I really miss those old school bakeries during my childhood days in the 80s that served up straightforward bread buns with simple, homely flavours like ham, otah, hae bee hiam, luncheon meat, etc for just under a dollar each. Unlike these days where all the bakeries seem to be tied up in some intense marketing & promotion war and always ready to outdo one another with innovative and fanciful flavours.
I was at Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre for Ah Seng Braised Duck Rice (just next door to this bakery) and while I was waiting in the queue, I could hear the loud ‘tat tat’ sounds of the acrylic bread shelf lids being opened and closed constantly. It just kept me wondering why didn’t they just lift up all lids for convenience sake since the buns were quick to go as quite a number of customers bought buns in bulk.
After lunch, I decided to grab some buns for my afternoon tea. A quick look at what they had – I was quite impressed that nothing was more than $1. Inflation is definitely absent here! Probably this is the reason why this stall is popular because everything is so cheap and affordable like the good old days.
And one of the old uncles manning the stall was just adorable when I asked if I could take a picture of the breads as he was in the way. He gave me such a big, welcoming smile before stepping aside so I could take my time, lol. 很有人情味!
Taste of nostalgia! Really needed a kopi-o to go with this bun. The fragrant taste of salted butter would hit the tongue first followed by the sweetness of the white sugar granules. Great combination of salty and sweet indeed. And the bun was soft and fluffy too. I wished I had bought more but I would definitely come back for this. Addictive!
I had been craving for this traditional banana cake for a long while so was quite happy to find it here. The inside of the cake was moist and dense but not overly greasy like some others. Overall, it had a nice buttery flavour and a rich banana aroma. The outside edges were drier though I still liked the brown crust that tasted a little ‘burnt’. Perhaps the oven temperature was on the high side so the surface got a bit overcooked.
While the choux pastry was decently light and a little spongy, the custard was coagulated and dense, quite typical of traditional custard puffs. Overall, it was ordinary, nothing special.
The shortcrust pastry shell was quite moist and crumbly but lacked the buttery fragrance. While the egg custard wasn’t overly sweet, I thought it tasted a little too eggy and also it was too firm and dense. A wobbly filling would have been lovely.
There might be hits and misses but given the prices of these buns and pastries, I have no complains, really. What I liked about this bakery was that the inventory turnover rate was high so the shelves were constantly replenished with fresh bakes. Will I be back? Of course! I’d want to try the other buns too and this time, I’d get a coffee to go with it 🙂
Serangoon Garden Bakery & Confectionery
#01-45, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre
49A Serangoon Garden Way
Daily from 7.30am to noon or till buns are sold out
(Closed on Mondays)