The famed New York brunch institution Clinton St Baking Co opened to great fanfare on our sunny shores. Queues were legendary and purportedly snaked along Purvis Street. Fast-forward a year later, and the queues have dissipated; the restaurant barely reaching full capacity even on a busy weekend afternoon. I finally got around to trying it, and understood why the crowd left. The brunch eggs were uneven, clunky and depressingly lackluster. Disappointing, in view of how deservedly beloved its New York mothership is.
Perhaps the only worthwhile dish, the buttermilked fried Chicken & Waffles ($21) was faultless. The chicken tenders were luscious, seasoned with a honeyed tobasco marinade for a subtle heat. The waffles were beautifully thick, done Belgian style with oodles of buttermilk, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside, with a maple butter sauce for drizzling over
The Southern Breakfast ($18), comprising a couple of eggs fried sunny side up, crunchy strips of sugar-cured bacon for a sweet-salty element, was marred by insipid cheese grits.
The Spanish Scramble ($19) was a medley of a whopping 3 eggs studded with chorizo, tomatoes, caramelised onions and finished off with a puddle of melty Monterey jack cheese, accompanied by hashbrowns and sourdough toast. The scramble would have passed muster but for the onions, which sweetness was overwhelmingly jarring.
Clinton St Baking Company
31 Purvis Street
Tel: 6684 4845
Open daily from 8am to 10pm