BreadTalk (Park Street).

Kneaded to life in Singapore, this foreign chain is a tad bit more expensive than local bakeries but is also cleaner and more posh. Many of BreadTalk’s baked goods are quite enjoyable, however, we find some options a little too bland or sweet, leaving for an experience that has all the taste and flare of a sunken cupcake.

The Goods

BreadTalk certainly delivers the goods in terms of presentation. I’d go so far as to say presentation-wise it’s one of the best in Colombo. Every bun, roll, and cake is neatly arranged in plastic cases ready for chomping- The nachos have a pleasant drizzle of cheese and the chocolate aleck (a sweet bun) is neatly arranged alternatively with its vanilla smart aleck brother. They don’t cut down on the portion sizes either – most goods are pretty large allowing for a rather filling experience.

Strip it down to the basics however and the buzz around BreadTalk ends in a muffled murmur. Taste-wise it becomes apparent that BreadTalk is in desperate need of heading back to the kneading board. Some options come off as bland, while others including savouries lean towards the sweet side. I went in solo (I’m so lonely…) and took on the herculean task of tackling their Pizza Bun (Rs. 160), Golden Nacho Cheese (Rs. 160), Chocolate Aleck (Rs. 180), Chicken Floss (Rs. 180), and Ice Coffee(Rs. 170). – now I’m in desperate need of exercise.

The Pizza Bun is all in all okay. It’s fairly large and comes laden with cut up sausages and a slather of cheese. Bite into it and you’ll see what I mean. The bun is a pleasantly light texture, which should allow for more flavour, but all in all it’s just a little bland. There’s too little vibrancy- no bang from the vegetables and no flavour from the sausage. It really isn’t something to be remembered. I reckon it’s okay considering there’s sausages baked in the bread.

Chicken Floss is something that is common in South East Asia. You can’t miss them if you tread around Jakarta or Singapore. The floss was actually one of the better ones. It’s pleasantly light, almost airy in its consistency with heat coming off from the cotton-like chicken. There’s even a bit of an added something that adds a wetness- a curry of some sort or the other in the bread. The bread does taste a bit too sweet however which defeats the purpose of the savoury.

If you’re on the vegetarian side of things heed my warning and avoid the golden nacho cheese. It’s like your typical Sri Lankan politician – It looks promising and comes slathered with a cheesy slogan. However make the purchase and you’ll realise you’re on the highway to being conned for Rs. 160. It’s super bland and unexciting. Even the included potato kieves fall flat of their initial appeal.

If the Nacho is a Sri Lankan politician, the Aleck is its con artist friend involved in the dirty side of business. It looks rich – what could be better than a long baked tower-like pastry full of layers and lumps of chocolate? Well – anything. Honestly I was kind of hoping this one would perform but it doesn’t. The pastry has a bit of a crunch factor to it – however bite into it and the massive filling which barely tastes of chocolate slithers out like the sly con artist it is.

Their Iced Coffee was okay. It came off too sweet for my liking but makes for a decent drink.

Service and Ambiance

BreadTalk is certainly one of the cleanest options when it comes to bakeries. Commanding a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere I could easily say it’s one of the top few in terms of ambiance. The music’s all right, and they had the SL-PAK match live which is an instant win- woot- woot- Cricket! There’s an abundance of comfortable seating- I did notice the sofa I sat next to had a few minor stains – but that didn’t dilute the experience.

BreadTalk’s service is good. While it can’t compare to the excellent, friendly service of Paan Paan, it’s quite decent overall. The staff all shout a half hearted “welcome” when you walk in. They’re courteous, efficient and run a smooth operation. (Sade is that you?)

Conclusion

Oh BreadTalk. I really wanted you to be good. You’re a bit like my ex-girlfriend – pretty and all, but terribly bland.

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