Woohoo, another new opening and what a great one! You may think I'm crazy for visiting Pantler thrice within a short span of 6 days, but the quality pastries at this bakery-café is really that worth the time and calories. Really.
Nestled among the row of conserved shophouses along bustling Telok Ayer Street, Pantler is located just 2 units away from My Awesome Café, and easily accessible by nearest mrt stations: EW15 Tanjong Pagar & DT18 Telok Ayer.
The word 'pantler' is defined as "a servant or officer in charge of the bread and the pantry in a great family". In this case, we have not just one, but two 'pantlers', founder Matthias Phua and Chef Tomoharu Morita.
Leaving his job as a writer to pursue his passion for baking, Matthias subsequently worked at Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Joel Robuchon Singapore, where he met Tomoharu, who was part of the award-winning pastry team at Hyatt Tokyo for close to a decade! You can say they have quite a wealth of experience between them.
I always thought "men who can cook are very charming!" (会煮饭的男人很帅!), but now I think men who can bake are equally attractive too! Lol! I can visualize the duo working away in front of their ovens, with an intent focus on crafting freshly baked, high quality products which they pride themselves on.
Everything is said to be thoughtfully made. Flour from Japan, butter from France, these are just some of the finest ingredients which goes into the array of cakes, pastries, tarts and croissants at Pantler.
Signature items include the pleasantly light Ricotta Cheese Tart ($8.50) which I enjoyed tremendously, as well as Pound Cakes (Matcha & Azuki/Chocolate/Orange/Fruit, $22), and Pâtes de fruits ($3.50 for 3 pieces), little jewels of intensely flavored fruit jellies which we don't see very often in most patisseries.
Oh my goodness! Everything looked so enticing that gluttonous me almost ran into a high risk of over-ordering again! Fortunately, we had Matthias around to give some recommendations, and the Yatsura ($8.50) he picked was one of the best chocolatey treats I had recently.
The layers of hazelnut feuilletine and chocolate mousse topped with a glossy coat of dark ganache was gorgeous in all senses. A wonderful mélange of crunchiness with creamy smoothness, its contrasting textures was matched with a balanced interplay of chocolate flavors and lingering aromatic notes of hazelnut.
Surprisingly, the entire combination wasn't too rich, yet lush enough to satisfy a chocolate craving. My maturing palate greatly appreciate the toning down of saccharine level, which was also apparent in the Banana Eclair ($8.50) with dark chocolate cream and caramel.
The pastries at Pantler can be described as generally not over-the-top fancy, but will effortlessly win one over with its subtle beauty.
Take for instance, the Pithivier ($7.50), a pie filled with sweet frangipane of almonds, and the Pantler Cheesecake ($6.80), a classic pairing of cream cheese with biscuit base. The latter was not as dense as the New York-style ones nor as fluffy as its Japanese counterparts, but was enjoyable in its own class, though we felt it can do with just a little more moisture.
Both confections will quietly have you finishing it to the last crumb sooner than you realized.
What I have been raving about and feel is a MUST-TRY: Choux Crème ($5.50)!!!
Available for dine-in only, Matthias stands by his principle of wanting his customers to savour the choux crème at its best. Saved from the possible dismal fate if we have it as takeaway, the light puff pastry ball stayed crisp and freshly-piped filling of luscious vanilla cream spiked with vanilla pod beans and bits of almond nougatine was still nicely chilled. One bite was all it took to make me fall in love with this ball of edible happiness!
Another delight which I would have bypassed if not for the recommendation was the Crème Caramel ($5.80). Looking deceptively plain, but the velvety custard pudding capped with a gentle layer of caramel soon had us nodding our heads in agreement that it's too good to be missed.
The plain Croissant ($3), which I had with my Latte ($5.80) (brewed using 100% high-grade Arabica espresso beans roasted by Dutch Colony Coffee Co.), wasn't as crisp and buttery as we would like it to be. I much preferred its savory variant filled with Parma Ham & Gruyère Cheese ($6.80) which scored points in terms of overall taste.
Its sweet offerings are clearly the main draw here at Pantler, my return visits can more or less attest to that. The minimalist space exudes a tranquil chic aura, making Pantler a truly lovely place to delight in some simple yet elegant bakes. No doubt I'd be there again. Do say "hi" if you see me, okie? :)
Address: 198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637
Contact: +65 6221 6223
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am-8.30pm / Sat 10.30am-5.30pm / Closed on Sunday