Garden Pastry & Cake: 45-year-old bakery with orh nee cake rolls and old-school bakes in Aljunied
With many new bakeries rising to the forefront of Singapore’s bread and pastry scene, sometimes, I find it the most comforting to visit old-school bakeries that sell nostalgic and unpretentious breads and cakes. One of these bakeries is Garden Pastry & Cake.
Garden Pastry & Cake, located in Aljunied, was founded by Mr Tan Chik Heng and has been operating for over 40 years since 1977. The bakery is famous for its crispy skin yam mooncakes and waffles, which are made fresh to order. Every time I visit the bakery, I always see people waiting to get a taste of their waffles.
Garden Pastry & Cake’s offerings include a variety of cakes, breads and cookies, with flavours that are uncommon among other local bakeries. I had initially intended on purchasing their Sweet Potato Roll and Taro Craqueline Puff, but was informed that they were unfortunately not available at the moment.
What I tried at Garden Pastry & Cake
I started off with Garden Pastry & Cake’s famous Orh Nee Pure Yam Roll (S$4.20), a swiss roll filled with a thick block of yam filling. This wasn’t my first time trying the Orh Nee Pure Yam Roll, so I knew that I would not be disappointed.
Yam lovers will certainly be pleased by this hefty little roll. The yam filling was incredibly thick and smooth, with little bits of yam chunks scattered throughout. It was moderately sweet while retaining the natural earthiness of the yam. I most enjoyed how it did not taste artificial at all.
The cake itself was soft and fluffy, and while I thought the cream tasted a little oily, there was only a small layer that did not distract from the main yam element.
Next, I got the Chocolate Mint Mousse Cake (S$3.20), which consisted of layers of chocolate cake and mint mousse.
The mint mousse had a cheap and oily texture, like most cakes from neighbourhood bakeries. There was a light minty flavour that wasn’t too strong or overwhelming, and as a mint chocolate lover, I found it to be satisfying enough.
The chocolate cake layers were soft but had a very faint cocoa taste. Overall, I found the taste of the Chocolate Mint Mousse Cake to be quite average and small in relation to its price.
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The final cake I tried was the Strawberry Ring (S$3.20), a small circular cake covered in buttercream, peanut pieces and topped with strawberry jam.
The buttercream had a strong buttery taste, making it stand out from the previous two cakes, which had less flavourful creams. The strawberry jam on the top of the cake was thick with a slight jelly-like consistency. While it was on the artificial side, it was pleasantly not too sweet.
I really enjoyed the coating of peanut pieces, as it gave the cake a nutty taste and a crunchier texture.
Like the Chocolate Mint Mousse Cake, I found the Strawberry Ring to be a little too pricey in relation to its small size, but I still enjoyed it very much.
Next, I moved on to Garden Pastry & Cake’s breads, starting with the Yam Bun (S$1.60). Covered in a flaky skin, the Yam Bun looked like the bread version of a crispy Teochew yam mooncake.
The Yam Bun was filled with a generous amount of smooth yam paste. Like the Orh Nee Pure Yam Roll, the yam filling in this bun was very natural-tasting with just the right amount of sweetness.
The flaky layers around the bun were crispy and added a delightful texture to the bun.
This Yam Bun certainly stood out from the typical yam-filled breads from other bakeries, and for only S$1.60, this was worth every cent.
The next bread I had was the Chicken Floss Yam Bun (S$1.80), filled with yam and chicken floss, and topped with egg cream and a small amount of chicken floss.
I was pleased with the generosity of the fillings in the Chicken Floss Yam Bun, as it came stuffed with yam and chicken floss. The chicken floss had a mild sweet and savoury taste, and was very fluffy and soft. The yam filling tasted the same as the one in the Yam Bun, with a natural flavour and smooth texture.
The chicken floss and the yam complemented each other well, and this was also very worth the price. I do wish there could have been more egg cream and chicken floss on top of the bun to add even more savoury flavours to balance out the thick yam fillings even more.
Finally, I ended off with the Coffee Cream Cheese Bun (S$1.50), a bun topped with a coffee cookie and filled with cream cheese. I’ve had my fair share of coffee buns from local bakeries, and this was the first time I’d seen a coffee bun that came with cream cheese filling.
The cream cheese element of the bun did not let me down. The bun was generously filled and the cream cheese was sweet, smooth and creamy.
The coffee cookie layer was quite thin and tasted average, but the cream cheese more than made up for it. It did have a light coffee fragrance that made it even more delicious. Once again, Garden Pastry & Cake impressed me with its affordable yet wonderful selection of breads.
Garden Pastry & Cake certainly stands out from your typical neighbourhood bakery with its generously-filled bakes and rather innovative creations. Their Orh Nee Pure Yam Roll is a must try, and you definitely shouldn’t miss out on their incredible breads too. Garden Pastry & Cake is a gem in the East that is worth the trip down, even if you live in the West!
Expected damage: S$1.50 – S$5 per pax
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