Monday, August 20, 2012

Baker & Cook @ Hillcrest

Go if you want: good coffee, good fruit smoothies and excellent breads.
Parking: a little tricky and they urge dedicated customers to park responsibly.
Address: 77 Hillcrest Road [turn into Hillcrest Road till you come to a row of shophouses at Greenwood. Keep right - it's the last shophouse.]

Nothing defines or changes a neighbourhood the way a good cafe does. And Baker & Cook has definitely put Hillcrest on the radar for good coffee and breads since its quiet arrival on the scene in mid January.  Naturally, it’s easy to rave about a new joint in its early days. So I'd like to add that this review comes only about 20 visits after with different people, beginning early April. Having lived in an area that has suffered a long drought of affordable gourmet coffee under 10 minutes from home, I did not want to gush over any new kid on the block too prematurely.  However, in over four months, I’m happy to report that my lattes and walnut breads have not slipped in form or flavour despite occasional service slip-ups. While Starbucks @ Coronation perked up the lethargic neighbourhood a few years ago, Baker & Cook offers a place more home-style than franchise, and breads freshly-made from the kitchen on-site, not delivered in crates cling-wrapped.

There’s nothing like a place you could just swing by in shorts and shades to get bread and a cup of full-bodied latte. On weekends and public holidays, things pretty much fly off the shelves here. Today [a public holiday], a lady before me snagged the last two custard-filled doughnuts. When I asked the owner, Dean, if there were anymore, he said I'd have to run after the lady! I had no doubt I could evoke her compassion for my children who loved those doughnuts, but the sight of the last piece of Napolean [Vanilla Custard Slice] - a new addition to the menu - convinced me that I'd soon have a better thing in hand!  I also tried the new Chicken Roll.

Morning, afternoon or evening [they close early at 8pm though], the one reason I come here is for the latte. If the treatment of a cuppa is important towards how it’s enjoyed: B&C Hillcrest has a cheerful barista who dignifies every cup with skill and pride, and the proof is in the brew.   

Not many places have the combination of good coffees and baked goods. It's like discovering a beautiful tree that also has singing birds near you. You just want to go with good company, sit and drink it in!

WELCOME to the neighborhood, Baker & Cook!

Latte that's done right each time!
Get at least one loaf of WALNUT BREAD to go - it has disappearing power.
 Breakfast To Rise For!

NEW ADDITIONS - August 2012
CHICKEN ROLL - A little bit dry but substantial on the whole.
VANILLA CUSTARD SLICE - A true delight - like B&C's zesty Lemon Tart.