Friday, February 21, 2014

Enjoying a European Brunch at Hatch 22 Café & Bakery

Being the sucker that I am for brunch, meeting up with friends for just that on a lovely Thursday morning was just the excuse I needed to check out the Heusaff siblings' restaurant, Hatch 22. It had opened at the Rockwell Powerplant a few months ago and I had yet to check it out. Jericho, on the other hand, came along in the hopes of being able to make googley eyes at Solenn. And to try the food. But mostly the googley eyes at Solenn part. Haha!

I initially thought Hatch 22 was a very American kind of bakery-cum-café, but was pleased to be proved wrong. Not that I have anything against American food, I was just looking for something a bit different. I found most of the food (and the drinks) quite European in terms of flavor and presentation, which I realized was probably the influence of two of the owners being Fil-French. Duh.

I love the look of Hatch 22. Coming up from the mall's driveway, the place just greets you like it would an old friend and seems like it has been there forever, just waiting to be discovered,. Sorry, Crustasia! The glass windows let in a lot of light, making the food look even more appetizing when laid out in front of us.

After ordering our first round of non-alcoholic drinks - cut me some slack, it was just half past 11 o'clock in the morning - we all tucked into The Hatchwich (P425) - generous amounts of pastrami, forest ham, salami, and pancetta slathered with a dollop of whole grain mustard, topped with a slice of cheddar and marinated olive salad all sandwiched between two slices of a seared multigrain bread.

Everyone's favorite that morning was the Slum Dog Millionaire (P620)! The pretty looking frittata has bits of Black Tiger Prawns, pineapple, kaffir lime, peppers, and red coconut curry with a splodge of sweet chutney on the side, served with poppadum crisps and grilled naan bread. Weirdly enough, this to me reminds me of a very English breakfast. One I'd enjoy in Dubai, at least.

Our drinks came fairly quickly after ordering them. My friend Rina got herself a Grilled Lemonade (P110) while Jericho and I indulged in the Hatch Southern Sweet Tea (P95), which tasted more like chai than anything else. This should be renamed to Hatch Indian Chai instead. Not that I'm complaining about the drink, I love myself some chai!

I would later find out that the must-order drinks here are the freshly pressed juices. All the fruits on display at the bar are meant to be cold pressed, so don't go on a whole rant about service being slow just because the bartender is giving it his all in juicing 34834223 (yes, that's an accurate number) oranges for your freshly pressed orange juice. If you want it fresh, you wait. Oh, and don't forget to ask for a shot of chia and/or protein to go with it as well!

The Croque Maserati (P580) looked very posh, with the open-faced brioche toast balancing big chunks of seared salmon fillet covered with a hollandaise and shrimp bisque sauce, lemon thyme oil and black caviar. The decadent brunch item is also served with a sous vide egg. Inasmuch as I liked the generous amount of salmon, I have to say the brioche toast is the star of this dish, soaking up the flavors of everything around it, leaving you with a moist piece of hollandaise-shrimp-salmon bread. Delish.

Another dish putting a spin on a classic is the NYOB (P445). The Not Your Ordinary Benedicts are put together with a base of freshly baked rustic muffins topped with chopped wild mushrooms, sous vide eggs, Italian ham, sautéed spinach and a torched citrus hollandaise, putting a fresh twist on the at times cloying sauce. Breaking open the egg and watching it spill out is the best part!

Winding down with cups of coffees and tea, we had a custom bread basket of Pandesal Epi, Pan de Month, Spanish Bread, Cheddar Milk Biscuits, and Spicy Pimiento Bearclaw. This came with fluffy butter and some jam, which we all devoured with great gusto. I especially liked the biscuits and spicy pimiento. The others made a go at the pan de regla, err, month, and took down the pan de sal tower bun by bun.

As Hatch 22 is the brainchild of the drinkmeister, Erwan, this place wouldn't be complete without a bar now, would it? And it's a well-stocked on at that.

Our server recommended we try the super cool (literally) Hatch & Balls (P250), made with calamansicello, rosemary syrup, Noliprat. I admit, although this took a group effort to polish off, this was really, really good. But then again, getting sloshed before 1 o'clock in the middle of the weekday isn't a very good idea. Especially for those who had medical appointments and interviews later that day. Ha!

At first, I thought the prices of the dishes at Hatch 22 to be quite steep, but after having experienced the whole shebang, find the price point to be just right for the amount of food you get, since almost all of the plates are good for sharing.

When mucking around Makati in search of a place to enjoy a good brunch, head to the Powerplant Mall! Dining at Hatch 22 made me miss the splendid brunches at the Dubai Yacht Club, where the food is reminiscent to most of what we were served that morning - a little bit of English fare, a touch of Indian influence, and a whole lot of lip-smacking going on. Trust the Europeans to be slinging back balls and Bellinis so early in the day! Cheers!

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Hatch 22
+63 915 109 7711
Ground Floor, Powerplant Mall
Rockwell Center, Makati
Open Daily: 7am - 11pm