During my break in between jobs, I decided to venture around Singapore’s baking shops. The famous, the expensive, the inaccessible….. I decided to try it all at one go…
Firstly, I notice that there were clustering of certain shops and decided to visit these shops based on a cluster. My “car” was really my pair of legs, so I’ll add in travel directions for those interested to go around using public transport.
I decided to leave Phoon Huat out of the posts as it can be found all over the island.
I went around the island with as little baggage as possible, so as to buy as many things as I wanted. But I realise on hindsight, it may have been useful to bring the following:
a) Sunglass for the sunny walking
b) Umbrella, in case it rains
c) EZ link to travel
d) Address and shop names
e) Trolley, if you intend buy heavy items
f) Google maps for travel directions (just in case)
Cluster 1: Chinatown / City Hall / Arab Street
Sia Huat and Lau Choy Seng
First stop for me was at Temple Street. I took the NEL and stopped at NE4 Chinatown station and walked to Temple Street.
At temple street, we have 2 shops that sell loads of bakeware. Many hotels also come here to stop their supplies and its a place bustling with wares of various sizes. The 2 shops are Sia Huat (No. 7, 9 & 11 Temple Street, Op Hrs 8:30am – 6:30pm) and Lau Choy Seng (No. 23 & 25). Both shops have an amazing array of kitchen knives, plates, bowls, mixing bowls, mixers, bento boxes, pizza hot stone, pau steamers, chopping boards of various materials, size and width. Some of the shots I manage to capture include:
Prices at Sia Huat were about 20% cheaper than Lau Choy Seng, despite the shops just being foot steps away. That being said, some of Lau Choy Seng products are different from Sia Huat. If you have time, visit Sia Huat first. If the item you are looking for is not there, then move on to Lau Choy Seng.
I was tempted to get the pizza hot stone ($30 plus) but due to its weight and many more places I wanted to head to, I decided to drop the idea.
My buys from Sia Huat are the Microplane Zest Grater ($28 plus) and the Multi picker ($11 plus for roast pork).
Chong Trading Co Pte Ltd
My next stop was to head to City Hall, Adelphi at Coleman Street. I took a bus from People’s Park Complex and stopped right after Funan, at the bus stop outside Armenian Church. Many buses reach there like 7, 33 and 63. I then walked from the bus stop to Adelphi. Maps of the direction are attached below.
At Adelphi, I visited this shop on the 2nd floor called Chong Trading Co Pte Ltd. (Unit 02-09). This shop has an amazing array of molds! Nordicware molds, Wilton molds. Prices are expensive here for these molds and the “lau ban niang” is the black face arrogant type. If you are looking for a specific mold for your cakes, high chance is that you will find it here.
Kin Soon Company
The next stop I took was to take a bus down to Arab Street to this place called Kin Soon Company (Unit 36), to look for this place that wholesales ribbons. I went back to the bus stop at Armenian Church and a few buses also reach rab Street like bus 33, 63 and 80. I stopped at the bus stop after Victoria Lane, and walked all the way down to the end of Arab Street, near Concourse end.
Kin Soon was like a ribbons heaven to me. I’ve looked around for ribbons but most places sell very limited or standard designs. Here at Kin Soon, I found bundles and bundles of ribbons to buy. The only down side is that you would have to buy whole rim of ribbons but if you share it out among a group, it’s quite ok. The shop uncle is super nice and friendly and his prices are reasonable. About $6-9 per rim, depending on material and width. Here are some shots of the place:
Cluster 2: Bukit Timah / Dunearn
There are 2 baking stores along the Bukit Timah stretch. One is Bake-It-Yourself (BIY) that specialises in teaching fondant handbags and cupcakes, another is TOTTs, that takes some supplies from Sia Huat and also bring in other stuff. Being on Bukit Timah, their prices are slightly more expensive, but not as bad as buying from Lemon Zest and Shermay a Holland Village.
If you have time, you can directly move on from Arab Street to BIY by taking Bus 48 from Rocher Road and stop at the DBS Building. Once reach, you can cross the overhead bridge over to find BIY.
