Address: 163 Tanglin Rd, B1-125,126, Singapore 247933
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00am – 5:00pm
After a disappointing experience at Keen’s Bagelry, I decided to go on a hunt for a more passable bagel spot in Singapore. B for Bagel is a Korean bagel bar originating from Gangnam-gu which seemed a bit more promising. Here, I come with no expectations. A 4.0/5 Google Maps rating isn’t likely to wow you at all. A 4.5 and above rating on Google Maps is a good barometer for those that will impress you. This is why restaurants hate Google Maps. The voice of the public rings loud and true.
And so after my scathing review of most bagel places in Singapore, I’m not likely to give B for Bagel a rest if I really don’t like it. My commenters on TikTok think I’m too harsh, but I don’t lie and hype restaurants that aren’t hypable.
They’re not that bad. They’re not that good either. It’s just what they are… Unmemorable. Flat. Like the B-flat key of a piano.
B for Bagel is what I like to call Airport Bagels. Pale bagelwiches that delis in JFK and Newark airports sell, though don’t get me wrong — Korean bagels aren’t NYC bagels. The worst thing about B for Bagel is the inability to select bagels to your liking for their bagelwiches, but I like that they call them “bagelwiches”, because they’re not really bagels bagels. A sandwich shaped like a bagel is more acceptable given its bready texture and a little crispy exterior. The Bacon Cheese Omelette is not entirely terrible either. A slight sweetness of maple syrup greets your tongue between a thick fluffy (dry) omelette, and the bottom is toasted just right.
B for Bagel coffee was surprisingly good. Einspanner (a Korean regular in cafes, but may I remind you that it’s Viennese coffee) was nice and it comes with hot and cold renditions, though hot Einspanners aren’t that common and Korean cafes popularized that. I like the simplicity of the coffee; it doesn’t take a leaf out of aesthetic modern cafes which I’m growing to annoy and goes for the straightforward lattes in boomer era coffee mugs and riding the logo fashion trend.
My biggest problem at B for Bagel is the price. The bagelwiches are $11 – $16 an order and you don’t get to customize them. You can’t DIY / build your own bagel here too, which I hope they’ll change as they have plans to open another outlet. In contrast to Keen’s Bagelry, B for Bagel’s seating area is adequate, and I like the down to earth vibe in orange and white.
New Yorkers, let’s not skin this place alive. In the first place, they’re not NY bagels. Just grab the Garlic Cheese bagel or a sesame bagel, a tub of cream cheese, and that should set you below $10, a price that’s fitting for a fast casual restaurant.
P.S. I am curious to taste the Peach Cloud. Looks fancy. Costs $7.50.