Meals to wake up to

Meals to wake up to

What could make your day better than a hearty brunch on a lazy weekend morning? Here are some of those breakfasts that you might want to wake up to!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

From the new Breakfast Club at The Coffee Shop by Yaowarat, which is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Kovan MRT Station and houses other concepts such as Shen Ye Pig Trotter Rice, Ng Kuan Chili Pan Mee and a few others.

Serving up all-day breakfast platters, the Rosti Combo is pretty affordable at it's price point — $6.90 is definitely a steal for a Rosti even in a coffee shop setting. The Rosti Combo is described to come with Sausage and Tomatoes according to the menu board, though the tomatoes seemed to have been on a leave of absence on the day of my visit — prepared fresh-upon-order, the Rosti here comes slightly thicker than that served at other places; a little closer to being a potato cake with slightly less-defined strips of potato, but still satisfyingly crisp and not too greasy — savoury without being overly salty, while the dollop of sour cream helps to neutralise the saltish notes as one smothers the cream with every morsel of potato. The sausage was pretty well-sized; adds a meaty touch that would hit those who must have their rosti with cured meats such as bacon, sausages or smoked salmon on the side — well-grilled without being too dry, yet carrying a good bite.

Now, who says you would need to splurge on a meal at a cafe for some satisfying western brunch ...

It’s been quite a while since I had returned to The Bakehaus; their Kouign Amann and Brownies left quite an impression on the very first visit there. After skimming through what they have to offer in their display case, the Flatbread looked like something substantial that is good for lunch — and it sure is. Available in an assortment of flavours, this was almost akin to that of Ham & Cheese, and would work well for those who love their Hawaiian Pizza sans the pineapples. While the toppings work well here with the tomato-based sauce helping to provide some zing for a refreshing note amidst the meatiness of the ham and melted cheese atop, it’s the Flatbread itself that is the star of the show here. Liked how light and fluffy the Flatbread was, while giving a very nice pull of tension as one tears the Flatbread apart — it is also a pretty rustic one, considering the charred parts that give a smoky hint and a slight crustiness for a contrast of textures.

PS: Paired this up with a Cold Mocha from Old Hen Kitchen, since The Bakehaus is conveniently located just across the road — finally got my grubby hands on their Cold Mocha; a chocolate-y version of their smooth and creamy Cold Brew (White) that is also aptly sweet at the same time.

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From The Food Peeps; a new hole-in-the-wall cafe situated in Maxwell House — a pretty small nook which serves up simple brunch items as well as specialty coffee brewed using beans roasted by Sarnies.

A simple item with a local influence, the Rendang on Toast features Beef Rendang, Poached Eggs and Yoghurt on Sourdough toast. Really liked how the Beef Rendang comes all chunky here; not having any bits that are too fatty or veiny — the beef providing a good chew and a very slight gaminess amidst the spicy rendang that is all savoury and gives a good kick of spiciness that tingles the taste buds. The poached egg over the top comes with all that eggporn action worthy of the ‘gram; revealing its golden goodness as one slices through the egg, whilst everything sits atop a slice of sourdough toast that gives a slight crustiness and a good bite, absorbing the elements above it. Nothing too fancy, but incredibly satisfying with a local twist.

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Knew I had to head down to Two Men Bagel House when news about the Holland Village outlet being opened was dropped. Featuring elements such as Pork Roast, Stuffing, Tomatillo Salsa Verde and Cardina Mustard Sauce, we also opted for the plain bagel for our order.

Really liked how meaty this particular Bagel-such is; the roast pork being immensely chunky, yet easy to chew and tender without carrying a porky stench — comes even with the crisp skin that carries a good crunch, all that being accompanied with the stuffing above that makes it feel some sort of a deconstructed Porchetta. The Tomatillo Salsa Verde helps to cut through the meatiness with its zesty and zippy notes which was actually rather refreshing; all of that in between their light and chewy bagel that did not require much effort to chew through, yet carrying a good bite. Still remembered how I have had my very first Two Men Bagel House experience pretty late at Tanjong Pagar being a non-bagel lover, but so glad that their standards have remained consistent through the years with the opening of the branch at Novena and now, Holland Village — which is how they have got such a strong following now with queues spilling over to the road despite being only opened just a few days ago. Would most certainly be back for more!

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Visited the new Baker’s Bench Bakery, which had recently opened its doors along Bukit Pasoh Road just beside Eight Cafe & Bar just a short walk away from Outram Park MRT Station. Offering quite a variety of bakes on display at the counter, they also offer a small selection of sandwiches for those who are looking for something more substantial; everything made from scratch in-house with the breads baked freshly on a daily basis.

