(Purvis Street, Singapore) Clinton St. Baking Company, the critically acclaimed breakfast place from New York came to our shores with much hype a couple of months ago. For anyone who has read any food guides to New York, this humble breakfast place wouldn't be foreign to you. For those who haven't a clue, here's a short introduction from their site:
'When chef-husband & wife, Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman, opened in April 2001, their only mission was to make the best baked goods in the city, hand-mixed in small batches. But soon the locals stumbled in, and murmurs of Neil’s simple yet delicious omelets, sandwiches and soups moved people to cluster — then crowd — the block. New York Magazine voted Neil’s blueberry pancakes best in the city (twice!).
The lore about our brunch lines we cannot deny ... but try us at dinner, when the lights are dim, the crowds calm, and the food is “anything but ordinary,” says the New York Observer. Okay, and yes: We serve pancakes after dark.'
So is the hype really worth giving in to? We headed down to try some of their highly recommended items to see if they really tasted as good as they are acclaimed to be.
The famous Pancakes with Maple Butter ($18) that hail from New York are definitely a must-try here at Clinton St. Baking Company, and I'm not kidding at all when I say that it could solely be due to their absolutely amazeballs and addictive maple butter sauce. Sweet and buttery, it really adds a whole 'nother dimension to the pancakes, which are thick and really fluffy. The blueberries in and out of the pancakes provide a pretty nice balance to the overall taste of the humble breakfast dish with their sourness. Tastes like heaven on a plate!
The Spanish Scramble ($19) is yet another humble looking dish in which the scramble itself consists of chorizo, tomatoes, scallions and Monterey Jack cheese. It comes with a side of hashed browns and sourdough toast.
I guess that due to hearsay about how good this is, we had a pretty high expectation of this, but alas we were pretty let down. Gobbling down the scrambled eggs left us thinking it was pretty lacklustre.
I personally like the textures coming from the different ingredients in the scramble itself, but the scramble tastes average and thus is nothing to shout about, and it could do with more of that melted Monterey Jack. You can never have too much cheese after all! The hash, on the other hand, is good; well seasoned and tasty, it's oddly nicer than anything else on the plate. Overall, it's worth a try, but not a second time.
So there you have it. What do we think? Pancakes are no doubt Clinton Street's forte, and one simply can't dine here without ordering that. Cannot say the same for the rest of their menu though. We skipped the chicken waffles because of all the meh-ish reviews about it, but no harm trying if you must. Prices lean toward the high side, but if it gets you quality food, it makes a good treat for yourself every once in a while!
Do note that due to the limited space, it can get really crowded during lunch time, so come early if you aren't too patient a person as the waiting time for food alone can exceed way beyond half an hour! Just FYI, we arrived at about noon and were really lucky to get the last two-seater table available, so come early if you don't want to risk waiting!
Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant
31 Purvis Street
(Nearest MRT: Bugis)
Opening Hours: 8am to 10pm