Dough & Grains is Singapore’s very first bakery to specialise in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) breads. Its flagship store, found along Seng Poh Road, is located opposite of Tiong Bahru Market, specifically the taxi stand; find the taxi stand, and you’ll find the bakery on the opposite side of road.
Just some background information, the bakery opens from 7.30am – 9.30pm each day, and they have limited seats available for dining-in. They also recently opened a new outlet at Chinatown Point. All of their breads are also reasonably priced; the most expensive bread costs SGD 2.30, while their other breads cost around SGD 1.90. Not only are their breads affordable, they are some of the softest and fluffiest I’ve ever eaten as well. Here’s a list of the bread I sampled, as well as my thoughts on them:
Banana Kick – this one had bananas and red bean filling in it. I had expected the bread to be cloyingly sweet, but instead I found it light to the taste. I really appreciated that the red bean filling was not too sweet, given that it was paired with bananas that were already sweet to begin with. It even made me wonder if they added sugar at all, or simply relied on the natural sweetness of the ripe fruit. Definitely one of my favourites!
Coconut Raisin – this one had grated coconut folded into the bread as well as raisin toppings. This bread is one of the “stronger” tasting ones compared to their other offerings, like Banana Kick, which was “lighter” in terms of flavour. The grated coconut filling is sweetened with gula melaka (palm sugar), and hence the stronger flavour. I liked that their raisin toppings are bigger and juicier compared to those found in other more established bakeries.
Eight Treasures – this is the most expensive item (SGD 2.30) on sale there. It is a black sesame bun with 8 different toppings: macadamia, walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white sesame seeds, almonds and cranberries, hence the name. This one was a huge hit for the nut-lovers in my family.
Homemade Sweet Potato – this one has purple potato and Japanese sweet potato folded into the bread, which is coincidentally shaped like a potato =P This is another of their “lighter” offerings that isn’t sweet at all. The pumpkin seed toppings lend an extra crunch to the soft, fluffy bread.
Jade Lychee – this green-coloured bread derives its colour from matcha-flavoured dough, and is filled with apricot and lychee meat. This one was a huge disappointment. I think it was largely because of the apricot bits inside that left a strong bitter aftertaste. I couldn’t pick up any hint of matcha flavour from the bread; neither could I taste any of the lychee bits this bread was named after.
Lotus Green Bean (Salted) – as the name suggests, this bun is filled with salted green bean paste, and topped with a slice of dried lotus root. This is also one of the “stronger” tasting breads sold here. I liked that the green bean filling was moist and smooth. The slice of dried lotus root added a nice crunch to the soft and fluffy bread.
Osmanthus Cake – this cake is laced with osmanthus flowers, and it costs only SGD 2.00 for a loaf. This cake is low in sugar and light to the taste, and you can smell the sweetness of the osmanthus with each bite you take. Even though I left the cake in the refrigerator for 2 days, the cake still maintained its soft and fluffy texture. It almost felt like I was eating bread rather than cake!
Yin & Yang – this bread has black sesame filling, and is topped with white sesame seeds. I wasn’t really impressed with this offering either. Rather than blending nicely, I felt that the aroma of the white sesame seeds overpowered the flavour of the black sesame filling.
That wraps up my thoughts on the bread I sampled! Don’t ever let the TCM label put you off, because they do sell conventional buns that have Pork or Kaya (egg jam) fillings as well! Overall, I find the quality of breads baked by Dough & Grains to be very impressive. Coupled with the affordable pricing, I would definitely be back for more!
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