There's a reason why Tiong Bahru Bakery is thriving. Yes, the outstanding croissants are likely a big part of its popularity, but there's consistency in its standards. It's no different with this new diner concept, now at two of its downtown mall locations. To provide the good folk of CBD a place to slow down—because god knows you need it—, the menu is perfect for a sit-down as opposed to grabbing the famous pastry to go. Only, you'll come to find it's more than just decent cafe food.
TBB's sixth outlet, which has since settled into the revamped Funan mall late last year, is laid out in a way that feels like a maximised use of area without having personal space compromised. There are halved-booths, shared tables, and regular dining seating, giving it a nice communal atmosphere where going as a large group or alone is equally fine.
Chef de cuisine Paul Albert makes a fascinating debut of green meals that bond dedicated fermentation techniques with well-sourced ingredients. The plant-rich creations get major props for going local and reducing waste, but more noteworthy is their taste. The vegan/vegetarian dishes are not designed for the sake of trend. In fact, they're so good that it almost feels like this aspect shouldn't be highlighted thanks to the chiefly bad rep of voluntary herbivores (sorry, but not really).
If there is a dish that should be used to convert meat-eaters, it would be the Chayote Kimchi & Mung Bean Salad. The mix of textures between nuts and shoots, splashed with a house-made green parsley oil that balances the kimchi—watercress never crunched so well. The Pulled Pork Creamy Risoni Pasta is highly addictive thanks to its evenly absorbed pork jus and shiitake marinate and disguised enoki garnish. One good for the 'gram and the gut is the colourful Portobello, Avocado & Humus Black Sandwich that contrasts toasted charcoal bread with tart middle layers and side of purple potatoes chips.
We should probably say the 100% Sourdough Waffle made from a 158 year old starter that Chef nicked from Rio, which has the structure of a perfectly prepared waffle, but the Super Green Warm Soup carries so much attention to detail it would be a sin not to give it the spotlight. Tribute to locally grown vegetables—your bok choys, your chye sims and more—comes creamy, which sounds strange but isn't. Served with a dollop of beetroot pickled ricotta and topped with toasted candle nuts, sauteed shimeji and green herb oil, it is oddly satisfying.
How we feel about it in a gif
Make them veggies rain.
Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner is available at Funan Mall #04-22-25 and Raffles City Shopping Centre #B1-11. For more inquiries, call 6877 4866 and 6333 4160 respectively.