If you have been an avid follower of my blog, you would have noticed that I’m a fanatical bread lover and a burger addict. 😀
I have written a few posts on some of my favourite bakeries such as Hagen, Craft Bakers, Tommy Le Baker, etc, all which sells artisanal and healthy loaves which I’m so fond of.
While Bonjour is not exactly a pure artisan or European breads bakery, I find their loaves of a higher grade from the usual commercial bakeries, and for the very same reason that kept me returning for more each week.
Correct me if I’m mistaken but I’m of the opinion that the average Malaysian prefers his/her breads soft and fluffy rather than the hard crusted, chewy and heavy European-style breads.
At Tommy Le Baker and Craft Bakers, their breads are made from scratch using imported flour and all loaves are preservative, additive, dough improver and softener free. These are truly hand-baked goodness. But light and floaty these loaves aren’t for sure, and it will be sometime before the average Malaysian appreciates such breads. Admittedly there has been a shift in the bread consuming society recently, a testament to the amount of artisan bakeries popping up of late. But some bakeries still struggled, such as Hagen Bake and Brew, one of my favourite bakeries which had since gave up baking their own loaves and now stocks Heistand breads instead. Sigh.
Anyhow, back to Bonjour Garden.
Bonjour’s master baker is Grand Chef Yukichi Matsubara. With a Japanese baker at the helm you would have expected their breads to be pillowy-soft and sweet, like most Japanese breads are. While Bonjour does offer a selected range of such sweet breads, my attention is all on the artisanal and healthy crusty loaves.
BELOW: The soft buns.
And here’s the range of healthier, crusty loaves.
Levain Cranberry cheese. RM18.00. This is my favourite! A big heavy loaf lavish with cheese, cranberries and nuts! If helps if you love cranberries as much as I do. 😀
Levain Walnut Raisin – RM15. Healthy natural levain dough with California raisins and US walnuts. Your typical walnut loaf with raisin but made better with the texture of levain dough. Furthermore, each bite yields generous amount of raisins and walnuts.
Levain Natural. RM8.00. More on this below.
Levain Mangorange. RM15. Another top pick of mine. Natural raisin – yeast dough, textured with walnut and cashews, flavoured with mango and orange. Most of the loaves are sugar and egg free. For those who are particular about the ingredients, do remember to check the placards on each basket. The cards informs you of the ingredients used, stating if butter, egg or sugar are added.
Medium Crusty. I haven’t tried this one yet. It looked a bit plain.
Levain Olive Stick. RM3.50. Natural raisin – yeast dough with wholemeal and rye with chopped olives.
Now, if you’re wondering what is “natural raisin yeast dough” exactly, here’s a titbit of info about sourdough bread in general:
Raisins are soaked in water for about 3 days. The raisin water is mixed with wholemeal flour to make a starter. The starter is fed daily with more flour (can be wholemeal or white flour) and raisin water to keep it alive. A portion can be taken to make bread (mix with the other bread ingredients). The remaining starter continues to be fed daily with more flour and raisin water to replenish the portion taken to make bread. How sour the bread tastes depends on how much sourdough starter was used to make it.
Added tip: Bread that uses natural yeast are described with terms such as levain or sourdough – this applies to the Levain Natural and the Levain Walnut Raisin above.
I don’t know about you, but for a bread lover like me, it is absolutely thrilling to discover new bakeries and to learn more about the science behind the art of baking bread. Unfortunately, so far all of these are in theory for me for now.
iBread – RM 20.00. Healthy natural homemade sourdough bread (70% rye flour content) with raisin and chestnuts, covered with sunflower seeds.
This is fabulous! I bet you never knew chestnuts would work so well in bread?
The chestnuts added a nutty sweetness and has a soft “mash” texture in comparison to other nuts. This enhances the taste of the loaf and justified the RM20 price tag. Frankly I’m not a fan of sourdough as I find it disturbing to eat sour bread but none of the sourdough-based breads here are actually sour! 🙂
Rye Sour Bread. RM 8.00. Healthy and natural (70% rye flour content) sourdough bread. It says “sour” so I steered clear of this one.
Rye fruits. RM 25. Healthy natural homemade sourdough bread (70% rye flour content) with US raisins, walnuts and pine nuts. This is expensive I know but it’s really good. I’ll show you a cross section of it at the end of this post. 🙂
Walnut Astroid. RM5.50. Just in from outer space – A joyful discovery of walnuts in a medium crusty roll. I haven’t tried this one. My usual purchases are the levain and wholemeal ones, so this didn’t quite catch my fancy.
Full O’ Grain – RM4. This round loaf is very light in both weight and texture. It wasn’t substantial enough for me on its own but I find it ideal for sandwiches (think tune, egg, ham and cheese) since it’s rather plain on its own.
This is the Rye Fruits – RM25.00. Dense, hard even, but so pleasantly chewy and not overly sweet though it’s jammed pack with fruits. I reckon it’s because the fruits used are naturally sweet but not the processed sweetened type – you do get my meaning yeah?
My Levain Mangorange. RM15.00. Again this wasn’t overly saccharine. Another factor that I think contributed to its balance of taste? The bread itself is sugar-free, thus you’re savouring the natural sweetness solely from the fruits.
For plain wholewheat bread, I chose Levain Natural – RM8.00. Like the Full O’ Grain this non-sweet loaf is perfect for sandwiches. Slather spreads on it or with pair with savouries such as cheese and tuna. The texture of this loaf is unlike the common wholemeal that tears easily like paper. The levain is a tad “elastic” and gave a bit of resistance when torn. The crust wasn’t crispy by the time I bought it home so I’m not sure it’s its meant to be so, but it was chewy at least.
Bonjour offers a selection of delectable desserts too. I have yet to try any of them as they looked really creamy and I’m not a fan of cream since it’s detrimental for the waistline! :DD
Hmm.. would you pay RM7.50 for the fruit jelly??
These 2 are really enticing though!
Bonjour Cream puffs (RM2.80) looked very well made too, small puffy clouds with tantalizing pastry cream (I was told that pastry cream and fresh cream are different).
I love bananas and these are on my buy-list next. For now I’m still avoiding pastries. 😛
Caramel Banana Croissant – RM3.50.
It’s a good life staying so near 1 Utama Shopping Centre! I hope this Bonjour Garden kiosk/corner becomes a permanent fixture even after September! 😀
So does anyone have a bakery to recommend? I would love to hear from you!
Here’s more of my EATS in 1 Utama:
1. Putien opens in Malaysia- serving authentic Heng Hwa (or Xing Hua) cuisine from China
2. Moo Cow, my favourite froyo is in 1 Utama! Current new flavours for CNY is Mandarin Orange & Dragonfruit!
3. AK Noodles House for a economical meal
4. The Soup Restaurant – nourishing soups and dishes originating from treasured family recipes that are distinctive and traditional
5. Yong Tau Foo Eat and Happy – Cheap & tasty La Mian! Recommended!
6. Recommended! Opika Restaurant – Wholesome organic food – Love the Nasi Ulam!
7. Not recommended: Noodle Shack – Traditional Mian Fen Guo – small portions, lacking in taste!
8. Petite Millie – Poutine, Tartine and Tart Flambee!
9. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! – Menya Musashi and Gantentsu Hokkaido Ramen
10. RECOMMENDED– Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant, Isetan Eat Paradise, 1 Utama