Halcyon & Crane

July 06, 2019 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Halcyon & Crane
290 Orchard Road
#03-09 The Paragon


https://www.facebook.com/halcyoncrane/


Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad (SGD $21)



East Meets West In Surprising Plates

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 7
Value for Money: 5
Spent about SGD $70 per person.


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Opened in September 2018 by the same folks behind the popular fusion cafe Birds Of A Feather, Halcyon & Crane is named for the Greek myth of the Kingfisher, associated with serenity and happiness, and the Chinese myth of the Crane, associated with longevity and peace. At Halcyon & Crane, expect more of the group's experimental fusion East meets West cuisine, with heavy use of Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan spices and bold, punchy flavours.

Ambience at Halcyon & Crane continues the marriage of east and west, with aesthetics designed to reflect both cultures. The warmly lit area is neatly and tightly packed with comfortable cushioned furniture and high tables. Partitions of shiny golden mesh wires are interspersed with spherical pavilion roofs and supporting wooden poles. Lazy recliners are situated next to the long bar and barista area. The place is well suited for lingering and people watching, and is also family-friendly, with small nooks to park baby strollers.

Service at Halcyon & Crane was average. As a restaurant, I expected better service quality, not just cafe standards. While it's easy to attract staff's attention, I would have liked a more proactive approach. They efficiently clean tables when diners leave. Staff don't display much product knowledge or menu knowledge. However, if the bosses are around, they will engage diners in conversation, describe dishes as it's served, and check for feedback on meals... a stark contrast compared with the regular staff.

Food at Halcyon & Crane is modern fusion. Think European style plates and ingredients (French, Italian), with Asian style techniques and seasonings (Japanese, Chinese). Head Chef Michael Ng serves up beautifully presented, tasty and healthy dishes, without using any monosodium glutamate (MSG), yet are bold in flavour. Portions are large for individuals, and can be shared. Prices are high, similar to fine dining restaurants, however, the quality doesn't live up to the premium pricing. Budget about SGD $70 per person for a meal here.


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Halcyon & Crane Signage
Halcyon & Crane Signage


Halcyon & Crane Exterior
Halcyon & Crane Exterior


Halcyon & Crane Interior
Halcyon & Crane Interior


Highlight Of Your Day
Highlight Of Your Day


Water Glass
Water Glass



The Coffee Aficionado (SGD $11) is a sampling platter that allows you to mix and match the beverages served to your liking. A chocolate powder dusted serving plate arrives with small mugs of Hot Chocolate, Piccolo Latte, and a beaker of Espresso, garnished with Strawberries. On its own, the hot chocolate has a thin, milky texture, with weak chocolatey sweet flavour. Drink a little, then add some of the strong bitter espresso coffee, and pair with the juicy fruity sweet strawberries for a decent shot. The piccolo latte on its own is alright too, with a stronger milky profile, again, the espresso coffee helps here.

Coffee Aficionado (SGD $11)


Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate


Piccolo Latte
Piccolo Latte


Espresso & Strawberries
Espresso & Strawberries


Coffee Aficionado
Coffee Aficionado



A playful and novel idea, the Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte (SGD $14) features latte coffee ice cubes in a glass, with a beaker containing a blend of fresh orange juice, yuzu zest, and passionfruit juice on the side. Garnished with a slice of caramelised orange and rosemary sprigs, you're meant to pour the beaker of fruit juice over the iced coffee cubes, which then slowly melts and infuses the beverage. Has a bold, distinct fruity sweet citrus sour flavour, with faint undertones of roasted espresso coffee flavours. The rosemary is more decor than flavour, and the overall beverage is more fruit juice than coffee.

Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte (SGD $14)


Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte
Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte


Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte


Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte



The Cocktail Crazy Rich Asian (SGD $26) features a blend of Plantation pineapple rum, pandan kaya / screwpine leaf coconut egg jam, and honey. This gives the beverage a rich, viscous texture, with a floral fruity sweet flavour. Served on a plate dressed with more pandan kaya / screwpine leaf coconut egg jam and rose petals, which perfume the immediate vicinity with an aromatic floral scent. Good!

Cocktail Crazy Rich Asian (SGD $26)


Cocktail Crazy Rich Asian
Cocktail Crazy Rich Asian



Named for the eponymous email fields, the Cocktail To, Cc, Bcc (SGD $20) features a blend of Bankes London dry gin, yuzu juice, passionfruit, and honey. The beverage has a cloudy, thick texture, with a fruity zesty sweet sour flavour. Served with a slice of candied lemon, this tipple is both refreshing and thirst-quenching.

