Clinton Street Baking Company is known for its selection of southern classics and baked goods, which is exactly what chef husband & wife, Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman wanted when they opened the place on the Lower East Side of New York City in 2001. What started as a small diner style restaurant soon became one of New York’s top brunch destinations, with customers desperately waiting in line to get a taste of their award-winning pancakes, fried chicken, and milkshakes. “We are classic and traditional. People want food that is really good to eat. This transcends anything hipster. With us, you don’t have to analyze what you eat, that is someone else’s job,” says co-founder Ms. Lahman. This huge success inspired the couple to pursue overseas ventures. They now have outlets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and thankfully, Singapore.
After seeing the hype surrounding the New York outlet and reading great reviews on SG food websites such as Burple, Sasha and I were curious to see whether the restaurant lived up to all the hype. We headed down to 31 Purvis Street on a Friday afternoon with empty stomachs, needless to say, we left incredibly happy.
As we entered the restaurant, we immediately fell in love with the homey “diner aesthetic” that you see in American movies. Leather booths, green and red accents, a display of baked goods, comfortable lighting and trendy music- it had all the good stuff. We’d be lying if we didn’t say it rated a 10/10 for ambiance on our scale!
We then proceeded to examine the menu which was filled with countless choices. It had classics such as French toast and pancakes, all the way to a county scramble, buttermilk fried chicken, a huge selection of side dishes and over 10 different milkshake options! Sasha and I spent a good 15 minutes debating what to order because everything sounded so delicious. We finally decided on a milkshake and a main dish each, and a side dish to share.
I got a coffee milkshake ($10), while Sasha got a salted caramel topped with whipped cream ($10), and they were heavenly. They were not too thick and were perfect in sweetness. For her main dish, Sasha ordered the Spanish Scramble ($25), an omelet stuffed with chorizo and cheese, accompanied by hash browns and toast as her main dish- and loved it! Her eggs were cheesy and filled with all kinds of flavors that melted in her mouth. Meanwhile, I ordered the Banana Walnut Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter ($19), and can honestly say that they are the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. They were fluffy, light and rich with flavor. The warm maple butter made such a difference, especially when put together with the caramelized walnuts and soft banana; we’re talking seriously “food-gasmic.” New Yorkers are definitely right when they say they’re life changing. Sasha and I also shared a side of cheese grits ($5), a typical southern dish similar to polenta, and were pleasantly surprised with its texture and taste. Altogether, we rated the food a high 9/10, and the price a 7/10, as we found that the drinks were a bit overpriced, however, the main dishes were fair in value for the cost.
You’re probably thinking; this sounds too good to be true. We too were over the moon about the restaurant’s interiors and dishes, however, we, unfortunately, found that the service was not up to par. We were hoping to speak with one of the waiters or the manager to get some insight into the restaurant’s success and ideology for our review, however, when we kindly asked, the staff quickly refused to speak to us despite the fact that the restaurant wasn’t crowded at the time. We also had to wait quite a while before they came over to take our orders. That being said, the waiters did give us their recommendations on what to try, which proved to be helpful, leading to our rating of 6/10 for service.
Despite it having the lowest rating out of all our criteria, the service didn’t ruin our experience all that much. To be honest, we’d get over anything just to be able to go back and savor the delicious food again. The best part is, now that summer has arrived, we have all the time in the world to hit up our new favorite cafe, and so do you!
Address: 31 Purvis Street, Singapore 188608
Hours: 9am-6pm- Weekdays, 8am to 10pm-Saturday, 8am to 8pm-Sunday
Phone: 6684 4845