TBS: Nine Years Old, Still Gold
One of the biggest challenges in the food and beverage business is consistency, which is why so many restaurants, cafes and bakeries get overwhelmed as soon as they start to expand their brand around the country with new branches. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with TBS, because 9 years since it first opened they’ve still ‘got it’.
We were hanging around Beverly Hills on sunny afternoon when we decided to stop by and grab a quick brunch from TBS’s Westown Hub branch. The branch is small and has one fixed high table with five high chairs like most of their branches – it’s meant to be a takeout bakery, after all. The shop has a linear display divided into two spaces; on the left, is the make-your-own-sandwich area with beautiful bread shelves behind it, and on the right, a mouth-watering display for donuts, croissants, tarts and other baked goods.
We were very excited to try their Dry-Rub Roast Beef but sadly, it wasn’t available, so we went with the Country-Style Chicken Salad Sandwich (30LE) which consists of a chicken salad that was basically shredded chicken smothered in mayo, then topped with sweet and tangy pickled red cabbage, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and served in carrot-flavoured toast (+3LE) which just gives the bread a cute orange tint and makes it more nutritious. Despite the unappetising presentation, the sandwich was very flavourful; everything was fresh and good for those who like a cold and saucy sandwich.
We also made our own Roasted Turkey Sandwich (38LE) with sautéed veggies (+29LE) recommended by the staff, cheddar cheese (+8.25LE), arugula – because lettuce is too mainstream – TBS special sauce, and served in Ciabatta bread. We absolutely fell in love with the rustic and chewy bread (the good kind( and the herby flavour and richness of the TBS special sauce which worked incredibly well with the turkey. However, the sautéed veggies were bland and didn’t add anything to the sandwich.
Moving to the sweet stuff, we opted for the Blueberry Tart (16.5LE), Nutella Croissant (20LE) and Sugar & Jam Doughnut (14LE). Despite the misleading name, the blueberry tart was actually more of a flat muffin that had a great soft and spongy texture, and the blueberry on top added a great fruity flavour and a hint of sweetness.
The sugar and jam doughnut was very light, far from oily and it had the right amount of strawberry jam. Our only complaint would have to be is that the donut wasn’t stuffed and it was actually cut into halves and the jam was more of a spread – like some kind of donut sandwich. As for the flawless Nutella Croissant, it was flaky, airy, buttery, golden brown, beautifully presented and filled with a generous amount of Nutella. This will always be our favourite item from TBS.
It’s safe to say that, for this year at least, TBS has passed the consistency challenge with flying colours. It’s made all the more impressive when you consider that, despite having tens of branches across the country, everything was fresh and made with tender love and care.