Saturday, May 4, 2013

Public Garden Flea Market @National Museum

 
 
Do you know Singapore holds several flea markets each month? if you are a frequent flea market hopper, then I'm sure you must be familiar with the Public Garden event held on every last weekend at the National Museum.

I thought the Public Garden would be situated outdoors but it turned out to be in an air-conditioned open space on cemented grounds. The stalls are arranged in two rows facing each other, leaving the in-between space for visitors to browse the goods.


The various stalls are operated by independent businesses, mostly online, or established shops. From barang barang like slippers, cameras to designer items, one can easily find some stalls that he/she is interested.

As for me, it's all about food! What else? Haha...especially since I've learnt that many are home/online bakeries, which means I can't try them unless I order it bulk( equals impossible as I can't finish them alone).


After browsing at all stalls, I realized no stalls were selling truly savoury snacks except for the healthy rice crackers by Snack Up. Second, they are either cupcakes, cookies, bread or buttercakes with frosting. These are non-refrigerated cakes, so don't expect mousse cakes or cream puffs. Thirdly, some stalls offer food tasting, some don't (but it depends on your luck, your age and the mood of the owners)


 

Overdough, the bakery-bistro shop of Artichoke, was the first place I wanted to check out. Though their hummus dip and flatbread was not available, they have a variety of very crunchy baklavas ($6.40/pair) and some tarts.

 

 
I wanted something savoury, and the cinnamon-roll lookalike bun called "Sweet Mother of Bacon" ($7.50) caught my eyes. According to the staff, it is not usually available at their main shop. 

 
The bun, after some reheating at home, was sinfully divine. Imagine cinnamon roll except that the cinnamon sugar are replaced by chunks of bacon. The top was nutty, sticky, and tasted like bak kwa, thus making this sweet-savoury treat worth every single calorie.

Overdoughs: www.facebook.com/overdoughss
 

Speaking of cupcakes, you can't miss Plain Vanilla, which was also selling coffee cakes(not coffee-flavored cakes but a term used for buttercakes with frosting) or bundt cakes ($4) and peanut butter brownies ($5 /slice). Instead of cupcakes, I bought the hazelnut cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel sauce($5).
 
Call me a cake snob but I am very concerned about how cakes are handled, thus the horror when my cake was ruthlessly wrapped in parchment paper like bakwa, stuffed into the brown bag. (I would not even have bothered if it is a bread or cookies as they do not disfigure easily)
 
I ended with a squashed cake, which obviously could not have stood in the bag without any supporting cardboard. Fortunately, it was the least sweetest cake out of those I've bought. Aromatic, with some dry crumbly edges.

PV: www.facebook.com/pvbakery


Confecti, was another shop with jar cakes($6) like Grin affair, with the exception that the jar does not contain mousse. Their potato chips cookies ($3) had the best texture and balanced flavor. But the Strawberry and Champagne Macaron ($2.80) was sweeter than an average one, literally a sugar bomb.

Confecti: https://www.facebook.com/confecti


Shortly established in 2012,  Kek is a home-based bakery run by owner Ann. Her cakes are generally buttercakes with a layer of frosting and I noticed that her carrot cakes were running out!


The Pandan cake in gula Melaka buttercream ($5), was cheaper than the average price of $6 but it has only 2 layers. The green cake was very fragrant, and with a finer texture. However, little did I expect the cake to be so sweet that I found it hard to swallow.


Its signature salted caramel chocolate tart ($5) was well-baked biscuit shell filled with caramel at the base. Perhaps, a few touches of salt in the caramel or a more intense chocolate layer would break the uniform sweet taste. I was surprised to learn that its cupcakes are sold at Penny University, a cafe in East Coast.


Fortunately, the sweetness of the green tea sables and chocolate almond sables ($4/ bag) are well-controlled but slightly hard.

Kek : www.fb.com/eatkek


The Butterscotch Cookies ($3.50/100g/pack) by Chunky Cookie had a very nice brittle texture but were too heavy-handed on the sugar. Other flavors such as white choc mac, peanut butter and even the low sugar wolf berry ones faced similar problem.

Chunky Cookie: www.chunkycooky.com


Maple and Market is a shop that will be opening soon. Peanut butter chocolate cake was a hot-seller that day. The elderflower bundt cake looked attractive shaped in a dainty flower.


But my eyes landed on the Popcorn Caramel ($6.50) which is a plain buttercake decked with caramel cheese ganache. The cake layer was not dry but lacked character(perhaps not enough or missing vanilla/eggs). It was a relief that the popcorn stayed crunchy.
 
Maple and Market: https://www.facebook.com/mapleandmarket


I wanted to buy the red velvet whoopie pie from the stall called "Red Chocolate" but ended up buying the Sweet and Salty Caramel Cake($6) as I could not resist caramel.

And I thought I made the right choice. This 2-layer caramel cake, similarly frosted with caramel cream cheese (not buttercream), had the most pillowy texture and intense caramel flavour that not too sweet.  In fact, this cake was the BEST out of all the cakes I've tried at the flea market as it had the right ratio of cake to cream and was not heavily rich like pound cakes.
 
Red Chocolate Bar : https://www.facebook.com/redchocolate.sg


Shers Kitchen was the stall selling only macarons. The flavors, especially the pork floss were interesting but could not bear to pay $3 for the tiny piece. 
 
Website: http://www.sherskitchen.com/

 
Bakerz@work is a stall that was selling biscotti, French bread and baking ingredients. They conduct baking classes which may appeal to those interested in baking.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/BakerzWork/347973101964903 

Conclusion:
While the pastries from these budding entrepreneurs do have hits and misses, I think this flea event is a very good platform for anyone to pursue their passion in baking and also for audience to know these stalls better. I never knew there were so many online bakers in Singapore and was so eager to try all their bakes. Yes, greediness led me to buy and consume these cakes all by myself but I never regretted :) With that, I hope to try more home-made goodies in future!

The Public Garden is a flea event held on the last weekend of every month at the National Museum. check out the next one in May!

The Public Garden
http://www.public-garden.com/index.php

**Dairycream is now on Facebook. "Like" the page to for the latest updates and food news=D Thank you!
 

8 comments:

  1. Emmmm this public garden flea market seems "yummy" and interesting. I have saw some photos over 2 months on those bake and they do look good. Shall pop-by this month end to check them out. Thanks for sharing this Li Tian :)

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    1. Hi Ellena,

      Thanks alot for reading! You are absolutely welcome, it's my pleasure to share these food with everyone:) If time permits, I will be heading down again in May, if not in June! Haha:p I f u are thinking of selling your bakes, I'm sure you'll have very good business!!

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  2. Happened to drop by your blog....My eyes were popping out and straining to have a closer view of these many variety of desserts! Love the detailed post =D

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alvin,

      Thanks for reading my blog. I am sorry that the photos have taken you some effort to scrutinize:p...hehe there were simply too many desserts to capture that day.

      I usually upload the full album of raw pictures for every post on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Dairyandcream so that readers can have a better view.

      Feel free to connect on facebook if you are interested:) Hope you stay tune for future posts.

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  3. love museum flea markets :) been to two so far... oh..this is your fellow foodie pal on IG.. @eileen_eats heheh ..:)

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    1. Hello Eileen!

      Haha..thanks for popping by to read my blog. I didn't know you were writing a blog too. I've went to the recent one at Hill Street but hmm, sadly not too many cake shops participated. HOpe to bump into you in future flea events! :)

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  4. hi how would you know when its going to be happening? love to know when this will happen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Diana,

      You can check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/publicgarden! The next one is taking place this weekend! Don't miss it :D

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