Tiong Bahru, the quaint mecca of all things cafe hopping in Singapore, now has one more gem to add to her crown of hipster cafes and coffee joints. Starter Lab, the bakery renowned for its sourdough loaves in Cangu, Bali, has set up shop right in the heartlands.
With a predominantly female team and consultant baker Emerson Manibo at the helm, Starter Lab has quickly drawn in crowds of eager customers waiting for a taste of their bakes. Decor is kept simple, with an in-house bakery open for viewing through a glass window.
With coffee supplied by Anther by Glasshouse, Starter Lab’s menu consists entirely of – you guessed it, all kinds of bread and other baked goods like scones and buns.
The self-proclaimed Posh Toasts feature pairings of house-made toppings with a recommended type of bread. The Avocado Bawang ($12) is a delicious union of smashed avocado with fried shallots and sriracha, smothered on a hefty slice of seeded sourdough bread. A typical brunch dish with distinctly Asian flavours from the use of shallots and sriracha that added some kick to the creamy avocado.
Alright, I know you’re waiting for the verdict on the bread so here goes: the seeded sourdough is airy and flavourful on the inside, and solid and crusty on the outside. Personally, I prefer something less… unyielding to my cutlery and teeth, but this is a pretty good contender against our other sourdough offerings around these parts!
Another highly recommended option which I didn’t get to try is the Miso Baguette, which seems to have already garnered some fans.
The Salmon Smørrebrød ($16) is comparatively pricier. While the smoked salmon paired well with the pickled cucumber, radish, and house-made dill crème fraîche, the crisp Danish rye stole the show for me.
Sandwiches are available after 11am, with a choice of house-made pickle. The Starter Lab 3 Cheese with Rosemary certainly sounds enticing ($19)!
While prices are on the higher side, Starter Lab is worth a checkout if you would like to try a taste of some of Bali’s most renowned baked goods.
Address: 721 Havelock Road
Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru EW 17
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 5pm daily