Starter Lab: Famous Bali Bakery Serving 3-Cheese Toast & Avocado Bawang On Sourdough In Tiong Bahru


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Apart from beaches, Bali abounds with bakeries and health cafés. One of them, Starter Lab, has set roots here in Singapore—its only other outpost apart from its residence in Bali.

Joining the bevvy of cafés in Tiong Bahru, it sets itself apart by selling crusty sourdough made with the mother starter that originated in Bali.

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The space itself isn’t very large, fitting only a handful of tables and one large communal table that sits centre-stage to the café.

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The walls are adorably adorned with snapshots of working life at Starter Lab Bali, allowing guests a glimpse into the tiresome (but rewarding) hours the crew puts in to create homemade bread for their customers.

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What’s even better is, after their main door shuts at 5.30pm, customers can still walk up to their outdoor counter to buy bread.

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The Salmon Smørrebrød (S$16) is a familiar dish to me, having grown up in a Swedish step-family and commonly having that for breakfast when in Stockholm. The Danish rye it sits upon was a dense carb, nutty and gritty for a great textural contrast to the silky smoked salmon.

The house-made pickle added a great acidic balance and the peppering of sumac thrown in gave it a slightly herbaceous aroma. Overall, if you are okay with hard bread, then you’ll have no issues with the roughness of the bread. Otherwise, you may just grumble about how tough it is.

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For the adventurous, there’s the Avocado Bawang (S$12), with smashed avocado, sriracha, and fried shallots. It may sound like an odd combination, but trust me on this—it’s worth your curiousity.

The creaminess and fattiness of the avocado rounded out the tang of sriracha, while the fried shallots gave every bite a satisfying crispness (on top of the already-crunchy bread).

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After watching the movie, ‘Chef’, a grilled cheese sandwich is something I constantly am on the hunt for. The Starter Lab 3 Cheese (S$19) may be a tad pricey to some but all will be forgotten the moment you take your first bite.

With a combination of Emmental, cantal, and Mimolette, the stringiness and satiety were undeniable. I could hear the crunch of crust against teeth ringing in my head, and the chewiness of all three kinds of cheese combine made for a gratifying chew.

For those wanting a smack of spiciness to go along with your cheesy snack, the complementary pickled jalapeños should do the trick!

It was such a heartwarming, yet simple creation.

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If you favour sweeter breads, their Honey Mascarpone (S$14) is a must-try. Made with house-made mascarpone, honey (that’s sustainably-sourced), crushed walnuts, bee pollen, and black sea salt, this delicious snack is something I could have every day for breakfast.

The mascarpone was surprisingly light, which contrasted splendidly with the syrupy honey. The black sea salt helped to enhance the honey’s sweetness, but without resulting in a cloying impression.

Besides their amazing toasts and loaves of bread, their coffee is also brewed by the lovely people at Anther by Glasshouse. So even if bread isn’t the name of your game, the coffee here is good enough a reason to visit!

Expected Damage: S$15 – S$25 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Starter Lab

721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645

Our Rating 4/5

Starter Lab

721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645

Telephone: +65 9839 0408
Operating Hours: 8.30am - 5pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 9839 0408

Operating Hours: 8.30am - 5pm (Daily)
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