Official Website: http://artisanbakery.com.sg; Facebook
Address: #01-01, 118 Killiney Road, Singapore 239555 [beside Real Food Killiney Outlet]
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am – 10pm
Tel: +65 6444 8130
Budget: $10 – $20
Recommendations: Sandwiches and Croissant (Menu)
I first read about Artisan Boulangerie Co. (Killiney) (“ABC”) when I was looking for an eatery to chill out after my yoga session at Sadhana Sanctuary. After some research, I chanced upon a blog documenting this new kid in the block, and therefore decided to give it a shot.
Location and Service
Navigating towards ABC (Killiney) was a breeze as it is located next to Real Food Grocer (Killiney) and in the vicinity of Freshly Baked, AOI Sushi and Marutama Ramen. Even before entering the eatery, I was pleasantly surprised by the warm hospitality of the service crew. On my first visit, the service crew specially came down the flight of stairs to assist a wheelchair-bound patron up the steps. On both of my visits, the service crew would open the glass door for me, and greeting me with a smile. As my first visit was in mid October when the bakery was still new, the bakery seemed understaffed (about 4-5 service crew and perhaps it was a weekday late morning). However, on my second visit, the bakery was visibly more adequately staffed with about 4 – 5 counter staff and another 4 – 5 servers (on a weekend early afternoon). Most of the servers were fairly young but looked reasonably competent.
The croissants at ABC are good – but how good are they? According to DanielFoodDiary, ABC perhaps serves the best croissants in Singapore, on par with Tiong Bahru Bakery, Paul’s and Maison Kayser. Lured by Daniel’s post, I packed one for myself home and toasted it before tasting.
The Pain au Chocolat ($3.00) had an airy interior and its crust fell apart into paper thin flakes upon the first bite, so be prepared to mess up your table. As for the chocolate filling, although it was fairly generous, I would have liked more of it, since I am a great sucker for chocolate. Overall, I would think the croissant was above average, better than Tiong Bahru Bakery but not mind-blowing (the ones I had in Europe were still better, since they were fresh from the oven).
2. Traditional Baguettes or Baguettes de tradition
Recently, a blogger has expressed some doubt over whether Chef Eran Mayer won the Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris, which ranks the best traditional baguettes in Paris (and probably France). After some due diligence, my search tallies with that of my learned fellow blogger: Chef Eran Mayer was placed 4th place in 2009, and ranked 8th in 2012.
But what’s so great about this competition? As a background, Grand Prix de la Baguette de Tradition Française de la Ville de Paris is one of the most prestigious competitions in Paris and the winner gets to win the prize of 4,000 euros and the honour of baking for the French President. In this annual contest organised by the mayor of Paris, more than 160 bakeries (there are approximately 1,200 boulangeries in Paris) compete for the unparalleled honour of winning the title of ‘President’s Baker’, by baking the best traditional baguette, the cultural symbol par excellence of French life.
Traditional baguette or baguettes de tradition, means bread that must be “mixed, kneaded, leavened and baked on premises, without ever being frozen.” They must be free of additives, and can contain only wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. In fact, these criteria were required by a French law passed in 1993, and Singaporeans would be surprised at the level of importance placed by the French on this seemingly simple yet highly regarded pastry.
For myself, I did try some of the samples placed at the counter, but they were cold and rock hard after being placed at the counter since early morning. A little too much for my fragile teeth I guess. That said, it would do justice if I got to sample their freshly baked loaves, since it is no mean feat to be placed on the top list of a nationwide contest.
On my first visit, the friendly service crew recommended the Portobello Mushroom and Feta Sandwich, which comes with a huge serving of portobello mushrooms, capsicum, caramelised onions, alfalfa sprouts and sauced with tomato pesto and feta. The sandwich was fairly decent in my honest opinion, though I thought that the freshly toasted bread at Nassim Hill Bakery pleased me much more. Moreover, the serving was pretty small for lunch and I would have liked it to be warmer. Nevertheless, I thought that the ambience and location pretty much made it a positive overall experience, and decided to come back for more.
On my second visit, I was fortunate to sample the Brunch Menu, which was only available on weekends. As you would have known, I ordered the Eggs Benedict (though strictly speaking it is Eggs Royale, since it came with smoked salmon instead of ham), because I am a sucker for eggs as well. Just by looking at the picture, you would know that this is a winner.
The eggs are poached perfectly and the golden yellow yolk ooze out with such gusto, you just want to have more. I absolutely love the smoked salmon, which was sufficiently seasoned but still tender smooth and retained the sweetness of salmon. But the one thing that ruled them all, was the brioche. It was slightly sweet, tender soft with a light airy texture that I could just eat it on its own. Overall, the Eggs Benedict at ABC, I would say, is comparable to the best Eggs Benedict in Singapore (i.e. Nassim Hill Bakery).
I’ve tried both the brewed (Caffè Latte; $6.80) and iced coffee (Iced Mocha, $7.80) at ABC on both of my visits. The coffee beans are from Toby’s Estate and you would probably not go wrong with them. Although they are not exceptionally outstanding, the coffee art is aesthetically appealing and perfect for food photographers or Instagrammers.
Urban legend has it that the Japanese are the ultimate connoisseurs of food. Therefore, if you see Japanese wives enjoying their morning or afternoon tea in a local eatery, it must be testament for the food served. ABC is one such example. On weekends though, expect to dine outdoors as the interior space is mostly likely filled at each table. If you do grab a seat, it’s a nice place to chill out and catch up with your friends. The food is pretty much tasty and the soothing ambience is a winner for me. I should be back real soon (tarts and eclairs here I come).
Verdict: 3.83 / 5 Croissants