Last Updated: July 7, 2020
I think we’ve found a real gem here. It might seem as though we say that about every place, but Jie Bakery is the real deal.
Jie Bakery is one of those rare traditional bakeries operating amongst the new-fangled bakeries that populate our food scene.
Situated on the quiet streets of Upper Paya Lebar Road, Jie Bakery might seem like nothing much to the unsuspecting passer-by—but it is a gold mine indeed.
Jie Bakery is where you’ll find your old-school fashioned white bread, kaleidoscopic Rainbow Bread (S$1.70) and even the comforting Japanese Red Bean Bun (S$1.20). They’ve kept to the same recipe for more than 30 years and don’t intend on changing it one bit.
As you walk up to Jie Bakery, the aroma of freshly-baked bread will greet you first, followed by the familiar sight of various baked goods wrapped up in individual plastic bags and waiting to be devoured. While I squirm a little at the excessive plastic use, I can’t help but feel transported to a primary school year-old me, excitedly tearing off the plastic bag and scarfing down some bread after school.
I bagged what I could carry from Jie Bakery and had a little blast from the past.
Apart from Jie Bakery’s signature loaves, I also bought their Japanese Red Bean Bun (S$1.20), Coconut Bun (S$1.20) and Oat Bread (S$1.80) for good measure. If there was ever a time to load up on carbs, now was the time.
I started with the classic Plain (S$1.70) loaf which—despite its name—is anything but. Each packet comes with eight chunky slices with mahogany-coloured tops that just begs for a healthy dollop of butter.
Each slice was gloriously thick and pillowy with a tight crumb pattern. A tight crumb pattern would mean that the dough was aerated evenly and adequately, which results in a soft and airy slice. You can even test the elasticity of the bread by gently pressing down on the bread. If the bread is worth its salt, it will spring back like expensive memory foam and Jie Bakery’s bread was no exception.
Just like most Asian bread, this loaf is little sweeter as compared to your Western-style bread. This is due to the higher fat content that is used in making Asian bread as opposed to Western loaves. Just think about a crusty sourdough juxtaposed with Jie Bakery’s soft rolls.
Another little goodie you’ll want to pick up at Jie Bakery is their Homemade Kaya (S$1.70). Whenever you see homemade kaya, especially from a place like this, it’s a no-brainer whether you should get this. Jie Bakery’s kaya had a muted orange hue that is very different from the usual pea-green kaya.
A little search on Google informed me that the orange kaya is Hainanese kaya. It gets that orange hue from the caramelised sugars while the green kaya is known as Nonya kaya, which gets the light green colour from pandan juice.
Kaya on toast is the ultimate Singaporean breakfast and comfort food of many. I spread a liberal amount of kaya on Jie Bakery’s bread and took a huge bite.
Sweet but not cloying, this kaya is what dreams are made of. With those fragrant coconutty notes, velvety texture and a smooth finish—I was sold.
This Rainbow Bread is sure to stir up some pleasant memories, one of which has to be eating a block of ice cream sandwiched in-between this colourful toast. Taste-wise, this was not any different from their white bread—it was just as soft and cloud-like.
Vibrant and bright, these psychedelic slices are sure to perk up mornings and make afternoon tea a little more fun.
Spread some of that winning kaya on and trust me, your afternoon will be made.
One of the other items I was excited for had to be the Coconut Bun. As someone who loves coconut with a burning passion, I couldn’t be more excited to tear into this. Like many of Jie Bakery’s creations, they are as old-school as they can get. This bun was filled generously with shredded coconut—in fact, caramelised shredded coconut, which was ten times better.
Coconut is already excellent on its own, but baking or cooking your coconut will allow those flavours to deepen and intensify. What you get is a more concentrated nutty flavour that perfectly compliments the sweet roll. Needless to say, this was polished off pretty quickly.
For anyone who loves red bean, this Japanese Red Bean Bun is a godsend. Japanese red beans tend to be sweeter and less starchy than the usual kidney beans you find in some local desserts. Usually, with anything red bean, it tends to be overly sweet or extremely bland.
Jie Bakery has managed to find that ‘sweet’ spot, where the red bean paste is nicely balanced. For someone who isn’t partial to red beans, I found myself enjoying this bun quite a bit.
There is something endearing and utterly charming about Jie Bakery, whether it’s their colourful loaves or the fact that they been around for 30 years, Jie Bakery exudes heart and earnestness that can’t be replicated elsewhere. If you want to enjoy some tasty loaves or would like a walk down memory lane, then I urge you to visit Jie Bakery.
After all, in our fast-paced F&B business, where massive food chains come and go, it is still these traditional, homegrown places that we’ll always come back to.
Expected Damage: S$1.20 – S$4 per pax
Our Rating: 5 / 5
123 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534837
123 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534837