29 Dec 2013 • 408 reviews • 13 followers
Nestled in a secluded residential estate, Baker & Cook is the brainchild of New Zealand TV personality and celebrity chef Dean Brettschneider, a global baker with more than 25 years of experience. This true artisan bakery and foodstore chain offers a wide variety of baked products, all handcrafted and made with quality ingredients by time honored processes. The sourdough starter used in some of the breads is well over 16 years, and it’s the chef’s constant travel companion since this live culture of yeast and bacteria needs regular top-ups.
Other goodies include homemade jams, chutneys, cookies, nuts and granola.
Upon entry, we were greeted with a tantalizing display of breads, viennoiserie, cakes and pastries. A separate deli counter held savory pies, tarts, quiches, sandwiches, meat rolls along with three different salads. Spoilt for choice, we took a while before placing our order at the counter. Then, having chosen to sit outdoors (cafe was frigid due to rainy weather) our food was served in disposable paper boxes.
The pineapple & almond tart ($5) was available only during CNY and it featured a buttery and crisp shell enveloping a filling of candied pineapple and almond cream. Topped with a piece of chocolate, the pastry wasn’t too sweet or tangy. In fact, I would’ve preferred it to be more sour.
The chocolate almond croissant ($3.50) was covered in almond flakes and icing sugar. We liked the buttery and flaky dough while the filling of dark chocolate and almond cream complemented each other.
For a heavier meal we also ordered a savory tart and quiche. Both came warmed up with a side salad, and we were very much taken with their firm yet crispy bases.
K’s sausage, sundried tomato & potato tart ($10.50) was delish and the spiced cauliflower salad had a nice curry flavor to it.
My smoked ham quiche ($9) had a filling chock full of ingredients and it’s wonderfully cheesy without being cloying. The brown rice salad was a tad dry but the quiche was so moist the dryness didn’t matter when eaten together.
Even though they were donuts, the bombolini (custard and jam) ($3.30) had a completely different texture from what we’re used to. Lightly coated with sugar, they resembled bread more, being dense and doughy. Also, the filling wasn’t overly sweet though the amount was a tad small.
I really got a surprise eating the baguette traditional ($4) at home. Made with a natural sourdough starter, this crusty baguette had a light crunch while the open crumb was full of flavor and chewy. It’s the tastiest baguette I’ve ever tried and I found myself munching on it without jam or even butter!