Where to go for your daily loaf

BREAD-MAKING is fun, but not always easy. It can be long and hard to get everything right. Fortunately, there are many new and old bakeries in the city... 
Zhu Jing / SHINE

BREAD-MAKING is fun, but not always easy. It can be long and hard to get everything right. Fortunately, there are many new and old bakeries in the city, offering yummy treats requiring no long waits or skills. Zhu Jing does a taste test.

Zhu Jing / SHINE

Baketopia

Baketopia is a new bakery on Shaanxi Road S. which sells a collection of bread with interesting names and unexpected flavor twists.

Cheese plus runny chocolate sauce is a fun combination. The bakery’s signature product is black caterpillar-shaped bread (34 yuan/US$4.93 per serving), which stretches over 1 meter. It is eye-catching as the chocolate-flavored bread is displayed above the counter, featuring a spongy texture with a mixed filling of chocolate and cheese. As it is not available all day, always check with the store before your visit.

Campagne has become a new-rising star on the bakery market in recent years. Baketopia has a wide range of this hottie bread, such as Cuttlefish and tuna (28 yuan), wine-soaked raisins and cranberries (23 yuan), and wine-soaked longans (23 yuan). The latter two breads use wine as natural yeast.

Healthy goji berry (20 yuan) is a must-try. The crusty, nutty exterior with soft hearty inside gives you a sharp contrast in texture. The slightly sweet bread is covered with plenty of nuts and seeds.

Address: No. 35-1, Shaanxi Rd S.

Tel: 185-1215-9910

Opening hours: 10am-9pm (weekdays); 10am-10pm (weekends)

Zhu Jing / SHINE

Avec toi

IN a quiet road on the edge of the busy Xujiahui business circle, French bakery avec toi offers not only authentic bread but an intimate space to enjoy a moment free from noise. A stairway at the back leads to a nicely presented terrace on the upper floor, allowing customers to sit and munch in comfort.

All bread is freshly baked on site as the baking room is right by the counter. The relatively small counter is filled with different types of mouthwatering French-style bread. Its best-selling croissant (13 yuan) has a crispy outside with fluffy layered interior. The flavor hits just the right note as you would expect a croissant should taste like. But its Almond croissant (18 yuan) looks less attractive.

The recipe to make a baguette is simple but it requires exquisite technique to make it all-star. Avec toi is famous for its baguette. Every bite of the freshly baked baguette (15 yuan) is so satisfying. The bread has a chewy texture riddled with holes, plus a crisp, deep gold crunchy crust.

If you love Pain de champagne, there are two fillings on offer: chestnut and fig.

Address: 73, Tianping Rd

Tel: 5290-8132

Opening hours: 8am-8pm (closed on Mondays)

Zhu Jing / SHINE

Wheat & Baker

Opened in last December, the well-presented Wheat & Baker has been a popular venue for breakfast, lunch or simply a nice afternoon tea for office workers nearby. It offers spacious seating, indoors and out with a wide collection of bread and beverages.

The long-stretch counter displays a variety of yummy bread, ranging from traditional baguettes to the bakery’s best-selling item Walnut brioche (28 yuan).

Brioche is famous for its soft and rich texture due to lots of eggs and butter. The walnut brioche is in fact covered with icing sugar-coated walnut bits on the top. Walnut crumbs are detectable in its walnut paste filling, which reminds you of sesame seeds paste. It’s sweet but not overwhelming. If you don’t like walnuts, go for the plain brioche at 10 yuan.

Canelés de Brodeaux (10 yuan) features a proper dark mahogany crust with moist creamy custard-like interior. The contrast in texture makes you enjoy every bite of this small traditional bread, an ideal treat for both breakfast and afternoon tea. Oat almond toast (9 yuan) is great for breakfast.

Address: 1/F, 1818 Nanjing Rd E.

Tel: 6237-5063

Opening hours: 8am-9pm

Zhu Jing / SHINE

Plus One Bakery & Café

The bakery is small, hidden in the B1 floor of a crowded shopping mall near Shanghai Stadium. However, it is claimed to be the only bakery where you can get cookie egg tarts across the city. The tarts cost 10 yuan each, or six for 50 yuan. The crumble cookie cup is strong enough to hold the custard filling safe inside though it has a 1-centimeter thick base. The pudding-like filling is similar to a traditional Portuguese egg tart. The combination is interesting but the taste is just fine as the cookie is a little more greasy than expected.

Pineapple cakes are a must-buy for many tourists to Taiwan. The bakery’s award-winning pineapple cake (10 yuan each) is definitely worth trying. Pastry chef Lion Zeng from Taiwan adds salted egg yolks to balance the sweetness of the pineapple filling. The bakery also sells packs of handmade coffee nougats (59 yuan per pack).

Address: B1, No. 899, Lingling Rd

Tel: 156-0183-4037

Opening hours: 9am-10pm

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