My eyes widened and my blood pressure rose as I looked at the basket of Pain au Chocolat sitting on the countertop. My kryptonite. Do.Main Bakery has opened its doors on Tanjong Katong Road and I am excited now that there’s a boulangerie in my fave ‘hood. Heck, the word “boulangerie” itself already gets me giddy coz it’s one of the first words I spotted (with extreme delight!) on the street when I went to Paris. Since then, to me boulangerie is synonymous with Pain au Chocolat.
In addition to croissants, freshly baked baguettes, chouquettes, puff pastries, tarts, Danish pastries, choux pastries and entremets, Do.Main Bakery also serves home-style, casual French dishes. The menu comprises of dishes that pay tribute to the baker’s role during the olden times in France, an era before stoves were invented so meals were cooked in an oven only. These savory offerings are available all day long here.
While baked eggs would not be my first choice for dinner, the Ouefs au Plat (S$15) is certainly apt for brunch or lunch. Dipping the accompanying Mouilletes into the runny yolk is a joyful occasion, especially when it’s so invitingly wobbly and still piping hot from the oven. The crunch from the bread juxtaposed against oozy woozy warm egg yolk is heartwarming to say the least. There’s a choice of either plain, with tomato confit, or with sour cream and bacon. I like the version with sour cream and bacon the most, but it’s just as good with tomato confit too.
Ouefs au plat (Broken Eggs with Mouilletes; with tomato confit)
Ouefs au plat (Broken Eggs with Mouilletes; with sour cream and bacon)
I was pleasantly surprised by the Four Seasons Salad (S$18). A generous portion of julienned carrots, roasted bell pepper, lentils, lettuce, and tomato, not only is this salad colorful it is also satisfying. Not too heavy, yet adequately filling… for me anyway, considering the multi-grain toasts that accompanies this. I don’t have to spell out that it’s also healthy, eh? Yum, lentils.
Then there’s the option for noshing. The Tomato Soup with Garlic Bread (S$6.50) here is a chunky soup that’s been naturally thickened with bread, giving it an unmistakable rustic quality, served with toasted cereal bread on the side.
Other items you can find at the Do.Main Bakery savory menu are Charcuterie Platter (S$20) with three hearty meat options curated by Chef Stephane from Bar-Roque Bar & Grill, so contents may vary depending on what’s seasonal, Croque Monsieur (S$8), Cassolette Oven-Baked Escargots (S$16), Tartiflette (S$16) – oven baked Reblochon cheese with potatoes and bacon, and Quiche Lorraine (S$8/slice). How very French!
Charcuterie Platter, feat. rabbit rillette (:::heart:::), duck terrine w/pistachios, Kurobuta ham.
Cassolette Oven-Baked Escargots with assorted bread basket.
Croque Monsieur: multigrain bread made from 3 different types of flour – wheat, wholewheat, rye – and a mix of pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, layered with Béchamel, Emmental cheese and Kurobuta ham.
Tartiflette: oven baked reblochon cheese with potatoes and bacon.
Every item comes with bread pairing so a meal here can get quite filling. I’m one of those people who rarely touches the bread basket at restaurants because I know I’d be full before the main course arrives. But there’s no escaping from bread here, this is a bakery after all. Flour and other ingredients are specially imported from France and Chef Frederic bakes every morning at the crack of dawn.
There’s an array of desserts to pick from – just go straight to the pastry counter and point – and I sampled a whole bunch of them. The signature Cream Puff with Sugar and Almond Nibs (S$5) is not bad, the textural shell is something different than what I’m accustomed to having.
Out of the tarts available here, the one I found most interesting is the Questche Tart (S$5/slice) – the star ingredient being a dark red plum-like prune. It’s not too sweet, and the flavor is familiar but it’s a fruit I’d never encountered before. Other tarts served here are Apple Tart and Bourdaloue (almond cream with pear slices), also S$5/slice. I guess this is a case of different chefs having different styles; I make my pear-almond tart with a thicker crumbly crust while Chef Frederic’s tarts sport a thinner crispier crust.
While all three Eclair (S$5) flavors are pretty fantastic – Chocolate, Mandarin, Salted Caramel, and so generously filled with cream, my vote goes to the Mandarin. Several weeks back before Chinese New Year, I had a couple of Choux Mandarin [posted on my Instagram] which are the bees knees! They’ve been filled with creme patissiere infused with fresh tangerine juice. So zesty and refreshing; I was pretty blown away by them. If you hurry, you may still be able to get the Choux Mandarin as they are supposed to be a seasonal item. Otherwise go for the Mandarin Eclair which has the same filling.
Chef Frederic, if you’re reading this… how about making them Choux Mandarin a permanent offering in your bakery eh? :)))
Saving the best for last, I am googoogaga over the Pineapple Tart (S$38/small, $58/large). Not the kind you normally see during Chinese New Year obviously. Exquisite and absolutely memorable, this original creation from Do.Main Bakery is made with coconut meringue shell and filled with coconut mousseline, then topped with juicy pineapple. What you see in the photo below is a mini baby size designed for tasting, but normally this is a full-sized tart. Meaning, much bigger + more pineapple + more meringue. (I don’t know what’s with me and meringue lately, I’ve been drawn to it like a moth to a flame.) This tart is light and tropical, the flavor and texture hit a very happy spot in me. Totally kicked me back mentally to my vacation at Riviera Maya sipping free-flow Piña Coladas all day long. Meringue-obsession aside, I can probably finish an entire full-sized tart on my own.
THIS TART! I highly recommend it. But you gotta call in advance to order; bakery’s phone number is listed all the way below.
Btw, the Pain au Chocolat is S$3.50 each. Dangit.
226 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel: (+65) 6348-1406