Provence Bakery Day 1& Day 2@Holland Village

DAY ONE:

Demona: Dogma and I went to Holland Village for a late, lazy Saturday brunch. I took over his Jazz’s wheels, and drove there, guided by a life-size Dogma-GPS next to me.

Dogma-GPS: “Turn left. Keep right.”
Dogma-GPS: “Wei wei wei wei, green light may turn yellow soon. Be careful, slow down.”
Demona : “Yes sir”. (stoning)
Dogma-GPS: “This road, keep max at 70 kmph. Don’t rush stepping on the accelerator”
Demona : “Yes sir.” (double stoning)

(Driving in Singapore is harder than taking my driving test in Malaysia)

We finally arrived SAFELY at Holland Village. Safely, as in dimerit free and summons free. We were greeted by these greedy little buggers, asking for jockey parking for a ridiculous sgd 10. What is the hassle of putting your car into a box, costing you a mere sgd 1?

Demona: Anyway.. driving issues aside. Our tummies were growling like how Jimmy Chamberlain bangs his drums away. Like hungry vultures, we hunted with our nostrils. The sniffings led us to… Provence, a famous Japanese origin bakery with a strong influence of “Bon Jour” to it. The pungent, sweet, buttery smell filled the air surrounding the viscinities of this bakery.

With my passion for baking, and eating pastries/ bread (Bun or Pao Face is my middle name), interesting bakeries always excite me.

Demona: The tables outside were all occupied, and as we entered, we were greeted with a long queue and almost filled up tables inside. We had to share seats with a mother and her child. The design of the bakery, from its table seatings, its pastry and bread arrangements, to its framed pictures hanging on the walls somehow gives a really warm, fuzzy feeling to anyone who enters here. In a strange, bizarre way, it makes you… I don’t know… HAPPY.

Dogma came back with 3 different types of pastries and a cup of iced coffee. The pict above was the coffee flavoured pastry.

A thick layer of coffee cream was quietly hidden underneath a hefty swirl of very, very, light, soft and fluffy cream, wrapped with thin layers of danish pastry. The sweetness of the coffee cream was just nice, sufficient to satisfy your sweet tooth but not make you sick right after. SGD 1.50. Cheap-NYA! This would probably cost RM2-3 in most Malaysian bakeries.

Demona: This was the cinnamon bun. The texture of the bun was really soft, light and fluffy! Apparently, all the pastries were made with wheat flour imported from a small village in France. Maybe the article helped influenced my taste buds, but if it is true to its words, this special wheat flour really made A HUGE difference on the texture of the pastries. You must try one from here, at least, to know what I am trying to say right here.

However, I thought that the cinnamon taste was a little lacking. If it had more cinnamon powder added in, the bun would have kicked painfully delicious butt! SGD 1.30.

Demona: This was Dogma’s favourite. He had been telling me about the blueberry bun of Provence Bakery since forever. I could hardly wait to get my hands on it!

Demona: Oooooohhhhh! He was absolutely right! The bun was so, so, so, soft and the bakers did not stinge on the blueberry fillings, thus you will get a mouthful of sweet, sticky, gooey yet superbly delicious blueberries on each bite on the bun. Worth every penny! SGD 1.50.

Demona: A pict of me pouring milk into the strong aroma iced coffee.

Before leaving, we took a last stroll tour around the tiny yet packed bakery and we bumped into this middle aged lady, whom we suspected might be a promoter disguised as a buyer, hired by Provence to market their products. Haha, joking. We just asked her for some must tries of Provence, and her suggestions tempted us to return for round 2…..

DAY TWO:

Demona: We were back.

Objective: Taste aunty’s recommendations. Which was also my FAVOURITEEEEEEEEE! AN PAN. Red bean bun. *Drools*

Demona: We decided to carry out Dogma’s famous PEPSI test to see which red bean bun, which is called AN PAN here, is the ruler of ANG TAO (Red bean) land. We took the:

Anpan Koshi: the skinless red bean bun with black sesame seeds topping (SGD 1)
Anpan: the red bean with skin bun with white sesame seeds topping (SGD 1)
Rice Anpan Koshi: the skinless red bean bun with with a rice based dough made bun (SGD 1.30)

3 red bean buns all together, and two more sidelines, the milk bun and a new yorker bun.

