A successful bakery chain in Korea that has just opened doors in Singapore with Wisma Atria being their flagship store.
Paris Baguette Hot
c ’est delicieux!
The first thought that comes to mind is that Paris Baguette cannot possibly be French. Elle n'est pas français, ma chère. No self-respecting Frenchman would name his café “Paris Baguette”. Only an Asian would.
Knowing rien at the time about Paris Baguette’s back story (successful café chain in Korea), me and my friend decided to brave the crowd gathered at the entrance for a table of our own. We were attracted by the long queue of customers in front of the bread counter. Every Singaporean knows that where there’s a queue, there’s tasty food.
Despite the long queue at the bread counter and the crowd of gawkers in front of the cake display, service was prompt and polite. The barista coffee was competent but nothing to write home about. The cakes however, were sublime. Quirkily pretty, with great attention to detail. I was quite taken with the bakers' thoughtful flourishes such as syringing syrup glaze into the decorative blackberry on my dessert (the name of which escapes me at the moment) and the smiley face carved into the strawberry perched atop my friend’s chocolate cake (or should I say “gateau au chocolat”). The cake names range from the apt to the surreal: “Sunny Lemon Tart”, “Ha Ha Family” and “Peach” to name a few. Who cares if they're not really French. My verdict: c ’est delicieux!
I am now on a mission to try every cake on display even if it costs me my waistline. That, after all, is what Spanx is for.
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Their royal pudding keeps me coming back for more.
Hear “Paris Baguette” and most would think it comes from Paris; but nope, it originates from South Korea! Other than it’s name, everything else from the employees to cakes to customers just screams “DAE HAN MIN GUK”.
I’ve tried a few of their pastries, but unfortunately most were forgettable. What impressed me were their Royal Puddings. Set in little jars, the pudding was smooth and custard-y, melting in your mouth with each spoonful. The taste of milk was not overpowering, neither was it powdery. The pudding boasts a subtle hint of sweetness that keeps you reaching out for more.
Their clam chowder soup was also a good find, thick and creamy with chunks of seafood. Order it in the bread bowl and it’s filling enough to be a meal on its’ own! If you’re looking to try something from Paris Baguette, these 2 orders will satisfy your tummy and soul.
Bread, Pastries, Buttery goodness
The first time I walked past Paris Baguette, I was attracted to their display of breads and pastries. I knew I had to walk in to try. The outlet at Wisma Atria is relatively big, with huge comfy armchairs available. The only downside is that there was no first come first serve queueing system to get a table. So, you have to stand by the tables and wait for people to move off. Definitely not the place to sit and people watch, especially during peak hours.
I have been to Paris Baguette many times and even brought my folks there for lunch. They loved it! My favourite from Paris Baguette is the UFO. The UFO has a crispy crust around it with a poofy middle, filled with milky custard. The crispy crust tastes like butter cookies, fragrant and sweet, while the custard portion was soft yet not too overpowering. Price wise, very reasonable though slightly more expensive than your average bakery. But I am willing to pay that price for good breads and pastries.
Since they are opening more outlets in various shopping malls like JEM and Tampines Mall, it might solve the waiting for tables problem and allow patrons to sit for a longer time and catch up with friends over coffee and bread.
It is actually a surprise when a bakery you wholly expected to originate from Paris in both its name and its theme of bread-making actually turns out to be South Korean. And one point I immediately took home from this fact would be to appreciate how diverse bakery in general has become.
Though you can claim that the bakery is not authentically French as a result, I find that more diversity could actually be a good thing. There is instead more space for creativity and innovation leading to the creation of better tasting products. An example would be the blueberry chiffon cake, which I found really delicious. It is hard to describe how delicious a blueberry cake can actually be as compared to a standard main course dish, but in my opinion, if anything comes close to being the perfect fruit-flavoured cake, the blueberry chiffon cake comes close.
Moreover, there are a variety of exotic new products one would hardly expect to find in a self-styled French bakery. An example would be the shaved ice series. These normally come with ingredients such as fresh fruit and red beans and you'll expect them to be rather more Asiatic in nature.
An eye-opening experience indeed.
Stick to the original
Okay I'm probably in no position to review Paris Baguette because I haven't had it in Singapore. I had it while I was in Korea though and it seems to me like it would be a lot more worth it to have it there. The prices for the products here are mad but while I had it in Korea it didn't seem that bad. So I'd say if you plan on visiting Korea, you can probably skip out on trying the Singapore one.
Paris Baguette has hit my estate! Being a fan of brunch, croissants or really just the lovely ambience of cafes in general, I was super excited.
The first time I went there when it first open, queues were outrageously long, the café ambience was great. There were couches and marble tables with a display of loaf models all over the café. Two walls were made of glass, one facing the shops, the other a live view of the patisseries whipping up pretty looking desserts. To top it off it had a good light-hearted mix of trendy music, not from the radio where you can hear DJs rambling on doing ads.
Food wise, I tried the Royal Pudding (original), but really it was just a goo of milk, gelatin. and HUGE dosage of sugar. No idea what's the big deal about it for it flood my Instagram. Total damage: $4. (Flavoured $4.50)
The next time I'm there was just earlier in the evening, guess the initial crowd at its opening died down. Counter staff was super passive, they stood around and dazed into space as the customers were all jammed up in the queue in front of them. Because of the layout of the café, it's hard to view the cake displays so people ended up joining queue but they couldn't decide what to eat yet. The queue was barricaded and had only one lane, you can imagine how congested and impatient the customers were.