Cocktail To, Cc, Bcc (SGD $20)


Cocktail To, Cc, Bcc
Cocktail To, Cc, Bcc


Cocktail To, Cc, Bcc



The Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad (SGD $21) is a lovely appetizer. On one side, there's a fresh, crisp mixed mesclun salad (lettuce, chard, curly endive / frisée, spinach) with crunchy lotus root and firm melba toast bread, that has been dressed with Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan peppercorn spice. This complements the natural vegetal sweet flavour with an earthy spicy touch. On the other side, tender slices of smoked tuna fish tataki are laid over chilled grainy quinoa salsa. The fresh meaty savoury smoky flavours of the tuna fish are complemented by the grainy sweet quinoa and its seasoning of spice. A red chili oil vinaigrette is served as a dipping sauce on the side, this isn't as spicy or numbing as it looks. Highly recommended!

Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad (SGD $21)


Mixed Mesclun Salad With Lotus Root, Melba Toast
Mixed Mesclun Salad With Lotus Root, Melba Toast


Smoked Tuna Tataki On Quinoa Salsa
Smoked Tuna Tataki On Quinoa Salsa


Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad
Smoked Tuna Tataki Salad



The unique King's Chicken Hash Benedict (SGD $21) is among the most delicious breakfast / brunch dishes I've had. A spongy crisp home-made English muffin, with bready earthy smoky flavour, is topped with tender gong bao / kung kao chicken cubes stir-fried with crunchy leeks, Sichuan / Szechuan peppercorns, ginger, garlic, sugar, dark soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and dried chili, but without the roasted peanuts. This delicious, savoury sweet spicy mess is overlaid with a wobbly soft, 64-degree poached egg, whose perfect runny yolk bursts delightfully. Blanketed with cheddar cheese, which partially melts over the ingredients. Garnished with fresh crisp spinach leaves and curly endive / frisee, both with vegetal earthy flavour. Served with juicy baked cherry tomates that burst with vegetal sweet flavour, and Sichuan / Szechuan spice-coated roasted potatoes, that are tender in texture with bold savoury potato spicy flavour. Highly recommended!

King's Chicken Hash Benedict (SGD $21)


King's Chicken Hash Benedict
King's Chicken Hash Benedict


King's Chicken Hash Benedict


King's Chicken Hash Benedict


King's Chicken Hash Benedict



This has been removed from the menu since May 2019. Loved the Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepes (SGD $19). The thin egg crepes are generously stuffed with crunchy pickled purple cabbage and carrots, soft scrambled eggs coated with gooey cheese, and tender medium-thick slices of pork ham. Garnished with wispy curly endive / frisee and crisp red radish slices, each bite is a lovely eggy savoury sweet salty zesty cheesy flavour. The Sichuan / Szechuan Marinated Pickled Cabbage has fine shreds of crisp sour pickled cabbage with spring onions and crunchy soy beans, in a slightly spicy salty vinaigrette (black vinegar, sugar, light soy sauce, chili oil). The Spiced Fries & Rice Krispies have fluffy medium potato fries and crisp rice krispies coated in a light dusting of salt and mala peppercorn powder, giving them a light salty spicy touch. Completed with a creamy Dou Ban Mayo, a spicy blend of mala peppercorn powder, mayonnaise, white vinegar, and sesame seeds. Every bite was delicious. Highly recommended!

Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepes (SGD $19)


Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepe Half
Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepe Half


Sichuan / Szechuan Marinated Pickled Cabbage
Sichuan / Szechuan Marinated Pickled Cabbage


Spiced Fries & Rice Krispies
Spiced Fries & Rice Krispies


Dou Ban Mayo
Dou Ban Mayo


Close-Up


Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepes
Ham & Cheesy Egg Crepes



Was disappointed with the Spicy Beef Stew Capellini (SGD $25). While I like the condiments of sharp sour black vinegar vinaigrette, crispy savoury salty white soy beans, and crunchy vegetal spring onions, the main dish let me down with its overly intense flavours. The plain rice vermicelli is rather flat, and the soft braised daikon radish was much too salty. At least the braised beef cubes were properly tender, succulent, and meaty savoury in flavour. The cherry tomato was also sufficiently juicy sweet. The Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan beef stew was too delicate in taste, lacking that robust meaty edge. I didn't finish this.

