They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but in reality it’s the most neglected. During the work week, I usually just stick to my routine of coffee and a Kind Bar because it’s quick and efficient. During the weekend, I’d rather spend my time catching up with friends over a late and lazy brunch rather than waking up early for a balanced breakfast in the AM.
But during those rare moments where you actually have time for a light meal in the morning, I highly recommend that you stop by Hi-Collar in the East Village for some breakfast. Hi-Collar is a small Japanese coffee bar that specializes in siphon-brewed coffee, a process that produces an extremely delicate, refined and flavorful brew. I don’t even need to add milk or sugar because the coffee is so smooth and naturally sweet on its own.
If you were wondering, the siphon looks like this– a crazy-looking device that wouldn’t look out of place at a steampunk convention. It basically converts water into a gas, which floats into the top contraption where the ground coffee rests, and then it filters back down into the bottom container as coffee when it resumes its liquid form.
You can’t make a breakfast out of coffee alone, and Hi-Collar has you covered with some light fare that go especially well with your morning brew. The hot cakes and the morning set in particular are very tasty and portioned appropriately for an early morning meal. The hot cakes are essentially denser and thicker than your typical pancake, yet the consistency is surprisingly fluffy and light. The buttery lemon spread is quite good and provides nice light citrus notes if you should want it.
I absolutely love the morning set, a square meal of eggs, sausage and toast that renders the typical Western breakfast with a Japanese touch. The toast is the real standout here, consisting of two crispy, buttery and thick slices of Hokkaido milk bread. If you’re not familiar with Japanese bread, it’s thicker and has a slightly sweeter and creamier taste than American bread. As a child, I was addicted to this bread and would look forward to my trips to the Marukai store, where I would eat several slices plain straight from the bag. The boiled egg and light sausage round out the meal with some healthy, filling protein that balances out the carbs. You’ll feel pleasantly satiated and fueled with just the right amount of energy to get you through the morning.
Breakfast sets the tone for a great day, and the excellent coffee and low-key comfort foods at Hi-Collar will set you up for success in getting through the daily grind.
214 E. 10th St (between 2nd and 1st Ave)
New York, NY 10003