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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bites: Of Crepes, Fried Chicken and Crispy Pork Belly @ Layup, Northbridge

The North end of Northbridge is getting a little busier than being just “Chinatown” with new hipster joints establishing themselves on all corners of the hood. Among them is Layup, one of the places making more noise with its killer brunch menu and industrial themed fit-out.
The morning was hard to start at 8am, but a wake up call from some good juice mix and the good friend caffeine made the rising sun a little more bearable.
Watermelon and Strawberry Juice.

After placing our orders, the kitchen started getting busy and it was not long till the smell of heated oil whiffed through the dining area.  First out the door was the Spiced Fried Chicken, Pork Crackle, watermelon and mint salad, red bean aioli.
The crispy chicken, and crunchy crackling was a highlight but this brunch dish was a heavyweight contender.  Even the watermelon could not bring salvation as my colleague barely made it over the finishing line.  The crispy chicken was alright, but a bit more spices would have definitely made it more palatable as the red bean aioli did not pack a garlicky punch which I felt was needed to help finish the fried goods on the plate.

Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Miso Caramel, Beetroot gel, Chargrilled Asparagus
The size of the Pork Belly is made small on the picture.  In reality though, there are 3 slabs of protein staring at you asking to be eaten.  Enough said, the Pork Belly was cooked decent.  Sure the skin did not crackle as much as the one for the fried chicken did but it was edible.  Miso Caramel was good but I reckon the balance could have been a tad more miso and less sugar.  Over all, it was good especially. I felt that the asparagus was cooked so very well too!

Crepe, Wagyu Bresaola, Mushroom, Charred Asparagus, Fried Quail Egg, Gruyere Garlic Butter
If you need flavour, the savoury crepe might be your best friend.  The savoury crepe was probably the finest tasting savoury dish that morning. Its thin crepe was lovely especially in that rich, and creamy gruyere garlic butter sauce which complemented the bresaola.  Even more tasty were the mushrooms which were plump from soaking up the sauce.  The slight hump in enjoying the dish though, was the sodium level.  A couple of bites if shared amongst a village would have made me beg for more.  But an entire dish like that to myself?  I’d probably be dead begging on the floor for water.  Definitely a dish to share.

Chia seed pudding, honey toasted granola, poached pear.
Someone tried to be healthy and that was where it ended for me. I do not go out to eat healthy stuff.  Period.  :P!  In hindsight, it was pretty colourful.

Crepe, Hazelnut Praline, Chocolate sauce, Coconut Ice Cream.
The sweet crepe was one to love.  Again, the execution of the crepe was perfect.  What I liked was how the nutty hazelnut praline went together with the chocolate sauce and to top it off was the coconut ice cream which seemed to elevate the flavours of the chocolate without making it sickening.  This to me felt like perfect alchemy.  Watch out salt!  Coconut pair with chocolate just as well.

Brioche Doughnut Balls, salted caramel, orange zest chantilly cream
The final dessert to share was something I looked forward too.  I mean who would not?  Put words like Brioche and Doughnut together for an immediate drool moment.  So perhaps it was hype that killed the dish.  Like how a cronut is neither a doughnut or a croissant, this was neither a brioche or a doughnut.  Why so?  First, it was not as buttery as a brioche and two, it was nowhere near as fluffy as the doughnut I expect.  In fact, if anything it felt a little short/crumbly like the “old school” doughnut served at tbsp.  Was it a bad dish this one?  Nope.  Was it my favourite?  Nope.  It was palatable!

The breakfast we had at Layup brought us through the entire day till dinner.  Even by then I still felt a little full.  Breakfast at Layup is definitely interesting especially when you consider how bold their menu are.  To mention  a few the Fried chicken, Crispy Pork Belly, Sweet Crepe w/ Ice Cream, and Karaage Burger.  Taste wise if I had to put a number, Layup would come in as a solid 6.5.  It was nice and for many part interesting but for many part the finish or execution has space for improvements!

Layup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato