With all our favourite overseas bakeries opening up right here in Singapore, it’s easy to forget the homegrown goodness that comes from our very own local bakeries. Those old mom-n-pop stores from our neighborhoods are sometimes finding it harder to compete and many of them are considering closing down. Be sure to visit these before you go for a taste of nostalgia and good old-fashioned baked treats.
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Text: Eunice Quek, Samantha Lee and Cara Yap
Additional Reporting: Karen Fong
Photos: The Straits Times and The New Paper
Dona Manis Cake Shop
This 20 year-old confectionery is run by husband-and-wife team Tan Keng Eng and Soh Tho Lang. Their signature banana pie is a favourite — a perfect combination of crisp, crumbly crust filled with sliced banana and coconut with almonds for extra crunch.
#B1-93, Katong Shopping Centre, 865 Mountbatten Road
Who doesn’t know Lana Cakes? Those rich, deliciously moist chocolate cakes have been made by Violet Kwan for 50 years. The entrepreneurial 88-year old will be selling her business soon so now is the time to get on those famous fudge cakes.
36 Greenwood Avenue
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
This delicious breakfast coffee shop has been opened for 70 years and is basically an East-side institution known for their kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs and kopi. Other nostalgic favourites include fluffy raisin buns, custard puffs and cream horns.
204 East Coast Road
This bakery in Joo Chiat was one of those places you always went to for a birthday cake. It’s famed Etoile Cake (with or without icing) still sells well after 30 years and features layers of chooclate mousse and sponge cake. Perfect for a celebration.
42 Joo Chiat Place
Originally a Dim Sum restaurant in the 1930s, Tong Heng is now run by the third generation of the Fong family. It’s signature egg tarts are diamond-shaped and made with a thin and flaky crust. The custard inside is of course, smooth and delicious and still made by hand.
285 South Bridge Road
This British-inspired cafe was founded by two Hainanese brothers in 1965 (and so is the same age as our dear nation). It specialises in sweet and savoury pastries such as flaky curry puffs, cream horns and custard puffs. For special occasions, try their light buttercream cakes complete with nostalgic decorations.
105 Clementi Street 12
The Pine Garden
Popular in the 1980s, this unpretentious bakery does a mouthwatering blackforest gateau that people can’t get enough of. It features layers of chocolate sponge cake and buttercream and now also comes in a range of other flavours such as lychee martini and pulut hitam.
Lam Yeo Coffee Powder
Before hipster cafes descended and created the “cafe culture” here in Singapore, there was Lam Yeo Coffee Powder that’s been creating it’s own unique blends of beans roasted with margarine and sugar since 1959. The place is still filled with vintage coffee grinders with giant sacks of beans stacked high at the back of the store. In addition to their own blends, the store now sells newer ones from Brazil, Ethiopia and Colombia.
328 Balestier Road
Haig Road Putu Piring
Madam Noor Zela Zain and her husband Mohamad Hashim Jumaat make their putu piring using a family recipe that hasn’t change since the 1950s. Double-steamed rice flower encases a molten centre of gula melaka and is served with salted grated coconut for a real taste of the past.
#01-08 Haig Road Hawker Centre, 14 Haig Road
Sing Hon Loong (Ghee Leong)
With more than 50 years of history, Sing Hon Loong is one of the oldest bread-makers in Singapore. More than 1,000 traditional white and brown loaves are produced daily and distributed to local coffee shops.
4 Whampoa Drive
Jie Bakery and Confectionery
Another traditional bakery, Jie Bakery run by Mah Hock Hiong churns out freshly baked loaves with a delicious charred crust. The bread isn’t fancy but it’s perfect with creamy kaya and butter.
123 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Specialising in Nonya kueh, the brand has outlets in Tiong Bahru Market and Jalan Bukit Merah. They’ve also recently opened a cafe at Bugis Junction. Now into its third generation, the family business wants to promote kueh culture and show how the dessert is just as palatable as the more trendy cupcakes.