Halcyon & Crane may not be an easy name to remember but the memory work is well worth the trouble if you’re after atypical cafe fare.
By the folks behind Birds Of A Feather, this new-to-Singapore cafe is located on the third floor of The Paragon, just steps away from P.S. Cafe. The cooking is modern European, featuring Szechuan-inspired flavours with a healthy twist. So expect heady and sometimes tongue-numbing flavours with lots of super grains and salads. And while it’s opened for breakfast, the all-day cafe serves an expanded all-day menu – including some breakfast items – from 11am onwards.
This means that one could feast on a selection of breakfast repertoire even at lunch – King’s Chicken Hash Benedict ($21++) is highly recommended. A mesh up of homemade breakfast muffins with eggs benedict, the dish arrives in a “gong bao” chicken sauce rich with chilli peppers but with added pleasures of melted Cheddar, fried potatoes seasoned with piquant Szechuan BBQ spices and a little mound of arugula on the side.
Although a tad fishy, squares of hickory wood-smoked Tuna Tataki Salad (S$21++) may win you over yet with an appetite-piquing red oil vinaigrette. To prove its health-promoting point, it is served with a pile of salad and quinoa doused in more red oil vinaigrette, calamansi and honey.
Even if we don’t usually order chicken-based dishes, the Chicken and Mushroom Capellini ($23++) is a highlight. Vermicelli handmade in a small village in Szechuan is topped with chicken pieces and a variety of mushrooms including bamboo pith, wood ear fungus and shiitake, and served at the table with a finishing pour of savoury chicken-mushroom broth. One word – heart-warming.
But there is a strong contender for the most heart-warming dish of the night. You’ll know what I mean once you sink your teeth into the dish of Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice (S$28) – an array of grains including brown rice, pearl rice, pearl barley and kamut served in a robust and intense beef broth with brisket, beetroot and Parmesan cheese, topped with a disc of slow-cooked egg.
At first glance, Halcyon & Crane may appear no different to your typical mall cafe but dig deeper into the menu and you’ll discover a schlep-worthy all-dayrestaurant disguised, quite prettily in fact, as a mall cafe. Better yet, if all you want is coffee or cocktail with sandwiches, you’ll find it here too.
290 Orchard Road #03-09 The Paragon, Singapore 238 859; +65-9727 5121
© Evelyn Chen 2013
Please note that the reviews published on this blog are sometimes hosted. I am under no obligation to review every restaurant I’ve visited. If I do, the reviews are 100% my own.