Passive is fine, the counter staff probably didn't know what to do at that moment with so much confusion going on. But the cashier staff was even worse, they were rude and hostile.I said thank you several times to them but I received an eye roll in reply. Wow, you're welcome.
This time I ate the pastries. It was baked to perfect golden brown but hard down to every layer and every flake. One of the nuts pastries we bought was badly burnt, at the counter I thought the nuts were just dark brown in colour but no, I was wrong. Coffee and beverages isn't anything to rave either, and it was a good $10 each, mind you.
Besides the ambience, there is really nothing commendable about this place.
Paris Baguette stuns with not only its quality of pastries but also, the elegance of their business. Their logo may seem clichéd, what with the overuse of Paris in shop names nowadays, but Paris Baguette truly brings out the sophistication associated with the image of Paris. And it's a South Korean business.
Their bread isn't marinated in grease like many other bakeries' bread and is heavenly to chew on. The crust of their pastries are crispy yet not to the extent where once you take a bit, the entire thing just snaps and the floor becomes littered with crumbs. Paris Baguette's pastries retain its shape and softness while providing that oomph feeling when you sink your teeth into the bread.
The scent is also mouthwatering. Every time I walk past the outlet situated at Tampines Mall, I just have to take a look no matter how crowded the outlet is. The smell is just too enticing to ignore.
But ah, nothing is perfect, especially for us buyers. Paris Baguette's pastries, even if they are good, are really overpriced. It strangles my wallet every time I give in to the temptation of indulgence.
Great for an afternoon snack
I recently just patronised the branch at JEM, and the interior of the place was pretty well-decorated, with plush chairs and a mirrored ceiling.
The food was pretty decent, although the prices were a little steep. I had a Pad Thai Noodle Salad for $8.50, and it was pleasant tasting if a little unexciting. I also bought an Apple Turnover as a snack at $2.50, and it was pretty good at a reasonable size.
All in all, I had a good experience at Paris Baguette, but shy of amazing. One thing though - my friend and I wanted to try their Royal Pudding as we had heard so much about it, but a small bottle turned out to be $4+, depending on the flavour. A tad over-priced, no?
What's the hype?
Can someone please explain to me what Paris Baguette is about? Especially the hype surrounding it. Paris Baguette seems to me to simply be a bakery-bistro place, nothing more nothing less.
The pastry is nothing special, there are better confectionary places out there, except that few have a seating area. The ambience is comfortable enough for a quick catch up with an old pal but definitely too crowded for heart-to-heart conversations. The prices are rather steep though, and perhaps not worth the quality. I like the staff though, they seem to have good team rapport and everyone is courteous and welcoming, it could possibly be due to the Korean roots of the company.
An Indulgence Worth Every Bit
"Paris is always a good idea", says Audrey Hepburn. Well, she was most definitely not referring to Paris Baguette, but Paris (Baguette) is always a good idea too. Whether you're trying to go slightly budget or keen to indulge on some wonderful pastries, there will always be something for anyone and everyone here. Don't be surprised to find many Koreans hanging around this Korean bakery, too, and you'll find that some of their service staff are authentically Koreans themselves!
One new item on the menu I'd like to mention would be the Alaska Waffles. Think thick fluffy buttermilk waffles stacked together with 2 huge scoops of vanilla and raspberry icecream, decked with fresh blackberries and raspberries buried in a yogurt dressing. This was such a sin, seriously, but sharing it makes it perfect for a treat! We shared this for dinner, so it wasn't too bad. This item fired off a massive Copycat Syndrome though, because everyone else who saw it would point it out to whoever they're with, and then end up ordering it just the same. We did that, and the people beside us did that too. Yes, it really is bloody good, and super pretty looking.
Go straight for their cakes if you can't decide what to get. I especially loved the Earl Grey cake that was flavorfully moist, and also because anything Earl Grey's able to fix me up in a whiff. The reason why Paris Baguette's such a hit with even Korean ladies conscious about calories and stuff is simply because they are so refreshingly pretty, and are given such cutesy looking names. How's HaHa Family for a slice of chocolate cake decorated with quirky eyes on a huge strawberry?
P.S Give the tiramisu a miss, it was hard, void of much taste and a waste of calories.
So overpriced I could cry
This place is atrociously priced.
Do you know how much dough cost? Neither do I! But I'm sure it's material cost is less than $6 for a small doughnut structure.
With that said, have you been to this place?! They serve the best breads ever. Also with this new craze they've successfully brought into Singapore, the Royal Pudding series.
When they first opened, I assumed it was too cool for me and I did not go. Only after a friend brought me some samples of their Royal Pudding did I cave and march myself in.
And for a week I found myself sobbingly glad and back there.
Their breads are amazing. But please eat little. Me and 2 girlfriends shared $16's worth of their confectionery between us and we were dough-sick for a week. I recommend their UFO bread - the only item I really adored.
AND THEIR ROYAL PUDDING.
Do not go home and sit yourself down till you get EVERYTHING from their Royal Pudding series. My personal favourite is the discontinued caramel. I would not recommend you to mix your sugary goodness with the stickiness at the bottom. Bad aftertaste.
I will come back one day when my wallet comes crying.