Restaurants & Nightlife

4 MINUTE READ

Singapore’s best bakes and pastries

Words by Shamilee Vellu

26 March 2024

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Discover the best places to indulge in Singapore’s finest baked goods.

Singapore may be known primarily for its vibrant street food, but it's also home to excellent bakeries and patisseries serving everything from time-honoured classics to avant-garde creations that blur the boundaries between food and art. Whether you're after top-quality baked breads, viennoiserie, or refined patisseries, you'll find plenty to tempt you at these shops. Here are five of the most interesting ones to check out now.

Cédric Grolet Singapore

So anticipated was patissier extraordinaire Grolet's first Asian outpost, it drew snaking queues when it debuted in COMO Metropolitan Singapore last year. Little wonder – his elegant boutique resembles a fine-jewellery salon with its gleaming white interiors, sparkling silver ceiling art installation and pastries displayed under glass cloches like edible object.

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30 Bideford Rd, COMO Orchard, Singapore 229922

The pastries are truly works of art, from irresistibly life-like recreations of fruits like avocados and chestnuts to elaborate tarts you'll be loathe to sully with your fork, like the beautiful strawberry mochi flower, comprising a luscious candied strawberry nestled in a 'flower' of white-cream petals. On weekends, you can enjoy extravagant sweet and savoury brunch sets, with a seemingly neverending array of goodies like croissants, patisserie, and french toast with fluffy chantilly cream dolloped out of silver basins tableside.

AMI Patisserie

A hidden gem tucked away in a quiet corner just off Orchard Road next to a colonial-era black-and-white bungalow, AMI is located in a former garage space that's been completely renovated to resemble a machiya, or Kyoto-style wooden townhouse. It's helmed by Chef Makoto Arami, who hails from Japan's Shiga Prefecture and whose family sold wagashi and yogashi, traditional and Western-style sweets. Arami has faithfully upheld family traditions, having worked in Michelin-starred affairs like Beige Alain Ducasse Tokyo and Beni in Singapore, becoming known for his refined pastries made using French techniques and premium Japanese produce.

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27 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228222

For a tasting menu with a difference, try the Chef's Table Discovery Experience. Held in a cosy private room that seats eight, this is a six-course, pastry-led experience comprising sweet and savoury delights like seaweed escargot (spiral buns), Shizuoka tomato tartelette (featuring Amela tomato and 24-month-aged Parmigiano), Japanese uni brioche and nasu brulee (eggplant custard), much of it prepared and presented to diners by Arami himself.

Café Nickel

Nickel started as a humble cafe in a public housing estate in Singapore's Jurong heartlands. But its unexpectedly refined (and well-priced) desserts, created by Ferrandi Paris graduate Lee Yin Quan, meant it soon needed a more prominent, central location. The new venue opened in Middle Road late last year and is an industrial-chic, cement-screed-outfitted space – the minimalist aesthetic an ideal backdrop against which to savour Lee's deceptively simple but complex creations.

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258 Middle Rd, Singapore 188987

Try the signature chocolate chip and vanilla cream-filled pain suisse, or patisserie like the OTTO, a plump, chocolate-enrobed disc of pistachio mousse and orange-almond cake clasped between two almond tart shells. For a true kawaii moment, order the whimsically strawberry-shaped 'chun', made from fresh Korean strawberries, strawberry jam, ginger torch flower and strawberry ganache with brown sugar sponge.

Once Upon A Time

This by-appointment-only operation was opened by local actress-turned-pastry chef Jeanette Aw, who completed a patisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo in 2019 and launched Once Upon a Time in 2021. It all started when her friends, then their friends, started ordering Aw's addictive fudge brownies.

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35 Hamilton Rd, Singapore 209204

Since launching her store, Aw has debuted a rotating array of pastries and cakes, including chocolate orange olive oil cakes to matcha-and-red-bean madeleines and pistachio financiers. She's currently taking her ambitions abroad with a series of pop-ups in Japan. Still, she continues to fulfil orders at her minimally-styled boutique in Hamilton Road, which doesn't accept walk-ins, only customers collecting pre-orders.

Pâtisserie CLÉ

Founded by local pastry chefs Germaine Li and Joy Chiam, Pâtisserie CLÉ specialises in French pastries such as tarts, entremets (impressive cakes comprising multiple components) and viennoiseries, focusing on fresh produce and flavours. The menu includes classic bakes like chocolate cakes, lemon meringue tarts, fudgy moist marble cakes (and even TikTok-viral bakes like the crookie – cookie dough baked in a croissant).

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415 River Valley Rd, Singapore 248314

But the most unique – and best-selling – creation is the quirkily-named orh blanc tart, the duo's take on orh nee, a popular, indulgent local dessert made with creamy yam paste. Pâtisserie CLÉ's version has a crisp, buttery tart crust baked with coconut cream and filled with fresh yam paste, vanilla chantilly and candied ginkgo nuts – a tasty twist on tradition worth every calorie.

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Shamilee Vellu

Singapore-based Shamilee certainly knows a thing or two about the country’s luxury travel and lifestyle trends – she’s been reporting on them for the last 20 years. Her work for us is a comprehensive guide to luxury living in the Lion City.

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