Spicy Beef Stew Capellini (SGD $25)


Condiments - Black Vinegar Vinaigrette, Crispy White Soy Beans, Spring Onions
Condiments - Black Vinegar Vinaigrette, Crispy White Soy Beans, Spring Onions


Braised Beef Cubes, Braised Daikon Radish, Rice Vermicelli, Cherry Tomato
Braised Beef Cubes, Braised Daikon Radish, Rice Vermicelli, Cherry Tomato


Spicy Beef Stew Capellini
Spicy Beef Stew Capellini


With Red & Spicy Beef Stew
With Red & Spicy Beef Stew



This has been removed from the menu since May 2019. The Australian Angus Short Ribs (SGD $42) was tasty but full flavoured, getting a little too intense towards the middle and end. The Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan spiced fried potato was the best component, the firm waxy texture and lovely savoury spice potato flavour is tops. The tender vegetal broccoli, juicy sweet cherry tomato, and creamy earthy pumpkin puree, all lend good flavour and vibrant colour. The buckwheat pesto was interesting, with its bouncy chewy texture and earthy herbal sweet flavour. The braised beef short ribs are super tender and succulent, the meat just sliding off the bone. However, the robust salty savoury flavour is a little too intense, and we ended up drinking quite a bit of water. If this could be toned down, the dish would be perfect.

Australian Angus Short Ribs (SGD $42)


Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan Fried Potato, Broccoli, Buckwheat Pesto, Baked Cherry Tomato, Pumpkin Puree
Chinese Sichuan / Szechuan Fried Potato, Broccoli, Buckwheat Pesto, Baked Cherry Tomato, Pumpkin Puree


Braised Beef Short Ribs
Braised Beef Short Ribs


Australian Angus Short Ribs


Australian Angus Short Ribs
Australian Angus Short Ribs



The Pork Sausage Onigiri (SGD $24) is among the few non-spicy dishes here, served with sides of crunchy zesty sour pickled cucumbers, medium-cut fluffy soft sweet potato fries, and creamy mayonnaise dip. The base features a pan-seared, crisp crunchy patty of Japanese white rice mixed with quinoa, having bold grainy earthy sweet flavour. Topped with fresh crunchy vegetal sweet lettuce leaves, and a thick juicy tender minced pork sausage patty, which has a lovely satisfying bite, and bold meaty savoury sweet salty flavour. Completed with a sunny side up egg, cut it to let the yolk coat the dish. Very happy with this. Good!

Pork Sausage Onigiri (SGD $24)


Pork Sausage Onigiri
Pork Sausage Onigiri


Pork Sausage Onigiri


Pork Sausage Onigiri



The Classic Baked Cheesecake (SGD $14) may feature a classic American New York cheesecake, but the presentation is modern. The moist, soft cheesecake is served in 3 wedges and has good cheesy sweet flavour, while the digestive biscuit base has a buttery sweet flavour with a grainy crumble to texture. Garnished with crisp charcoal infused meringue wafers that crunch softly, releasing an earthy sweet flavour. Plated with rich chantilly cream, sticky raspberry compote, crunchy raspberry soil, and a creamy smooth raspberry sorbet; all with proper sharp sour sweet flavour. Best shared with at least 3 people. Overall, it's presented to resemble a modernist deconstructed dessert plate, but because the individual components are designed to stand alone perfectly, it's an ironic presentation.

Classic Baked Cheesecake (SGD $14)


Classic Baked Cheesecake
Classic Baked Cheesecake


Classic Baked Cheesecake


Classic Baked Cheesecake



The modern Tiramisu On Glass (SGD $15) is plated with crisp crunchy biscotti, fresh strawberries, and crushed peanuts. The tiramisu itself is non-traditional, with a base of peanut crumble and oreo cookie crumble, layered with vanilla chantilly cream and coffee chantilly cream. Completed with a garnish of raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, and a dusting of chocolate powder. You get a blend of textures, creamy chewy crunchy grainy; with bold fruity milky sweet chocolatey coffee nutty flavours. Felt it looks better than it tastes actually, and seems more like a trifle than a tiramisu. Could be improved.

Tiramisu On Glass (SGD $15)


Tiramisu On Glass
Tiramisu On Glass


Tiramisu On Glass


Tiramisu On Glass



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