Symmetry, Singapore

spent my last sunday morning of summer in singapore having brunch at symmetry with the dear sister! we had been planning on going for ages, but just never managed to find a good time to go till that day. am happy we finally got to check it out though, because it was a nice morning spent at a very nice cafe.

many people have been raving about symmetry since it opened, dubbing it one of the best brunch places in singapore, and news has certainly spread fast – when i called the day before we planned on going, they told me the only reservation time available was at 2pm and we’d have to queue as walk-in customers if we wanted to go any earlier. this did not deter the sisters tan who were determined to seize our last chance to try out this place before i headed back to school, so we decided to go early on sunday morning in a bid to get a table!

i knew i would love this place once i saw this outside the shop:
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“people who love to eat are always the best people.” hear, hear!!!

and this too:
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we arrived 15 minutes after opening time (it opens at 10am) and were very surprised to see the cafe already almost full! its popularity and the lengths singaporeans go to for good food (ie waking up early to get to a cafe once it opens) are insane. we were very nearly relegated to the outdoor seating section (that has no shade!!! :O), but thankfully they managed to find a table for us.

we loved the decor of the cafe – it is extremely tastefully designed, and is one of those places where a hodge-podge mix of items appears cool and funky instead of random and messy; the kind of place where a random biscuit tin or old dusty light bulb picked up from the trash (that would look gross and dirty in your bedroom) would appear super alternative and interesting.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in celebration of their one year anniversary, symmetry has a menu that brings to customers all their best and most popular dishes. it opens up like a marauder’s map, so ordering food was a rather exciting affair hahaha (its the little things!).
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my sister had heard great things about the eggs benny so she decided to go for that, while i went for their baked eggs. we wanted to try a starter as well but after consulting the super friendly and helpful server, decided that it would very unfortunately probably be too much to stomach ūüė¶

i didn’t have too much of the eggs benny (my baked eggs were way more than enough to fill me up and keep me happy) but from the few bites i had, it was definitely one of the better eggs bennys around in singapore. the hollandaise sauce was light but still packed a satisfying punch, while the eggs were perfectly poached, the bacon was tastily done (yummy charred edges), and the muffin was well toasted – crispy on the outside and fluffy within. the eggs came with a side salad, which was refreshing when taken with the creaminess of the eggs in sauce which could sometimes be a bit much for some people. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
anniversary benedict : 2 poached eggs, hollandaise, aged cheddar, onion, bacon – $23

as for the baked eggs, it came bubbling away in a huge pan and tasted as hearty as it looked! two perfectly poached eggs sat atop a huge pan of chorizo, spinach and cheddar in a super yummy tomato-based sauce. i am a huge chorizo fan and the chorizo here was really delicious and added in just the right amount so that the dish wasn’t too salty! i also loved the addition of cheddar, but was a little let down by the pork sausage though; i felt it tasted a bit processed and would have preferred something with a more bratwurst-like bite. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
symmetry eggs sur le plat: 2 poached eggs, pork sausage, chorizo, garlic confit, creamed spinach, cheddar – $26

piling spoonfuls of the generous amounts of chorizo/sausage/tomatoes/carrots onto the toast that accompanied it was a seriously delicious combination:
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the serving was rather big but that did nothing to deter me from finishing it all. needless to say, i was pretty extremely stuffed but very satisfied by the time i was done with it:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the great service, food and ambience make for a great experience in this quaint cafe tucked away along a little lane, and i will definitely be back for more. i would love to return to try out the rest of their offerings (they are a cafe by day and a restaurant-bar by night), especially the non-breakfast ones which i hear are just as good, and their waffles too! the only qualm i have is that its a little pricey, especially when compared to maison ikkoku (see review here) which is just a short distance away, and which i enjoyed just as much!

be sure to make a reservation if you’re planning on heading down though. they have an electronic queue number system in place outside their shop, which is proof of just how popular they are and how essential it is to make a booking at least a few days in advance if you don’t want to be disappointed!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
electronic queue system – insane stuff for a little cafe

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Symmetry Cafe
9 Jalan Kubor #01-01
Singapore 199206

Maison Ikkoku, Singapore

located along a quiet street in the kampong glam area, maison ikkoku is possibly one of my new favourite places for brunch in singapore! the cosy cafe is located on the ground floor of a 3-storey shophouse, while the second and third floors house a boutique and cocktail bar respectively – all part of a multi-concept lifestyle store that the people behind maison ikkoku are trying to sell.

i visited a week and a half ago and was extremely satisfied and impressed with the food – what better way to spend a saturday morning than with 2 of your bestest friends and amazing brunch food?

case in point:
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on weekdays, they only serve a limited range of breakfast items, and for a short 2 hours from 9am-11am (their weekday menu can be found on their website at http://www.maison-ikkoku.net/). if getting up before 10am and making your way to kandahar street proves to be a bit of a challenge for the more sleep-inclined among you, then besides the fact that its probably a lot more crowded on weekends, heading over on a saturday or sunday instead is a great alternative! the weekend menu is extensive and has an exciting range of all day breakfast items to choose from, which i love!

here’s a peek at the menu:
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we ordered 3 items to share, and they were all super yummy.