The Savoury Scroll is best enjoyed heated up; essentially a savoury danish, the pastry is not only buttery, flaky and crisp, but also features a pesto paste and crusty, melted cheese swirled within the pastry for a savoury, herb-y flavour profile that was alluring — very delicious indeed. Also liked the fact that the pastry did not feel all soggy nor greasy; so good we ended up taking away one more. Pretty impressed with the other items they have to offer as well, including the K. Pork Belly Sandwich and the Cherry Chocolate Cake (in the background); certainly a place we are looking forward to return to and a gem in the neighbourhood that it is in!

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Was pretty enticed by the promotion poster for this item, which happens to be a special that is only served in the month of February. Whilst looking pretty decent, the item didn’t leave much of a good impression — no doubt the waffle is decent, and wafts of a fragrant buttermilk aroma, but the entire item felt marred by being pretty dry overall; the Mac & Cheese Waffle featuring bits of macaroni within the waffle that took much effort to chew, while the melted cheese had also pretty much dried up in the waffle batter that makes certain parts of the waffle feel relatively stiff (particularly in the middle). The fried chicken unfortunately suffered from the same problems as the waffle; whilst crisp on the exterior, the fried chicken, though brilliantly brined, was a tad dry — lacking tenderness and juiciness. Thankfully the sunny side-up was still on point; runny yolk and an egg white with crisp edges, which helped things a little with the maple syrup provided by the side for some moisture and sweetness — still wasn’t enough to save the day, however.

PS: It really feels like brunch isn’t their forte here; the 25 Degrees Breakfast was probably the most blah breakfast plate I have had; cocktail sausages, hash brown (i.e. Tater Tots) and scrambled eggs that is just a lazy attempt looking like a messy rendition of fried eggs — so much I skipped taking photos of it given how uninspiring it was; never again ...

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From Gather; the newest concept by the folks behind PUNCH, and now-defunct RONIN and The Plain at the newly-renovated Raffles Hotel where now-defunct Ujong and Ah Teng’s Bakery used to be located. Serving up a variety of Galettes, Sweet Crepes, Sandwiches and Baked Goods, the Salami & Potatoes come from the “Galettes” section of the menu, featuring elements such as Salami, Roasted Russet & Red Pontiac Potatoes, Melted Brie and Egg.

Really liked how the crepes here are done; the crepe being all paper-thin — delicate but still holding up to the ingredients really well without tearing apart. The crepes are particularly well-executes especially around the edges on the TOP, carrying a crisp texture. The insides reveal a crepe that is well-filled with melted cheese for a savoury note, while the egg white lines across the galettes within; the egg yolk being all liquid and molten, revealing its golden goodness as one breaks the yolk with a poke from the knife. The roasted, diced potatoes are savoury; the mix of different types of potatoes give a varied texture and a good bite, while the salami provides a meatier flavour typical of cured meat though the salami carried a similar texture to Bak-Kwan with its chewiness from the grilling. Pretty impressed with what they have to offer — it seems like the guys behind RONIN, PUNCH and The Plain always gets it right; a spot we would return for more crepes over coffee in the future!

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Checked out the new Fong Sou Bing Sat at Blk 131 Jurong Gateway Road, situated just at the HDB estate right beside JCube the other day which is essentially a Hong Kong Char Chaan Teng that serves up cart noodles, macaroni soup, French Toast, Bolo Bun and Skewers alongside neighbourhood bakery-esque breads — a slightly more limited menu for its soft launch as compared to the menu to be served when they are officially opened.

Served in the classic style, the French Toast is simple yet satisfying — just two slices of bread dipped into egg batter and fried with peanut butter spread in between, the bread comes lightly crisp on the exterior, while the creamy peanut butter provides a nutty flavour profile against the sweetness of the honey and savouriness of the knob of butter that gives the Hong Kong-style French Toast its signature flavour that we are familiar with. Liked how they seemed to have taken care of the details here by serving up the knob of butter over ice; keeps the butter solid just in case the patrons decide to have it as a dessert item after the meal despite it being served up almost simultaneously with the other dishes. Would not mind having this on a idyllic weekend whilst hanging out with a friend and sipping on some authentic Hong Kong-style Milk Coffee.

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Crispy Spam, Sauce Gribiche, Chives, American Cheese, Brioche.

