On’Lee Artisan Bakery: Humble MRT bakery has artisanal bakes like Pistachio Croissants under $4

While many Northies in Singapore celebrated the opening of SMRT’s new Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) in April 2022, I celebrated the opening of On’Lee Artisan Bakery, located in Woodlands MRT Station’s new TEL station.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's storefront

I have absolutely no shame in admitting that when it comes to new bakeries, my pastry-loving heart would drop every single commitment I have just to check it out. And so I hopped on the first train down to Woodlands and found On’Lee Artisan Bakery nestled in the freshly constructed station.

With wooden shelves and tables adorning the small space, the bakery gave off a slightly rustic yet elegant vibe right from the get-go.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's bakes

If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m a huge cheapskate. Anything that burns a hole in my pocket also burns a hole in my heart. Hence, you can imagine my pleasure upon realising that basically all the pastries in the display cabinet were under S$4. Score!

image of on'lee artisan bakery's refrigerator section

The exception was the refrigerated section containing the cream puffs, swiss rolls and fruit tarts, which were slightly pricier at S$5 to S$8.50, but were still relatively affordable.

After a long deliberation, I settled on a few pastries and cream puffs that particularly attracted my attention.

The downside to a takeaway bakery like On’Lee Artisan Bakery is that after bringing my pastries home, they had gone a little soft and stale. However, I reheated them in my oven for a few minutes and they became crisp and fresh again.

What I tried at On’Lee Artisan Bakery

image of on'lee artisan bakery's pistachio croissant

First, On’Lee Artisan Bakery’s Pistachio Croissant (S$3.80) intrigued me with its vibrant green cookie crust. I find pistachio desserts rather hard to come by in Singapore, so finding this gem felt akin to stumbling upon a wild Chansey in Pokémon Emerald.

The croissant itself was fantastic, with fragrant, buttery layers and a delightfully crispy golden-brown exterior (after toasting). The lamination of the croissant was absolutely gorgeous, making each bite light and crisp.

The pistachio cookie crust had an unexpectedly strong nutty aroma and an evident pistachio flavour. It reminded me of a crunchier version of Chinese pistachio cookies. 

image of pistachio croissant cross section

Unfortunately, my praises for this pistachio croissant end here, as I encountered a huge problem: the stingy amount of fillings. The extremely thin layer of pistachio butter was easily drowned out by the buttery pastry it was encased in. With it being one of On’Lee Artisan Bakery’s pricier croissants, I was certainly expecting them to be a lot more generous with the fillings.

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image of on'lee artisan bakery's Japanese white sauce croissant

Next, I tried On’Lee Artisan Bakery’s best-selling item, the Japanese White Sauce Ham & Cheese Croissant (S$3.80). Now this did not disappoint.

The Japanese white sauce was creamy with milky undertones, which reminded me of carbonara sauce. The roll of ham, which had silky cheese oozing out of it, was tender and flavourful too. I felt like I was eating the croissant version of spaghetti carbonara.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's japanese white sauce croissant

The biggest accomplishment of this croissant was how it managed to balance so many savoury flavours without being too salty. Despite the creaminess of the white sauce and cheese, I did not find it jelak at all. The buttery, fragrant pastry, combined with the milky and umami flavours of its fillings, made this the perfect savoury croissant.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's oreo chocolate croissant

The final croissant I tried at On’Lee Artisan Bakery was their special of the day, the Chocolate Oreo Croissant (S$3.20). I was surprised to find that this croissant contained cream cheese, with the titular “chocolate” being relegated to just two sticks within the cheese.

image of oreo chocolate croissant's cross section

Generally, I found this croissant rather average. The cream cheese filling was slightly tangy with not enough sweetness to balance it out. Honestly, it tasted store-bought. The chocolate sticks weren’t all that special either, but they did have a rather rich cocoa taste and were heavily reminiscent of pain au chocolat.

I was hoping for the cookie crust to be the saving grace but unfortunately, it paled in comparison to its pistachio counterpart. The cookie had quite a nutty aroma but the lack of a buttery fragrance made it rather one-dimensional.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's banana walnut cake

Moving on from croissants, I opted to try the Banana Walnut Cake (S$2.20)

It was as moist as it looked, boasting a fluffy and slightly spongy texture. While the strength of the banana taste was not as strong as other banana cakes I’ve had, it still had a lovely, aromatic fragrance. The nutty aroma of the crunchy walnuts complemented the cake perfectly.

image of on'lee artisan bakery's cream puffs

To end off my On’Lee Artisan Bakery adventure, I enjoyed a box of Mixed Cream Puffs (S$5.80), containing the flavours of two original, one matcha and one chocolate. Each little morsel of goodness oozed with dollops of tantalising cream on the surface.

image of cross section of cream puffs

The original cream puff had a strong, milky flavour with a hint of a buttery aftertaste. The thin cookie crust layer on the surface of the choux pastry had unfortunately gone soft, but it was still fragrant and sweet.

I moved on to the matcha cream puff, which impressed me with its strong matcha aroma. The cream was a tad bitter without being too overwhelming. Compared to other matcha cream puffs I’ve tried, the cream is not as sweet and milky, making it a fantastic treat for matcha purists.

The chocolate cream puff was my personal favourite. It boasted a light, slightly malty flavour similar to that of Milo. Within the cream were many tiny chocolate chips, which were a delight.

Final thoughts

image of on'lee artisan bakery's pastries

Affordable yet artisanal bakes are hard to come by in Singapore. Fortunately, On’Lee Artisan Bakery offers an affordable selection of baked goods that manage to be atas without burning a hole in your pocket. I was generally impressed by the quality of the bakes, especially given their price point, and will definitely return for their other bakes.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$8 per pax 

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Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

On'Lee Artisan Bakery

11 Woodlands Square, Woodlands MRT Station TE2, #B1-07, Singapore 737736

Our Rating 4/5

On'Lee Artisan Bakery

11 Woodlands Square, Woodlands MRT Station TE2, #B1-07, Singapore 737736

Telephone: +65 6908 7069
Operating Hours: 8am - 8pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6908 7069

Operating Hours: 8am - 8pm (Daily)
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