Halcyon & Crane – Brand New Cafe in The Paragon
With fashion and health in mind, the creators of Birds of a Feather set up their new cafe, Halcyon & Crane, in the heart of Paragon.
A Halcyon is a Greek mythological bird that symbolises serenity and bliss, whereas a Crane is an Asian mystical bird that denotes good fortune and longevity. The cafe serves salubrious Asian-Western dishes with no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
We started the meal with the Smoked Tuna Tatami Salad which was an ensemble of fresh maguro dressed with 口水 sauce, salad tossed in a calamansi and red oil vinaigrette, quinoa, and chilli oil. While the different elements might sound like they don’t belong together, Halcyon & Crane has melded every element seamlessly.
The Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepes stole the show. Inspired by the Shanghai-style pancake, the soft and chewy crepe features black forest ham and Sichuan-style sausage that are coated with douban mayonnaise, kewpie mayo and 老干妈 chilli. Delightfully crunchy julienned carrots, celtuce and lettuce, are also wrapped present in the wrap.
Served with a mouthwatering salad dressed in wild chilli (shan jiao) vinaigrette, the Australian Black Angus Beef Carpaccio went exceptionally well with the pickled daikon. Apple cider has been added to the pickling process to make sure that the daikon was extra sour. What a perfect hors d’oeuvre to start your meal with!
If you’ve been to Birds of a Feather, you’ll know that the dishes are truly one of a kind — unique and outstanding. It’s no different at Halcyon & Crane. The King’s Chicken Benedict Hash hides a little surprise under the 64-degree egg and cheddar cheese. Can you guess what the secret ingredient is? Well, it is none other than gong bao chicken! The cashew nuts added a crunch and nuttiness that complements the dish, and the Sichuan peppercorns promise a slight numbing sensation in your mouth.
Next up, the Cured Sausage Shakshuka served with toast. The shakshuka was made with tomato sauce, corn, mushroom, white beans and cheese — a traditional Mediterranean recipe. Where’s the “Asian” in this dish then? Well, chunks of spicy mala pork sausage are resting in the shakshuka!
As mentioned, Halcyon & Crane offers healthy and light options. The Chicken & Mushroom Vermicelli seems to be the best choice for those seeking a lighter meal. Vermicelli is served in a clear chicken bone broth, and topped with a variety of mushrooms, black fungus and celtuce. The soup comes in a teapot, so you can pour your desired amount into the vermicelli. Also, you can rest assured that the remarkably fragrant soup is completely void of MSG.
The Speciality Beef & Tomato Braised Rice was a show-stopper. The beef broth is made from various parts of the Angus beef and boiled for over 16 hours. In the soup, a mixture of grains such as brown rice, pearl rice, kamut, pearl barley, quinoa and buckwheat are present. In the middle of the rich and robust beef broth lies parmesan cheese and a 64 degree sous-vide egg. Mix everything well before you tuck in!
The Beetroot & Seafood Risotto was surprisingly delicious. Japanese pearl rice is cooked with a beetroot puree which imparts a mild sweetness to the rice. Fresh Hokkaido scallops, prawns and squid are grilled, and artfully plated. Find little spheres popping in your mouth? That’s the black tobiko! Vegetarian options are available.
To round off the meal, we had the Molten Matcha Lava cake. The core of the cake holds warm green tea white chocolate lava. The freshly baked cake is served with cheese ice cream, berries and cookie crumble. The combination was just heavenly.
Do try the Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte when you’re there! The unorthodox pairing of fresh orange juice and coffee will surprise you! It was definitely the highlight of my trip to Halcyon & Crane. Not a fan of the citrus fruit? Halcyon & Crane has other options in the fancy coffee section on the menu. I’m sure there’s something for even the fussiest coffee connoisseur.
I have to applaud and commend Halcyon & Crane for coming up with dishes that we would never imagine possible. Head to Paragon and be blown away by the newest and most fashionable cafe in town!
HALCYON & CRANE
Address: 290 Orchard Rd, #03-09 The Paragon, Singapore 238859
Phone: 9727 5121
Opening Hours: 9am to 10pm daily.
Cuisine: Western-Chinese fusion
Note: This is an invited tasting.
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