Gruyere Gougeres

$4.50 · 2 Reviews

Before I go on to say anything else - if you find that you’re at the right block but don’t see the restaurant anywhere, head to the BACK of the building. #learnfromjean
You’re at the right place once you see "Malcolm Bistro" - guess it’s a day/night-Jekyll/Hyde situation. The restaurant does serve lunch and dinner service, but reservations have to be made in advance, and according to the staff, dinner is an exquisite 7-8 course meal. For afternoon tea time, they were serving gruyere gougeres (cheese puffs) and smoked salmon brioche at the time.
The tea menu is pretty simplistic, listing just the categories (white, green, oolong, black) without further description. I went with white, and found out later during the staff’s introduction later that it was royal white peony. As you can see, the set up is elaborate. The staff pours the hot water over the leaves in circular motions (think coffee pour over style), and the tea is left steeping for about 4 minutes before it gets drained into a kettle below. The kettle is then moved to a stand above a small candle flame which keeps the tea warm. However, one thing that annoys me a little is that they only serve the first brew batch, and dispose of the leaves after. I should take a serious tea appreciation course to find out if that’s really a legit move. In any case, it was a sweet fragrant tea with mild floral undertones.

20grams do serve a rather limited selection of substantial mains such as the Maine Lobster Roll and The M Dog, but I went for these considering I was in only for a light bite.

These took considerably a while to arrive, but that is only because these are baked fresh upon order. I love how these are like a fusion of cream puffs and Pao De Queijo (mini mochi cheese buns — Four Leaves do sell them). Each morsel is delightfully fluffy, pillowy with a light hint of cheesiness within, while the exterior remains lightly crusted; perfect to pair with a cup of tea or coffee while doing some work on the laptop with its bite-sized nature. 6 pieces comes at a price of $4.50; pretty reasonably actually.

(PS: They do serve a variant of Dominique Ansel's Cookie Shot here named "The Cookie Cup". While it was not available during my visit, now you know where to get that craving fixed!)