Alden Boon

Brotherbird Milk & Croissants Intrigues with Its Lovely Mochi Croissants and Cruffins


Croissant. Buttery, flaky, airy. A pastry that requires utmost precision to make. It is widely synonymous with the French, but like all foods, its origin is in reality mingled. Its lineage starts with the Austrian kipferl, whose own history goes back to the 13th century. Circa 1839, an artillery officer turned baker-entrepreneur by the name of August Zang founded Boulangerie Viennoise in Paris, bringing viennoiseries to the city. His pastries quickly won critical acclaim, with the French christening the kipferl “croissant” for its crescent shape. Zang it was also who invented steam baking: bakers’ obsession with injecting steam into the oven to give their goods that flaky and thin crust.

Over the years, riffs of the croissant have dominated food trends. Earlier this year, there was the ill-fated crossushi, invented by Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco. Here at home, there was the wildly popular salted egg yolk croissant (whatever happened to it? Oh right, the nasi lemak burger signed its death warrant). And now, Brotherbird Milk & Croissants has laid claim to the world’s first mochi croissants. The mention of “mochi croissants” engendered a “huh”; the only reasonable explanation being that they are inspired by the petite Japanese glutinous rice cake. Brotherbird’s team is seemingly made up of young entrepreneurs and bakers, thereby explaining its moxie to colour outside the rule books and be adventurous. Now back to the mochi croissants. They had a wider girth, and that elusive honeycomb structure: proof that the bakers had undergone the painstaking lamination process. Its exterior was flaky, but the inside had a denser, chewier (cue the connection to mochi) quality compared with the typical French croissant. I had the Original Mochi Croissant, the plain version; and the Kinder Bueno Twice-baked Mochi Croissant. The latter’s chocolate cream and shards of white chocolate arrayed like the sail of a boat contributed to a saccharine flavour.

Given Brotherbird’s penchant for creativity, it is no wonder it has embraced the cruffin: the illegitimate love child of the croissant and muffin piped with cream. While its date of creation goes back much further in history, the cruffin was first made popular circa 2015 thanks to the above-mentioned Mr Holmes Bakehouse. Now, if cruffins could find much acceptance, maybe, just maybe, mochi croissants could too explode on to the world stage.

Pretty were Brotherbird’s cruffins, with grains of sugar decorating the exterior like glitter on scrapbook. Running a knife through each cruffin was a task; its almost bread-like pull-apart texture not coming off easily (intended). The Chrysanthemum Tea Mochi Cruffin was a foil to the Kinder Bueno Twice-baked Mochi Croissant (or maybe my receptor was savagely blunted by the latter) with its mellow, earthy flavour. The cream perched atop the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Mochi Cruffin had been flame-torched and boasted a bright, tangy note.

The bakery’s menu rotates on a weekly or fortnightly basis, so customers have a reason to keep going back to discover new surprises. During the earlier Lunar New Year, it created seasonal offerings that married ingredients such as pineapple tart, dried shrimp sambal and nian gao (Chinese-style sweet sticky rice). Just don’t get too attached to any of the offerings, save the Original Mochi Croissant, as they may never make a return (see point on the team being adventurous).

Prices range from S$3 to S$5. Reservations are required. To order, drop a text message via WhatsApp to 9296 4997.

Collection Point: 114 Lavender Street #01-05 CT Hub 2 S338729 (According to this Facebook post, this outlet will be temporarily closed while the management prepares for the second bakery. Get in touch with the owners via the above-mentioned number.)

nedla does not receive any compensation for its food reviews; all visits made are incognito. 


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.