Photograph: 123rf.com / margouillat
You wake up in the morning and your mind zooms in on breakfast. You want something to fuel you up for the day, but jam slathered on bread prepared in your kitchen does not quite excite you. Thank goodness, then, for the increasing number of restaurants and cafes which are opening early to serve breakfast.
Many of these eateries also have grab-and-go takeaway counters for those in a rush. One such restaurant is Gemmills in Amoy Street, which started its 8am grab-and-go breakfast service last month to tap the office crowd in the Central Business District (CBD).
Gemmills’ co-owner Darren Micallef decided on this move because he had noticed the “limited early morning options” in the area. The restaurant’s breakfast menu features toasties, pastries and granola – all made in-house.
Oriole Coffee + Bar in Somerset launched its grab-and-go counter last year and has refreshed its menu with items including New York BLT bagel with hickory- smoked bacon and truffle brioche croque madame.
Ms Pancy Ho, 45, assistant marketing director of Refinery Concepts which owns Oriole, says: “Oriole has always seen high traffic during breakfast hours and introducing the counter was a way to build a bigger base of regulars.”
Oriole’s branch in Capitol Piazza has a grab-and-go counter too.
Do not work in town? No problem. Cafe Nom La La by Bakerzin in Punggol launched an all-day breakfast menu in June, two months after it opened, offering a $4 breakfast set that includes a croissant and eggs.
Ms Sharon Tay, chief operating officer of Bakerzin, says: “A quick snack or grab-and-go is good for people who don’t have enough time.”
For some eateries, offering breakfast service means having to get extra hands on deck. Nude Seafood restaurant in Marina Bay Financial Centre, which started offering breakfast at the end of last year, hired another chef to handle breakfast orders such as eggs scrambled with Japanese dashi. New dishes such as Eggs Florentine with house-smoked salmon are in the works.
Hotels are also getting in on the act. Park Hotel Alexandra launched The Coffee Belt on its ground floor in July last year, offering three breakfast sets priced from $8 to $12, which include coffee.
The hotel’s general manager Angeline Tan says: “The takeaway breakfast sets are a quick alternative for hotel guests as well as for people on their way to work.”
Sales manager Lauren Goh, 32, who works in Orchard Road, buys breakfast at Oriole Coffee + Bar once every two weeks. She says: “Before, I ate things such as kaya toast for breakfast. Now I can try more fancy stuff such as bagels.”
Where to go for breakfast
What: If you have time for a leisurely breakfast, go for the made-to- order Eggs, Toast And Tomatoes ($8) in which the eggs are scrambled with Japanese dashi and the bread baked by a local traditional bakery. Add $4 each for bacon, avocado or toast.
For those on the go, grab a Greek yogurt parfait with berries compote, housemade granola and pomegranate ($7); or sweet muffin ($5).
Where: Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, 12 Marina Boulevard, 01-02
When: 8 to 10am (made-to-order dishes), 8 to 11.30am (grab and go items), weekday only
Info: Call 6443-1167 or go to www.facebook.com/nudseafood
NOM LA LA BY BAKERZIN
What: For a simple and affordable breakfast, Nom La La by Bakerzin offers a $4 set with French croissant or kaya toast; two sunny-side-up eggs or soft-boiled eggs; and a grilled tomato.
Add $2 each for extra sides such as turkey bacon, turkey ham, chicken sausage and sauteed mushrooms.
Other local breakfast options include nasi lemak ($7.90) and mee siam ($6.90).
Where: 9 Sentul Crescent, 02-04
When: 9am to 9pm daily
Info: Call 6385-0409
What: Start your morning right at the homely Gemmills coffee corner, which was launched last month. The menu includes pastries ($3.50); toasted croissants ($4.50 or $5); granola with fruit and yogurt ($8); and ham and cheese toastie ($6).
This month, Gemmills collaborates with Stamping Ground Coffee House from Upper East Coast Road to feature two cold-brewed coffees ($6).
Where: 110 Amoy Street, 01-02
When: 8 to 11am, weekday only
ORIOLE COFFEE + BAR
What: New items at Oriole’s Grab and Go counter in Somerset include smoked salmon Caesar sandwich; New York BLT bagel with hickory- smoked bacon; truffle brioche croque madame; and Mediterranean wrap with marinated artichoke hearts, baby spinach, roasted capsicum, black olives, feta cheese and basil pesto aioli. Breakfast sets are priced at $10+, including a hot coffee.
At its Capitol Piazza outlet, the menu offers just pastries and coffee. A pastry and coffee set costs $6.
Where: Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard, 96 Somerset Road, 01-01; Capitol Piazza Neue, 13 Stamford Road, 02-20/21
When: 8am to 5pm, weekday only (Somerset); 10.30am to 10.30pm daily (Capitol Piazza)
Info: Call 6238-8348 or go to www.facebook.com/OrioleCoffee
What: Club Meatballs’ menu features its Club signature breakfast ($17.50), with two eggs, bacon, grilled chicken or pork sausage, sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes; Eggs Royale ($14.50) with poached eggs, smoked Norwegian salmon, baby spinach topped with Hollandaise sauce and served with salad; pancakes ($11.50) with fresh strawberries, blueberries, banana compote and maple syrup; as well as housemade jaffles (toasted sandwiches), with fillings such as Kurobuta ham and cheese ($6) and pulled pork and sauteed onion ($7).
Where: China Square Central, 20 Cross Street, 01-35
When: 8 to 10.30am, weekday only
This story was originally published in The Straits Times.