Starter Lab Singapore is the contemporary bakery cafe done right. It offers freshly baked artisan sourdough loaves, a fair selection of bread-centric light bites and good coffee in a stylish and cozy space.
From Bali to Singapore
Canggu is a coastal village on the Indonesian island of Bali. One of Canggu’s popular bakeries is Starter Lab Bali, a shop for naturally leavened, wholesome sourdough and delectable pastries, which also supplies bread to various high end restaurants in Bali. Encouraged by the many Singaporeans who bought their bread in Bali to bring back to Singapore, co-founder of Starter Lab Bali, Min Siah, decided to set up shop in Singapore.
Starter Lab Singapore @ Havelock
The bakery cafe is located in a row of shophouses in the stretch of Havelock Road known more for its Teochew cuisine. Its contemporary shop facade stands out amongst its traditional neighbours. A bread display is positioned at the shopfront. Passers-by will know it is a bakery even if the name does not clue them in. The name of the cafe is derived from “sourdough starter”, a leavening agent consisting of fermented flour and water with naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria which make breads rise.
Starter Lab Singapore has a stylish minimal interiors. The display counter and coffee making area are right in front of the cafe. A brightly lit baking area is to the rear. Customers can see the bakers at work behind the glass panels.
The dining space in the centre has simple light wood furniture. There is a communal table and a few small dining tables as well as bar counter seats and benches that lined the walls.
Starter Lab Menu
It should not be surprising that Starter Lab Menu offers essentially different types of breads and pastries. Interesting all day breakfast items include Pork Belly Sandwich, Moroccan Eggplant Tartine and a range of “Posh Toasts”. Below is a picture of the menu of Starter Lab.
Breakfast at Starter Lab Singapore
We visited Starter Lab bakery cafe for breakfast. We ordered Burnt Sugar Posh Toast ($8), Thick Toast ($7) and Black Coffee ($5).
The coffee was good – bright with pleasing flavour notes.
The Burnt Sugar Posh Toast looked, well, burnt. It was not the bread that was burnt of course. The very dark brown colour came from the caramelized coconut sugar. It tasted like toast with a sugary paste but with a smokey aroma. Nice but not very special except for its exotic look.
Thick Toast was 2 pieces of toasted sourdough bread served with butter and fruit jam. This basic dish allowed Starter Lab’s sourdough to shine. It was airy and had a good chewy texture. The crust was thin and crispy. The bread had very pleasant aroma and flavour – really quite different from the regular white or whole wheat bread.
Handcrafted sourdough worth a try
The bakery cafe is also a charming laid back place for breakfast or a light bite with good coffee. However, Starter Lab Singapore may not be for everyone. The breads are not cheap, but that us because baking sourdough bread takes days. The taste of the bread may also appeal to some and not to others. There is no standard sourdough bread simply because sourdough baking consists of a spontaneous fermentation process involving wild yeast. So even different batches of sourdough bread using the same starter may taste slightly different. However, if you are a sourdough aficionado you should definitely give Starter Lab’s handcrafted sourdough bread a try.
You may now place orders online for Islandwide Delivery or Self Pickup.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Starter Lab Singapore
721 Havelock Road, Singapore 169645
Tel: +65 9839 0408
Opening Hours: 8.30 am – 5 pm
Sat, Sun: 11 am – 4.15 pm
Mon – Fri: 10.30 am – 4.30 pm
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog