time of the year again, where a new favourite of mine is added to the small
list of eateries with the “Wah Lau Eh!” Stamp of Approval.
|Wah Lau Eh!|
In April, I was supposed to meet a couple of friends at Pridi for a chat, only
to find it closed on a day it was supposed to open. We then changed our location
to One Once for Onion (thanks to Jackie!), firstly because it was close to Pridi,
but also because Brassica just moved there after a long hiatus.
It started a fattening journey for my family, as Brassica doughnuts became our go-to snack whenever we passed by the area, partly to enjoy, but also to taste different flavours and understand its consistency. I even brought the harshest critic I know (you know who you are) and talked to the only Polish friends in the city, who all gave Brassica their thumbs up👍.
However, I will be very honest. Cong and I didn’t get off to a great start. In fact, it couldn’t have been worse. I will use this opportunity to air all our dirty laundry.
Cong graduated from CIA Singapore in 2015, and after 1.5 years cooking in Singapore, at 2 iterations of Bird Bird (permanently closed) under Bjorn Shen, moved to head the kitchen at Prelude (permanently closed) in Bangkok in 2017. Let’s just say that my first (and only) impression of the food at Prelude was a pretty bad one, based on the experience my family had at their Sunday Brunch.
|Brassica Yenakart in 2019|
Subsequently, Cong left Prelude to open Brassica in Yenakart, championing his brand of fried chicken and…… doughnuts. Even then, I wasn’t too impressed with the fried chicken, but that was also the time I saw tremendous potential in his doughnuts. They weren’t perfect, but just needed some tweaks to reach another level.
In my recent conversation with Cong, he too admitted that the customer response gave him clear indication to focus on his doughnuts, resulting in this mature and complete version of Brassica Doughnuts at One Once for Onion - made even more perfect by the café’s excellent coffee.
Finally, to the doughnuts. I like it that they are fluffy, not greasy and more importantly, do not stick to my teeth. His custard-based fillings are rich, smooth, not too sweet and incredibly generous. If you are dining in, don’t miss the brown butter ice cream doughnut, which cannot be delivered, and please ask for their monthly specials too!
As I look back at my journey with Cong, I guess it’s fair for me to describe him as the ‘least-likely’ candidate to be offered this sticker (not that the sticker means anything at all). However, he is also an example of a young man who accepts honest criticism, is willing to focus on his strengths and perfect his craft. That, in itself, deserves my respect.