The higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment. Repititive and so cliché, but nevertheless true.
Located at Hillcrest road, Baker & Cook is nestled among private houses and a cluster Western eateries like Bronte and Peperoni’s. Thus automatically associated with chi chi chill-out places, it's not surprising to pop by and be surrounded by mostly expats and housewives. That's in the case that there are any seats at all. The shop interior is pretty small, with the outside specked with smaller round tables. So if you're heading there with a bigger group, reach earlier to secure yourself indoor, air-conditioned seats.
Various vennoiseries and breads available
Step into the shop and you're greeted by a wonderful array of breads, vennoiseries, and simple patisseries. Canelés, huge ass meringues, l'escargots - the countertop's filled with these mouthwatering treats, making Baker & Cook the perfect place for an afternoon takeaway.
As much as I'd love to try all, my tummy wouldn't allow it. We settled for a few pastries and breads along with our mains.
Chocolate éclair (S$5.70+), Apple Tart (S$5+), and Pecan Tart (S$5+)
Their éclair was one of the nicer ones I’ve tried. Great choux pastry that was slightly crispy with a soft airy interior. Filled generously with a luscious intense yet light chocolate creme patissiere, it was a great start to our meal. The apple tart was also very delicious, and pretty special with the fruit prepared two ways: sliced and caramelised on top, diced and cooked inside. Unfortunately the pecan tart fared worst. Overly moist frangipane and a shortcrust pastry that was more hard than buttery and fragrant.
We also tried the Chinese 5 Spice Chocolate Macarons ($2.50+ each) and the Canele ($3+). The macarons had a good texture, but failed in its flavours. Perfectly crunchy and caramelised exterior, their caneles were very good, pretty big, and definitely worth the try.
Basil Turkish Pide (S$4.50+)
Pronouned "pie-d", this turkish flatbread was very very yummy. Warmed before serving, a strong herbed, basil chewy exterior gives in to a fluffy plain interior. It’s what I’d imagine a puffy huge Mediterranean naan to taste like. Delicious.
Baker & Cook Freshly Baked Bread & Croissant Selection (for two to share) – served with butter and your choice of jams & spreads (available on the table) (S$10+), with an additional order of Pain au Chocolat
Fairly executed, the breads were nice; but not good enough to justify its pricetag. Decent flavours and textures, but they lacked that oomph factor. Warming them up like the pide would've made a world of a difference. Thumbs up for their daily jams and spreads though those were really tasty. We had blueberry and raspberry jams, and an orange marmalade that day.
Spanish Omelette – omelette with spinach, peppers, spicy chorizo and cheese, served with 2 slices of Baker & Cook bread (S$16+)
B&C’s omelette was less cheese, more eggs, and an abundance of fillings. The diced chorizo gave it a real spiced smoky kick, preventing it from getting boring after a few bites. Definitely a crowd pleaser and one of the better omelettes around.
Eggs Benedict Salmon – two poached eggs served on toasted Baker & Cook bread, smoked salmon and topped with hollandaise sauce (S$19+)
The standard brunch item, B&C’s eggs benny is definitely not a dish to be missed. Perfectly poached eggs nestled atop long and thick slices of smoked salmon, with 2 slices of pain miche bread to soak up all the saucey goodness. What is most impressive about this dish has to be the drizzle of aged balsamic. Stroke of genius.
Pancakes Stack – served with a caramelized apples compote, Greek yoghurt / crème fraiche and lashings of homemade toffee sauce ($17+)
Simple fluffy decadence. A wonderfully unpretentious dish, elevated by its condiments. I love how greek yogurt is given together. Spread with some yogurt, toffee sauce and caramelised apples, every bite bursts with a myriad of textures and flavours.
Cheese Plate – selection of cheese with a fig & maple compote, walnut bread and homemade oat biscuits (S$14+)
Simple, fuss-free, but my fave of the meal. The cheeses, while being the usual camambert, cheddar and gorgonzola, were delicious and an absolute steal at the price. What made it shine was the accompanying fig and maple compote. Slightly sweet, sticky, and crunchy with the little bits of fig seeds, it was the perfect match to the variety of tart, creamy, and nutty cheeses.
While it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, Baker & Cook dished up great mains, amazing spreads, and decent bakes. I probably wouldn't run to Hillcrest for it; but with another outlet at Chip Bee Gardens, it isn't a bad choice for a casual brunch.
Baker & Cook
77 Hillcrest Road
Sundays to Thursdays: 7am-8pm
Fridays toSaturdays: 7am-10pm