Gourmet Trips

Wu Pao Chun’s World of 麦方 phàng

Great-grandma used to asked me if I liked to eat “phàng”, since I went to an English university, as she fret about what to serve me for lunch when I visited her in Taipei. That’s the first time I encounter this word.

The Japanese called bread パン, derived from the French word le Pain but there was never a Chinese character to represent the word. Wu Pao Chun invented the Chinese character 麦方 (phàng) to refer to bread, as Taiwan was once colonised by the Japanese, and the Japanese word for bread has been morphed into the Taiwanese language.

Wu Pao Chun is the first Taiwanese and Asian to win the prestigious Master de la Boulangerie in 2010. That launched his fame around the region, and what followed are many bakeries that bear his name – Wu Pao Chun’s Phang Shop 吳寶春(麥方)店.

And his use of ingredients that are local, the sense of terrior, can be seen in some of the locally available creations – like this durian bread, luscious Mao Shan Wan durian fillings with fresh pandan juice mixed in the dough. Just like his champion bread creation – the lychee rose royale bread. This premium bread is sold locally at $20 a love.

I always like mentaiko, and he successful combined mentaiko and a Japanese-style bun to produce one of the best tasting mentaiko pan I have tasted.

Wu’s flagship in Capitol is more like a boutique than a bakery. The space is modern and spacious. The racks are not packed to the brim with goods to sell. The bread are placed appetisingly around the store like the iPhones in an Apple store.

Small batch production, the bread are fresh. But something familiar about the whole operations…..

Wu Bao Chung’s Bakery in Taipei is unique because he sources some of the best ingredients for his products. In his books, he describes the special blend of flours that he uses. Mind you, his breads are not cheap. What you would get at Breadtalk would cost 50% more but I don’t find them any better than the latter. Not surprising that the local bakery is 80% owned by Breadtalk in Singapore.

And for a limited time, you can buy the bread and then enjoy them in these space bubbles outside the shop, courtesy of the mall. There are board games and cosy sofas, but usage of these bubbles is limited to one hour per group.

Wu Pao Chun Singapore
#01-19/20 Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road
Singapore 178905

Date Visited : Oct 2020

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