La Levain bakery in Jalan Besar
Pastry enthusiasts, there’s a new kid in town: La Levain. Headed by an ex-Bakery Brera and Keong Saik Bakery pastry chef, the newly opened brunch cafe and bakery is located within the Jalan Besar locale—around five minutes by foot from Bendemeer MRT Station.
Walk inside and you’ll be welcomed by a row after row of freshly baked viennoiseries in the form of sweet and croissants, Danish pastries, and cruffins. Visually, this bakery takes the cake with their beautiful plethora of options available.
Executive Chef Wythe Ng boasts over 18 years of experience under his belt, cutting his teeth as Head Chef at cult favourite pastry shop Bakery Brera. Here’s another interesting fact: Chef Wythe was also one of the co-founders of Keong Saik Bakery!
It’s carb heaven here, with an extensive menu ranging from French laminated classics, to interesting Asian-inspired flavours. Start with the simple French Butter Croissant ($3.50+), before moving on to the signature double-baked renditions.
The Hojicha Mochi Croissant ($6.80+) gets our stamp of approval for its deep and intense roasted tea flavour, but the real star of the show is the Bo Bo Cha Cha Croissant ($6.50+), which I believe is the first of its kind to surface in the local pastry scene.
Included are the main ingredients in a bowl of bubur cha cha, but the components are less sweet than the traditional dessert. Chunky yam and sweet potato cubes are tucked into the centre of the pastry, along with a soft coconut mochi—you get the gist. The result is a satisfying bite that’s worth every mess.
For some, the flavours may not seem to gel well on the first bite as there’s a lot going on, but once you give it a second shot, the familiar fragrance and sweetness of the root vegetables shine through, with the laminated pastry acting as a backdrop for the hearty fillings.
Those without a sweet tooth are not left out either; the savoury viennoiseries are equally good, with highlights such as the Four Cheeses and Ham Croissant ($6.20), and our favourite, the Pommery Mustard Sausage Croissant ($5).
Bakery Brera is best known for their cruffins, so you can only expect Chef Wythe’s version to be of the same standard, or if not, better. Dive into the Matcha Cruffin ($4.80+), which interweaves croissant layers with a robust matcha cream that oozes out upon slicing. Thanks to the premium tea powder sourced from Matchaya, the matcha notes in the cream are extra gao and earthy, contrasting the sweet pastry dough and rich buttery layers.
Other noteworthy picks from the cruffin list include the Pistachio Salted Caramel ($4.80+), which comes with a subtly nutty glaze, and the refreshing Citrus ($4.60+).
Thankfully, caffeine addicts can get their fix here; wash everything down with a Mocha ($6.50+) or White Coffee ($4.80+), or pair your croissant with a strong espresso ($3.80+). There’s also a brunch menu available till 2pm, with mainstays such as Avocado Tartine with Egg ($14+) that incorporates their signature sourdough, and Peanut Butter Tartine ($8+), which features housemade peanut butter raspberry jam.
Jalan Besar is home to plenty more bakeries and cafes. For cheap muffins in the area, check out Uggli Muffin’s second outlet. Alternatively, read our Main Street Commissary review for affordable cafe brunch in Jalan Besar!
Address: 23 Hamilton Rd, Singapore 209193
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 8:30am to 6:30pm
Tel: 9822 3924
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This was a media tasting at La Levain.