A couple of weekends ago, we were at Dean and Deluca for 2 straight days. Since we first checked out the place, we only ordered from the deli counter which is quite good. So we decided to try the hot food, Toasted French brioche with salty caramelized bananas, berries and vanilla ice-cream. It was a huge portion, big enough for us to share. I’ve never known toasted brioche taste so good with both saltiness and sweetness in one bite.
Anyway this post is not about reviewing Dean and Deluca, which I shall do another day. But I found another supplier of pastries and bread to D&D called Baker and Cook. I checked out the website and realized it is another artisan bakery with 2 outlets, the flagship store at 77 Hillcrest road and the second (which only opened in November) at 38A Martin road. I thought Martin road, which is near town, is more accessible and so my husband and I checked it out last week.
The bakery and food joint at Martin Road is located on the ground floor of an apartment building. It’s not very big, with limited counter seating indoor but more outdoor seating. There is a wide selection of healthy wholemeal or multigrain bread available, and pastries like tarts, scones, bagels and muffins, as well as cakes. There’re also pies, rolls, pizzas and salads. The bakery even makes their own jams like raspberry and marmalade.
The bakery also has hot food on its menu like Eggs Benedict and Big Breakfast etc. We ordered an Eggs Benedict with salmon, a bread basket and a salad for sharing.
The bread basket has a selection of toasted wholemeal and multigrain breads and even a pain au Chocolat, and is served with Baker and Cook’s home-made jams. We love the artisanal bread, which are some of the best we have eaten in Singapore. Again we also find their selections better than Maison Kayser which provides mainly white bread in their bread basket and they are not toasted unless you specifically request.
The salad is a mix of the various selections available that day. So we had broccoli, garden greens and Greek salad. It’s pretty light, with none of the usual heavy dressing; instead it relies on olive oil and the natural sweetness of the vegetables for flavoring.
While enjoying the food, my husband found out that the Martin road joint is the second outlet, and told me I should have given him the address of the flagship store. He thinks there’ll be more choices available there. So guess what? After we were done, we went to the flagship store at 77 Hillcrest road. Indeed as what my husband said, it is slightly bigger with more selections.
Both bakeries are located in serene upper-middle class neighborhoods, with the flagship store nestled among semi-detached and terraced houses, and the second outlet among condominiums in town. The customers are mostly nearby residents including expat housewives, and others who come because of the food.
Inside the flagship store, there is a big square table for indoor dining. Like its second outlet, more seatings are available outside. Since we had lunch at the Martin road outlet, we decided to try the carrot cake here.
It’s pretty dense and moist, though I find the cheese cream a tad too sweet but my husband likes it just as it is, probably because he had it with coffee. In fact he thinks it’s the best carrot cake he had ever had.
We bought lamb rolls for dinner that night, and a dark cherry muffin and a half loaf of rye bread for breakfast. The minced lamb has a lot of flavor, and it reminds us of the lamb main course we had at Pollen restaurant.
I really love the muffin for its moistness despite being kept overnight. The slight tartness of the dark cherry balances the sweetness of the chocolate very well, unlike the usual chocolate muffins which tend to be one-dimensional in their sweet flavor. The one from Baker and Cook is the best muffin I’ve ever had. The rye bread also more than gives its competitions from Maison Kayser and Bread Project a run for their money.
The other day we returned to the flagship store, and my husband ordered the Spanish Omelette which has chili in it. (The description states that there’s enough chili to last a week.) For outside dining, the food is served in take-out boxes.
We found out the owner of Baker and Cook is a New Zealander Global baker by the name of Dean Brettschneider. He is one of the most respected bakers in the world and has 25 years of experience. He certainly lives up to his reputation from the high quality pastries and food served. I find that the food (other than the carrot cake though my husband will disagree) has a fine balance of flavors, which is simply amazing. What we also love is the reasonable prices. I’m going to write to him to request he opens an outlet in the eastern region of Singapore so that we have easier access.