Ever heard of the “cruffin”? This trendy, Insta-famous pastry is a cross between a croissant and a muffin, where the flaky layers of a croissant is replicated in the distinct shape of a muffin, often with piped fillings in the centre for a truly decadent treat. The OG Cruffin also happens to be invented by Aaron Caddel, founder of the San Francisco-founded Mr Holmes Bakehouse — which just opened its doors in Singapore on 12 July to much fanfare.
Located in the heart of town at Pacific Plaza, you really can’t miss the pastel pink exterior that will likely beckon you in — if you don’t stop for pictures first. The outlet marks the bakery’s first flagship store in Southeast Asia, and currently the only one in the world, where it offers their signature cruffins, croissants, brioche donuts, and other bakes. These are hand-crafted daily and done as creatively as possible, with a whole host of fun fillings and dips.
The store features a glass display counter where you get to see the fresh-from-the-oven pastries, and a menu that will be changed up every quarter of the year. For its opening, two flavours of Cruffins and Donuts will be made available across Mondays to Thursdays, with a full selection of three of each from Fridays to Sundays.
Ahead, our thoughts on Mr Holmes Bakehouse’s offerings after a weekday tasting at the space.
This is what you came for. The officially-trademarked Cruffins, of rolled up pastry that stands tall, almost boastful, with its display of distinct layers. The ones at Mr Holmes are piped with decadent fillings, so think of this as a sweet treat. Two flavours are available during the weekdays — Tiramisu Cream ($5.80) and Mint Chocolate Chip ($5.80), and a third, the Peanut Butter Milkshake ($5.80) only on weekends.
First, the pastry itself. This was done well with nicely laminated layers, which will appease those who like their pastries flaky and textured. The Tiramisu Cream was a delight, and while sweet, still had those distinct coffee notes that make the original such a classic dessert.
As for the Mint Chocolate Chip, we found it more of an acquired taste. Thankfully, this lacked the artificial toothpaste-like taste that usually accompanies anything “mint”, so kudos for that, though the cream had a more earthy aftertaste that reminded us of basil. The great thing about the cruffins though, and Mr Holmes’ fillings in general, was that they were never too sweet, and were always generous.
We don’t really need to introduce croissants do we, though the ones at Mr Holmes are more dessert-like than the traditional breakfast item — and we’re glad, because this inventive spirit is what really makes the brand stand out. It shows too. For the ones we tried, it was nice to see that the buttery pastry was flaky and crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and messy to eat, of course, but that was part of the fun too since these were flavours that incorporated matcha, lemon curd, and even ruby chocolate.
The Lemon Meringue Pie croissant ($7.50) is their take on the well-loved dessert, and nailed everything we like about it, from the sweet-yet-tart lemon curd that flowed out of the pastry the moment we cut into it, to the impressive-looking torched meringue, lightly whipped, that deserved major presentation points.
We then moved on to our favourite pastry of the day, the Yellowpink ($7.50). Now, this one’s a Singapore-exclusive flavour introduced in conjunction with “Mighty Hijack”, a local collaboration, but more on that later. In terms of flavour, this one’s a tropical croissant piped with mango curd, one that was never overpowering, with the perfect hint of mango. The cream was light, fruity, and almost floral, while the streaks of ruby chocolate upped the sweetness without going overboard. Overall, this was a well-balanced, visually arresting treat.
In all honesty, we much preferred the croissants to their famous cruffins, and here’s why — the cruffins are larger in size, and with more pastry too, so they filled up our limited stomach spaces in no time. The cream-to-pastry ratio seemed more balanced for the croissants, while the more fruity flavours, combined with the fluffy pastry within, were more appealing as well.
The Brioche Donuts
Donuts have been the talk of the town lately, and the ones here are more than decent! For the Strawberries & Cream ($5.80) brioche donut, we thought that both the cream and strawberry jam went very well together, where the cream was light without being overly sweet, while the jam had a slight sourness that rounded the overall taste of the donut. The Chocolate Cream ($5.80) was decadent and tasty, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture that was great alongside the fluffy, airy interior of the donut.
Apart from those famous bakes, you may expect giant Cookies ($4), Sweet Buns (from $4), a frangipane-topped Almond Apricot Bostock ($5.80), as well as a Cheesecake Creme Brulee Danish ($7) and Jalapeno Bacon Danish ($7). Sandwich options include a Pulled Pork Sandwich ($16), that puts together braised pork, fontina cheese, and arugula salad in a lime dressing in between toasted foccacia bread, along with a Bacon Habanero ($13) of pickled carrots and grilled bacon in between potato buns.
Mighty Hijack: A Local Collaboration with Mighty Jaxx
Together with Mr Holmes Bakehouse’s inaugural launch here, the bakery went ahead to team up with Singapore-based designer toys and art collectibles studio Mighty Jaxx, for a one-of-a-kind pop culture collaboration. With striped black-and-pink hair, and armed with a pink spray can, Monixx is a new character created by the team, complete with a cheeky grin so you know she’s all ready to “hijack” the cafe in style. A vending machine within the premises is loaded with co-branded merchandise, including aprons, t-shirts and caps, along with popular blindbox collectibles of Mighty Jaxx’s designer toys, dim sum cats included. From now till 14 August, you’ll even get to vote for your favourite 3D-printed prototype of Monixx, before her vinyl figure goes into full production.
Here’s the latest Mr Holmes Bakehouse menu:
above: mr holmes bakehouse opening menu — july 2021
Mr Holmes Bakehouse Singapore
LOCATION: 9 Scotts Road, #01-01/02/03 Pacific Plaza, Singapore 228210
OPENING HOURS: 8AM – 6PM, daily — limited quantities of bakes available.