Featuring Bakery Brera & Fine Foods, Joy Luck Teahouse (ION Orchard), Banh Mi Thit by Star Baguette
Terence Ong
Terence Ong

How many of you love banh mi? The Vietnamese variant of the ubiquitous baguette, it’s usually filled with meat and vegetables of your choice. The humble Banh Mi Thit by Star Baguette in Geylang is one of the better places for banh mi in Singapore. And you can tell as it’s frequented by the local Vietnamese community.

A good banh mi is one that’s crispy and crusty on the outside while the inside is light, soft and airy. Banh Mi Thit hits all the right notes. When I took my first bite, I could feel the crunchy texture.

They make their banh mi from scratch and it’s evident as you’re greeted by the delicious aroma as you walk into the shop.

Choose from pork, ham, egg, beef and chicken. I had the ham banh mi which contained slices of ham and sliced pork belly. It’s slathered with a layer of pork liver pate (yum) and filled with coriander, pickled carrots and daikon, onions and chilli. A special seasoning sauce is drizzled on the ingredients to finish off.

My friend had the chicken banh mi.

Any variety sets you back $4.50. It’s extremely affordable for a pretty gourmet sandwich by Singapore standards. Top up $1 and you’ll get a drink including Vietnamese coffee.

The humble Bo Lo/ Pineapple Bun (菠蘿包) is one that you can find in most bakeries in Hong Kong and overseas Chinatowns. Joy Luck Teahouse has brought in these bo lo buns from Kam Kee Cafe (金記冰室). And to quench your thirst, try the HK Milk Tea (奶茶).

Bo Lo Bun ($2/$2.80 with butter or luncheon meat). Golden brown in colour. Expect a crisp, crumbly, sugary crust that resembles like a pineapple but without any pineapples. The dough itself is extremely soft as they add water roux/ tangzhong (湯種) - heating flour and water to form a paste. I wonder if they add lard like it’s done traditionally though.

To enjoy the full cha chaan teng (茶餐廳) experience, add a slice of butter. Then you can have your Bo Lo Yau (菠蘿油).

So I’ll begin my BREAD series. I’ll dedicate my first post for this series to panettone - an Italian bread that’s eaten during Christmas. It’s a tall, dome shaped bread that’s speckled with dried fruit and candied citrus peel. A good panettone should be super, duper light, soft and fluffy just like how @bakerybrera does it.

A 500g panettone set me aside an astounding $42. Probably the most expensive bread that I’ve ever paid in my life but Christmas is only once a year. So why not?

Some history about panettone. Originating from Milan in the 15th century, the version we are familiar with became popular in the early 20th century by Angelo Motta. It’s now eaten by Italians all around the world during the holiday season.

It may not be the most well-known bread in Singapore although you can find packaged ones at NTUC or Cold Storage all these years. It’s not exactly affordable too when it’s available.

P.S. Was hoping to get their stollen but it was sold out by the time I went so settled for this instead.

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The camera always eats first. Instagram: @eaterries

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