Chanced upon the new Korio at Far East Square the other day; a new takeaway kiosk that takes up a hole-in-the-wall space that serves up sandwiches, donuts and specialty coffee. A simple sandwich that is great for breakfast or even light lunch — a bite into the sandwich reveals chunky and savoury Spam that comes with a crisp crust, being fried fresh upon order, along with the Sauce Gribiche; essentially a French-style egg mayonnaise that does not carry any sweetness or tanginess from the mayonnaise, and is more identical to a neatly chopped scrambled egg instead. All that coming in between two slices of brioche that carries just a light tongue of sweetness that compliments the savoury notes — very delicious, comforting and satisfying without being outlandish: a delight to have.

Probably a spot that most would have heard of by now; serving up Korean-inspired brunch plates and situated at the heart of Kovan within the same neighbourhood as Knuckles Bistro, Hatter Street Bakehouse and Cafe and Nakhon Kitchen.

Featuring elements such as Beef Bourguignon with House Sauce, Rockets, Butter Toast and Poached Eggs, this was essentially like the typical Eggs Benedict but with a slightly Korean twist. Enjoyed how the Beef Bourguignon was executes, with tender and soft-to-bite slices of beef that was marinated with Gochujang that helped to add a sweetness to the dish, without the beef carrying anything hint of gaminess. Otherwise, the poached eggs were runny with yolks that eagerly burst out of the whites as one pokes through with a fork, while the greens help to add a good balance to the entire dish. The only qualm we had was the bread beneath — serving the dish with wholemeal bread, we wished the bread could carry a bit more bite and could be a little bit more crusty for better texture; did not help that the soft and limp slices of bread is soaked with all that sauce and juices of the meat that turned it a wee bit soggy. Overall, still a good attempt on Korean-inspired brunch — would probably be back for their toast offerings, and the unique concoctions of drinks they have on their menu.

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Poached Eggs, Jamon Serrano, Pickled Shallot Beurre Blanc, Sautéed Spinach, Chives.

From Allium, a new concept by the folks behind the now-defunct The Humble Loaf and subsequenty, Gastrosmiths (previously located at Bugis along Tan Quee Lan Street before its last move into i12 Katong)— now located at Kensington Square off Jalan Lokam (also along Upper Serangoon Road) serving brunch (ala-carte) and dinner (set menu, reservations required).

The Heritage Eggs is an item that goes back to their days being The Humble Loaf at Mountbatten Shopping Centre; a throwback to their Not-So-Humble Eggs back then, the Heritage Eggs showcases their growth from what they were back then to now — still essentially the same inspiration behind the traditional local breakfast with a modern twist, yet with an emphasis of premium and quality produce at play here. Served with slices of bread that they actually baked in-house here, the bread comes light and fluffy; soaks up all of that amazing sauce that comes with the eggs — the Pickled Shallot Beurre Blanc carries an incredibly umami punch that is thick, garlicky and buttery yet with a slight tang that helps to cut through that richness. Otherwise, the bits of Jamon Serrano helps to add a hint of savouriness typical of cured meat, while the sauteed Spinach provides for a wholesome feel for the dish with a crunch; the eggs being all oozy with the yolks eagerly bursting with a poke by a fork. Really enjoyed how hearty this dish is, and pretty amazing to see how Allium had stuck to their roots ever since they had ever started as The Humble Loaf, providing patrons with mod-Sin creations with a twist that not only works, but also being incredibly refined.

Happy to see how the folks behind Allium had come so far; a place I would pretty much be back to check out the other items they have on the menu — congratulations on the opening on the new space, and great to see them back in business better and stronger, with a new direction whilst staying true to what they had always been all this while.

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It's been a while since The Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough had ceased operations at Serene Centre, so it is been a surprise to many when they had announced their re-opening at The Longhaus at Upper Thomson Road — their Sourdough is very much missed back then when they had closed their doors for the last time at Serene Centre.

Visiting them during their soft-launch, we tried the Sourdough (added a dollar for butter and jam on the side), but the Bialy is the item to go to for those who likes their savoury breads. Coming with the same sourdough base, the bread is still as good as ever — their bread had always carried a distinct tang from the fermentation process that is signature to the sourdough, while the bread carries a firm bite and a crusty exterior. Coming with toppings such as potatoes and onions, the chunky potatoes create a contrast of texture with a soft bite, while the onions carry a caramelised sweetness that further enhances the flavour of the bread entirely. Glad that the folks behind The Bakery at Woodlands Sourdough are back — certainly one of the re-openings that many are looking forward to; no doubt the lack of proper dine-in can be a bit cumbersome, but I guess the most important thing is their return to the F&B scene considering how they had since paved the way for many other sourdough specialty bakeries that had since opened in Singapore.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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