BIY carries a lot of the Wilton products plus a lot of colored sugar and beads that are very nice for cupcake decoration. BIY hold classes on recipes and cake deco but does not come very cheap. What I like most about BIY is that they have a shelf of baking books and a nice coffee table and chair where you can browse and borrow their books to read. Of course, buying books from them is about 25% more expensive then popular or kinnokuniya so I just took down the titles and bought the books separately from Kinno. Even with delivery charges, my home delvered kinno books were still $10 cheaper than the books sold at BIY. Some interesting stuff they have include:
The next stop was to head to TOTTs and I took bus 170 from the opposite side of BIY to go down Bukit Timah.
TOTTs was like an IKEA concept, very big store for kitchenware and appliances, pans, knives, books, baking school, wine holders, kitchen cleaning etc. It also has this eatery beside that has quite good food, a bit small portion though. Not too bad a place to go for weekend makan with the family since parking is free on weekends and public holidays and the place is not crowded. I bought an icing pen holder, silicon mat, specialised bowl to hold my candies, and plastic sticks to hold my fondant figurines. It was a fun experience there!
Cluster 3: Paya Lebar / Kallang
This stretch of the round the island tour started on a 2nd day. It has 3 shops that sell a lot of baking ingredients, essences, flours, purees, pastes etc.
I started out by heading to Ailin Bakery at Tanjong Katong Complex (Unit #01-48). Its walking distance from Paya Lebar mrt.
I went into the complex and went around looking for the shop. Little did I realise the shop entrance was from outside the building, near the bus stop along Tanjong Katong Road. This little shop was like a sparrow, ma que shui xiao, wu zang ju quan. I immediately grabbed a box of its famous pineapple paste, which I would be baking soon to let you know the results. The uncle and his assistant was very friendly and helpful. Uncle shared with me the best butters and stable butters to use. He also shared that for the pineapple paste, I could rub in 100 gm of butter into 1 k of paste to make me taste softer. What a great tip! At the shop, I manage to find a 10inch plastic cake carrier with handles for deliveries. (Disposable type) Didnt see it anywhere else and was pleasantly happy. The shop sells wilton molds at at leas $20 cheaper than Chong Trading (Adelphi) and has many flour mixes and specialises essences such as soursop. For those looking to give an extra umph to their recipes, you could try hop over and get a bottle of their essences.
Gim Hin Lee aka Bake King
This place is just walking distance from Ailin and is the retail outlet for Bake King.
It is located at 10 Haig Road #01-363/365. At GHL, you’ll find a lot of products like essences, flours, baking trays, cake boards, containers and also their own classes. Things are cheaper than NTUC or cold storage and what I like to get from here are 2 things, vanilla essence 500 ml $10.30 and the cake boards, which are harder and more durable complared to Phoon Huat.
My next stop was to head to Kitchen Capers at Kallang Bahru (Block 71 #01-531F Kallang Bahru Singapore 330071). I walked towards the direction of the main road and took bus 26 down and stop after the salvation army.
Kitchen capers has a lot of cupcake holders, cutters, colored chocolates and textured sheets. One thing though is their prices tend to be expensive. For example, a winnie the pooh cutter could cost $25. So unless you cant find your stuff anywhere else, then you may want to grab some stuff from them. For myself, I like their texture wood/fish sheet and house bricks sheet for the fondant stuff I do. I also got some animal cutters that I like from them coz I cant find them anywhere else.
Cluster 4: Holland Village
This part of the tour entered into day 3 of my schedule. I took the circle line down to CC21 Holland Village, where I met one of the MFWL members at the station. We had a great time walking and talking while she led me to Chin Bee Gardens, opposite of Holland Village, to the cluster of baking supplies.
Well, being in Holland Village, naturally things are expensive. Nonetheless, the shop has got very interesting silicon molds, pastry mats, range of mixers and a great library. Again, books are not cheap so it is worthwhile checking out book contents and separately order from kinno or popular. The shop has those arty farty designer chopsticks and stuff, and ice cupcake boxes if you like to present a nice gift.
Shermay Cooking School
2 units away is Shermay Cooking School. They have a small retail area, which I was impressed with the range of chocolate they sell. I provide up to 85% cocoa granulates, which I do not see at other places. Most sell up to 65% cocoa content chocolate. They also sell chocolate transfer sheets here.
Ang Mo Kio
To be updated after visiting Mad Over Heels