Ah no neh…Asanoya Bakery comes to sunny Singapore!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

All rights reserved

The irascible and incomparable Travelling Gourmet TM goes to a Boulangerie that is…

MOST famous in Japan for its Fruits Rye Bread! It is Asanoya Boulangerie and Cafe which has officially opened in Singapore on 15 November, 2014.

It is the first outlet outside Japan! IThey very kindly invited me for a VVIP Tasting on 6, November, 2014 where I met the CEO, Ms. Asano Maki who specially flew in from Japan for the opening of the Boulangerie and Cafe.

During her exclusive interview with The Travelling Gourmet TM, I told her, “My friend and Sensei is Shiro Asano, 9th Dan, the Chief Instructor for Shotokan Karate International in Europe…Are you related to him? Ms. Asano Maki replied laughing, “No, and I’m not good in Karate.”

“Why did you decide to open in Singapore?”, was my next question.

Asano Makisan  explained, “We have ten outlets in Japan, 6 in Tokyo, including one in Matsuya Ginza, very popular, and one in Yokohama..and we thought it is a good idea to open in Singapore. Later maybe, to other places in Asia..My Grandfather stated Asano Bakery  in 1933…in Karuizawa, Japan. Then my father took over the business and now I am in charge since 2006.”

Asano Maki 20141106_130203

Clearly, petite and pretty Asano Maki is what the Germans call a capable “Power-Frau”. She has a degree in English and English Literature from the Seisen Women’s University which accounted for her excellent English when we spoke. She also loves wine being a Wine Advisor of the Japan Sommelier Association. It is almost enough to make you fall in love with her and her bread…

I also spoke to dynamic Glenn Tan, Director of Tan Chong International, the joint venture partner of Asano Boulangerie and Cafe. I queried, “Tan Chong is more known for Nissan cars than bread…”  Smiling broadly, Glenn remarked, “Yes, you’re right, Dr. Lim, Tan Chong International is more closely linked to importing Subaru and Nissan cars…our core business, and this is our first venture into the food business.”  I commented,  “I’m sure it will be as successful as your car business.”



I went on a tour of the kitchen which is on level 2 but is still visible from the Cafe. I complimented Pastry Chef Kobayashi Naomichi from Japan who has been in Singapore training the local Chefs for Asano Boulangerie.


The kitchen was very clean of course, and I observed the industrious team of Chefs making German style Pretzel Bread with crunchy Caramelized Walnuts and Maple Syrup which is one of their specialities. The stone ovens come from France. The breads are fascinating with their mainly European recipes tweaked to incorporate Japanese ingredients and nuances…

Asanoya Pastry Chefs20141106_133227 (1)


They say in merrie olde England that the proof of the pudding is in the eating! So without more ado I embarked on a gastronomic orgy of Pastry, Cakes and Bread tasting, not to mention savoury Salads galore! The Asano Cafe is a very salubrious with a bright and cheerful  décor so you can see what you are tasting, and it is very spacious too.


I liked the Weizenmischbrot Fruit Rye which is their best seller! It is crammed full of lemon peel, Rum infused raisins, lightly crushed Walnuts and other yummie goodies and it is very filling, and most satisfying when you are famished. The Polish Baguette has a lovely texture and is not soft and wimpy inside like some others. The sour-sweet Salmon Marinade with Radish and Kiwi Fruit is scrumptious and so is the Grilled Chicken with tangy  Tomato Sauce.

IMG_0669    IMG_0670

BLT and Smoked Salmon Sandwiches too. Splendid for a light meal accompanied by the breads.  Try too the Kuruizawa Blueberry Bread which has…yes! Blueberries inside and itlooks lovely with a purple patch in each slice. The name Kuruizawa comes from the town of the same name in the Nagano Prefecture which was where Asano Boulangerie was founded. It was simply called Asano Store in 1933. The Cranberry and Cheese Loaf has big chunks of cheese inside. The bun with melted Mozzarella Cheese and Cherry Tomato inside is also a winner.

IMG_0677         IMG_0685


I must mention the Chocolate Lava Cube which is like Moelleaux aux Chocolate except the molten chocolate oozes out very sexily from a fine textured bread-like cube…They also have Quiche Lorraine with Bacon and Mushroom and more.

IMG_0678 Asanoya Choc Lava Cube 20141106_151633

And how about the King Kong sized Karuizawa Raisin? It is 1.3kg in weight and spans 55cm in diameter! You choose the number of slices you want and you are charged by the weight. The Tea Bread on the other hand is flavoured with Earl Grey Tea leaves! Yummie! Yummie! With the eclectic pastries and breads I had fruit juice and Cappuccino. There is a good selection of Teas, Coffees, Juices and soft drinks. As “Our Man Flint” always says: man does not live by bread alone. It is also in the Bible…Matthew 4:4…




***Asano Boulangerie is awarded The Travelling Gourmet’s BEST NEW BAKERY of 2014!!!


I shall end with a Brain-Teaser: What starts with T, ends with T and has T in the middle?

Give up??? See the answer below…


At the above link you can see Sensei Asano and Sensei Kanazawa practicing Ippon and Jyu Kumite…

{{ The Answer is: TeapoT! }}  Wahaha!  🙂

Tea and Coffee go very well with pastries, breads and cakes… Itada kimas!

Ano, gochisu sama! 🙂

ASANOYA Boulangerie

15, Queen Street (just next to St. Joseph’s Church)

Wilby Central,

Singapore 188537

Tel: 65 6703 8703

Hours:  Mon to Thu 10 am to 8pm

Fri 10am to 11pm

Sat 8am to 11pm

Sun 8am to 8pm

About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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