He may have worked in the lofty pastry kitchens of Noma — voted the World’s Best Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 — and the now-defunct two Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre in Singapore, but all Singaporean lad Mohamed Al-Matin wants is to open his own bakery selling rustic bakes like cruffins. So two years after his stint as Noma’s pastry sous chef, the well-spoken 31-year-old returned to Singapore in January this year to start his own business.

But as most stories go these days, Covid-19 happened and his plans for “a quaint little bakery selling pastries and cakes with a small dine-in area” have gone awry. Nevertheless, Matin has been making waves in the months since with his pop-ups at cafes such as Bearded Bella, Park Bench Deli and Maxi Coffee Bar where he’s sold limited quantities of his signature kouign-amann, galettes and croissants.

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