Brunch: Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant at 31 Purvis Street, Singapore 188608

You'd think that there's enough of all-day breakfasts and brunch places in Singapore, and that this trend would have died down by now. Perhaps that might be true for hipster indie cafes all selling the same overpriced waffles and burnt coffee because people get tired of that, but if you hail from New York as a cult favourite brunch place, you're going to get queues. And that's exactly what Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant had when they opened for soft launch yesterday! Singaporeans are a well-travelled and well-informed bunch, I must say. Tucked in a small space at 31 Purvis Street (just a few doors away from Gunther's!), Clinton St. Singapore is within walking distance from City Hall MRT and Raffles Hotel/Seah Street (chicken rice!) and already had a queue at 8am that morning.

The space was intimate, casual, and the red awning outside kept out most of the sun, for hungover people looking for eggs at 2pm. I liked the diner chairs at the back, which lent a nice homage to the American diner decor. Also reminded me of "How I Met Your Mother", for some reason. When I arrived at 4+, the crowd has subsided somewhat.

Here's the menu! Prices are a bit on the high end compared to regular cafes, but it comes from a famous chain in New York so it has to be good right?

They have some cakes and muffins on display near the entrance, which I'd like to try next! That meringue pie looks good...

We started with some drinks, including alcoholic ones (it was 4.30pm...). My special of the day Raspberry Rhubarb Lemonade ($7.50) was tart, refreshing and good for helping to digest all the food we had. The Clinton St. Bloody Mary ($16) and Maple Whiskey Sour ($16) were decent, but I'd probably go to a cocktail bar for drinks instead of at an all-day breakfast bakery/restaurant. I'd get coffee next time, when the weather is more forgiving.

On to the food! So Clinton St. Bakery Singapore is apparently famous for a couple of things, both of which are quintessentially American - the Fried Chicken and Waffles ($21) and their Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter ($18). The waiting time was acceptable between ordering and when the first dish arrived. Waiters were all friendly!

We tucked in to the food with gusto, but unfortunately the Chicken and Waffles made with honey Tobasco sauce, Belgian vanilla buttermilk waffle were way too dry when we tried it, which was a pity. The signature warm maple butter syrup helped, but not too much. The flavouring on the chicken was good though, but the choice of chicken breast might not be the best. The waffle was also dry, even though I could taste its potential. There could be some coleslaw or salad to go with this to provide some moisture, colour and contrast. Hopefully they will improve! 2/5

Then we tried one of my favorite things to have for brunch - the Eggs Benedict ($20)! It is made of poached eggs, maple-cured ham or house-smoked salmon (which we had, +$5) and classic Hollandaise over a toasted buttermilk biscuit. This was better, with perfectly poached eggs and smoked salmon. However, I did find the paprika in the hollandaise sauce a little bit too spicy and out of the 'classic' zone. Gave feedback though, so hopefully that will tone down. The biscuit is a typical American thing (and a little too salty and crumbly), which was nice but I do prefer the English muffin or French brioche! This gets a 3/5, but $25 is indeed a little steep for something quite simple..

Then, the pieces of resistance, the famous Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter ($18)! We had the wild blueberries one, but there was also the banana walnut and chocolate chunk ones to choose from. The pancakes were amazing and gave me the "It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!" feeling. I would probably head straight to Clinton St. next time I am craving for pancakes, though the stack of pancakes should be shared among a couple of friends. And the feeling the maple butter gave was like... taking a warm shower and going into bed after being soaked in a thunderstorm. No wonder it's famous. 4/5

I was with my partner in crime, stooffi, to partake in the feast.

While it's not 100% perfect as yet, I am thankful that Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant has decided to choose to set up a branch in Singapore to serve classic American breakfasts and food. I'll be back again to try all the rest of the stuff before I fly off, and hopefully the quality will also improve and stabilize in time for the official launch. For everyone else, do try out their pancakes and give the rest of the menu a taste for me!

Clinton St. Baking Company and Restaurant
31 Purvis Street
+65 66844845, for inquiries only
8am to 6pm daily (last orders 5pm)

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