Baked to go.
I had an early morning yoga session at Tanjong Pagar and made a little detour on my way home for some takeout breakfast from ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’.
I was starving and even though I tried to be reasonable about it, seeing all these delicious looking baked things I totally over-ordered anyway. Back home I opened my takout boxes and started with the ‘Forcaccia‘ topped with a generous layer of salty parma ham, some fruity cherry tomatoes, savory cheese all under a bed of fresh sharp red onions and bitter arugula, cutting through the other more heavier flavors. That was pretty darn delicious and actually would have been enough as the rich forcaccia bread together with the cheese layer filled me up rather well. The stuffed bread loaf, I forget the name of, was unimpressive soft and nearly tasted sweetish. All in all it wasn’t too memorable if not maybe for the hearty and chunky filling of ham, cheese onions and herbs but I definitely preferred the forcaccia over this. It also seems that recently I add something sweet to my order more often and today it was an interestingly looking ‘Chocolate Snail Pastry‘. At first it seemed quite dry on the outer twist but became more chocolatey, sticky and fudgy the further I circled my way in. The chocolate also wasn’t too sweet either which I appreciated.
I liked this place a lot besides maybe the higher price tag but proper baked goods are a rare find so I didn’t really mind paying a little extra. People are welcoming and friendly, the self service proceeds rather fast considering the crowds coming through here and it seemed also quite a nice place to sit down and spend an hour with your friends over a good breakfast or brunch. I’ll be back to try more.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street
Tel: +65 6220 3430
Now that’s a proper brunch.
‘Alte Kanzlei’ in Stuttgart is a very nice and popular place for brunch and lunch and so we found ourselves stranded within a crowd of people and without a reservation. The fabulous waiter though spotted a soon to be available table for our group and after an only 10 minute wait we already sat down. Off to a good start.
It wasn’t lunch time yet so I was looking for something smaller and after discovering ‘Weisswurst‘ on the weekend menu I didn’t have to look any further. The sausages were darn good and well seasoned considering we were outside of Bavaria. They obviously had used an “opferwurst” (victim sausage) – a sausage cut open into the broth so the gets saturated with salt and doesn’t drain the taste out of the other sausages – so the ones I got to eat were still hearty and delicious. The brezel maybe was a bit dry but added nicely to the saltiness of the whole thing and that all topped with some sweet and grainy mustard. Washed down with an extraordinarily refreshing ‘Spezi‘ and I was home.
It was a really nice place, bright and warm, bustling and yet the waiters went out of their way to help us. The food was appetizing and service efficient, friendly, funny and fast; screams for a repetition.
Tel: +49 (0)711 294 457
Little french breakfast café.
On the lookout for a quick breakfast before shopping we stopped by ‘Choupinette’, the place with the radiant and colourful sign on Bukit Timah Road. I didn’t have french style breakfast for ages and couldn’t go past the ‘Croque Madame‘ which is pretty much a grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with a sunny side up. It looked quite neat there with that perfect circled egg and the squarish thick cut double layered toast underneath and taste wise it was pretty good as well. Salty ham, saltier gruyere cheese but unfortunately greatly over-toasted which made it all super dry so that I was really glad I had made my sandwich a “madame” as the runny yolk at least added some moisture to the dish. So flavours were good, execution regrettably didn’t delivery 100% but it’s still a pretty nice place for a quiet breakfast off the Dempsey Hill crowds with very friendly service as well.
607 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: +65 6466 0613
High Tea at City Hall.
Finally it was dim sum say and our host took us to City Hall to go to ‘Maxim’s’ as I turned out a great place for high tea. The queue was massive and we had to wait for a good hour before we could get a table. The place is elegant, a huge bright room with hundreds of people sitting and eating and running around in between.
We tried heaps and heaps of baskets of which the first was the above with the steamed ‘Prawn Dumplings‘ which were stuffed ’til bursting with big prawns. I always find their texture really odd but tastewise they were fantastic.
The pork filled pockets were my and everybody’s favourite, the dough was super chewy and stuck to your teeth and the meat gravy filling was delicious too.
Another bbq pork filled option were the pastry buns which were good but together with the glazed pork inside the sweetish pastry was just a little bit too much. I didn’t really like the ‘Shao Mai‘ but then I never actually do cause their awkward pork-prawn-mix that weirds me out.
The vegetarian option for the day were the steamed mushroom dumplings that had some lovely crunchy texture and the above waterspinach version that was fresh, juicy and simply delicious.
This was a great place to get dim sum, the nice ladies with the trolley’s full of goodies hovering around and just really really good food. Recommended.
