Last Updated: April 16, 2015
For the first time in its eighty-one years of existence, one of Tokyo’s best bakeries has set up shop outside Japan. Yes, you heard it right, highly acclaimed Japanese artisan bakery Boulangerie Asanoyabakery has opened the doors of its first international outlet in Singapore. Founded in 1933 in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan, this famed Japanese artisan bakery is famous for its rustic Japanese-style breads (traditional stone oven baked) and pastries.
Asanoya will import specialist ingredients, including Nagano Mori Apple and Hokkaido Red Bean from Japan. The brand is also very passionate about keeping its baking traditions alive, so chief bakers at the Singapore bakery have been trained in the art of bread making at the Karuizawa Kyuudo outlet in Karuizawa, Japan.
The new Queen Street bakery and cafe will include seating for 80 people, serving up a range of freshly baked breads, along with freshly made sandwiches, salads, wine and Japanese beer – husbands and boyfriends should take note that Asahi retails for just $30 for 5 bottles.
Other than alcohol, Asanoya also sells a variety of coffees and fresh cold-pressed juices like this carrot and apple mix.
In addition, customers can also purchase selected take-home products that are manufactured and imported directly from Asanoya Japan.
Asanoya Butter – Garlic ($6.00). Little tubs of home made butter are also available for purchase. If garlic butter is too ordinary for your liking, try the maple and anchovy flavours.
Clockwise from top left: Melon Pan ($2.20), Maple Walnut Pretzels ($3.20), Fruit Danish ($2.80), Anpan ($2.80).
Though not literally immediate oven fresh, these were one of the best pretzels I have ever eaten which were still baked the same day. The preztels were crunchy (walnuts added another later of crunch) and the sweetness from the maple butter was simply marvelous with hints of saltiness. The Fruit Danish had buttery flaky pastry topped off with plump little morsels of fruit too pretty to be devoured.
This isn’t your usual Tau Sar (Red Bean) bun from your neighbourhood bakery. Azuki beans prepared Tsubushian style (beans that are mashed after boiling) are specially imported from Hokkaido for this Anpan. Not too sweet yet generous enough to have ample red bean with each bite of bread.
The Melon Pan looks deceptively like a simple sugar-coated bun, but also comes with its namesake melon flavours infused within. Light and fruitty, the perfect bun that kids will adore.
From Left: Karuizawa Breads Blueberry/Green Tea/Raisin ($2.60/100g).
Asanoya is renown for its Karuizawa Raisin bread. Soft, fluffy milk bread filled with raisins under a rustic crust. If you aren’t a fan of raisins, try the green tea flavour with its tiny cubes of rich white chocolate; else try the blueberry flavour with juicy blueberry bits. Caramel and Sakura flavours were available as well.
Its amazing how the white chocolate bits change in taste when paired with matcha, tasting more like milky condensed milk when eaten together.
Tea Bread S$4.20-$4.80 Earl Grey/Blueberry/Orange Peel. Another one of Asanoya’s signatures, this delicate bread is made by mixing fragrant Earl Grey tea leaves/blueberries/orange peel with sweetened milk. A fan favorite and gets sold out very fast daily, we only had the samples left to try!
Chicken Cabbage Salad with Sesame & Miso Sauce $3.00 (Small) $5.00 (Large). The salad was light, refreshing and crunchy albeit small in size more for snacking than a proper meal.
Singapore is no stranger to the trend of overseas Asian sweets or bakery shops opening locally, with Paris Baguette and Henri Charpentier setting up shop in the last two years to name but two examples. This trend continues with Asanoya and its signature breads and pastries living up to its namesake and absolutely deserving of a visit some time.
The elegance of Japanese cuisine is reflected in Asanoya bakery with fresh ingredients being used in simplistic bread presentations. Prices are very affordable and definitely a new relaxing hang out to check out in this central, yet off beaten huge space.
Expected Damage: $10 – $20 per pax