Hamilton Road is a part of Singapore that is dominated by bakeries and cafes. When wandering along this area, you may pass by La Levain, which dons a bright orange-coloured storefront.
La Levain is an artisanal bakery co-founded by Executive Chef Wythe Ng, who was formerly the head chef at Keong Saik Bakery and Bakery Brera.
In 2022, Chef Wythe was named as a 2022 World Gourmet Awards Baker of the Year finalist, while La Levain was named a 2022 World Gourmet Awards Cafe of the Year finalist.
I visited La Levain on a Friday afternoon and was greeted by an inviting space. La Levain prides itself on baking all its products fresh daily, and even has a glass-encased kitchen where customers can peer in to watch the production of the bakes!
What I tried at La Levain
We started off with one of La Levain’s oven-baked pizzas, which were available from 11am to 3pm. The flavour that we tried was the Pizza Quattro Formaggi (Four Cheese) (S$20.80), consisting of a freshly-baked pizza topped with homemade ricotta, DOP awarded gorgonzola, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and drizzled hot honey.
Despite its relatively simple appearance, my dining companion and I were blown away by the complex flavours of Pizza Quattro Formaggi. Made with a hand-stretched dough that had been fermented for 72 hours, the pizza crust was chewy and light, while the four different cheeses provided different layers of savoury and salty profiles.
The drizzle of honey on the surface of the pizza added just enough sweetness to complement the rich and salty cheese, making this pizza an absolute flavour bomb. This just might have been one of the best cheese pizzas I’ve had!
Next, we moved on to one of La Levain’s most popular baked products, the Pain au Chocolate (S$4.50), filled with three 44 per cent cacao berry chocolate sticks. The Pain au Chocolate was airy and crispy, with a surface that crackled satisfyingly when I cut into it.
La Levain’s Pain au Chocolate had gorgeous laminated layers and an incredibly fragrant buttery taste. Though the chocolate sticks did not occupy much volume within the pastry, the richness of the cocoa could be tasted throughout the entire croissant.
As far as classic French bakes go, La Levain has certainly nailed the famous Pain au Chocolate to a tee.
The bake that excited me the most was the creative Pistachio Burnt Cheese Croissant (S$7.80), made with pistachio puree and burnt cheese filling.
Cutting open the Pistachio Burnt Cheese Croissant was a visual delight, as the generous fillings instantly flowed out to create a stunning green lava.
The burnt cheese filling was creamy with a strong nuttiness from the pistachio and a rich cream cheese flavour. The flaky croissant nicely held the fillings, and I especially enjoyed how unique the concept of the pastry was. Overall, the Pistachio Burnt Cheese Croissant was not too sweet and had an impressive amount of flavour and texture to justify its steeper price point.
Next up was the Muar Otah Danish (S$5.20), one of La Levain’s savoury bakes, encasing chunks of sweet muar otah mackerel. Compared to the croissants, the Muar Otah Danish was a tad drier, but was still incredibly crisp and buttery.
The muar otah filling was mildly spicy and very flavourful. It was not too salty and did not have an overly fishy taste. I enjoyed how juicy and soft the otah pieces were, but I do wish the amount of fillings was more generous for me to be able to better appreciate the otah.
Finally, we ended off with the Speculoos Cruffin (S$5.20), filled with lotus speculoos. Despite being shaped like a muffin, the croissant elements of the Speculoos Cruffin were still evident, with a crispy exterior and a soft, well-laminated interior.
The speculoos fillings were aromatic and rich, with little bits of speculoos biscuits speckled within the cruffin, providing it with both a smooth and crunchy texture. You can’t go wrong with a classic speculoos-based bake, and La Levain’s Speculoos Cruffin is not one to be missed.
The high quality of La Levain’s products was evident from the moment that the bakes were served. The thing that impressed me the most about the artisanal bakery was the creativity of its bakes, making it a bakery that stands out from the throngs of other cafes and patisseries in the area.
It’s no wonder that La Levain exploded in popularity as quickly as it did, and I will certainly return in the future to try their other unique flavours too!
Expected damage: S$4.50 – S$22 per pax
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