Brunch Munch

Brunch Munch

There's no meal more important than breakfast (or brunch if your bed's gravitational pull is too strong), so it's vitally important that you do it right. And these places definitely hit the nail on the head.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

There is only one correct way to have the perfect @mcdsg breakfast:⠀

1. Order a McGriddles Stack meal⠀

2. Politely ask (or demand) a little tub of hotcake syrup, and if you’re extra bougie, a set of McDonald’s finest silverware⠀

3. Get order, admire the breathtaking perfection that is the McGriddles Stack⠀

4. Drizzle exactly three quarters of the syrup over the divine brekkie sanger.⠀

5. Praise the breakfast gods, and devour this sexy stack in their honour.⠀

“Verily verily I say unto thee: ‘tis easier to pass through the eye of a needle than it is to enter breakfast nirvana.” - The 🅱️ook of 🅱️reakfast, chapter 6 verse 9⠀

Lockdown 2: The Encore That Absolutely Nobody Wanted, Needed Or Even Asked For is hitting most Singaporeans extra hard, but none have it harder than the restauranteurs & other F&B proprietors. One of those who’ve been utterly slapped in the face by the no dine in government order is @clapcafe.sg, who was slated to officially open yesterday, the 17th of April. However, since the 16th was the start of the ban, they had to hurriedly throw a soft launch on the 15th, Saturday. Glad they did, and I’m glad I discovered them after about a half dozen pints of beer.⠀

Sure, hot chocolate may not necessarily be the best thing to stave off any unnecessary acts of drunkenness, but it sure is comforting. Clap does a ridiculously indecent rendition too, with three different kinds of chocolate melted down into the delicious Dirty Chocolate ($8 nett). If I remember correctly, the bossman, Frank, informed me that it was a mixture of melted dark chocolate, premium quality cocoa powder, and…well, I forgot. I’ve got an excuse for that, and it’s called ‘six pints before’.⠀

What I do remember, though, is that this hot choccy is incredibly chocolatey and only very mildly sweet. You can definitely taste the bitterness from the dark chocolate that’s been melted in, and the creamy concoction strikes the perfect equilibrium between bitter, sweet, smooth, and luscious. Of course, gotta have the marshmallow. Can’t forget the marshmallow.⠀

While I do think that it could be a touch thicker in body and the flavours could be enhanced with a sprinkling of coarse salt on top, it’s a hearty hot chocolate that’ll make you feel like you’re snuggled cosily into your safety blanket. It may be a Dirty Choccy, but it’s nothing but pure bliss.⠀

I wish @clapcafe.sg all the best in these gruelling (albeit completely avoidable) times, and I think they’re still open for coffees/teas/Dirty Chocolates to go, plus you can bag one of their homemade pecan tarts or Basque cheesecakes to go. It’s a lovely little café that needs all the help it can get, so please go and get a delicious drink from them to support them.

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@breakfastclub.sg wouldn’t actually be a breakfast club if they didn’t flip up a gratifyingly greasy fry up, so of course they got that covered. Their normal Breakfast Plate ($9.90) has two triangles of French toast, a bratwurst, a hefty hash brown, cherry tomatoes, baked beans and of course, creamy scrambled eggs piled high on a ponderous plate. Of course I added on bacon & mushrooms for two bucks each, go big or go home fellas.

The bratwurst sports a comely char, with a sexy split in the sausage casing to indicate a great grill on it, while bacon is always brilliant, no exceptions. While the scrambled eggs aren’t quite a match for mine, they’re still serviceably sumptuous thanks to their marvellous moistness & charming creaminess. It’s seasoned lightly, which is fine when you marry it to the salty, stellar bacon that you should be adding on to this.

As for the baked beans...well, they’re tinned beans. Moving right along, the French toast was excitingly eggy & subtly sweet, with a respectable ratio of bread to egg. The sautéed shrooms were generously seasoned with salt, pepper & a hodgepodge of herbs, and they are guaranteed to will have you trippin’. To Flavortown, of course. The cherry tomatoes were a deal breaker though, as the raw tomatoes were sour and decidedly past their freshest. Sauté your tomatoes fellas, never forget.

Another thing that gets my goat in da Club is their ‘English Plate’ ($6.90).They’ve swopped out the sausage for bacon, subbed the scrambled eggs for a pair of sunny side ups, and dropped the baked beans entirely. Lad, it isn’t an English unless you’ve got baked beans, fried eggs, sausages AND bacon, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes on the plate. Bit sad innit bruv? Call it the petite plate or something mate, you don’t ‘ave a loicense to be butcherin’ the ol’ English like that.

Still, the Club does a decent fry up brekkie, and watch me go all out on these brilliant breakfasts. The club can’t handle me right now.

The first rule of Breakfast Club: tell everyone on Instagram about it. I don’t even remember who I first saw featuring @breakfastclub.sg on insta, but I definitely remember thinking: ‘sumbitch, this place is in my hood. Time to pay ‘em a visit.’ Operating out of the coffeeshop at the corner of Upper Serangoon & Simon Road, it’s about three doors down from the OG café that kicked off the entire cafehopping craze years ago.⠀

Setting up shop that close to the godfather of cafés? It’s a bold move Cotton, but it seems to be paying off for the Club. Yes, they’re selling café breakfast dishes for cheap in a coffeeshop setting, and they might just pull it off. This pancake threesome was only three dollars and ninety cents. That’s right, THREE. NINETY. While it ain’t three fiddy, it’s still a breathtaking bargain. They’ve got the clown prince of fast food thoroughly beat, and their pancakes are roughly the same size as those that the clown slings out.⠀

They’re adequately fluffy, and still retain that satisfactory satiation of a good pancake. They’re only mildly sweet, and require a decent dousing in ol’ Aunt Jemima’s syrup. Slap a pat of butter onto each pancake, and that’s all she wrote. Alternatively, you could pull off a 200 IQ play & come armed with some fruits or even ice cream to really personalise your pancakes. ⠀

Yes, these pancakes are passably pleasant, but getting your hands on ‘em for slightly more than tree fiddy? That’s a banging bargain right there, change my mind. Hint: you can’t

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THE MCGRIDDLES ARE BACK! WHAT’S GOOD, BABY!!! Also, the McGriddle Stack is the best way to eat a McGriddle, thank me later.

