- Bread Basket
The first time I went to Bakerzin was about three years ago, perhaps four.
Now if I had known that they had a bread basket, and that helping yourself to copious amounts of ciabatta, whole grain and rye breads, and slotting them into an adorable roller-toaster of sorts was completely unlimited (provided you order a set meal of $13.80+), I’d have frequented them sooner – and perhaps would have made a huge dent in their revenue.
Come on. It’s bread. Fresh bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to go with. Now we’re talking carbohydrates.
I would admit though, that the main reason we ended up consuming about five to six plates of bread could really be blamed on my over-enthusiastic delight of dropping the slices into the toaster, watching them roll across the red-hot grill and waiting on bated breath for them to plonkplonkplonk and slide merrily down the little metal slope to a stop before my eager plate. It’s kind of like a grown-up version of how I used to slot every single coin I could find when I was a little tyke of 3 or 4 years-old into the air-conditioning vents of the family car, to the point where my parents had to practically yank them out and exhume the damn pipes before they could sell the vehicle off. I’ve always been a rascal, except that I’ve grown more practical and responsible over the years (I don’t pee in convenient stores and break toilet bowls anymore) – I made sure to finish every single slice.
This, my dear readers, is the King of Lobangs. And I think Glen and Adam were more happy for me at my discovery of the Lobang than myself since they know of my obsession with holey breads. I should thank them though, because if they didn’t order the set lunches then I wouldn’t even have had any.
Every set lunch consists of your own helping of bread, the soup of the day, a main and a drink.
I love soups. I do. But ever since working in the kitchen of a cafe about a year back, I’ve never looked at them the same way ever again. I rarely – if ever – order soups when I’m out as part of a meal because chances are that swimming about your healthy-sounding soup is a ton of butter, heavy cream and whatnot. And speaking from personal experience when cooking western-style soups, it’s incredibly easy to hide anything in there as long as you pull a magic disappearing act with the aid of the blender. Want to get kids to eat a chock full of celery, cabbage, kidney beans, spinach, pumpkin, carrot and tomato? Cook and serve as Minestrone soup, or better yet, blend it all up into a gorgeous creamy version – and throw in a nutrient-dense avocado while you’re at it. Kids won’t know what’s making the soup taste that good.
Like how I’ll never know what went into this pumpkin soup.
Suspicions aside, this was a velvety pumpkin soup, smooth and thick, albeit rather average. I’d only wish that they didn’t remove the wonderful fibrous chunks so characteristic of pumpkins.
Arrabiata Penne ($9.80 or as part of the $13.80 set meal)
Glen’s spicy Arrabiata Penne was my favorite of the three mains we ordered, perfectly al dente and tossed in a vibrant basil tomato sauce, a remarkable balance of sweet, tangy and peppered with almost dangerous specks of chilli padi. Classic yet very well done.
Hazelnut Butter Spaghetti with Poached Egg and Ham ($10.80)
Firstly, what hazelnut butter?! I was expecting something tasting almost akin to nutella, or ferrero rocher, since I’m very accustomed to the nutty-ness of hazelnuts and I did have fun spreading hazelnut butter from a jar onto my toasts one period of time. I don’t know whether to be relieved or horribly disappointed that my spaghetti didn’t even so much taste like nutella (now wouldn’t that be interesting). Instead, it had this peculiar burnt note which could, depending on personal preference, be good or bad. It was bland, had twin circular slices of Cold Storage-looking breakfast ham draped over (couldn’t they at least slice it up to prettify the pasta?) and a dismally tasteless poached egg perched atop the dull, though admittedly perfectly al dente spaghetti. I was only thankful that Glen dropped a few globs of chilli padi and garlic chunks from his Arrabiata to spruce up my pasta, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. Brilliant Fancy Name marketing ploy though. I fell for it.
Teriyaki Chicken Rice ($10.80 or as part of the $13.80 set meal)
Perhaps it would be wise to stick with the western mains at Bakerzin, because, well, that tomato doesn’t look very pretty now does it? It looks like an upended, cross-section of a rafflesia. The rice was dry and clumpy, and the chicken tough and rubbery. Good syrupy sauce though.
I don’t think that anything could have dampened Adam’s mood for his dear Profiteroles though, and I immediately knew why the moment they descended onto the table. Three sizable mounds of vanilla ice cream sandwiched by delicate choux pastry, drenched in rich chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of toasted almonds. Fantastically simple and delicious.
Raspberry Panna Cotta ($8.80)
It looked so unassuming and deceptively plain but was anything but. Glen’s Panna Cotta almost refused to stop jiggling from the moment it was set down on the table till I almost wanted to time the number of complete oscillations it underwent. Jiggling frequency. You would almost expect it to have the texture of jello or gloppy pudding, but the Panna Cotta was astonishingly creamy and yielded to the slightest pressure from a spoon, melting on the tongue in a burst of intense vanilla. It paired excellently with the raspberry sauce. Thumbs up for minimalist yet elegant presentation too.
Bailey's Irish Cream Souffle ($8.80)
I can conclude safely, and with much confidence, that Bakerzin’s desserts are the best that they have to offer. I didn’t mind waiting 15 minutes for the arrival of my outrageously fluffy puffy souffle with its glossy top and majestic sides rising above the ramekin. The bitter bite of the shot of espresso that came with the souffle was potent and a great companion to the sweet . Drink it all in one go to finish off this dessert or bathe the poofy cake in it. It’s delicious either way I’d reckon.
Their service leaves much to be desired since we wouldn’t have had water to drink if we didn’t ask and our glasses were never refilled till before we left.
Adam had a 20% Bakerzin voucher, so we put it to good use. Thank you boys for helping me with my grocery shopping for Mother’s Day (by helping I really mean fooling around the meat counters and printing out recipe slips that I left in the basket) and for being such good sports for my silly bread antics and for being such amusing lunch companions.
101 Thomson Road
#01-07/60 United Square
Tel: +65 6251 5550
10.30am – 10pm
Fri/Sat/Eve of PH
10.30am – 11pm