Lifestyle

Omzyn Cake Confectionery is an old-school bakery at Toa Payoh that sells S$1 buns

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FANN WONG AND CHRISTOPHER LEE USED TO BE REGULARS AT HIS THOMSON BAKERY

The bakery sells around 20 varieties of old-school buns with fillings like coconut, curry potato, red bean and hae bee hiam, all baked fresh by Ah Poh. He has been plying the trade for more than six decades, first as an apprentice before starting his own business 30 years ago. He continues to churn out bread the traditional way, without preservatives and in a deck oven.

If you’re wondering why this old-school bakery has such a non-traditional name, that’s because the signboard belongs to the previous tenant. “I was told by the landlord that I couldn’t change it so I used the one from the previous bakery,” explained Ah Poh. His shop is not related to the Omzyn Cake outlets in Bukit Merah and Bukit Batok.

Before this, Ah Poh ran Singapura Bakery at Upper Thomson Road for six years. He relocated to Toa Payoh in 2008 when the landlord wanted the space back. “Mediacorp used to film drama shows at my bakery. The late Huang Wenyong, Christopher Lee, and Fann Wong used to frequent my shop and we would bake fresh buns for them,” he recalled.

HE’S A ONE-MAN SHOW

Ah Poh, who lives in the HDB flat above the bakery, starts his day at midnight, baking at the store before opening at 4am. He single-handedly churns out more than 1,000 buns. He sometimes leaves the store unmanned when he’s busy in the kitchen and customers just leave their money on the table.

When we dropped by before 7am on a weekday, the shop was surrounded by customers and more than half of the day’s offerings had already been snapped up.

We promptly grabbed a few packs of buns. By 7.30am, all the buns were sold out, disappointing several customers who came after that. 

Why not open later in the day instead so he can sleep in and more people can buy his bakes? “Old already, cannot sleep,” Ah Poh replied with a laugh. He’s also used to working overnight as a baker, having been doing this for decades.

“When I sell out, I will quickly close shop, then go have a coffee and chat with my neighbour before going home to take a nap,” he quipped.



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