A Sweet Southeast Asian French Toast (or Omelet?)

Almond brioche French Toast from Nassim Hill Bistro

By Rachel Tan
Hapless Intern

 

Singapore’s Nassim Hill Bistro may be the peddler of a new brunch sensation: the Almond Brioche French Toast. The genius of its construction lies not in its ingredients, but in their proportion.

 

One can hardly get a glimpse of the bread at first glance. The almond brioche is less dense than the usual American thick-cut loaf. Its soft, porous, buttery quality is overwhelmed by the weight of the thick egg batter that covers it. However, the bread still retains enough shape and doughy texture thanks to the harder crust. It provides ample contrast to the smoothness of the egg.

 

The brioche’s sweetness from crystallized sugar and butter combined with a whisper of nutty flavor peeks through yolk-laden notes of the outer layer. Texturally, both components are similar yet different enough to give a comfort food feel. The airiness of the bread manages to serve as counterweight to the richness of the yolks.

 

Pouring maple syrup over the egg and bread seems one step too far. But syrup adds to the enjoyment of the dish. This is most likely due to the amount of eggs present. They add a more savory element to the dish. It becomes an omelet dessert instead of a sweet bread. Best of all, this dish can be created at home.

 

Brioche French toasts have a global presence. I have savored manifestations of brioche in sweet and savory forms on breakfast menus- though not like this. I hope to see this in American diners very soon.

 

If you know of one in Chicago, please let me know!

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