Weekends are made of these – Artisan Boulangerie Co.

Who doesn’t love it when the weekend approaches? I bet that most people, by the time Thursday comes by, are already anticipating the end of the work week, that’s why there is always that oft-used “TGIF” and somehow, the mood just takes on a more relaxed tone even on Friday mornings.

These are also the times when I have the luxury of spending moments at cafes, enjoying the food and coffee without having to think of needing to return to the office post-lunch. The amount of time spent there could be the same but the feeling is just different.

Artisan Boulangerie Co., or ABC for short, is one such place I like to go to. I have posted a couple of entries on it before, but this is a short summary of the things I like from them that I found from the photo album of my phone, which I have not downloaded into some storage device but are taking up precious memory space.

Just recently, I went to ABC again, which I’m happy to (despite that a meal there is typically a little pricier as compared to the other cafes like Starbucks or Coffee Bean) especially now that I have easier access to one of their outlets than before. So this time, I had wanted to order my favourite item from their breakfast menu but was told that they ran out of it, so I decided to get a sandwich instead, which you can’t go too wrong with. Not with them anyway, and especially if it’s something that I have tried before – the roast chicken baguette. At S$11.30 (pre-GST), it isn’t the cheapest sandwich around but it’s all for good measure – just check out how generous they are with it.The baguette is easier the length of a fork and it’s of pretty decent quality, though extremely hard. I wouldn’t recommend this for people who don’t like the bite and chewiness in their breads, because even cutting into it takes a bit of effort after sometime (when the bread has cooled) that I felt as though I was working my arms just eating this thing!
The chicken filling was literally spilling out of the sandwich, and it has a nice peppery taste for some spiciness. How I usually eat my sandwiches is by deconstruction – meaning, I literally take the entire sandwich apart, eating the bread separate from the filling. I would slice/cut up the bread into bite-size chunks, the same with the filling, and eat them together like mini open-faced sandwiches. I feel that it’s easier this way and less messy when eating, though the plate becomes messy because as I cut through the bread, types like croissant or baguette crumble and flake all over the place.

On a past visit, I had tried some other sandwiches. One that I had always wanted to try and did, was the Goat Cheese & Capsicum on focaccia. I can’t remember if I had posted about this before, but I love goat cheese and this was definitely one of those items I had wanted to try. I thought somehow the cheese reminded me of brie, and again it was so generous that I had to spread the cheese onto the bread so I wouldn’t recommend this for people who feel iffy about the taste of goat dairy, or for that matter, anyone who doesn’t fancy strong-tasting cheese.Yummy… this on the whole was good, but again strong-tasting, because of the goat cheese and the rockets. But goes perfectly with a cup of their Long Black.
Still another time, I decided to order something off the menu that wasn’t in the display case – turkey, avocado and brie. Although this was not bad in itself, the bread felt a little too soft for my liking. It’s toasted to a certain extent but it I don’t know if it’s because it’s white, it is too soft without the crunch and chewiness that I like to have for breads. If I recalled correctly, and from the picture it is turkey ham used in the sandwich instead of turkey meat, so it isn’t preferred. I probably wouldn’t order this again given a choice; would try something else or order something that I’ve tried and tested to be ok!
Tried the Chicken Caesar salad too and on the whole it’s pretty great, portion size was ok though not excessive but they supplement it with a serving of bread that you could indulge in with (semi-salted) butter or jam that’s freely available from their condiments counter. The salad isn’t dressing-rich, which is great and chicken portions are pretty sufficient. Only downside for me is the use of Parmesan cheese which is not my favourite type of cheese. But I think this is a typical ingredient of Caesar salads, so I could either ask for its omission in future or just make do with it. But butter croutons – amazing!
Of course, this brings me to my favourite item from their menu, which is from their brunch items – Homemade / Artisan Almond Granola, which is a mixture of organic rolled oats, toasted almonds, sesame & sunflower seeds, served with plain yogurt and freshly-cut fruits. At $12 each, this is pretty pricey but I feel worth every single dime (ok maybe not) because the fruits used are really fresh and of good quality and I just cannot resist this combination of fruits, granola and yogurt!Their other brunch items are also good, though the only other item I’ve tried is the Avocado Egg Open Face, which aside from bacon that I don’t take, everything else was just darn great!

