Just off Loewen Road sits Baker & Cook and Plank Sourdough Pizza. Founder and CEO Dean Brettschneider took much effort to ideate the entire space, from the floor-to-ceiling glass facade, the 12-metre elevated deli and bakery counter that exhibits their artisanal bakes, to the outdoor dining and play area. These 2 concepts seem to have brought life to this space, which was once rather neglected. While the sourdough is still the star of Baker & Cook, after all, all these won't have happened without the starter named Little Johnny (which is already 32-year-old!!!). Beyond that is a full menu that offers brunch items and mains crafted with Asian and Antipodean influences.
Smorrebrod Salmon 4.5/5
Deli highlights exhibited at the counter include pies, sausage rolls, quiche and Smorrebrod ($9.80 - $11.50). What we had was Smorrebrod Salmon ($11.50) with smoked salmon, capers, beetroot and cream cheese on Baker & Cook’s 6 Grains and Seeds Bread. This elevated version of Danish style open-faced sandwich is probably one of the heartiest I had. I love the mouth-filling texture given by the thick slices of smoked salmon, and its savouriness was countered by the poached pear and a slather of cream cheese. The richness of it was well managed by the pickled beetroots.
Peter Gordon’s Turkish Eggs 4/5
Breakfast starts daily from 8am to 3pm. One of the must-order is Peter Gordon’s Turkish Eggs ($20). Permission obtained from Dean’s friend, New Zealander Peter Gordon, a pioneer of fusion food and co-owner of The Providores and Tapa Room in London among others, and here we have in Singapore, a rare treat made with whipped yogurt, poached eggs, Aleppo chilli butter, accompanied with outlet exclusive Dempsey Sprouted Wheat Sourdough ($12 a loaf). I couldn't quite imagine the taste at first look, especially with yoghurt and poached eggs submerged in the beurre noisette (brown butter)-Aleppo chilli oil mix. Once every element fused together, its warm and creamy texture was somehow addictive, in a non-conventional way. I was expecting it to leave a greasy feel, but it didn't. There was no better way to eat it than dipping the slices of sourdough into it, with their extra crispy crusts.
Dutch Baby Pancake 3/5
Dutch Baby Pancake ($22) may be pretty with edible flowers sprinkled over, but I feel it lacks excitement, like what a fluffy-looking Dutch Baby Pancake sitting warm and snug in a saucepan would evoke.
Corn Fritters 3/5
A typical Aussie-style breakfast food, the Corn Fritters ($16) here has far more bites and textures than any other I had tried in Australia.
Miso Glazed Eggplant 3/5
Miso Glazed Eggplant ($16) had a pronounced toffee flavour from the Wakame brown butter, and this elusive sweetness complemented the heightened savouriness of the eggplant. The crushed cashew nuts added tons of crunch to the dish, which otherwise may be too mushy for some diners. I find there were too many salty elements piling on top of one another, with the feta cheese being yet another savoury topping, and it got too overwhelming after a while.
Kuhlbarra Barramundi En Papillote 3/5
Moving on to Large Plates for dinner, Kuhlbarra Barramundi En Papillote ($28) is a Thai inspired dish featuring barramundi and prawns baked in hot and sour broth. Concocted with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and lime, the piquant broth with open up your palate for sure. I find it a tad too saltish having it on its own, so the ideal way of enjoying it is to sop it the accompanying slices of Dempsey Sprouted Wheat Sourdough. The fish was moist and tender, but the prawns were slightly overcooked.
Herb Roasted Chicken 3/5
Herb Roasted Chicken ($27) is served with tomato and butter bean stew, topped with a dollop of herb labneh (a hung yoghurt which has been drained of water). The hearty tomato-based butter bean stew plays a huge role in making it a comforting dish with its rich, tangy, tomatoey flavours and herbaceous notes. The chicken thigh was moist and tender but what would work better for the dish I feel is a half chicken instead of a large chicken thigh.
Blackened Corn Barley Risotto 3.8/5
This Blackened Corn Barley Risotto ($25) is a dish that deserves a bit more attention. Using blackened corn, corn and barley together, the texture in every spoonful was indeed satisfying, and dangerously moreish given that the portion is meant for sharing.
Plank Sourdough Pizza is all about its sourdough base and topping it with quality ingredients to bring out the beauty of it. At Dempsey, it serves up its all-time favourites made fresh from an authentic Italian Valoriani Igloo Pizza Oven and available in two sizes – Round (12 inches) and Plank (foot long, outlet-exclusive). Plank size is ideal for a single portion. It is interesting to note that Plank names its pizza variants by numbers, starting from 0.
Number 6 - 4/5
We had Number 6, a classic combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket ($26, $13). The Parma ham was luscious, and the sharp, peppery rocket leaves cut the richness of it. This was my first time trying a sourdough base, and the airiness of it amazed me. It is not about having a thin crust, which many turned too crispy when baked, but its the airy core encased in a crisp outer layer makes it a lot tastier than the rest.
Cheese Plank Pizza 4.5/5
My favourite of the night was the Cheese Plank Pizza ($14.50), topped with blue cheese, fig jam, caramelised garlic, crème fraiche, balsamic glaze, caramelised walnuts, maple syrup, thyme and lemon zest. Conceptualised as a cheese platter, the savoury-sweet combination blew me away.
Written and photography by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
Baker & Cook / Plank Sourdough Pizza
30C Loewen Road
Tel: +65 62511098
Baker & Cook Facebook / Plank Facebook
Baker & Cook Website / Plank Website
Nearest MRT: Orchard (NS Line), Farrer Road (CC Line), Holland Village (CC Line)
Daily: 8am - 10pm
1) Alight at Orchard MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk to bus stop along Orchard Boulevard (Stop ID 09022). Take bus number 7, 77, 106, 123 or 174. Alight 6 stops later. Walk to Harding Road. At Harding Road turn right and walk towards Loewen Road. Turn left onto Loewen Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 30 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Holland Village MRT station. Take Exit C. Walk to the bus stop at Block 12 (Stop ID 11401). Take bus 106. Alight 4 stops later. Cross the road. Walk to Dempsey Road. Walk to Harding Road. Turn left onto Harding Road and walk to Loewen Road. Walk to destination. Journey time 22 minutes. [Map]
3) Alight at Farrer Road MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to bus stop opposite Farrer Road MRT station (Stop ID 11119). Take bus number 174 or 564. Alight 5 stops later. Walk to Dempsey Road. Walk to Harding Road. Turn left onto Harding Road and walk to Loewen Road. Walk to destination. Journey time 22 minutes. [Map]