Singapore / Upper Bukit TImah
East Manhattan has grown to be a favourite bakery to many residents in the East area, and it has since opened a second outlet at Lorong Kilat, which is also home to Carpentry and Cook. We took a trip to the Far West and was surprised to see this little street grown into a tiny cafe town with the addition of Cafes like Revelry, a revamped Udders and Nook Pancake.
Despite coming from a complete unrelated industry, Owner John Wee, also Head Baker, spent considerably long time to pick up culinary and baking in Manhattan. He must have some talent in it, as the breads are not any less proficiently crafted than those from other famed bakeries around. They also have a strong emphasis on health, with gluten free breads to accommodate to those who have an allergy.
Interior & Ambience
East Manhattan is humbly decorated, and the inspiration came from some of the cafes the owner experienced in Manhattan.
Food & Drinks
This isn’t a place known for its coffee, but they served up an average cuppa. There was also the Iced Honey Cafe Latte which turned out to be overly sweet, and hopefully work is in progress.
We were surprised at how wholesome the menu was, of course, some dishes were just a variation of the same mains with different accompaniment.
We had quite a few selection of food, starting off with Pumpkin soup. It was surprisingly impressive, fresh, sweet, rich and thick. The Tumeric Chia Seed Toast that came with it was the cherry to the ice cream. It was fragrant, Crispy yet moist, and was a great complement to the soup. The soup is slightly pricey but that’s the value of a hand made soup with fresh ingredients.
Salmon Quinoa was strongly recommended by the Owner. The rice used was gluten free. To be honest it was our first time tasting gluten free rice and it’s not a taste that we would accept on the first mouthful. It is drier than normal rice and very grainy, which would come off as bland and very healthy tasting, but thankfully there was a delicious thick mushroom sauce that made the rice very edible.
The huge piece of salmon was also superbly cooked, with the skin crispy, outer layer of flesh cooked while the centre still half cooked. This presentation retains the sweetness and juiciness of the salmon while keeping it tender and ‘q’. The Crispy skin and sprinkle of salt gave a great finishing touch to the dish.
We tried the other variation of Quinoa with Chicken leg. This dish would be for people who likes the taste of herbs – the chicken leg was rich with herb marination. It came with the Potato mash which was delicious. However the rice really couldn’t do without the mushroom sauce.
The Chicken Avocado sandwich was quite the average, a simple fare with the touch of a rich avocado sauce. The fries was worth a mention, crispy and fluffly.
Taking the previous few dishes as the benchmark, it was surprising that the Scramble Egg Waffle didn’t come out too well. The waffles, being dry and tasteless, couldn’t quite make it but was saved by a lovely home-made blueberry sauce that was fruity and rich. We had two desserts,
French Toast Strawberry Ice cream and Rocky Mountain. Both had the essence of East Manhattan, through a twist on the ingredients. The french toast was made with Rosemary, hence a spice fragrance topped the sweet taste profile. The brownie was crafted to be less like brownie, and more like a pound cake. Both worked pretty well for us though we thought the choice of ice cream could be more premium to give a better overall taste.
Generally, East Manahttan is strong in their breads, and the food menu is good, though some requires a bit more work done. Do not miss out on the Salmon Quinoa!
We had a sumptuous treat thanks to the warm hospitality from John.
hotographed with Sony Cyber-shot™ RX100 III