The legend Halcyon (kingfisher) from the Greek mythology and Crane from the Chinese have flown into Paragon with the opening of Halcyon & Crane, a cafe and bar concept where modern European cuisine is given a touch of Sichuan flavours, offering all day dining at the heart of Orchard Road. The cafe is opened by the same folk behind Birds of A Feather.
Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte 3.5/5
If you are not into cocktails, Halcyon & Crane offers some fancy coffee selection on the menu. I went for the Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte ($14) which is an interesting combination. You pour the jar of orange juice into the glass of coffee ice cubes.You get the sweetness of the orange juice followed by the bitterness of the caffeine at the end. It sounds weird but the end product is quite tasty. Come to think of it, we usually have both coffee and orange juice for breakfast, why not combine the two together?
Cured Sausage Shakshuka 4/5
At Halcyon & Crane, the kitchen as given the shakshuka a modern and Asian twist with their version of Cured Sausage Shakshuka ($22). The baked egg in tomato sauce is paired with Sichuan spicy cured sausage, mushroom, corn, white beans and cheese. The clever use of the spicy and mala cured sausage lends the heat to the dish, which is similar to the original recipe of cayenne pepper. This is best enjoyed together with the toasted beetroot bread.
King's Chicken Hash Benedict 3/5
If you are bored with egg benedict with hollandnaise sauce, Halcyon & Crane offers a good change with the King's Chicken Hash Benedict ($21). 64-degree eggs rested on top of English muffin and blanket with cheddar cheese. The twist is the use of gong bao chicken replacing the hollandnaise sauce, giving it an Asian touch. The crispy leeks on top of the leek provide a enjoyable crunchy touch. Unfortunately I find the gong bao sauce and cheddar cheese did not quite work for me.
Ham & Cheesy Crepes 4/5
If you love your ham & cheese, I find the Ham & Cheesy Crepes ($19) here is a much elevated version. The crepe is actually quite thick in texture, more like a wrap, holding ingredients such as forest ham, cured sausage, lettuce and cheesy scrambled egg. The magic that brings everything together is the dou ban mayonnaise sauce, giving it a hint of spiciness among all the different flavours.
Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad 3/5
For something light and healthy, one can go for the Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad ($21). The salad is tossed in a tantalising spicy red oil vinaigrette and citrus dressing. This is paired with the clean tasting smoked tuna and quinoa salsa.
Australia Black Angus Beef Carpaccio 4.2/5
Another delightful dish I enjoyed is the Australia Black Angus Beef Carpaccio ($23). The slices of flavoursome beef is topped with wild chilli vinaigrette, pickled daikon, white quinoa salad and scallion & Sichuan pepper dressing. I would recommend having the beef carpaccio together with a bit of the salad to keep that spicy kick from the salad dressing, for a complete enjoyment of the dish.
Beetroot & Seafood Risotto 3/5
The Beetroot & Seafood Risotto ($32) may look pretty in its stunning pink colour presentation, I did quite enjoy it. Topped with seafood such as clams, prawns, squid and quail egg, I find the texture of the pearl rice too mushy.
Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini 4.5/5
Most of the dishes I tried so far comes with some form of spiciness. Hence if you can't take spicy, then I would recommend the Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini ($25). Don't be mislead by the description. First it is not spicy, second it is not capellini but bee hoon. The bee hoon soup in its light broth with a hint of tanginess is very appetising. In the bowl of noodle soup, you can find ingredients such as mussels, clams, prawns, squid, leek and pickled long beans.
Marinated Baby Octopus Salad 4.5/5
The Marinated Baby Octopus Salad ($20) supposed to be a salad item but I thought its more like a xiao cai which goes really well with the earlier dish, Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini. What I like most is the pickled and smoked pepper and egglant, it just opens up appetite.
Baby Chicken Roulade 3/5
Using spring chicken, the meat for the Baby Chicken Roulade ($32) is marinated with honey fish sauce, five-spice powder and Sichuan pepper. It is then cooked to a delectable tender texture, paired with creamy pomme puree. Unfortunately the dish pale in comparison to the other dishes I tried.
Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice 4.5/5
A not to be missed dish is the Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice ($28). The mixed grains consists of pearl rice, brown rice, pearly barley and kamut doused in a rich tomato based beef stew. It is very flavourful and comforting. Somewhat like an angmo version of mui fan. It is topped with a sous vide egg and buffalo mozzarella, stir them into the braised rice for a creamy finish.
Molten Matcha Lava 3/5
Last but not least, we ended our dinner with the Molten Match Lava ($16) for dessert. I thought lava cake was passe, I was hoping for something more exciting.
While some of the dishes didn't quite meet my expectation, I still applaud the European-meets-Sichuan philosophy, it spices up the usual cafe-style dining. I would recommend the Beef Carpaccio, Seafood & Spicy Sour Capellini, Marinated Baby Octopus Salad and Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice.
Note: This is an invited tasting.
Halcyon & Crane
290 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 97275121
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line), Somerset (NS Line)
Daily: 9am - 10pm
1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit C or D. Proceed to the road level. Walk down Orchard Road until the junction of Orchard Road and Orchard Link. Cross the road and walk to Paragon. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Somerset MRT station. Take Exit B. Proceed to the road level. Turn left on Orchard Road and walk down Orchard Road until junction of Orchard Road and Orchard Link. Cross the Road and walk to Paragon. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]