In Tanjong Pagar, always remember to expect the unexpected. From cosy gin bars to global restaurants and street food, there’s always something for everyone around this neck of the woods. And like a true Eastie who abhors travelling outside of her comfort zone, I never fail to get lost here—akin to Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole.
Rabbit holes aside, I’m obviously here to talk about the neighbourhood’s swanky new neighbour, KM Bagel & Waffle—run by Singaporean Keith Poon and Polish Mariusz Grzes. I’m no Indiana Jones but I did spend a good few minutes wandering around Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre due to my own inability to comprehend simple directions by a talking GPS feature—yes, I question my existence daily.
After what seemed like an eternity of being a foreigner in my own country, I found myself walking up a flight of stairs to get to the second floor of Tanjong Pagar Plaza, where the gem is located.
What I tried
I love anything that’s waffle-related. However, I’ve always leaned towards the sweeter side of things. Hence, this was my first time having savoury waffle or bagel dishes; there’s no time like the present to try new things, right?
The menu shows a slew of different savoury dishes to indulge in; I decided to splurge a little and have a taste of the best with a mini version of the Chef’s Curation (S$118). Not on the menu yet, the mini version will range from S$74.80, and will feature a three-course meal as opposed to the current version of a five-course meal.
The first course is that of a quartet of canapé—cubes of bagels and waffles are topped with premium ingredients like oscietra caviar, crab rillette, tuna tartare, and foie gras; per Keith’s guidance, it’s advised to also have it in that order to not overwhelm the palate. While I’m not a fan of anything salty, the canapé was a refreshing start.
For mains, I had the choice to choose between a Sous Vide Duck Breast and Boston Lobster dish, and I opted for the latter. The plate comes with a scarlet red Boston lobster tail topped with generous amounts of fish roe, three Diamond shell clams, a side of miso and Chrysanthemum-infused broth, with a toasted sesame bagel.
Once again, as instructed, I poured the broth over the lobster and clams, completely drenching them before I tucked in. The broth alone was too salty to my liking however, when paired with the lobster meat, it gave off a sweet aftertaste.
This dish is one for the seafood lovers, however, I noted that the meat was a bit too tough hence, it gave me a hard time in terms of tearing it apart from its shell. Taste-wise, it properly encapsulates the essence of the sea or as my colleague, Rachel, would put it, “this dish is so seafoody“!
Now, the dessert is definitely the highlight of the three-course meal. I got the Mochiko Waffle that comes topped with berry compôte and assorted berries, a side of citrus chantilly with cinnamon crumbles, and salted lavender caramel.
I’ll start off with how the waffle over here truly brings their restaurant justice; not only was it done to perfection, but it had a brilliant consistency and tasted mighty fine on its own. In addition to that, the amalgamation of sweetness from the berries and citrus from the ice cream elevated the simple waffle to that of an atas dessert. I’d be more than happy having this very dish for dessert any day of the week.
A crowd favourite from their à la carte menu—and one I couldn’t possibly miss—is the Braised Beef Cheek with Potato Bacon Waffle (S$34).
Never in my life would I have imagined that when put together, potato and bacon actually goes extremely well when infused in a waffle. I mean, it was akin to having a breakfast meal on the go. I already knew their waffles here are to-die-for but this is something I’d recommend to snack on when you’re here.
The star of the dish, however, ended up being a disappointment as the meat, albeit incredibly soft and tender, ended up too gamey which is a huge no-no when it comes to red meat. I wasn’t too thrilled about going back for seconds hence, I had to leave it as is.
Lastly, we also had an off-the-menu dish: Oyster Waffle. Think King oyster-infused waffle topped with egg floss, and served with a side of sambal. The sweet-smelling dish tastes eerily similar to orh luak, and dipping it into the sambal gave it the right kind of balance.
KM Bagel & Waffle is a place for you to visit at least once for their unique savoury creations and bespoke cocktails. Their well-thought off decor impresses, yet you don’t feel obliged to don your best dress (unless you really want to). Where else can I stuff my face with caviar or foie gras in casual wear, right?
Despite a few misses, I wouldn’t be too quick to strike them off my list just yet for their name truly delivers; their bagel and waffle are arguably one of the best I’ve tasted in a long time.
Expected damage: S$30 – S$90 per pax
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