.

I had always thought that Chef Icon was just a bakery selling takeaway items, but today I found out that it has a seat-in section as well. Behind the counter, there is a recessed room with a few cafe tables and chairs. We were the only customers just after lunch so we had the entire room to ourselves which was very pleasant. I loved the small cafe area because it was just so snug and cosy.

We ordered a cafe latte as well as an iced-chocolate. The prices are really reasonable. The cafe latte was only $3.50 while the iced-chocolate was only $4. The iced-chocolate was made using real chocolate flakes and not the usual sugar laden chocolate syrup.

Chef Icon also has a lot of cakes on offer, best viewed at the Chef Icon’s website. The Chocolate Travona cake with its glistening exterior looked absolutely decadent and sinful. Too bad they didn’t have slices on offer or I would have surely ordered one.

Chef Icon Store Front

The front of Chef Icon

Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte

Iced-Chocolate

Iced-Chocolate

Dark Rye Multi Grain

Dark Rye Multi Grain bread

Recessed cafe room

The snug and cosy recessed room

Chef Icon Nature Bakery

5 Kampong Bahru Road

Singapore 169341

Order Hotline :93373900

Email: enquiry@cheficon.com

Website: http://www.cheficon.com/

Mon-Sat 8.30am – 8.30pm

Closed on Sunday and Public Holidays

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