the first thing we got was the umami florentine – sauteed shiitake mushrooms + sauteed baby spinach with garlic + poached eggs + hollandaise sauce + sauteed asparagus + toasted english muffins! we also added smoked salmon on the side.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
umami florentine – $16 (+$4 for additional side of smoked salmon)

this dish was one of the BEST eggs benny/eggs benny variations that i have had. being a mushroom lover, i loved the addition of shiitake mushrooms which were perfectly cooked and plated in copious amounts (so much so that the sauteed spinach under the mushrooms is completely obscured). it was something different from the usual portobello mushrooms typically used in brunch food, and complemented the sauteed spinach perfectly. the spinach sauteed with garlic taken together with the mushrooms and finally topped with perfectly poached eggs was an amazing combination. the homemade hollandaise sauce was also wonderfully done; it was light (not jelat¬†at all)¬†and its consistency was just nice, bringing everything together very nicely. couldn’t get enough of it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAquintessential shot of oozy egg yolk

the next thing we ordered was the french toast with caramelised bananas – thick brioche french toast with cinnamon + caramelised bananas + home-made caramel with sea salt + toasted walnuts + sour cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
french toast with caramelised bananas – $15

if you like sticky cinnamon buns, this will be heaven on a plate for you. i happen to absolutely adore sticky cinnamon rolls so this was amazing to me – not only was the presentation super enticing with thick toast stacked on top of each other, piled high with caramelised bananas and walnuts, and drenched in an amazing caramel/cinnamon sauce, it also tasted really really good. didn’t taste much sea salt (as mentioned in the description) at all though, and we barely touched the dollop of sour cream by the side, (both of which were probably meant to balance out the sweetness of the toast i imagine) but that’s probably a good sign because i suppose we didn’t think we needed any of it, ie the toast wasn’t sickly sweet at all!¬†the bananas were yummy, the toast was really thick and fluffy, and the walnuts were fresh and added a great crunch and texture to the dish. it is actually as filling as it looks in the picture though, so i think it’d probably be a bit too much for one person to stomach without feeling like its too heavy; this is ideal for sharing and is a lovely sweet lift to the usual savoury brunch options.

the third thing we ordered was the break of dawn Рpork bratwust + crispy smoked bacon + cherry tomatoes + breakfast potatoes + scrambled eggs with chives + mesclun salad with almond & classic lemon vinaigrette +  double orange salad + sourdough toast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
break of dawn – $22

this is hands-down one of the most value-for-money brunch dishes i have ever had. seriously. at bigger establishments like wild honey, you’d probably pay more than this and get something barely 1/3 the size? just check out the size of that plate – it was HUGE and piled high with an array of breakfast foods. i think two average eaters can share this plate very comfortably and leave feeling very satisfied! each component on the plate was good which i thought was no mean feat, given that its rather hard to achieve that with the number of different things they served up.

the bratwurst was of a good quality (not at all the processed kind of sausage), and the cherry tomatoes were amazingly sweet, fresh and juicy. we all loved how they were the kind that are still on the vine when you buy them, and not the more run-of-the-mill oval-shaped ones. the potatoes and bacon were not bad too – well-fried and not too greasy. as for the mesclun salad and the orange salad, they were both very enjoyable additions to the plate to cleanse the palette in between bites of heavy breakfast food. the greens of the mesclun salad were fresh and the almonds added a nice crunch to the leaves. i also loved the lemon vinaigrette which was light and refreshing. as for the oranges, they were drenched in cinnamon and i’m not sure what they were meant to be eaten with, but they were delicious all the same and as i mentioned earlier, something refreshing to accompany the more greasy foods on the plate. the scrambled eggs were delicious. we all loved the addition of chives and they were light, fluffy and creamy – a worthy competitor of nassim hill’s scrambled eggs, i thought. they also gave a huge serving of scrambled eggs (we couldn’t finish it even among the 3 of us); not sure if you can see it in the picture but it was really a very big pile, plenty to be eaten with each component on the plate. last but not least, we had 2 thick pieces of sourdough, which was really welcome as an accompaniment for the hot foods on the plate to be piled high on.

despite the fact that the 3 of us are pretty big eaters, we did not manage to finish everything we ordered. we came pretty close though, because the food was so yummy that even though we were full, we kept picking at the remnants and going back for more bits and bobs left on the plates. unfortunately that left us with no space for desserts! they have several interesting cakes in the display, which i hope to try the next time i visit! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe were especially intrigued by the “fade to black” cake that is meant to be a tribute to Metallica.¬†the coffee is also supposed to be good, but we didn’t have any as we found the prices for the drinks slightly steep.

all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed what maison ikkoku has to offer. great food with generous servings at very reasonable prices – no additional service charge added, so what you see on the menu is what you pay! its a great little place to hang out that has a very chill vibe, the kind of unpretentious place where you order at the counter and get water for yourself. the cafe is pretty small and it does get very crowded on weekends (we witnessed several people being turned away/being told to wait about 30 minutes for a table), so making a reservation is definitely recommended if you’re planning on going at brunch peak hour (about 11am onwards).

i’m definitely returning to maison ikkoku but i’m not sure what i’ll order this time – i enjoyed what we had the last time so much that i’m not sure how willing i will be to depart from those choices we made! maybe i’ll go on a weekday so my choices will be limited and i’ll be forced to try the rest of their offerings which i hope will be equally great! ūüėČ

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Maison Ikkoku

20 Kandahar Street
Singapore 198885

ps. rich & good cake shop a few doors down has some great swiss rolls in variety of local flavours to offer – pop by & give it a try!!!

pps. don’t forget to pop by haji lane and kampong glam while you’re in the area! its always nice to take a stroll around a culturally rich area rather than being constantly surrounded by towering skyscrapers. some exciting post-brunch things we did that day documented by my la sardina:
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