Address: 17D Lorong Liput, Holland Village, Singapore 277731
Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am – 4pm, Weekends 9am – 4pm
Official Website: twomenbagels.com
I’ve been hearing tons of great reviews about Two Man Bagel House. After their success opening in Novena and Tanjong Pagar branches, they opened a third branch in Holland Village. So many bloggers were saying that the bagels were a bargain for their price, filled with so much meat and cheese and egg and all that jazz… But what about the bagels? Not one of them actually said anything about the quality of the bagels, the most important part of a bagel.
I’m partial when it comes to bagels. If you’re looking for best bagels in the world, of course they’d be in New York or New Jersey. (Even Toronto’s bagels taste different, IMO. So it’s a myth when they say you should stay on the east coast, or get yours at an NYC-inspired bagel place to get authentic ones.) New Jersey’s bagels are made with water from Catskill Falls. Both NY and NJ have the freshest supply of water. My friend’s mom used to bottle it up and take it back to her in Pennsylvania
In NYC, my go-to bagel places include Bagel Pub at 5th Avenue in Brooklyn. (Nope, not Russ & Daughters. That place is overhyped.) They make the best sausage, egg, and cheese tucked inside a toasted everything bagel. That or the Lox/Nova Scotia. Minus the capers, onions, and olives. I hate those with my cream cheese. Again, inside a toasted everything bagel. Smith Street bagels is another of my favorite; of course, located at Smith Street in Brooklyn. I used to go there before a Trader Joe’s run at Carroll Gardens, and grab one when we go on an IPA bender night. They sell an Everything bagel with plain cream cheese for just $2. That cheap!
On the other hand, I had to spend money at Two Man Bagel House like I was eating brunch at Prive.
I’m gonna tread a little bit here. New Jersey bagels are in another realm. They’re amazing. One of my colleagues bought me a fresh everything bagel with cream cheese, toasted, one time during our Media Law class. I shared it with her and it was extra special.
So again, I was a little skeptical when I was asked to try out Two Man Bagel House. My first question was, do they sell an Everything bagel? I’ve never seen one in Singapore. Everything bagels are my staple and they have to be toasted.
Two Man Bagel House had the All Sorts — I didn’t even know what that was but it was the closest to an Everything bagel, I suppose. It’s topped with oats, onion and sesame (and I was wondering where the salt was because without it, it’s not going to be an Everything bagel.)
I was assured my bagel would be toasted. And I asked them to remove the pickle from my D-Cheese: arguably, the bestseller bagel according to Google Map reviews. My expectations were at an all-time high. (That and I was reminded that it was recommended by fellows who grew up in NYC. Nothing could go wrong with that, right?) I could see everyone excited as they took photos of their bagels. Seemed like they were enjoying their bagels after a run.
First bite, first words: was this a burger? I could taste the juiciness in the burger, caramelized onions, and the cheddar cheese — a little too hidden inside. I had to prod in between to find where it was. I have no qualms about the filling; it was a pretty damn good burger.
Except this was a bagel. All Sorts bagel. Sad to say, this is not a bagel.
Lumpy, doughy, almost a little too pale, the Two Man Bagel House’s bagel needs a second toasting round. It was too dense. I felt like I was eating raw dough. Not a crunch in a bite. Tasted rubbery and chewy, I didn’t like it. I was having second thoughts finishing the entire thing, or sending it back to the kitchen. But figured, maybe I’ll keep my mouth shut and toast it when I get back home.
I’m hesitant to try out their Lox. If they can’t execute a good bagel, I might as well make my own at home.
Side note: There’s a satisfaction when I debunk what popular bloggers rave about. I’m reminded why Candid Cuisine exists in the first place.
For your appreciation, here are some of my bagel snaps in NYC. Notice the shape of the bagel, how it rises like a hill. Bagels are crusty on the exterior. Inside, warm, a little airy, dense.
Now compare these with Two Man Bagel House’s bagel. Notice the texture of the bagel in Two Man’s, probably borrowed from hamburger buns and made heavier to look like a bagel.
Bagel Pub’s Everything bagel with sausage, egg, and cheese
Pio Bagel’s Lox and Cream cheese
Russ & Daughter’s Gaspe Nova with Caviar Cream Cheese on an Everything Bagel