Finally, a nice brunch spot in the East
Not that Baker and Cook’s an unfamiliar name but we really haven’t had solid brunch places near the Siglap / Upper East Coast Road area. The wood-lined interior is unpretentious, and the long display showcase of its daily fresh makes and bakes of salads, quiches, breads, cakes, pastries and various confectionery items is my kind of red carpet entrance. Not forgetting my favourite floor to ceiling windows that channels copious amounts of light to marinate us with some good ol’ Vitamin D.
Right at the back of the cafe is Plank, their sister pizza joint which you can order a good selection of house-made pizzas with pretty creative toppings, fired in a traditional pizza oven.
Weekends are made of these
Aside from the mainstay bakery outputs, Baker and Cook has a pretty decent list of brunch fare with eggs and toasts done several ways. Needless to say, we went for the heartier, filling selections that will hopefully tide us till the end of the day.
The Cappuccino was rather competently done, although I was told the coffee flavour was masked in the Flat White. Perhaps they need to work on adjusting the robustness against a larger milk volume. They use an NZ brand called Allpress, a brand that’s now found in the Australian cafe scene although probably not the most popular.
The Eggs Benedict (S$17 for bacon, S$19 for the smoked salmon) came with two perfectly poached eggs on a bed of bacon and greens, and sourdough bread in place of the usual crumpet over a swirl of balsamic glaze and chilli oil. I’m not sure if the hollandaise sauce was left unsalted on purpose, but aside from the savoury bacon, the sauce seemed to lack some flavour. It’s an easy fix I must say, because it works rather well texture-wise.
The dish stacks up overall in flavour with the creamy yolk and bacons cut by the greens, the sourdough soaking up the sweet balsamic glaze slowly, and that little kick from the chilli oil.
The Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon (S$14) didn’t make much of an impression. I’ve had better scrambled eggs, and it didn’t help that rye isn’t my favourite bread. Actually, as a bakery, there could have been more options of the breads, even though I vaguely remembered gluten-free as an option on the menu.
Oh but this – the French Toast (S$15) with roasted almond flakes was the big winner for me. The texture of the brioche is baking perfection, soft and chewy cotton candy-like insides, and a outer fragrant crunch from flash frying in hot oil I’d think.
Aside from the light sugar frosted almond flakes, the maple syrup gave it a rounded sweetness that’s just right for me. I’m not a big fan of desserts but seeing this order on another table made me want to try it and I definitely didn’t regret it.
Baker and Cook has mostly hits, little misses and with hearty and delicious breakfast selections to start the day, it’s little wonder you will end the day with a big, bright smile.
Quality of food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 6.5/10
#1 Swan Lake Avenue
Tel: +65 – 6445 2088
Hours: Daily from 8am to 7pm
Nearest station: Bedok or Kembangan are rather equidistant if you are taking a taxi
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