Originating from Hokkaido in Japan, the world famous BAKE Cheese Tarts are in Singapore – and this is fast becoming the new food craze here, ever since BAKE had opened up their first store in Singapore, at ION Orchard Shopping Mall on the 29th of April this year.
Prepared with a creamy cheese mousse on top of a twice-baked pastry tart base, many people who have tried these, have loved them even to the extent of claiming that these are the best cheese tarts that they have ever tasted.
This is despite almost every bakery shop in Singapore coming up with cheese tarts these days, such as the Salted Yolk Cheese Tarts and the Caramel cheese tarts, both from French style bakery Antoinette and the Salted Egg Lava Cheese Tarts and Original Cheese Tarts from Prima Deli outlets across Singapore.
Still attracts two-hour long queues
In fact, even now in Singapore, more than two weeks after the store had opened, it continues to attract queues of up to two hours. And each customer can currently buy a maximum of 12 cheese tarts, which are priced at $3.50 each, or $19.50 for a box of six pieces.
So just for fun, I decided to head to ION Orchard and queue to see whether the hype about the BAKE Cheese Tarts is really worth it, and whether these mini cheesy treats are really worth the attention that they have been getting.
Upon reaching ION Orchard, you will quickly discover that the queue for the BAKE Cheese Tarts is about 50 metres away from the actual store itself. I suppose that this is quite understandable though, because they probably do not want overcrowding and congestion at the actual shop as this can get quite messy especially during peak hours.
With barricades to keep people in line, I would generally say that BAKE Cheese Tarts staff here, have done their best to keep the queueing situation in check, and that the majority of Singaporeans were pretty civilised when queuing for these, though you may sometimes meet someone who has an intention to jump queue.
The queuing process took about 1 hour and 50 minutes in my case. And as a runner, I couldn’t help thinking that I could have used the same amount of time, to complete a 16-17km run!
At the end of my queuing, I was then ushered towards the BAKE Cheese Tarts counter, with a piece of laminated paper with the printed words “Confirmed – 12 Tarts per person” on it. I took this piece to the counter staff and exchanged it for 12 pieces of tarts, forking out $39 in the process.
The creamy cheese mousse is delicious
As for the actual flavour of the tarts, I would say that the creamy cheese mousse is definitely delicious. This is really smooth in texture and has a slightly salty flavour to it, without being overpowering at the same time.
Also, the cream cheese isn’t too rich at the same time, you can easily eat one piece and don’t feel sickly afterwards – it does not leave a jelak feeling unlike some other types of cheese tarts and cakes that I have tried previously.
However, the pastry base was not quite as buttery as I would have liked, and it also could have been more crunchy as well. But then again, I suppose that the makers of the BAKE cheese tarts had probably intended this, so that the rather plain pastry could balance out with the richer flavour of the cheese tarts, so that it would not overwhelm the senses.
Upon heating up the cheese tarts, the pastry base does become more crispy but unfortunately the crispness is not replicated smoothly throughout the entire pastry though.
I must also mention that the packaging for the BAKE cheese tarts could be improved slightly – when I brought the cheese tarts home, the bus ride was about 45-minutes long, yet at least five pieces of the precious BAKE cheese tarts had fallen apart, with the top baked layer of cheese ending up on the cardboard box instead.
Only worth getting again once the craze dies down
I feel that the BAKE cheese tarts may be slightly over-hyped – so I would probably not be willing to wait two hours to buy them again. But maybe after this food craze dies down and there is no more queues at the shop, then I may consider treating myself to one or two pieces of these cheese tarts again.
BAKE Cheese Tarts is at:
2 Orchard Turn, #B4-33, ION Orchard, Singapore, 238801
Opens 10am-10pm Daily