Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner: 100% Sourdough Savoury Waffles & Creamy Risoni Pasta At Funan Mall

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An institution that begets the pride of Singaporeans, Tiong Bahru Bakery is a household name that equates to flaky croissants on a Sunday morning, and a steaming cup of coffee before you step into the office. Today, it has expanded to encompass quaint coffee joints and recently, a full-fledged all-day cafe, Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner.

With two such concepts already up and running—at Funan Mall and Raffles City—I was anticipating a handful of exceptional recipes to boast about.

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Good enough for a light meal or perhaps a starter to share, the Hot Chicken Salad & Caramelised Pumpkin (S$20) is no boring appetiser, despite its simple ingredients. It’s a wholesome dish, with a slow-cooked chicken breast that was tender enough to cut with a spoon.

The caramelised pumpkin was smoky and sweet, although the wasabi dressing proved to be too tame for my liking. It was a no-frills dish that I would go for as post-workout nourishment or when I’m trying to lean out my diet.

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Vegetarian options need not be dull if you go with the Whole Wheat Spaghettini With Broccolini (S$19). The whole wheat spaghettini really retained its bite, so there’s a textural density in there that made the dish even more moreish.

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The basil and almond pesto was earthy and nutty—an ideal complement to the miso eggplant confit. The flavours were very full and satiating; something that one may not think the dish could possess due to its lack of meat.

Where it lacked in animal protein, the richness of the miso eggplant confit and the pesto more than compensated for it. Not to mention, the liberal shavings of grana padano cheese made for a touch of fattiness that proved that even vegetable-based dishes can be satiating.

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I used to think my absolute favourite pasta was fusilli. But then Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner introduced me to risoni, in the Pulled Pork Creamy Risoni Pasta (S$22). Cooked in a similar fashion to risotto, this dish was a stunner with its savoury and rich pork jus, which was used to cook the risoni.

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Mushroom broth was added as well, creating a hearty and approachable dish with familiar flavours. I experienced a peculiar gratification with this dish; there were instances of silky textures due to the slippery nature of slick pasta, but then there were also moments of denseness from the “heaviness” of the mushroom-pork jus blend.

All in all, my favourite dish of the afternoon from Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner.

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Riding on the wave of holistic eating, the Portobello, Avocado & Hummus Black Sandwich (S$19) is a hand grenade packed with layers of roasted portobello mushrooms, avocado, dhal hummus, shredded pickles, and fresh herbs. I have to be honest and say this: it’s a flavour profile that takes some getting used to.

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If you absolutely love vegetables, you’ll have no problem at all taking a liking to this creation. For those still struggling to incorporate greens into your meals, then the dhal hummus will be your saviour. It was creamy, nutty, and really thick.

The biggest drawback to this hearty sandwich was, however, how the pickles overwhelmed most of the other flavours. There was an obvious struggle between the ingredients to complement each other, let alone shine through, resulting in a rather mediocre sandwich.

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If there’s one dish you absolutely must try (aside from the risoni earlier), their 100% Sourdough Waffle – Savoury (S$23) is it. The mother dough is a whopping 158 years old, and the dough goes through 48 hours of fermentation! I spoke briefly to Chef de Cuisine Paul Albert who explained what the long fermentation process does.

While the dough ferments, lactobacilli break down the sugar maltose present in the flour. As a result, it produces lactic and acetic acids, which slow the rate at which sugars are metabolised in our system. In simple terms, this means that sourdough does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels like most bread do.

Also, many people (not all!) with gluten-intolerances find they can tolerate sourdough due to the long fermentation process which allows water molecules into the gluten strands. This, in turn, reduces and de-intensifies the gluten content of wheat.

Science aside, the waffles here aren’t fluffy like the ones we’ve grown accustomed to. Instead, they’re slightly chewy and denser, although don’t count that as a turn-off. In fact, the chewiness was very satisfying, and I felt more fulfilled with these waffles than I’ve ever had with any other waffles.

The saltiness of the bacon and sweetness of the maple syrup really helped pull the dish together, making this an ideal brunch dish that’s worth that lil’ extra bit of calories.

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Still not convinced by the sourdough waffles? Then a stack of good ol’ pancakes should do the trick. Their Fluffy Brown Butter Pancake – Sweet (S$21) is a triple layer offering of ripe Thai mangoes, lemongrass chantilly, and caramelised almonds, finished with a drizzle of salted butter caramel sauce.

I would say, I was drawn more to this one simply because of the saccharine sweet mangoes; they were impeccably sweet and hard to resist. The pancakes themselves were textbook examples of what pancakes should be—fluffy, airy, and light. The lemongrass chantilly added an aromatic element to an otherwise sweet ending.

Tiong Bahru Bakery already has such an avid following, and I’m glad that their expansion into an all-day diner promises more of the same high standards they’ve set for themselves. If you haven’t visited in some time, their diner outlets are definitely something you should check out.

Come for the mains, but make room for dessert as well.

Expected Damage: S$20 – S$30 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner

107 North Bridge Road, Funan Mall, #04-22 to 25, Singapore 179105

Our Rating 4/5

Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner

107 North Bridge Road, Funan Mall, #04-22 to 25, Singapore 179105

Telephone: +65 6877 4866
Operating Hours: 8am - 9pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6877 4866

Operating Hours: 8am - 9pm (Daily)
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