A self professed bread-whore, I love my breads and very little cheers me more (food-wise) than a good, hearty, freshly baked loaf.
Thankfully for me (or maybe for all of us as well) a good number of artisanal bakeries sprouted up recently. I have been on the prowl, visiting each and stocking up on the breads. That probably explains why I’m ballooning, though these wheaty, bran-y baked goods are supposedly good carbs.
Weight management issues aside, Hagen Bake and Brew remained one of my top favourites, and some others I visited lately includes Craft Bakers, PH Pastry House and Levain Boulangerie. Levain Boulangerie was a revisit for me, in an attempt to comprehend it’s popularity and to check things out since my first visit was more than a year back. And yes, it’s popularity still baffles me.
Tommy Le Baker was on my radar for some time. Predictably, time was an issue, hampering my efforts to visit.
Thank god for the GPS. It may not be difficult to locate, but it’s not in plain sight either.
Fortunately, last Saturday a fellow bread lover asked me if I wanted to go for breakfast, as he’s thinking of re-visiting the bakery. His previous visit left a good impression, and since he’s pretty knowledgable when it comes to breads, I trusted his feedback and made time for a Sat morning excursion to Jalan Ipoh, literally the opposite side of the state from where I am.
And that’s it. That’s all to the little bakery. Barely 5 tables available and open space dining with one fan twirling.
Tommy does the kneading, shaping, and baking here. At 10am on a Sat morning, all the freshly baked loaves were ready and already on display at the bread counter.
He does caters for functions and orders can be placed 1 day in advance. On the morning of my visit, his assistant was busy packing mini savoury bacon and mushroom quiches.
My attention was riveted on these cones on the counter, which covers some delightful pastries.
Banana Tart. RM6.80.
Quiche. RM8 or somewhere around there. I forgot to get the receipt from Tommy after we paid!
Walnut Tart (RM6.80), Almond Sponge Cake (RM6.00) and another one that I can’t remember..
Apple tart. (I think). Sorry, I was hungry! -_-
We started with the quiche, which was very well made and the vegetables retained its fresh texture and colour, unlike the usual cases with commercial quiches where the ingredients or vegetables are overly done to the point of unrecognisable.
Thumbs up for the thin pastry and generous amount of vegetables too! We noted and approved of the eggy and not overly creamy texture as well.
My 2 breakfast partners had no complains of the banana tart while I thought it was saccharinely sweet. The roast beef sandwich came with pickles & a duo of mustard; one of them full grain. I’m not sure what’s Tommy’s obsession is with tomatoes, but every of our orders came with ample slices of tomatoes!
Roast Beef Sandwich (RM14.80).
Some cuts were juicy and pink while others were a bit dry, especially the cuts from the side of the roast. The baguette it came in with was dense and chewy with a nice, crisp chewy outer layer.
I haven’t had decent croissant in years and Tommy’s was decent. The folds of pastry wasn’t as apparent, but it wasn’t as overkill on the butter as other bakeries’.
Set of one baguette (RM3.80) + Butter (per serving @RM1.20) + Jam/Fruit Preserve @RM1.00/serving.
This is another baguette that was made in a different manner. I can’t remember now as Tommy shared quite a bit about the starter dough and levain he uses for each of his loaves and I just couldn’t absorb everything. Anyhow, I much prefered the “baguette ” that came with the roast beef against this one. This one was much denser.
I bought 2 loaves to go, a Wholemeal – Bran Loaf (RM4.50 @350g) and a Farmer Sourdough (500g) – (RM8.00) . Both has chewy crisp crust but I find that the insides of each slide is noticably chewy too. It’s much different from the cottony texture of our usual breads. While I’m not a fan of our generic, airy loaves, I’m not sure if I like them chewy either. At least for both I’m assured of high quality bran flour.
Tommy Le Baker’s specialties include baguettes & sourdough bread. His bakery offers 2 types pf sourdough; a Country Sourdough (500g) @RM6.00; a – denser version compared to its counterpart the Farmer Sourdough (500g) @RM8.00 which is lighter.
Everything was fairly priced, considering the portion and quality. Same goes for the coffee.
Total cost for our meal above (for 3 pax) was about RM46.50.
Below: The Menu.
We did however, felt that Tommy’s baguettes were a bit off from the Parisien standard baguettes. We find it a tad denser than we would have preferred and the crust and crumb lacking in texture.
Here’s the 2 different make of baguettes available at Tommy’s.
What constitute a good artisanal bread? Well, it’s detailed description would include meticulously describing the ideal crust and crumb (interior), mouth feel, aroma, and taste.
Let’s keep that for another post. Meanwhile, Tommy’s honed his art in France and his bakery may very well be the only French artisanal bakery in town. Do drop in and let me know if you like his breads!