One of the newest establishments in the cafe scene, Crown Bakery & Cafe stands out from the rest with its focus on quality, wholesome bread. It’s mainly a bakery really, as seen from its name. Don’t expect too much in terms of brunch offerings, or seating capacity even, but it scores with its yeasty creations that are not just tasty, but full of goodness too. For my drink, I picked one of the Allerine’s tea selections – Pear-fect Oolong ($5). To be honest, while I was quite excited about the selection initially, I was rather put off by the strange smelling concoctions after I took a whiff of the leaves. It was a plus point that way, that the cafe offered samplers of the tea leaves so that I could make the right decision when ordering my drink. Unfortunately the cafe does not serve chocolate drinks, which is my default choice. I liked the tea for its soothing mouthfeel, with the flavour of the oolong enhanced lightly with notes of pear, rose and osmanthus.
Moving on to the brunch selection – there are essentially only three options on the menu, of which most appeared to be the typical items found in almost every cafe in Singapore. Hmm. Possibly one of the most expensive “big breakfasts” around, the Crown Breakfast ($29) surprised us pleasantly though. It was a royal spread comprising several meats – chicken sausage, Canadian back bacon and red wine-braised oxtail which had been slow-cooked, resulting in a beautiful tenderness. Rather unexpected, and this definitely stood out from the ubiquitous selection one usually gets in a cafe. And I haven’t mentioned the pastry yet! The Crown Puff Pastry is the centrepiece of this platter, and it was perfectly flaky, crisp and so addictive. It encased a sunny-side up egg with a lovely runny yolk. This set is rather generously portioned and could probably feed two people just right!
For those who can’t live without their poached eggs, Crown has three options for you to choose from. We went for the Countless Eggs Florentine ($16) and I found this to be the most unimpressive dish. Perhaps the hollandaise could be a tad tastier, as I found it a lacking, especially since it was served with spinach.
It was a tough fight between this and the Crown Breakfast, but my favourite out of the three would be the Earl Pear Bread Pudding ($12). Such a simple, homely dish, but it was absolutely delicious! One thing about Crown is that their earl grey products are done extremely well. What is this sorcery??! I have no idea how they managed to infuse such intense flavour into their breads. We dug into this piping hot casserole to unearth fluffy pieces of bread and earl grey-flavoured poached pears, scalding our tongues in the process, but we just couldn’t get enough of it! Buttery, with a light tangy zest to keep the flavours alive, it was a hit amongst us.
Besides the brunch items, we ordered some of the breads to share as well. The Earl Grey Cashew Brioche ($3) had earl grey tea leaves scattered atop, and it was laced with a perfume of the aromatic tea. The flavour of roasted cashew was a great complement to it, and it was a sensationally delicious treat.
The Mentaiko Mayo Crisp ($2.80) seduced us with the smell of its garlic as the fresh slices were carried out of the oven to the display section. We just had to order it! A crisp French baguette slathered with mentaiko, Japanese mayo and garlic – a devilish combination that was wonderfully tasty.
We packed some goodies to take home with us as well. The Shizuoka Matcha Brioche ($3.20) was really well done, with a distinct matcha flavour and almond flakes on top. The Earl Grey Orange Loaf ($3.80) was yet another earl grey product that was suffused with the aroma of the tea leaf, and I loved how the orange peel enhanced its flavour further. Crunchy almonds within the loaf provided a contrast, creating a well-balanced texture. We also really liked the Three-Cheese Ciabatta ($3.80) which was a crisp loaf generously studded with gouda, cheddar and parmesan. You’ve probably heard about the much-talked-about Hainanese Chicken Bread at Crown Bakery, unfortunately I couldn’t share the enthusiasm as it didn’t really taste much like its namesake in my opinion! Let me know what you think? :)
Crown Bakery & Cafe
557 Bukit Timah Road, Crown Centre #01-03
Tel.: +65 6463 3066
Fri & Sat 7.30am-10.30pm