Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Nick Vina : The Local Artisanal Bread

With the entry of many foreign established bread brands such as Paris Baguette , Maison Kayser, Paul Bakery, Donq, it is heartening to discover there is still local artisanal bakery like Nick Vina, which strives to produce affordable and good quality French-inspired pastries/bread to the locals.  
(From Right) Vollkorn (a very heavy dense multigrain German bread), wholemeal loaf, milk baguette, etc
Artisanal Breads are healthier than the commercially produced ones because artificial ingredients or preservatives are not used and every single piece is hand crafted by the bakers with minimum ingredients.

The Singaporean chefs have been trained overseas and it was reported in the news that they would sleep at 8pm at night and wake up at 2am to make bread. Indeed, when I report to work every morning, almost all the breads would have been neatly displayed on the shelves, waiting for the hungry customers to get their daily dose of carbohydrates.

Macarons: (from top clockwise) Salted Caramel Apple, Matcha Blueberry, Chestnut Green Tea, Chilli Chocolate & Earl Grey Raspberry
What caught me first was of course the macarons and not the bread. Priced at $1.60-$1.80, these are by far the cheapest macarons in Singapore I've come across. The quality might not be as desirable as other brands but worth every cent that one pays for it.

However, what I think this place does better is still its bread rather than pastries.

 Caramel Marbrees ($2.20)
 Something that you would not be able to find in other places is this Caramel Marbrees ($2.20) Marbrees is similar to a brioche and this one is swirled with salted caramel but not too much. Give it a toast and the aroma was just infectious.

How could a classic Almond Croissant ever be missed?
A test of the baker's skills is always in the croissant. This one is still crunchy and flaky but denser in almond filling as compared to others. It fell slightly short of expectation.
the Kids love this Salted Caramel Mon Cheri ( a financier like cake) $1.20
other flavours include the hazelnut, raspberry......

Very moist but greasy. Would be perfect with more salted caramel goodness in the centre
 
Canele ($2.50)
The best item I had is none other than the big Canele here. Dark golden brown caramelized layer with a soft custard filling. I'm sure the size is the one of the biggest here so far.
 
Framboise ($6.00)
Raspberry Jelly, Cream Cheese Pudding, Vanilla Sponge, feuilettine
As much as I would like to return for the bread, the pastries would not be on the list. The vanilla sponge was rather dry and the base which was supposed to be crunchy did not impress.
 
Nostalgia ($6.00)
Shortcrust Pastry Base, Chocolate Sponge, Orange Grapefruit Marmalade and Earl Grey Jivara Milk chocolate Mousse
The name sounds romantic but one just cannot locate the flavours in the cake. A look at the website suggested much more interesting pastries that resembled those in Japan departments. Sadly, all the cakes on sale now do not correspond to their websites.
 

The range of the items here is wide and also much affordable than the other bakeries in town. Would highly recommend the breads and of course, the Canele to anyone looking for gourmet deli. Even though the crowd here might be difficult to measure up to other places, the dedication of the bakers towards their bread is worth everyone's support.
 
Nick Vina Artisanal Bakery
12 Gopeng Street,
#01-54/55, Icon Village (5 min walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT)
Singapore 078877
Tel : 6224 7848
 

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