Demona: The milk bun was really soft, with a light, fluffy milky egg white beaten filling inside. This bun is also one of their major brownie point winner, but I found it so so only. Not a bun which would make me go for the second round. SGD 1.10.

Demona: The New Yorker was a failure. The texture was too hard, and there wasn’t much distinguished taste to it. I could not make out if it was a chocolate based bun, a almond based bun, or a danish bun. I would not try this anymore in future. The name sounded cool but the bun was unsatisfactory. SGD 1.50.

Demona: A bitter sweet aroma freshly brewed coffee for the day to wash off the sugar coated palate.

Demona: WHICH DESERVED THE KING’s THRONE ?

From the two picts, rice anpan koshi was clearly kicked out. There wasn’t anything fantastic about the dough.

Demona: Nope. ANPAN came in second.

Demona: KA-CHING! The winner of the PEPSI test went to…. ANPAN KOSHI!!!!!!!!!!!!
The extremely smooth sweet red bun filling was the perfect match to the light and fluffy bun. The sesame seeds gave a fragrant seedy aroma to the bun.

Verdict: The pastries are affordable, and for a pretty cheap price, they actually taste good, with a hint of quality! Although not every pastry was good, most were relatively decent, good enough to say “Not too bad after all”. I will definitely be back here for more rounds to come. I hope to run a bakery like this one day. πŸ™‚

Cinnamon rolls@Adventist Bakery

Demona: My aunt recently went on a business trip to Penang, which involves a meeting and a tour in the Penang Adventist Hospital. Diplomatic stuff. She brought home a box of cinnamon rolls from the Aventist Bakery, the resident bakery in the hospital.

Demona: I must admit, I am overall, pretty skeptical about hospital food.

Demona: Whaddya know…. it actually tasted good! The dough was fluffy and it was wholemeal based. The little grainy bits here and there, gave each bite a healthy, wholesome feeling, which suited well with a hot cup of coffee on this sunny Saturday morning. Another well deserved brownie point was that the baker eased on the butter/oil content, unlike cinnamon rolls which you get from big names eg: Saint Cinnamon which are grossly, heavily coated with oil and sugar, definitely not for the faint hearted. You can see some faint yellow coloured sugary butter coating on some parts of the dough.

Demona: Instead of purely adding processed sugar, coarsely chopped apricots and mini raisins were added in between of the cinnamon roll layers. I think that this is a good improvisation. Besides that, it gives a nice feel to have chewy bits to bite on in between the dough layer. You can see the fruit bits from the pict!

There is one part that the baker can improve on, is to add a little bit more cinnamon to the rolls, to bring out the smell and flavour even more. In this aspect, the big names definitely win them all.

Nevertheless, I much preferred my cinnamon rolls baked in this wholesome manner. To be frank, I would never buy the cinnamon roll from the big names.

One, they do not attract me, I find them small, overly oily, and costly.

Two, somehow or rather, I feel like I am cheated, to buy these expensive cinnamon rolls which are drizzled over with hershey’s chocolate syrup, or pre-supplied blueberries and jam, which .. kinda’ like, buying a pathetic, miserable looking ham sandwich, with a tiny piece of lettuce and some butter and mayo from chain bakeries versus two big chunky slices of grained bread, coated with garlic butter, toasted with a healthy portion of smoked ham, lettuce, some cheese, maybe brie, sprinkled over with pepper, salt and herbs as you like, using your humble and loyal tiny toaster, until the bread turns golden brown and fragrant.

Haha. You know, that homey feeling. I apologise. Dogma knows me well, I am a descriptive person.

Maybe I can baking cinnamon rolls next time! :).. Dogma..*winks*.