Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Provence Bakery & Cafe @ Holland Village

A Japanese style bakery, making European pastries.
In a Dutch Village.

It doesn't get any more interesting than this.

Many in the neighbourhood know of this petite bakery. A few doors from Palais' Marmalade Pantry, it's a favourite among expatriates, Japanese in particular.

Colleagues have been telling me about this bakery for the longest time but somehow, I can never find the time to break the belt. The bakery closes at 8.30 pm daily but the wassants are usually sold out by noon, I was told.

A more-expensive-than-thou-tasteless-chow-get-me-outta-here-now dinner on a Saturday night in the Village prompted us to seek consolation in a nice, warm dessert at the Pantry. On the way, we met a beautiful meg ryan. I mean Provence. Serendipity? Oh, that was Kate Beckinsale, wasn't it?

So, what is it with J-bakes? What makes it tick? For me, it's refinement. Somehow, the texture is smoother and the taste is more subtle.

Like the Chocolate and Custard Wassants (S$6 for a pack of 10, if I recall correctly). If the swirling folds don't attract you (we've seen millions of these, haven't we?), the texture will. It was soft, I mean real soft and subtly sweet. The chocolate wassants were more defined with that optimal chocolaty aroma. I kept some for the photography session the next day, making it only softer and more flavoursome. No wonder this is one of the bestsellers.

Technically, this is not sweet. But the texture of the Creamcheese Sesame (S$0.80 per piece) scored, yet again. The pastry was soft and refined, with nice buttery touch. The best part being the generous amount of black sesame adhered to the pastry, creating a mini explosion with every bite. However, the taste could have been more appealing though, as the cheese filling was rather bland.

When in a Japanese (semi or full) bakery, I try to try at least a piece of something with green tea (flavour). So far, Sun Moulin's green tea roll has been quite good. Provence's Green Tea Cake (S$1.50) did not disappoint as the green tea flavour was really dense. Coupled with a hint of sweetness, this moist, little green hulk was rather good. Comparable to the size of a muffin, it was quite worth the price as well.

And after spending almost S$9.00 at Provence, I skipped the Pantry and headed home.

Apparently, there's another new outlet at The Central (Clarke Quay), called Petit Provence. It has a love theme which of course, doesn't appeal to me. Having said that, I will still sacrifice for good food. So, maybe (just maybe), I'll be mushy for once. Ewww...

Anyhow, it's good to know that besides Sun Moulin, there are other good J-bakeries out there. If you know of one, do tell me, ya!

Provence Bakery & Cafe
17A, Lorong Liput
Holland Village
Singapore 277731
Tel: (+65) 6467 6966


ling239 said...

u meant the Chocolate and Custard Wassants turned softer the next day...
i tot it is supposed to be soft :p

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Ahh... to have this at tea-time today would be heavenly... The sesame cream cheese esp. *drools*

I'm all about the mini explosions ... ;)

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Nice effect with the newspapers.

The green tea cake looks delicious. Is it a sponge?

Precious Pea said...

Tarbau one each can ar???

brad said...

i didn't know they got a new branch at central, have to try it out soon. haha


mimid3vils said...

Nic, what is wassants? :P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wassants? the spelling got japaninised? haha..

80cents..what more can i ask for rite?

J2Kfm said...

Holland Village! the memory of that drama still playing in my head. been here for sight seeing only, though not much to see is there?

wei, next time I go Spore, be my (food) tour guide ya? =)

fatboybakes said...

how strange, OH, me and a friend had a big debate years back as to who starred in serendipity....and yes, it was kate beckinsdale. drooling as usual. feel like baking something now so i can eat something warm and sweet. eh, next time i need something from pantry magic in HV can kirim via you hor.

Anonymous said...

i love their wassants too!
try e blueberry cheese & cinnamon roll! my faves as well.
hmmm i heard of the mama bakery at square 2, their signature is the big choc bread! Would love to try it soon! :D

CUMI & CIKI said...

looks good! are you going to take me if i come visit?!

Shell (貝殼) said...

green tea's cake always look attractive to me^^

Nic (KHKL) said...

ling239, oh, it is soft. but it got even softer and flavourful the next day. perhaps the air from the wassants have be released..hehe..i think it was good! ;)

kenny, how i wish i could have that for tea! ok, i'll prefer the wassants. or a plate of indo mee goreng..hehe...

mini explosions? you so notti lar! haha!

lyrical lemongrass, thanks for the compliment, dear! i thought it would be interesting ;)

oh, the cake's not sponge. sorta like buttery cakey. i like the dense flavour of the matcha!

precious pea, tapau? errr, actually can lar. i can buy on friday and bring it back on saturday. when you want it? or how about you coming over to sg? i belanja you makan wassants, ok? hehehe

brad, yeah, me too! it was written in the website. but only on the japanese version. the theme's kinda mushy, though..hehehe

mimi, haha! beats me. i think it should be a japanese word or something liddat lar. i tried to wikipedia it oso cannot find. it's like a breadroll/croissant combo with chocolate/custard layers. nice! ;)

Nic (KHKL) said...

joe, oh, interesting interpretation! i oso dunno what i means but i think it's like a breadroll/croissant thingy lar...hehe

come to think of it, the pastries at provence are not that expensive, hor?

j2kfm, oh, you like that show? and yes, besides that tiny windmill, there's nothing much to see here. but do come for the food! you can find katong laksa here as well.

sure, let me know when you are coming! we should meet up! ;)

fatboybakes, ohhh, that is one helluva serendipity, isn't it? haha! thanks for drooling! pantry magic? oh, i saw that in one of those AFC shows before. sure, you can kirim via me, no problem. as long as it's not a 1 tonne flour milling machine lar! haha! let me know lar. ;)

mspetitebaker, hi, thanks for stopping by! and thanks for the recommendations! will definitely check them out!
mama bakery? i think i've heard of it as well. do check it out and tell us what you think, ya! hehe, i think i'll check it out as well..hehehehe...

cumi & ciki, anytime, anytime! just let me know when you are coming. and we can explore other watering holes in da village as well! ;)

shell (貝殼), me too! perhaps it's that nice bitterness and that wonderful aroma of the roasted tea leaves. well, green tea is afterall, a healthy drink...;)

ai wei said...

have u tried out kyoto J-bread?!
the simple danish loaf but priced at RM 25 (used to be RM 18 only)

Simon Seow said...

Holland Village, hmm.. nice green tea cake. Might go there if I ever go check my teeth in Holland Drive in my uncle's clinic lol.

Big Boys Oven said...

the bread looks so cute . . . tak sampai hati nak makan ia!

Nic (KHKL) said...

ai wei, nope, have not tried before. according to my friends, it was kinda nice, but expensive. wah, now RM25! *pengsan*

simon, oh ya hor, i forgot that your uncle has a clinic there. yupe, good plan. and followed by a dinner at the XO fish noodle rest. ;)

bigboysoven, hehehe...i also tak sampai hati nak makan the wassants. but after a crazy snapping session, gluttony took me over..hehehe

BabyWassant said...

They have another outlet at West Coast Plaza too, Petit Provence, but serves more than the outlet at Central. At West Coast, the design is lot more cosy and has a outdoor seating area as well. Serve toast meals and sandwiches meals as well.. oh, if you are worried about wassants sold out at holland by 12noon, be glad, at this outlet, they just keep baking wassant! Freshly bake in front of you and open till 10pm daily.

Nic (KHKL) said...

thanks for the info, BabyWassant! west coast plaza? ok, got it! will check it out when i'm in the area! ;D