by Steven Doyle
Brunch is an important meal which should be considered carefully; one wrong choice and your entire week will need a reset. This was not the case when we recently chose Top Knot, the younger sister restaurant to Uchi, for our brunch of the week.
The experience is one that is serene yet engaging all at once. We expected the food to be first-rate, and of course it was, but the clean lines of the restaurant take on a different experience with the day streaming through the windows with discretion, the wood invites, and the staff is understanding that perhaps wrong choices might have been made the night before and are eager to ease any suffering.
The Bakery Board is a fantastic way to start your brunching excursion, loaded with a daily muffin top (thank you Seinfeld writers for this glorious addition to our vernacular) served with a honey miso butter, a buttermilk biscuit with house-made preserves, a sausage-filled kolache and a beautiful bear claw. The pastries will cut the hunger to a chase and prepare you for what lies ahead.
The menu features shareable pastries like Top Knot’s take on the cinnamon roll, the Miso-Caramel Cinnamon Pull-apart Nabe, along with playful and unique versions of breakfast classics like Hot Fried Chicken Benedict on a biscuit with smoked gravy and a fried egg, and fun cocktails like Brunch Punch featuring Jim Beam bourbon, ice tea, sugar, lemon, orange and nutmeg.
Other highlights include the Top Knot Breakfast, which consists of crispy rice, charred salmon, egg, sunomono, nori, bonito and miso soup; Thai French Toast with crème fraîche, candied pecans and maple syrup; the Bacon Breakfast Bun with Canadian bacon and pimento cheese on a Parker House roll; and a full kids menu.
Pork Belly Chilaquiles
“When creating the brunch menu, we were really motivated by breakfast items that we crave and want to eat. My favorite items on the menu, like the Hot Fried Chicken Benedict, are Asian inspired but pay homage to the American South,” comments chef de cuisine Angela Hernandez.
And that Hot Fried Chicken Benedict was just one of our choices. Spicy yet not too. Soothing. Unpretentious. Healing.
Hot Fried Chicken Benedict
Let’s chat about the Katsudon a bit. Katsudon is a popular Japanese food, a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, vegetables, and condiments. At Top Knot they played with the bowl with a deft hand, and a deep understanding. Typically when we brunch we share. Our table-mate kept his head lowered over the katsudon, arms wrapped tightly around the bowl, and only came up for air once the bowl was empty. We did get a tiny sample, enough to know this is something to be ordered on a return visit.
You expect great cocktails when dining at Top Knot, and once again no disappointment. We thanked our bartender heartily for the Pamplemousse which won table honors on our visit. The cocktail is comprised of Broker’s London Dry gin, grapefruit, elderflower, lemon, and basil. Bright and refreshing.
Baked French Toast
Our server insisted we sample the Mexico ’70, which is a play on a French 75 but made with sparkling wine, tequila, lime, agave. Simple and easy to recreate at home. We gave kudos to our server for the pro tip.
Top Knot rates highly in our brunch experiences in Dallas with zero order regrets, and a properly filled belly that didn’t weigh us down. Thank you chef Hernandez.