Give it a swirl.
Stepping inside Calin Cafe, you’ll be struck by the resolutely European vibe: lots of dark oak, a classic black and white checkered floor, striped awnings and marble table tops. Aside from the Paris-evoking decor, the staff are all spruced up in black vests with bowties, and an on-site bakery reveals bakers preparing your bread through a glass window.
The boulangerie specializes in house-made croissants and brioches. Though the plain croissant (B60) didn’t win our recent blind taste test (see ow.ly/HgUU300en0R), the almond option (B85) is a real winner; its buttery layers hiding a satisfying aromatic almond paste. The brasserie offers all-day breakfast highlighting the likes of oeuf en cocotte (baked egg, B180-240), croque monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich, B240) and the excellent egg Benedict with smoked salmon and zucchini (B260), which comes with a perfectly-poached egg plopped on a hand-sized brioche.
There are plenty more French classics on the menu, like the piping hot, thick mushroom soup (B240) served in a bowl that’s topped with puff pastry. You’ll also find appetizers like frog legs (B390) and pan-fried foie gras (B590) and mains like duck confit (B420) and beef bourguignon (B620). We enjoy the perfectly-poached sea bass and clam a la nage (B420) served in flavorful broth with some veggies. On the other hand, the nicoise salad with seared tuna (B280) and wholewheat pasta with mushroom, cherry tomato and chili (B280) are pretty bland.
Dessert is a house-made affair, dominated by puff pastry-based items like croissant pudding (B140) and crispy strawberry mille feuille (B180) as well as brioche perdue (brioche French toast, B200). On our last visit the staff couldn’t give us a clear answer as to what the fromage blanc with mango sorbet (B260) actually is, but after tasting the uninspired panna cotta-like dessert, we’ll just order the mango sorbet (B130) on its own next time.
Given its relaxing atmosphere and reliable breakfast-y dishes, Calin Cafe makes for one solid all-day brunch spot. Corkage B400
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