Really, who would have thought? Traditional Chinese Medicine (“TCM”)-infused breads. Coreen Wong, owner of the million dollar invention, Dough & Grains. It is not as simple as throwing in funny-smelling herbs into doughs, because well, we all know, the herbs, they stink! Precious time was exhausted to come up with ways to eliminate and drown that adverse part of the ingredient. Quality is also controlled from the get go; black sugar is used (for some bread, whenever possible) instead of white sugar, and homemade butter is used instead of shortenings (smack the bread, you’ll see it returning to its original form). Every individual bread is wrapped in a plastic bag to prevent exposure to the germs in the air.
When I was first seated, I was asked what I’d like to drink. Really fortunate that I was prompted with ‘kopi, kopi si, kopi siew dai..’ or I would have blurted out ‘latte, please’, not that there’s anything really wrong, technically. No, it has nothing to do with affluence or ‘atas-ness’, but I was under the impression that Dough & Grains = cafe = ang-moh version of coffee options.
In this post, I’m not going to go into what’s nice and what’s not, because really, I believe most of us would walk into a bakery, look at the description (and how each bread is beneficial to you in this case) and swing every tempting-looking bread onto the tray. Some of the breads offered include Wolfberry + Chrysanthemum, Shou Wu + Bamboo Charcoal + Walnut and Yam + Walnut. Instead, I think what hit me more are the stories behind the unornamented and unpretentious facade, which I will share.
A CAUCASIAN. For the past 1 year, this bodybuilder never fails to set foot in the bakery every day from Monday – Friday at 8.30am, and purchase a bread infused with bamboo charcoal. It has proven to help him in eliminating his body odor.
AN OLD COUPLE. Similarly without fail, this loving couple already covered with white hair, would walk into the bakery every morning. Once, Coreen decided to close shop on Mondays. Next thing she realized, the old man said, ‘if you close on Mondays, what would my wife eat?’.
TWO CATS & A DOG. Coreen has a dog. Tiong Bahru Estate has two cats. Gone are the days of the rivalry between these animals . The dog was spotted pushing out his food tray to the cats. The two cats are seen so often lazing around the bakery, Coreen had invited an artist to paint up a picture of a cat at its backdoor (along an alley).
It’s the neighborhood that builds Dough & Grains. Breads are sold at around $2. If they are of health benefits, I don’t see why I’ll not come here for bread everyday if I’m living in the area.
Special gratitude to Michelle, and Coreen and the Dough & Grains team for the hospitality and hosting the tasting session.
Address: 71 Seng Poh Road, #01-35 Tiong Bahru Estate
Telephone: 6225 5223
Opening Hours: 7.30am – 9.30pm (Mon – Sat); Closed on Sundays.