Crown Bakery & Cafe- The Sourdough Expert
How do you differentiate yourself from the many bakeries selling a variety of Asian soft rolls and European breads and even providing hybrid versions? Well, you pick your favorite kind of bread and focus on being an expert in that. Well that's how i see the newly opened Crown Bakery & Cafe, latest venture by gardening retail giant Far East Flora Holdings Pte. Ltd. There's immense potential of them becoming the de facto Sourdough Expert.
Let's start with their belief of using all things natural and wholesome. I love bread but i also know that the store bought ones aren't very healthy. However, Crown Bakery makes their bread healthier by not adding any artificial food flavoring, coloring, preservatives, additives, and chemical improvers. Natural leaven is used to craft all their breads (yes they grow even their own yeast)! Also, the best ingredients, including the finest French mill wheat flour, Hokkaido Kitanokaori flour, German sourdough, French butter and direct-from-farm honey are used.
I fell deep in love with the inventive Crown Sourdough Buttermilk Waffle ($6 with maple syrup and butter, $9 with Haagen Dazs ice cream and fruits). The batter is only kept for 4 hours each time to ensure freshness. I loved the light chewy German sourdough texture. The savory (sea salt is used) and lightly sour flavors set this waffle apart from the a dime a dozen ones out there.
This delicately crispy waffle is best paired with butter and maple. I thought the ice cream overpowered the batter with its sweetness and soaks it and that kind ruined the overall texture and flavor but well it all boils down to personal preference.
This bread monster brought home a huge box of breads and finished it in a couple of days. Here's what i ate and would recommend to you guys. Matcha lovers should definitely get the intensely flavored Shizuoka Matcha products. The Azuki Loaf ($4.80) has a mochi like texture in the middle (i kid you not) and i liked that the azuki beans weren't too sweet.
The Shizuoka Matcha Brioche ($3.20) is like a little bouncy cake (look at those air pockets)! The green tea paste provides a great shot of caffeine for all you caffeine addicts. This is a lot less sweeter than what's available on the market so don't be too surprised.
Do heat up the breads and pastries for that added crisp (I swear that everything toasted tastes better). The Croissant Aux Amandes ($3.60) was full of almond paste.
The New Zealand Cream Cheese Danish ($3) is one of my favorites! I took a bite before i considered toasting it and even though it was more like a bun when it is cold, it was so yummy i finished it before the toaster saw the light of it. NZ cream cheese and Parmesan are used in this one and the handcrafted raisin yeast gives the layers a fruity honey aftertaste. However, it was not crazy sweet as lemon juice is added to balance the sweetness.
On to the savories. The Mentaiko Mayo Garlic Crisp ($2.80) is a no brainer and the garlic baguette is given the Midas touch with the creamy and salty mentaiko and Japanese mayo mix. It's heavily flavored with the pungent garlic so beware! This MUST BE TOASTED. Remember that!
The Red Wine Fig Sourdough ($8.50) is a great sandwich bread. On its own, it's a tad sour so i'd prefer to add my nut butters or my current favorite Ovaltine spread to it. Toasting it can do too but do not over do it. Otherwise, pop it into the microwave briefly and it'd be a little moist and warm enough.
Crown Bakery's crown treasure is the Hainanese Chicken Bread ($4.50). This is made from chicken soup, skinless chicken thigh, garlic, ginger and shallots, together with their sourdough batter. You even get chunks of chicken in the bread! The flavor isn't particularly strong but it goes well with the garlicky chicken rice chili sauce.
Crown Bakery & Café currently offers 45 varieties of bread, viennoiseries and snacks. A small all day breakfast selection is currently available and more will be added in the future but i think i'll be happy eating a warmed up slice here.
Crown Bakery & Café
557 Bukit Timah Road, Crown Centre #01-03
Tel: +65 6463-3066
Sun - Thu: 7.30am - 8.30pm
Fri - Sat: 7.30am - 9.30pm