Maxim’s Palace Chinese Restaurant 美心皇宮
3/F City Hall, 5-7 Edinburgh Place 中環愛丁堡廣場5-7號大會堂低座3樓
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2521 1303
Little breakfast find in Causeway Bay.
Arrived in Hong Kong, we stayed with our friend who just had moved to Causeway Bay. The first morning wasn’t our designated dim sum day so I looked around the internet for a coffee place close by. I found a joint called ’18 Grams’ that turned out to be just a two minute walk away, a small pretty coffee shop that at most maybe holds 15 people including the outside tables.
I had the ‘Ham & Cheese‘ which was right what I needed for a very hungry morning, great toasted and crunchy poppy seed bread with a salty mix of the lean smoked ham and wonderfully gooey cheese. They also had my favourite ‘Iced Drip Coffee‘ which they funnily served in a champagne flute and a mega refreshing ‘White Peach Soda’.
I’d come back here again anytime to try the other delicious looking breakfast items or to have one of those fancy looking coffees again. Nice one.
Unit C, G/F 15 Cannon Street
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2893 8988
More brunching in Tiong Bahru.
I had been here for a cold drip a couple of weeks ago and wanted to come back and try that delicious looking ‘Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg‘. I asked them to make it well done but I think it got mixed up with my friend’s dish as her’s was perfect while my eggs were still quite runny. Nevertheless they tasted pretty good, were creamy and worked very well with the thick layer smoked salmon drizzled with some herbal olive oil. The english muffin could have been a bit more toasted and more arugula would’ve been nice too but all in all a very flavoursome dish to start your day.
I liked the place, elegant interior and a nice layout with an open kitchen so you can see your food come together if you’d wish to do so. If they now tune down both the aircon and the prices a little bit I’ll stop by more often to get my brekkie on.
ODP – Open Door Policy
19 Yong Siak Street
Tel: +65 6221 9307
Birthday Blunch at Dempsey.
A friend from Hong Kong came over on her birthday for a business trip this week so we gathered the troops for a birthday brunch/lunch at ‘Dempsey House’. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I saw some tired faces in our round but nothing that a ‘Pineapple Pitstop‘ or a ‘Bloody Mary‘ couldn’t fix.
It felt a bit too late for brunch so I ordered their ‘Braised Pork Shoulder Rigatoni‘ which came on a nice looking, interestingly shaped plate. The pasta was slightly past al dente but the pork was braised nicely, tender and soft. The creamy tomato sauce glazing it all was quite tasty and light with a meaty flavor but I wished they would’ve been a bit more generous with it. Aside I had their ‘Coleslaw with Green Papaya‘ which in contrast to the pasta was lovely crunchy spicy and a mix of textures and Western-Asian flavors.
‘House’ has a great setting within the greenery on the back of Dempsey Hill. Today the service somehow was irritatingly slow and seemed slightly confused, the food and drinks though were nice but as in most places up here a bit on the pricey side. Still a good choice for weekend mornings.
8D Dempsey Road
Tel: +65 6475 7787
Brunch hunting in Tiong Bahru.
A friend and I wanted to catch up over brunch and went scouting through Tiong Bahru as we hadn’t been to any of the not so new places that had opened around here some time over the last year or so.
Since ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’, ‘ODP’ and ’40 Hands’ seemed rather packed at the time we just walked around the corner to ‘Flock Café’ that a friend who lived around here had recommended, parked my bag at a free table and ordered their signature ‘Pork Cheek & Gruyère Sandwich‘ and two sunny side up.
It looked pretty good and because it was already way after official brunch time I hastily took a huge bite. The bread was apparently ciabatta and even that toasted it was very soft, more like a turkish flatbread and could’ve used a couple of more minutes on the grill. I was starving hungry but would have taken the time but at least it tasted nice. I didn’t think much of the gruyère cheese which unfortunately wasn’t entirely melted but the braised pork cheek they used was really tender and super moist also due to the fat soaking from the cheese, meat and juices into the bread and forming a little grease puddle under it. There was supposed to be mustard but I didn’t taste anything and actually didn’t look for it either. It all tasted good but after I had finished it up I felt rather unpleasant and a bit like a greaseball.
It’s actually a nice place, like all these new hip and stylish brunch joints but maybe some more eggs and other breakfast options from the menu would have been a better choice for me today. Now that I have been here already I will most likely check out the other cafes around the area first but might come back to ‘Flock’s’ eventually.
78 Moh Guan Terrace
#01-25 Tiong Bahru Estate
Tel: +65 6536 3938