The look on my face when I was invited to my very first media tasting. Introducing the new meat-lovers go-to hideout, Carvers and Co at East Coast Road. These guys serve coffee at 10am and start brunch service 11am, all the way till 2 30pm. I’ve been meaning (you notice a trend here with all my blog posts now) to visit, specifically for their brunch special of peanut butter and walnut french toast. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve wiped off the drool. It was all a little too much. So when Sarah, who also opened One Man Coffee at Upper Thomson, invited me that Monday night, you can just imagine my delight. Took the bus all the way to the East Coast, without a care in the world. Without a single care, caressing my coffee-deprived little belly. One of the first things I tried was their iced pour-over, using Brazil beans, served by an all-knowing, clearly coffee-crazed barista. The taste was clean albeit a little weak for my own preference. A refreshing start to this grand experience.
And if you wanna go all-American, pile-on-the-brunch-toppings style, you can add bacon for an extra 3 bucks. This was absolutely, disgustingly, heavenly. I was once again transported to One Man with their fabulous french toast formula, though this time there’s the added pizzaz of gooey peanut butter and warmed banana, a beautiful mess in the middle. They could even try using natural peanut butter, in all its grainy, home-ground and creamy glory, to further enhance the flavours here. The sides are ridiculously crisp, so much so that the crumbs feel like airy polka dots on your tongue. The toasted walnuts were the best touch, offering a earthy roundness to the otherwise purely chimerical and traditional peanut butter and banana pairing. What makes this french toast different is how the brioche is light, soft and crusty, and not overly weighed down by eggy batter, overly-drenched in naked batter. It’s like the delicate rose of all french toasts. Lady of the lambs. Almost untouchable, but boy was I glad to cut into this.
Firstly, those paprika bacon chips go wonderfully with a sharp, creamy beer. The man offered a gorgeous pairing of Palm beer, which made the aftertaste of sweet bakkwa-esque bacon chips linger for longer. The paprika could have been a little sharper to give a little more kick, but overall they’re rather divine, and nicely crisp on the outside.
Secondly, please take a step back to admire that bacon jam, melted cheese and truffled yolk as one golden (literally) entirety. Mostly the bacon jam though, or the single element which brought all traditional eggy behaviour of a brunch dish on its feet. It was much stickier and retained better consistency as a ‘jam’ than what I remembered the last time I tried it at One Man, and one can smear the gooey delight all over the crust of the outer edges, lending both sweet and savoury flavour to the mild, light brioche, plain melted grana panado and truffle oil. Oh, truffle. This really is taking it to the next level. One of the best bits? Sliding your knife into that fried piece of bread, or the ‘hole’, if you will. Dig into that crisp shell of crumby goodness. King of side appeal.
The mash was edible velvet, and offered the right savoury kick without feeling too heavy or gluggy on the palate. The candied carrots could have been marinated in a little less syrup to retain more of its bite. I’m honestly quite the sucker for any candied vegetable.
As I may or may not have said before, I’m not actually the biggest fries person, but the fried anchovies here won me over. The fries were fresh, crisp and warm, just out of the fryer, its edges mellowed by the heavy wallop of garlic mayonnaise on top. You get a bit of everything on one fry, and everything was, frankly, a nice starchy and fatty mess. Reminds me of English pubs, and that in itself says a lot.
They also serve all sorts of meats, such as this wagyu with caramelised onions, which is absolutely to die for. The meat was nothing short of perfectly medium-rare and tender, yielding a rustic flavour brought out by the garlic confit and delightful mound of sweet, sticky caramelised onions. Just… Yes please. The woody meat paired excellently with the softened onions. Look at the wobbly red belly and bright sear on the outside. Communal. Big families. Full stomachs and passing of plates. This is what Carvers is all about. They also offer other brunch and breakfast specials, as well as meat platters, desserts and the whole range of coffee varieties. Their machine is enough to stump ya. It may be a little out of the way, but make an effort for just one trip. It’ll all be worth it, I promise. Once again, a special thank you to Sarah for inviting me, and I’m definitely bringing the folks over one day to try everything. I’ve got my eye on that vegetarian dish of pumpkin, eggplant and paneer on polenta!
Carvers and Co.
43 East Coast Road