Champion Bolo Bun had been one of the most anticipated openings to me.
It is a Bolo Bun specialty brand which started off as an online business in 2019, and I had subsequently tried in various public events such as the World Food Fair held at Singapore Press Holdings and Artbox Singapore.
What intrigued me is their concept store, an entire 3-storeys cafe modern cha chaan teng (or u can called it a cafe) focusing on selling just Bolo Bao at Tanjong Pagar.
Home to many Korean restaurants and eateries, Tanjong Pagar is known for being a food heaven filled with cafes, restaurants and popular Maxwell Food Centre a short walk away.
There had been some new changes to the Tanjong Pagar district lately, such as the opening of shaved ice cream shop Roji Monster Ice Cream from Taiwan, Sukhothai Boat Noodles, Miso Salmon, minimalist cafe Equate Coffee and Ballad Of Anna May.
“Bolo Bao” is a popular sweet bun in Hong Kong, with a golden cookie crust with textures that resembled a pineapple (and thus the name – Bolo), even though it doesn’t contain one.
Instead of going to the usual culinary schools, owner Hoh Loyi headed to Taiwan as she was inspired by Taiwanese Master Baker Wu Pao-Chun and the uniqueness and pride of Asian breads.
Upon graduation, Loyi headed to Hong Kong, the land of Bolo buns and worked in a Hong Kong cha chaan teng, where she learnt the laborious process of creating her own masterpiece.
The triple-storey high Champion Bolo Bun is unlike any normal cha chaan teng that we are familiar with.
Clean, minimalist and spacious decked in MUJI-like style on the first floor, with the creative use of contrasting modern wood and rattan against the white walls and old-school floor tiles.
Head upstairs and you will find space decorated in Scandinavian style, with the use of natural sunlight, wooden elements and green plants to create a conducive environment for the perfect afternoon snack.
Their menu is short and concise, focusing mainly on Bolo Buns: Classic ($4.50), Classic with Butter ($5), Curry Potato ($6), Mini (4 for $4.50).
Each Bolo bun comes in individual takeaway box, freshly made upon order and best consumed within 20 minutes.
I must say they are one of the best Bolo buns I had in Singapore, extremely soft and fluffy cotton-like buns that separate easily. Yet the bun was extremely chewy with the right amount of sweetness.
The surprise came when you sink your teeth into the golden-brown cookie-like crust on top that is iconic to Bolo Buns – crispy and crunchy outer layer that is firm and non-soggy.
The contrast in textures between the crunchy golden crust on top and fluffy bread beneath was of the right balance.
Personally, I will prefer the Mini Bolo Bun (4 for $4.50) to the Classic ($4.50) as you feel less guilty eating the bite-sized versions even though it is so addictive that you will end up finishing everything eventually.
My friends commented that OLs would love the bite sized ones too, as they won’t want to mess up their work stations while having their tea time snack at their desks.
My favourite was the Curry Potato Bolo Bun ($6), that comes with generous amount of curry fillings in it, just like our local Golden Pillow.
Very fragrant with spices and a little spicy, the spiciness is well balanced by the sweet bread and cookie crust of the bolo bun.
The Classic Bolo Bun with Butter ($5) had a creamier texture due to the slab of melted butter in it.
I believed this is what most Singaporeans are familiar with, similar to the traditional local breakfast toast with butter.
Apart from their signature bolo buns, there are signature drinks here such as Champion’s Coffee ($5.50), Champion’s Milk Tea ($5.50), Champion’s Lemon Tea ($5.80) with alternative Iced versions (+$0.50).
For those who prefer cafe-style espresso-based drinks, you can check out their Espresso ($4.50), Americano ($5) and Latte ($5.50) too.
Just like how Hong Kong Milk Tea will taste like, the Champion’s Milk Tea ($5.50) comes with a little “siapiness” in the tea due to the tannins that create friction on the tongue surface.
I really enjoyed the conducive and aesthetic environment of Champion Bolo Bun, perfect for a quiet afternoon snack amidst the hustling CBD crowd.
Champion Bolo Bun
92 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088513
Soft Launch Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm (Mon – Sun)
Other Related Entries
Roji Monster Ice Cream (Tanjong Pagar)
Equate Coffee (Tanjong Pagar)
Ballad Of Anna May (Craig Road)
Joy Luck Teahouse (ION Orchard)
Joy Luck Yum Sing (Funan)
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW]. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.