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Vegan Friendly Factor –
If there’s one meal that rules them all, its brunch. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, brunches are the whole point of having a weekend. Whatever the cuisine served, I’m in love with brunch. *This review includes dishes with eggs, among others.
Throwback to NYC Days
And then there is that one dish that you associate with a perfect meal and find yourself irresistibly drawn to, time and again. For me, that perfect dish would be the breakfast/brunch staple, Huevos Rancheros a.k.a. eggs, jalapeños, tortillas and sour cream. It is this dish that takes me back to my brunching glory days in NYC.
Singapore, unfortunately, has a limited number of restaurants that whip up this dish. Hence, when I found out that a NY restaurant was making its appearance in SG, it was the one item I searched for on their online menu, and bingo, I struck gold!
Husband & wife duo, Chefs Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, opened Clinton Street Baking Company in New York City wanting to make artisanal baked goods – hand-mixed in small batches & absolutely fresh. Soon, local and international recognition followed. Twice, New York Magazine voted Neil’s blueberry pancakes the best in the city.
Now, they have opened shop in Singapore with the same focus. The café is located on the quaint Purvis street which plays host to an assortment of boutique eating haunts.
On my most recent visit to Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant, we had our classic favourites – The Clinton Street Omelette, the famed Blueberry Pancakes, Spanish Scramble and the pièce de résistance, Huevos Rancheros. We also ordered Kale & Quinoa Salad, a vegan item from their menu.
The Famed Pancakes
Let’s start by talking about the Pancakes. And I cannot talk enough about these. The Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter (S$19) with choice of blueberries, banana walnut, or chocolate chunks, is one indulgent plate of goodness. Fluffy stacks with buttered edges served with dollops of your choice of jam and maple butter. Simply divine.
Of course, we had the Blueberry Pancakes and I have to say that I agree with New York Magazine – these pancakes are the best. Have them as a starter, or have them for dessert – just make sure you have them!
The Eggceptional Omelette
The Clinton St. Omelette (S$ 20) is hands down one of the best I’ve had in Singapore. Fluffy and golden yellow, it is everything you look for in an omelette and the absolutely fresh choice of ingredients stands out in every bite. Choose from a range of of fillings, I went with cheddar, caramelised onions and tomatoes. The attention to detail is restricted not just to the dish itself but is extended to the accompaniments as well. The hash browns served alongside the omelette were brilliant and the cube-sized potatoes were roasted to a crisp on the outside, while still soft on the inside. Also served alongside is an awesome sourdough toast.
Close Enough, Yet Not Quite There
Moving on to what I came in here for – Huevos Rancheros (S$21). Beautifully plated, the dish serves up all the right flavours. Two sunny side-up eggs are served on a corn tortilla, with Mexican beans, guacamole, jalapeño sour cream, salsa picante, and Monterey Jack cheese. However, one essential element – the spicy jalapeño kick, was missing from the dish. The plate also lacked enough carbs; I could have done with another tortilla and perhaps, some of the aforementioned hash browns. Though I enjoyed the dish enough to come back for it, I would not rank it as my favourite Huevos Rancheros. I will also drizzle on some tabasco next time.
Balancing the Guilt, Sumptuously
Moving on to healthier options (it’s the weekend; do we really need to?), let’s break down the Kale & Quinoa Salad (S$19). Power food rich in nutrients, this salad is built with curly kale, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, avocado, tomatoes and a refreshing dash of lemon vinaigrette. Hits the right notes if you are looking for a light option.
The Perfect Cuppa & Cake
eThe Jalapeno Corn Bread and Coffee make a great combination
I rounded off my meal with a stellar Cappuccino made exactly as I like it; extra dry. There are plenty of beverage options from alcoholic to milk based, and a drinks counter. (On a separate visit, we also tried the Jalapeno Corn Bread – it’s kind of between bread and cake, sweet and not spicy at all).
Kid Me Not
Let’s talk kid friendly. The pancakes are an obvious choice and a sure-fire hit. Another sure-fire hit are the Sweet Potato Fries. I also ordered a portion of Spanish Scramble (you can ask for the Chirozo to be omitted) which was warm and creamy, and devoured instantly. The restaurant offers high chairs and un-breakable cutlery for kids.
For the Egg-free & Vegans
Besides the Kale & Quinoa Salad, there is also the Veggie Sandwich on the menu with the usual suspects (avocado, tomatoes, sprouts), that would be an easy option for vegans. I didn’t see too many menu-choices for vegans but there are sides like Hand-cut Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Sautéed Spinach. Overall, I wouldn’t rate Clinton St. Baking Company high on the vegan-friendly meter.
Besides the varied menu, the cafe also has a bakery counter with an assortment of pastries, cookies and muffins. Overall, brunch at Clinton St. Baking Company is hearty and fine, served in a smart casual ambience.
Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant: 31 Purvis Street, Singapore 188608. P: +65 6684 4845