Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sarabeth New York Tokyo サラベス : Queen of Breakfast

Have you ever wondered where to head for breakfast or brunch on Tokyo when most shops or restaurants only open after 11am? Within this two years, brunch and pancake houses, especially those from America, have mushroomed in numbers and now it is not the lack of options but the lack of time to visit every single one!

One of them is Sarabeth New York which is opened by pastry chef-owner, cookbook writer Sarabeth Levine in 1981. It has been chosen as the "No.1 Dessert restaurant in New York” by Zagat survey restaurant rating guidebook and being described as "the Queen of Breakfast in New York". 

I had been waiting for the chance to try the food after reading so many positive reviews about this place. 
The Fat and Fluffy French Toast (¥1200) is currently the best French Toast I've had so far. One may think it is as easy to recreate this at home just like pancakes but to do it well is another question. Dusted with icing sugar and served with maple syrup and whipped butter, each slices of the four huge and fat golden brown French Toast are as sweet, buttery and fragrant as the last. And yes, they are truly fluffy. Forsaking the regular Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, we opted for The Apple Souffle Pancakes (¥1400), a limited edition item in conjunction with Sarabeth's 1st anniversary celebration in Tokyo. Served with sautéed cranberries and apples, the pancakes are as light and marshmallowy like standard baked soufflés. The appearance of the pancakes with egg whites and air pockets is already a telling sign that this is not like the classic pancakes or those from Mac Donald's. Another brunch decadence that can supply more than enough calories for the entire day! 
The Classic Egg Ben (1400 yen) is really as classic as it sounds. Two lovely poached eggs sat on smoked sam, toasted English muffins and covered entirely by homemade Hollandaise Sauce, paprika and chives. 
On the side is some simple salad. You can choose the Smoked Salmon Egg Benedict if you prefer a heavier cured taste. 

Filled with tomatoes, cheddar cheese and red peppers, the Red Omelette 1400 yen is topped with a dollop of sour cream and chives. It is served with a choice of homebaked muffin, croissant or scones but we picked the most flaky option that is tasty enough without the marmalade and whipped butter condiments. 

The inside of the omelette is quite a "bloody" mess but the distinctive sour character of this omelette actually whets one appetite especially when it is consumed as the first meal of the day. 

Drinks include the standard fruit juices, coffee and tea but I highly recommend this Four Flowers bottom right (¥600), a mixed juice made from four fruits (banana, orange, pomegranate, pineapple). A unique combination with a dominant taste of bananasSeeing more of Sarabeth's famous baked items on display, I bought the chocolate chubbies (¥200), a crunchy chocolate and walnut cookie and the classic shortbread (¥200) that is not too sweet and very buttery. 
The place starts from 9am but we had to join this queue even though we arrived earlier than 9am. We could enter the place only at 10am despite the fact that the place was not fully seated. 
Probably because they want to ensure that the kitchen can cope with the volume of orders. Dinner menu is also available and there is a second outlet opened at Daikanyama. 

If you are searching for delicious yet value-for-money Western brunch, this is a place to go. 

Sarabeth's Tokyo サラベス ルミネ新宿店
Shinjuku Lumine 2. Tokyo, Japan.
Tel 03-5357-7535. ( No reservations allowed)
Mon–Sun: 09am – 10pm (Last order 9pm) 
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