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Tucked away in the hot and humid neighborhood of Toa Payoh, this cafe is a cool breath of air serving cold tossed Japanese style noodles amidst all that hawker food. It is easy to miss this because you wouldn't be expecting it next to all the duck rice and nasi lemak stalls. I wouldn't say that it's the best place to dine at because it's really stuffy. Thank god for the air conditioned interior.
We started with the Ice Cube (S$3), a huge chunk of Silkened tofu with a Thai Chili Sweet Sauce. It came with very simple garnishes like shredded Japanese cucumber and crab sticks. This dish is very appetizing and we kept going back to this in between bites of our noodles. Highly recommended.
The Whale Set (S$6.20)- White noodles in roasted sesame sauce with black pepper chicken and mushrooms. The white noodles are actually Yang Chun noodles, a flat white chinese noodles. This dish packs a peppery punch that is quite fiery but oh so addictive. I love the crunch of the al dente noodles of this one.
The Penguin Set (S$6)- Green soba noodles in roasted sesame sauce with shredded chicken, lettuce and quail eggs. Love the presentation of all their noodles dishes. They are really very particular about how the dishes are served. Each is like a piece of art. I like the fragrant sesame taste though i wish for a little more flavoring. Not a fan of the soba noodles here because it feels kinda overcooked. You can request to change the type of noodles that come with the set.
The Dolphin set (S$6)- Ramen noodles in miso sauce with prawns, lettuce and quail eggs. I was half expecting my beloved prawn pasta salad from Fish & Co. but other than the similarity in the noodles, the taste was very different. The miso taste is very subtle in this one. I do prefer the bite of the ramen noodles.
Wheat Baumkuchen actually specializes in the Baumkuchen cakes. Read on more here.
Must Tries – Baumkuchen, Reindeer Grey Soba, Penguin Green Soba
We were rather surprised to find the famous German Baumkuchen at this humble shop in Toa Payoh. Also known as the “tree cake”, Baumkuchen earned its reputation as “The King of Cakes” in Germany. Recently the cake has also become one of the most popular pastries in Japan as it’s commonly presented at Japanese weddings due to its ring shape, symbolising everlasting love.
The cakes at Wheat Baumkuchen are baked fresh daily. Other than the classic original ($2.50 each), there are other exciting flavours such as green tea, oreo cheese, valrhona chocolate, almond nutella and strawberry. Sized liked a donut, the cake, which tastes like a healthier version of kueh lapis, has 18 layers of batter in a ring, and makes a delightful teatime snack.
They also have a special flavour this season – durian mascarpone ($6.80) made with mao shan wang durian!
Wheat Baumkuchen has also just introduced a number of cool noodle dishes, named after animals living in cold climates, such as Dolphin, Penguin, Seal, Polar Bear and Reindeer.
The Reindeer is grey soba noodles with mushroom, edamame, seaweed and sunflower seed tossed in a light miso sauce. The cold soba is so smooth it simply slips down the throat. We definitely love this dish as it is lightly flavoured, healthy tasting, and packed with ingredients. At $4.80, it’s also good value-for-money.
If you like soba with a stronger taste, go for the Penguin - green soba noodles with shredded chicken, fried eggs, Japanese cucumber mixed in roasted sesame sauce. The overall combination is very refreshing and very delicious.
I heard good things about the restaurant, but haven't had the chance to try it until today. I chose the Penguin cold noodles that had shredded chicken and egg on green soba noodles with roasted sesame sauce.
Being really greedy, I added on a water chestnut drink and a chocolate baumkuchen bringing the total from $4.80 to $8. The serving portion was unexpectedly huge and value for money. The flavours blend well. I think the best compliment to a chef is an empty plate. :) The woman beside me also emptied her plate in 5 minutes flat. About the baumkuchen, it felt a bit too dry for my taste. The classic one is worth a try though.
When I visited Hokkaido in May, I was in a bakery shop in Otaru that sells this chilled layer cake called baumkuchen (バウムクーヘン). Back in Singapore, once in a while I still miss the baumkuchen I had in Japan. So when a friend brought us to Wheat Baumkuchen for the layered cakes, I got really excited!
For more photos, please click here.
Traditionally, baumkuchen is made on a spit by brushing on even layers of batter and then rotating the spit around a heat source. Each layer is allowed to brown before a new layer of batter is poured. When the cake is removed and sliced, each layer is divided from the next by a golden line, resembling the growth rings on a crosscut tree. A typical Baumkuchen is made up of 15 to 20 layers of batter.
This German delicacy was later introduced to Japan in 1917. Recognition for the craft proved universal, when the Baumkuchen was chosen as an admirable gift to celebrate the installation of the new Showa Emperor in Japan. The rings symbolise longevity and prosperity. A great gift for business associates to represent harmonious and everlasting partnership.
Wheat Baumkuchen offers different flavours of baumkuchen, which resembles the donut outlets. I feel that their classic flavour is very close to the ones I ate in Japan. Although not as buttery, soft and moist, but it is dense and non greasy.
One big difference I noticed between Wheat Baumkuchen and the Japanese brands is, Wheat Baumkuchen warms their baumkuchen, while the ones I had in Japan cools their baumkuchen. I think I prefer it chilled especially in a humid weather like Singapore. Plus, I think the al-fresco area of the shop is too stuffy, so we didn't enjoy the cakes as much.