Revisiting Artisan Boulangerie Company

Recently, I have been going to ABC more often. Even though the cafe is fairly cosy and limited in terms of seating capacity, it ranks above Starbucks and Coffee Bean as somewhere to chill. Probably this is also due to the relatively faster turnover of customers, who do not hog the seats for an extended duration beyond an hour. Mostly, customers just get seated, eat and go. It isn’t so much like Starbucks or Coffee Bean where the customers sit down, get a drink and then continue to be glued to their seats for the next 5 hours.

Food is pricier which could also explain the different customer demography but cafe-goers are generally quite well-to-do and so this shouldn’t be a factor. Quality of food and coffee is definitely better here too! Well, most of them anyway. I have tried various items and so far, most of them have proven to be good and quite worth the price paid.

This time I ordered a quiche, which I’ve been told is not too bad, and comes served with a portion of salad. This was my order, fearing that I wouldn’t have enough to eat since the quiche didn’t look like it could satiate me.
Looking at the available choices, it was not easy to make a decision but I finally picked the Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche, both being items that I really enjoy. Actually, these days I haven’t been so big on quiches because the egg has somehow dulled my enjoyment. I do like eggs but in quiche, they tend to taste a little too ‘eggy’? I don’t know but it would have been better without. Haha, although then it wouldn’t be called a quiche. An eggless quiche? It was really good though, and the size was actually just right, balancing the egg with the rest of the ingredients to put together a complementary taste of egg, goat cheese and spinach. Goes extremely well with coffee by the way! But I think the usual Long Black would have made a better choice than the Flat White which I ordered, again with the unnecessary paranoia that the quiche is not enough for sustenance.
Here’s a closer look of the quiche. Thumbs up!

You’d see that I ordered an additional Blueberry muffin to go along with my meal, which again was quite superfluous. I wanted to have a balance of sweet and savoury, so I ordered a muffin, being mindful of the overall cost, as the muffin is cheaper than a tart (yes I am cheapskate and calculative like that). But in all honesty, I should have just gone for the tart, because their Lemon Curd Tart is pretty good and zesty, and I hadn’t actually tried their muffins before, which turned out to be a letdown.  I took a bite of the top of the muffin, and felt it tasted weird. They probably didn’t bake this in-house, because it looked like it came from some mass-producer. Even though there is some sweetness to the muffin it tasted flat and artificial, like it was just flour and colouring, without much scent and sweetness that I was wont to expect for muffins. Perhaps this is considered healthier or more natural? I wouldn’t know. After a disappointed first bite, and also because I was rather stuffed after the quiche and flat white, I asked for a takeaway bag to pack the muffin and brought it home.

Last night, I took it out of the fridge and the top was so hard and stiff like a rock! LOL. I let it stand outside for a while, not wanting to heat up the oven just for the little muffin, and when it has softened/thawed slightly, proceeded to eat it. Again, it just didn’t feel right so I did what I usually won’t do, and threw the rest away. Makes me feel bad to waste it, but it really wasn’t nice at all, or rather it was so tasteless that it would have been like chewing and swallowing dough.

Artisan Boulangerie Company, Singapore

Throw-back. Finally visited the ABC after passing by it umpteen times. I know it seems a bit much for one, too much sweet stuff, but I just couldn’t resist ordering the crumble and the financier. I thought the crumble slice wouldn’t be sufficient and besides I am always tending to suffer from sugary cravings. Not a good thing, and I should really do something about it. Anyway, the coffee is not bad, I guess. Strong by my standards, which is fairly low. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_0782.jpg

I found the tray to be interesting the way it was customised but it can get a tad difficult to carry if you are going to have heavy plates on it./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_0783.jpgThe crumble and financier were both good from my hazy memory. Perhaps the crumble may be too sweet for some, after all it contains berries/fruits so the tendency is that such pastries are sweeter. I would like to try the savoury stuff the next time I visit, if I could steer myself away from these sweet temptations.