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.
Every set lunch ($13.80) 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.
Suspicions aside, the Soup of the Day 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.
Glen’s spicy Arrabiata Penne ($19.80 or as part of a set lunch) 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.
I ordered the 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.
Perhaps it would be wise to stick with the western mains at Bakerzin, because, well, the tomato of the Teriyaki Chicken Rice ($10.80 or as part of the set lunch) doesn’t look very pretty now does it? It looked 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 ($8.80) 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.
It looked so unassuming and deceptively plain but was anything but. Glen’s Raspberry Panna Cotta ($8.80) 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.
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 Bailey's Irish Cream Souffle ($8.80) 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.
Stick to the desserts, because those are the best.Read the full review on my blog!