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Image: The Straits Times

With Chinese New Year just round the corner, you can find pineapple tarts just about everywhere and every bakery that churns them out is claiming that its tarts are the best.

A good pineapple tart should have the perfect balance of buttery crumbly pastry and a sweet yet tangy pineapple jam.

SundayLife! went on a hunt for the best pineapple tarts in town by putting a panel of four judges through a blind taste test.

We shortlisted 30 brands from a variety of stand-alone bakeries, bakery chains, restaurants and hotels. The selection also took into consideration popular brand names and recommendations from the judges.

YUMMIEST THREE

1. BAKERZIN

Where: 10 outlets, including 03-58/59 Jurong Point, and 01-05/6/7 Connexion@Farrer Park; open: various opening hours

Price: $23.80 for 21 pieces

Info: Go to www.bakerzin.com. Order two days in advance, by March 2. Last day of collection is March 5.

What the judges say: The judges like the soft crust that is not dry.

Mr Wong praises the “balance of sweetness from the pineapple and the spiciness from the cinnamon”.

Noting that the pineapple tart is shaped like a gold ingot,

Mr Chia says: “There is a distinctive pineapple flavour and acidity. The crust has a good texture and enough salt.”

2. D’PASTRY

Where: 01-121 Block 3020 Ubi Avenue 2; open: 8am to 6pm daily

Price: From $23 for 48 pieces

Info: Call 6742-7168 or go to www.d-pastry.com. While stocks last.

What the judges say: The judges like the complex flavours encased in the pineapple tart.

Mr Wong says: “It has a nice acidity, the taste is complex and has a lot of different flavours going on – floral, acidic and buttery. This is not your typical tart.”

Mr Tay gives it the thumbs up: “This tart has a balanced flavour. I would buy this.”

3. TRUE BLUE CUISINE

Where: Two outlets, including 47/49 Armenian Street; open: 11.30am to 9.30pm daily (closed from 2.30 to 5pm)

Price: $33 for a 300g box

Info: Call 6440-0449 or go to www.truebluecuisine.com. While stocks last. Walk-ins only.

What the judges say: The crumbly and nicely salted pastry stands out for the panel.

Ms Foong says: “The pastry actually tastes good and has a nice flavour. It is a little bit salty from the butter used. The crust is good, but the pineapple can do with a little more acidity – it is neither sweet nor sour.”

WORTH A MENTION

4. BENGAWAN SOLO

Where: 40 outlets, including B4-38 Ion Orchard, and B1-78/9 Parkway Parade; open: various opening hours

Price: $19.80 for a 330g box

Info: Call 6756-9113 or go to www.bengawan solo.com.sg. Order at least five days in advance, while stocks last. Last day of collection is Feb 18.

What the judges say: Mr Wong likes the buttery and thin pastry of the pineapple tarts.

Mr Tay says: “I can smell the cheese in the pastry. The flavours are balanced and there’s a nice colour on the crust. This is a tart I can eat again.”

5. GLORY

Where: 139 East Coast Road; open: 8.30am to 9.30pm daily; and at all FairPrice, Giant and Cold Storage outlets, various opening hours for the supermarkets

Price: $13.20 for 25 pieces

Info: Go to www.gloryfood.com.sg. Order three days in advance, by Feb 6. Last day of collection is Feb 14 at East Coast. While stocks last at supermarkets.

What the judges say: Ms Foong likes the fragrance of the pineapple filling, Mr Tay praises its moist texture and Mr Wong says the pastry has a nice crumbly texture

6. HARRIANNS

Where: Three outlets, including 01-01A Bugis Junction; open: 7am to 9pm daily

Price: $14 for 20 pieces

Info: Call 6238-1200 or go to harrianns.com. Order by Feb 12, two days in advance. Last day of collection is Feb 17.

What the judges say: Mr Tay feels that the pineapple is a tad overcooked, adding that overcooking the jam will give a darker caramelised colour to the pineapple.

Ms Foong says: “It is not bad, but the crust is a bit dry. There isn’t much sugar in the pineapple topping, so it is not too gummy.”

7. INTERCONTINENTAL SINGAPORE

Where: Man Fu Yuan Chinese Restaurant, Level 2; Tea Hut, Level 1; open: Man Fu Yuan, noon to 10.30pm daily (closed from 2.30 to 6.30pm), Tea Hut (till Feb 15), noon to 9pm daily

Price: $38+ for 20 pieces

Info: Call 6820-8519/8520 or go to singapore.intercontinental.com/festive. Order two days in advance, last day to order is Feb 15. Last day of collection is March 5.

What the judges say: The panel likes the balanced flavour of the pineapple – both sweet yet tart.

Mr Tay says: “I think there is added colouring in the tart. However, I like the pleasant flavour of the pineapple.”

8. KELE CAKES

Where: Five locations, including Takashimaya Square, Ngee Ann City, Basement 2; open: 10am to 9.30pm daily (till Feb 17)

Price: $19.80 for 31 pieces (promotional price till Feb 8, thereafter it is $22.80)

Info: Call 6710-7886 or go to kele.sg. Order up to three days in advance, by Feb 8. Last day of collection is Feb 17.

What the judges say: Ms Foong notes the balance in the pineapple to tart ratio, as well as the buttery crust.

Mr Wong says: “The crust is soft and crumbly, but it also has a milky taste. I like the texture of the crumb.”

9. PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE

Where: Pacific Marketplace, Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 1; open: 7am to 10pm daily

Price: $58+ for 32 pieces

Info: Call 6826-8240 or go to www.pacificmarketplace.com.sg. Order three days in advance, by March 3. Last day of collection is March 5.

What the judges say: The judges note the pleasant pineapple taste with the right amount of acidity. This is a good option for those who like bigger portions of pineapple topping.

Mr Wong says: “The acidity comes through as you chew on it, it gets more and more acidic and finishes off nicely. Similarly for the sourness, as you chew on the filling, it gets more sour. The crumb is quite nice too.”

10. POH GUAN CAKE HOUSE

Where: 531 Upper Cross Street, 01-57 Hong Lim Complex; open: 8.30am to 8pm daily

Price: $19 for about 30 pieces, $28 for about 48 pieces

Info: Call 6534-0136. Order by Feb 8. Last day of collection is Feb 14.

What the judges say: The judges like the pineapple’s tartness, paired with the crumbly pastry.

Mr Chia says: “The pastry is rather pale-looking. However, I like that the pastry crumbles nicely and is not too soft. It could do with a little more salt to balance the tartness of the pineapple.” 

This article was first run in The Straits Times newspaper on February 1, 2015. For similar stories, go to http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore. You will not be able to access the Premium section of The Straits Times website unless you are already a subscriber.