Nestled in the sequestered neighborhood of Hillcrest, Baker & Cook prides itself Singapore’s only true artisan bakery and foodstore chain. Helmed by Global Baker Dean Brettschneider, the cafe does not only serve up a wide array of artisan breads, pastries, hot items, and cooked items, their own-brand range of items like jams, cookies, and chutneys are also on sale. It proves to be pretty popular amongst dwellers of the area. Baker Dean has had over 25 years of experience, and also the man behind some best-selling baking books. I wouldn’t very much doubt his capability.
The inner core of Baker & Cook is a communal table that can sit about 10. And that is essentially it, save for the 2 bar-top window-facing seats. On the other side of the glass panels lies some 7 – 8 tables that can sit about 3 – 4 each. So it really isn’t the most spacious and comfortable cafe to laze. However, the crowd (of expats), and the low-ceiling makes it feel like a home away from home. I wasn’t too much a fan of their indoor seating, however, due to its loud coffee-maker + machines’ noises.
Latte ($5+) :: Allpress Espresso coffee is used, for the first time in Singapore, at Baker & Cook. However, it failed to impress and was average-tasting at best.
Pastries :: I went momentarily out of hand when I saw the whole stretch of pastries set behind the counter. If it had been the kind like in bakeries where you self-service your breads and pastries, my wallet might not have been able to withstand it. It was much to my surprise that I found the Pecan Tart ($5.70+) the most satisfying. It is not overly sweet and the portion of pecans was generous. I also liked the Caramel Brownie ($5+) quite a bit, though only because I’m a huge sucker for caramel. It comes in an especially big portion, and though it was rather tough a brownie, it was still fine.
It was the first time I had a Lamingtons ($5+). It sounds very English to me, but is actually of Australian origin. It’s a pretty cube of sponge cake coated in a layer of chocolate icing, followed by dessicated coconut. I thought it was unmemorable though, in that the flavors were very light. The Chocolate Croissant ($3.30+) was ordinary; nothing to yell about, while the Sweet Scone ($4.20+) was too dry for my liking.
Salmon Quiche ($9+) :: Though slightly expensive, I still quite like it. The crust was crumbly yet hard enough to make a mark, and the sufficiently-topped savory salmon completed the experience. Quiches tend to be cloying very quickly, but I did not have a problem this time round; I guess it was good that the cheese wasn’t too overpowering and dominant.
Eggs Benedict Bacon ($17+) :: Ready your phone and take an instavideo right from the start. The flowy yolk neutralizes the otherwise slightly tough bread that the poached eggs sit on. The bacon is the crispy and hard ones – not my cuppa’ tea. The eggs were pretty good though, well-flavored and perfectly cooked. I thought it is again, slightly overpriced though.
It was a rainy weekend morning while I was there. Consequently, brunch at the cafe felt seemingly better. Service was pretty alright, nothing to complain / rave about. Pastries were largely at least of average standard, though not crazy-wow enough for me to head back to the secluded neighborhood without private transport. If you’re up for an adventure and in search of ‘hidden gems’, Baker & Cook passes as worthy.
—> Note #1: No Service Charge. Only GST is charged.
Address: 77 Hillcrest Road
Telephone: 6469 8834 (No Reservations)
Opening Hours: 7am – 8pm (Sun – Thurs); 7am – 10pm (Fri & Sat)