1. Salted Egg Yolk Hot Cross Bun ($4.50 each)
JOE & DOUGH, AVAILABLE AT ALL OUTLETS INCLUDING #01-10 ORCHARD GATEWAY, 277 ORCHARD RD, S238858. TEL: 6702-4656. Open daily 9am-10.30pm. Last orders at closing. www.joeanddough.com
Instead of stuffing the rich golden yolk into croissants, this home-grown cafe chain has rolled out Hot Cross Buns. The traditional raisin and fruit peel orbs are usually eaten to celebrate Easter. But Joe & Dough’s palm-sized version stars a photogenic plain charcoal-flavoured bun with salted egg yolk piped into it. We heated up the buns for half a minute and cut into one to find its lava-like yolk oozing out hypnotisingly. While some folks have commented on social media that their buns, well, had performance anxiety, we were lucky that our batch of hot buns did not get stage fright.
“But the bread tastes like normal roti leh,” complains our colleague. The charcoal bun itself is soft, slightly fluffy and rather tasteless sans fruity embellishments. But some might argue that it forms an ideal blank canvas for the filling. The golden-yellow custard made with ingredients like milk, honey and salted egg yolks is on point: thick, silky, sweet and savoury with a satisfyingly strong whiff of salted egg flavour. Just like a good liu sha bao from a reputable dim sum restaurant, but with a regular bun that needs no steaming to stay soft.
2. Salted Egg Yolk Rainbow Cake ($8.90 a slice)
NOM BISTRO & BAKERY CAFE, L1 MACPHERSON COMMUNITY CLUB, 400 PAYA LEBAR WAY, S379131. TEL: 6747-3839. Open daily 11am-11pm. Last orders at closing. www.noothermeaning.com
The love child of the two hottest food trends to hit our shores: salted egg yolk and rainbow cake. Because the umami flavour of the egg can be versatile, we dug into this cake with an open mind. After all, this bistro-bakery has launched many a gushing Instagram post with their pretty rainbow cake (sans salted egg yolk). Each layered slice is slathered in buttercream blended with, er, curry spices, chillies and of course, salted egg yolk. “We’ve been making salted caramel rainbow cakes and wanted to try something new. We experimented with salted egg yolk and found that it tasted better than we expected,” Nom co-owner Christie Tang tells us. She says response has been enthusiastic, though “some people think it’s a bit strange and can’t accept it”. We admit that we are those people. The fluffy, tender sponge cake is pleasant, but they should’ve skipped the incongruous curry spices in the buttercream. Moreover, our colleague thinks the frosting has a burnt flavour to it. Still, it’s one creative hybrid.