Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Crusty Oven - Lovely Tarts and Humble Intentions

Started by a pair of friends, Crusty Oven is a small bakery found in the heart of Bishan. Specialising mostly in tarts, it is almost inconspicuous from the rest of the shophouses nearby.

The owners started their bakery in Mid View City sometime in 2013, and only moved to this location in early 2014. It serves mainly the local residents around Bishan and judging from my time there, they seem to have won over a number of the older generation folks with their baked goods.

What I like about this bakery is their back to basics approach with the pastries. The two owners do all of the work themselves, and the no frills process actually works for them.

Their offerings are quite standard and though the presentation can be improved, the key thing is that the baked items are quite good and the prices here are very wallet-friendly. Making it affordable will appeal to the heartlander crowd as well.
Pear Tart

My favorite of theirs is this attractive looking pear tart that tastes as good as it looks. The crust is the most important factor in a tart and they have gotten it right here. Well baked to a crispy and flaky exterior, it is neither too thick nor too thin either.

The generous amount of pear embedded in the tart glistens with a glossy appearance, and the sweetness of the pear compote is very well judged. Overall, it is a very good slice of pear tart. I was told they have an equally delicious apple tart as well. Having sampled the pear variant, I am inclined to assume the apple tart is just as good.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Tart

The dark chocolate tart is also one of their bestsellers and though the look is quite plain and simple, this is one for the chocolate lovers. The use of dark chocolate exhibited a more darker and bitter aftertaste to the palate, but the inclusion of the salted caramel nicely balances it in the end. A nice combination of sweet, bitter and savory to go with the flaky crust.

Chocolate Royale Tart

Their number one bestseller is this equally plain looking chocolate royale tart. Dusted chocolate covers beautifully melted dark chocolate within and yes, this is another chocolate lover's delight. It is a shame that it is served in tin foil holders as it hides the baked crust and prevents it from being seen in its entirety.

The two young men are determined to make a go at this business and encouragement should be given to them to spur them to be even better than what they have now. If they can continue along the current path, the main thing they should look to change is to improve the presentation of their tarts.

Very often, food bloggers have been accused of waxing too much lyrical on young food entrepreneurs and hawkers and not faulting their flaws. To these critics, I say to you, are you actually helping them at all by just being an armchair critic on the side?

It is very easy to pick up a keyboard these days and be condescending to food makers and bloggers alike, and making all forms of nasty remarks, but to what avail? If you really want to change the local food scene, it is time you get off your high horse and actually speak to the food makers themselves and engage them in a constructive way.

Putting vitriol on social media is just a vanity exercise and unless you are doing it to benefit your own image, I say be part of the group that is doing their utmost to champion the new and potentially great food makers of the future.

Everyone needs support and encouragement, and the majority of food bloggers that I know (especially the younger ones) do their utmost to share and compliment the ones that they deem worth championing. It often falls on the older and more cynical group that prefers to lament and nitpick on the most trivia of things. Time evolves and food do too, so get with the times and stop the incessant complaining.

As for Crusty Oven, they still have some ways to go before they can attain greatness. But I sure am not going to put them down for every flaw that they may have today. Instead, I applaud the two lads for taking the difficult plunge to go into F&B in Singapore when it is really not that easy to succeed.

All greatness always begins with a touch of humility.

Crusty Oven
505A Bishan Street 11
#01-442 (next to the coffeeshop)

1 comment:

  1. love this humble posting ;)

    as much as I think complaining is a form of feedback.. it is not the best form of it. And then again, even with the direct responses from consumers, not many will act upon it to make improvements. That all boils down to the food makers themselves and their initiative. That being said, I still do what i do best.. eat and enlighten the rest of the world.

    Peace out.