Balmoral Bakery: 58 year-old bakery sells rarely found sugee cake & old-school bakes in Clementi
Something about old-school bakes appeals to me. I’m not sure if it’s the nostalgia that I feel, or if it’s just tasty. But we need to realise that before all the gelatos, croffles and burnt cheesecakes existed, old-school confectioneries were the OG.
Founded in 1965 by a group of Hainanese ah kors (brothers), Balmoral Bakery has been churning out traditional bakes since then. Over here, you’ll find old-time favourites that are rarely found, as well as pastries that are still fan favourites!
Framed by brick walls and a red signage hovering on top of their stall, Balmoral Bakery is such a recognisable icon. The traditional bakery, which is located at Sunset Way, has been serving bites of traditional Eurasian bakes to the people of Clementi.
I was like a kid in a candy shop when I stepped into their space. Greeted with a literal myriad of bakes, I was spoilt for choice. There were different sections at every corner, such as creamed cakes, tarts and puffs, buns, and fried food. Where do I start?
I especially love entering bakeries because I’m usually mesmerised by the thick sweet, yeasty aroma that they’re masked in, so it was no surprise that I was immediately drawn to the sweet section first. Lucky for me, I limited myself to a number of bakes. Because if you know me, I have no self-control when it comes to sweet things. It was very possible that I could snag them all… especially with how good they smelt!
Fortunately, I kept my eyes on the ones that I shortlisted. While I might have gotten distracted by these vibrant looking Mini Cupcakes (S$0.60), I practised discipline and limited myself in grabbing almost all of these.
What I tried at Balmoral Bakery
With difficulty, I settled on the few pastries that I truly wanted to try, and picked a variety from their best sellers to personal favourites to classic Singaporean sweet treats. With whole spreads at every nook and corner, I literally stood in the store for a good half an hour.
If you see that huge slice of cake at the corner, that’s Sugee Cake (S$7 per slice). Call in early to reserve a slice if you’re looking to try it— it’s rarely found in Singapore now. This is an Eurasian delicacy that I was very excited to try since I tasted it before at my friend’s place. To break it down, it’s essentially an almond-vanilla cake, with a splash of brandy.
For a slice, this was hefty. Their slice is literally a quarter of the whole cake, so the cost is justifiable. In comparison to typical vanilla chiffon cakes, this was denser, coarser and very much more flavourful. The difference is the use of semolina flour, which makes it much more nuttier. Yum!
In the same vein, I had the Pandan Chiffon Cake (S$1.50). As an avid lover of pandan cakes, I would like to declare my credibility in judging these decadent delights. To compare, Balmoral Bakery’s pandan cake was slightly different than the ones I’ve had previously. It was denser in texture, almost similar to a kueh, but not quite!
However, with that being said, I realised the density was directly proportional to its flavour, as the creamy coconut and banana leaf fragrance exploded in my mouth. Thumbs up from me!
Despite Balmoral Bakery’s geographical situation where it’s plonked amongst modern bakeries, we appreciate how true they’ve stay to themselves and their bakes. The Napoleon (S$1.50) is commonly seen in trendy bakeries where they complicate its taste, yet their version retains a level of simplicity.
Like a wafer snack, the puff pastry is layered between vanilla custard. The top layer is then glossed with white chocolate and dark chocolate, but their version wasn’t as sweet as I thought it would be!
Onto the savoury section. After hearing good things about their Chicken Samosa (S$1.50) and pies, I had to grab those to try it myself.
Their crust was not as flaky as most of their sweet pastries, and this was slightly thicker. But what I appreciated with this dish was its sweet curry filling. Mixed with bits of potatoes, it reminded me of Old Chang Kee’s ‘Curry O’ curry puff. Except this was in a samosa form!
Like I said, something about old-school bakes gets to me. It’s the whole long line of heritage that I appreciate and identify with as I bite into one of those flaky puffs.
Clearly, many people around me valued that too. Its reputation since the olden days has been positive and it was very clear to me from its large group of patrons salivating from their golden pastries. They know the definition of cherishing it before they’re gone.
Expected damage: S$1.50 – S$7 per pax
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10 Old-School Confectioneries & Bakeries in Singapore To Visit Before They Close Forever
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