Old school bakeries may not have Insta-worthy interiors or a cushy, air-conditioned environment. However, they retain the irresistible charm of a bygone era, filled with the aromas of freshly made bread and pastries. In addition, these bakeries bring back our happy and carefree childhood memories.
Unfortunately, these bakeries are fast becoming a thing of the past as owners without successors are forced to shutter their stores.
At DiscoverSG, we embarked on a mission to hunt down these wonderful bakeries so you can taste their delicious confections without breaking the bank.
1. Balmoral Bakery
When you have a bakery as old as Singapore, you know you are in for some tasty confection.
Balmoral Bakery was started by Hainanese “Ah Kohs” (translates into “big brothers”) in 1965 to complement Holland Village’s Balmoral Steak House. Since then, Balmoral Bakery has continued its tradition of making bread by hand.
With an amazing array of over 40 types of breads and cakes, Balmoral Bakery will capture the hearts of even the pickiest pastry lovers.
Some of the signature items at Balmoral Bakery include chicken pies, curry puffs and samosas.
Also, don’t leave without a slice of their moist and fluffy old school cakes. Most of Balmoral Bakery’s cakes and breads are priced between $0.80-$1.50, so you’re in for a treat!
Address: Blk 105 Clementi St 12 (Sunset Way), #01-08
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 8.00pm daily
Contact no.: 6779 2064
2. Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
Many East Coast residents grew up tucking into breakfast at Chin Mee Chin. This humble little bakery has been around for more than a decade but not much has changed in terms of its interior.
Unlike most coffee shops or bakeries serving kaya toast, Chin Mee Chin differentiates itself by its popular kaya buns. Add some fluffy custard buns, egg tarts and a cup of coffee to complement the kaya buns and you have a breakfast of champions!
If you are patronising Chin Mee Chin, do come early as it is often crowded and popular items tend to get sold out quickly.
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
Address: 204 East Coast Road Singapore
Opening Hours: Tue–Sun: 8.00am – 4.30pm (Closed on Mondays)
3. Gin Thye Cake Maker
Founded in 1964, Gin Thye Cake Maker is a Teochew bakery that offers a variety of traditional goodies and confections. It is also known to sell reasonably priced Guo Da Li pastries–betrothal gifts that the groom presents to the bride’s parents to acknowledge their efforts in raising the bride.
Their wedding cakes range from $9 for a heart shaped marble cake, walnut cake and butter cake to $12 for a sponge cake.
For those with a taste for traditional old school pastries, Gin Thye sells Wu Se Tang (伍色糖), Lao Ma Gao (老妈糕), Lao Gong Bing(老公饼 ), Da Lao Bing(大烙饼) and traditional Cantonese biscuit, Si Se Bing (四色饼).
If you buy many Guo Da Li items from the shop, the owner will also lend you their traditional Chinese wedding basket for free for your Guo Da Li ceremony!
Gin Thye Cake Maker
Address: 423 Sembawang road Singapore 758392
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 8.00am – 8.00pm
Sun & Public Holidays: 8.00am – 5.00pm
Contact no.: 6257 1566
Address: 632 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 #01-964 Singapore 560632
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 24 hours
Sun & Public Holidays: 24 hours
Contact no.: 6458 0206
Address: Block 152 Bukit Batok Street 11 #01-264 Singapore 650152
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 24 hours, Sun & Public Holidays: 24 hours
Contact no.: 6899 6929
Address: Blk 513 Bishan Street 13 #01-504
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat: 6:00am – 10.30pm , Sun & Public Holidays: 6:00am – 10.30pm
Contact no.: 6255 6362
4. Ng Kim Lee Confectionery
With more than 60 years of experience, Ng Kim Lee Confectionery is famous for old school style Western cakes and Teochew pastries. Some of their specialties include Pandan cake, cheesecake, egg tarts and zebra cake.
If you love muffins, then you can’t miss their palm sized muffins that come in an assortment of flavours such as banana, pandan, lemon and chocolate. What’s more, these muffins cost less than $1 apiece so be prepared to splurge and forget about that diet for the time being!
Ng Kim Lee Confectionery
Address: 4 Chun Tin Road, Bukit Timah, Singapore 599591
Contact no.: 6466 3515
5. Sing Hon Loong Bakery
Located in Whampoa, Sing Hon Loong Bakery is one of the only few bakeries that bake their loaves of bread the traditional way. Pay them a visit and you may catch the staff slicing the bread by hand, before they are displayed at the counter.
At DiscoverSG, we simply adore Sing Hon Loong’s white bread, which is as soft as a pillow!
Toast lovers will be happy to know that Sing Hon Loong supplies Ya Kun’s bread. So buy a loaf of Sing Hon Loong’s white bread and pair it with kaya spread (which they also sell) for a breakfast that will chase your Monday blues away.
Sing Hon Loong Bakery
Address: 4 Whampoa Dr, Singapore 327715
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Contact no.: 6256 0878
6. Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry (Galicier Confectionery)
Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry is another delightful find on our list. It sells nonya kuehs, cakes and pastries. Like the other old school bakeries above, it has stood the test of time and is now run by fourth generation owners.
According to the owners, the secret to their best selling kueh bangkits is fresh coconut milk. To create the perfect crumbly kueh bangkit, the owners use the coconut milk as soon as they buy it.
Apart from kueh bangkit, Tiong Bahru Galicier’s kueh dadar (sweet nonya pancake roll) seen above is another note-worthy pastry. The exterior of the kueh dadar is oh-so-soft and it is layered with grated white coconut filling for an added crunch.
Tiong Bahru Galicier Pastry Bakery
Address: Blk 55 Tiong Bahru Road #01-39 Singapore 160055
Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 10.00am – 9.00pm
Contact no.: 6324 1686
7. Tong Heng
Westies rejoice! We have found a gem of an old school bakery in the form of Tong Heng in Jurong Point. This shop was set up in the 1930s (gasp!) and boasts egg tarts to die for.
Unlike the conventional round egg tarts, Tong Heng’s legendary egg tarts are shaped like a diamond with a flaky crust. We like the velvety smooth custard filling that is not overly sweet.
Besides egg tarts, you can get other confections such as Chinese cake with red bean paste, BBQ pork crisps (also known as Char Siew Shao in Chinese) and coconut egg tarts, just to name a few.
Since Tong Heng opens till late, you can get that late night craving fixed during their last baking round at 8.45pm at their South Bridge Road outlet. Just the thought of this makes our mouths water!
Tong Heng Traditional Chinese Pastries Specialist
Address: 285 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058833 Opening Hours: 9.00am -10.00pm
Contact no.: 6223 3649
Address: 1 Jurong West Central 2, Jurong Point Shopping Centre, Singapore 648886
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 10.00pm
Contact no.: 6794 6292
Old school bakeries are fast becoming as rare as unicorns. So hurry and show these bakeries some love before they disappear!
(Top Image Credit: SG Food on Foot)