Last Updated: July 9, 2018
“Bringing traditional bakes back to life” is the slogan that keeps Happy Oven going. It’s getting more and more difficult to find traditional cake shops, but thankfully, residents of Beo Crescent estate are able to savour this rare treat.
Cheap and good seldom go hand-in-hand, but at Happy Oven, you’ll get the best of both worlds with affordable yet delicious cakes.
This family-owned traditional bakery underwent a face-lift to further attract the younger folks, and the strategy worked. Mr Amos, the son of Mr Tay, Happy Oven’s owner noted that a bulk of their customers are the elderly. For this reason, they try to keep their cakes as affordable as possible to cater to the needs of their customers.
Even after the renovation, the temptation to jack up the price of their cake to offset the investment did not sway their hearts. Affordability is still their main focus!
Mr Amos wanted his customers to reminiscence their past, so he placed a display cabinet called “Memories With Grandma” in the shop.
Items placed in the cabinet were all found in his grandma’s house. I wasn’t able to connect with most items, but when I showed these photos to my parents, their eyes beamed with excitement as they started to recall their childhood.
The whole purpose of this cabinet is to give back to the community and let them remember their happy memories from when they were younger. With their traditional bakes and retro knick-knacks, Happy Oven hopes to remind their customers of their past.
All the baked goods that Happy Oven sells are house-made. Mr Amos told me that they wake up at 3.30am every single day to prepare the cakes, in order to be ready by the time they start work. Imagine having to slice all the Swiss Rolls ($4.50) by hand!
I couldn’t wait to try the cakes after having a tour around the kitchen!
I was told the Apple Crumble ($0.90) are best eaten chilled, which was puzzling at first, because I thought the pastry would turn soggy.
Fortunately, Mr Tay used his 30 years of baking experience to come up with a secret recipe, to ensure the crust remains crisp even when chilled. It’s all natural too, without any chemicals used to achieve this feat.
When I bit into it, crumbs started falling everywhere, because of how crispy it was. The apple filling wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be, which catered to the older folks who patronise the bakery.
This is Happy Oven’s version of the classic Ondeh Ondeh ($1). Instead of the familiar ball-shaped glutinous rice balls, they did a cake version of it. To get the gooey centre of an Ondeh Ondeh, they soaked the coconut shavings with gula melaka.
When I placed a piece of Ondeh Ondeh in my mouth, I could feel the gula melaka slowly oozing out of the cake, revealing the sugary goodness. While this can’t beat the regular Ondeh Ondeh when it comes to taste, it’s still pretty close to perfection.
When I saw the good ol’ Banana Cake ($1), memories of my mum baking it for me when I was a kid came rushing back. Though it may look light and airy, it was actually slightly dense. Real bananas were added into the cake, so different batches of cakes vary in taste.
The banana flavour filled my mouth as soon as I bit into it. Again, this isn’t too sweet, making it a very comforting treat you can indulge in without feeling guilty.
The Chocolate Eclair ($1) was another of my childhood favourites. When I was a kid, my parents would buy them for me to reward my academic performance in school. A bite into this transported me to the past, because it tasted exactly how I recalled it to be.
The Chocolate Eclair’s crust was thin, allowing the flavour of the house-made chocolate cream to shine through. The cream was so light that it was almost weightless on my tongue.
The Cream Puff’s ($1) texture was quite similar to the Chocolate Eclair. The thin shell of the Cream Puff contained the house-made custard and the light custard cream. It wasn’t too buttery, so you won’t feel sick after munching on several of them.
I cannot emphasise enough how much I enjoy their pastries because it wasn’t too sweet. This has got to be one of the best Cream Puffs that I’ve eaten!
The Pandan Kaya Cake ($1.30) was another sweet treat I tried. Of all the pastries that I’ve tried, this is the densest. I was expecting the flavour of this to be just as subtle as the rest, but it was, in fact, bursting with pandan and kaya flavours just as its name suggests.
Resembling a tiramisu in texture, the creamy texture of the kaya and lightness of the sponge cake worked well with each other.
Tasting their pastries was like riding a time machine; every bite I took made me remember my childhood. It brought back memories I once thought were lost, and it made me recall how blissful it was.
Do you wish to experience time travel? Pop by Happy Oven and allow them to take you back to your past!
Expected Damage: $0.90 – $5 per pax