Ok that’s all

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To the surprise of pretty much nobody, The Bread Shop does a really, REALLY good rendition of French toast ($10 nett). I mean, it’s The Bread Shop and French toast involves bread, so it’s really no surprise. It also helps when you’re a bakery at heart, and all your breads are freshly baked in house.

A tremendously T H I C C traditional bread slice (imma go out on a limb and say it’s just ol’ white bread) is lightly coated in egg before it’s pan fried to golden gloriousness. It’s very mildly eggy, and you don’t really get much in the way of egg as you terrorise this toast. The real attractions here are those fresh berries & caramelised bananas. They are so supremely sweet and scintillatingly sumptuous, and when lavishly lathered with the golden syrup, it’s sweet, sweet nirvana.

Tack on an extra $3 for a decent cup of cappuccino, and you’ve got a breakfast that’s inclined to make you rise an hour early just like daylight savings time.

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While my money isn’t thick and stacked (unfortunately), the Hot Pancakes from The Hangar certainly are. Three pancakes, composed out of The Hangar’s homemade batter mix, are drizzled with maple syrup and garnished with poached blueberries, thinly sliced strawberries and bananas.

For $20++, it felt kinda underwhelming. While the pancakes were fabulously fluffy and satisfactorily sized, it felt somewhat dull and monotone. The sweet poached blueberries, bananas and strawberries were nice, but it just wasn’t enough to tie everything together. What the hotcakes are sorely lacking is something to bind all the elements together, like a scoop of ice cream.

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Of course, ‘Straya serves up equally smashing brekkies to go with their sick coffees. Umami Bar’s Umami Divine (A$18.90) sees a three egg scramble jostling for space upon the plate with stellar smoked salmon, sumptuous sautéed mushrooms, lightly wilted baby spinach, smashed avocados, feta cheese and two slices of sourdough baked in house.

When a breakfast this banging is paired with a rippa cuppa, anyone can and will have a G’day, mate.

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The Hood Milk Bar doesn’t just do dairy related dishes, it’s also does what is quite possibly the most unique café brunch dish I’ve seen thus far.

The Beetroot Cured Salmon (A$25) sees one perfectly poached egg seated snugly upon a stellar smoked salmon croquette, and the other poached egg fenced off by a trio of beetroot cured salmon roses. Said salmon roses were flavorful, with an underlying yet unmistakable refreshing zest from the beetroot it was cured in.

The croquette was perfectly fried to a crisp exterior which contrasted the soft, fluffy interior filling of salmon rather exquisitely. The balsamic vinaigrette dressing ringing the plate was a nice shake up from the heavy, savory flavors of the croquette and the richness of the poached eggs. All the elements sitting pretty upon the plate fused together beautifully to produce the dopest brunch dish of 2019.

The food in the Hood is good, homeboy.

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While it might sound stupidly simple, The Oily George’s Salami & Cheese sandwich is simply stellar.

Everything is perfect: from the salami, to the cheese, to the tomato, to the rocket, and to the bread. Oh, and especially the bread. It’s then toasted to perfection, and best enjoyed with an equally perfect dirty chai.

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It's been an obscenely long time since I've parked myself inside The Hangar, so it was high time to right that wrong.

The Short Rib Shaksuka ($23++) has been critically acclaimed by Jayne, Veronica and many others repeatedly. Thus, after some deliberation, I ordered one. I'm not exactly renowned for making good life decisions, but ordering the shaksuka was definitely one of the best choices I've made so far.

A truckload of tremendously tender pulled beef short rib goes for a swim in a mildly spicy, tantalizingly tangy and utterly umami tomato paste. The bubbling, sensationally savory stew is then blanketed generously with a layer of cheese before the cast iron pot is baked to perfection to melt all that cheese into a magnificent, molten mess.

One egg is then cracked atop the boiling hot shaksuka as the crowning glory before it gets served with a few slices of Hangar's hearty baked in-house sourdough bread. Get all your photos in as fast as you can though, because that egg is gonna go from lava-like and runny to cooked through before you can grunt in pleasure.

With this short rib shaksuka, you definitely ain't getting shortchanged.

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Besides sweet Danishes and croissants, AM Bakery also bakes up loaves of majestic multigrain bread ($3.20 a loaf, if memory doesn't fail me) that's simply peerless. When consumed on the day of purchase, the exterior is satisfyingly crusty without being so hard to the point that biting into it may cause trauma to the more fleshy, vulnerable interior parts of your mouth, while the insides are sensationally soft and fluffy. It's also pretty damn delicious thanks to the fermentation process used by AM Bakery as well as the assorted seeds strewn all over the crust.

However, if you decide to keep it in the fridge to maximize its five day storage life, all you need to do is slice it up and toast 'em. The multigrain loaf magically gets even better when toasted, believe me. The crust is just as crusty as before, but the doughy innards just get so indulgently soft and light that I can't quite articulate just how wonderful it is.

Lads, if you want to make your missus happy, all you gotta do in the AM is whip up some of Gordon Ramsay's scrambled eggs, toast a couple of slices of AM Bakery's multigrain bread and give it to her in bed.

Give her the breakfast, not-nevermind.

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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