It's no secret that Clinton St Baking Company is one of my favorite places for weekday in brunch in New York (I don't care how good your pancakes are, I'm not waiting in a three hour line on the weekends, sorry not sorry) and before we left New York I remember discovering they had a Tokyo location and made some sort of joke about how I'd be hopping on the plane to go there all the time. And then I just completely forgot about it. It didn't even resurface in my mind while we were making our plans for where to eat in Tokyo or in the numerous lists of things I was excited about (which mostly focused on soft serve, ramen and whisky). It wasn't until we had been in Tokyo multiple days and experienced the woeful inadequacy of our hotel's included breakfast and were searching for Western brunch options* that it came up again. The first day we realized it was a possibility it was a weekend and we were getting started late so we decided not to risk waiting in a very long line and to save it for a week day morning when we knew we'd be getting up early. We ended up at Bubby's instead, I've never actually been to the New York location, so I can't compare but I will say the one in Tokyo is solidly mediocre and I wouldn't recommend it.
A few days later we were up early enough to head over to Minato-ku and wait in what turned out to be a very short and fast moving line. Dan ordered eggs benedict and I, unwavering in my order unless it's Pancake Month, ordered chicken and waffle.
While the yolks weren't quite as spectacular as Dan's benedict at Roast, they were still perfectly poached and Dan was quite happy with his hollandaise.
My chicken and waffle was good but not as great as the original. The waffle wasn't quite as crisp and the chicken was a thin deep fried cutlet instead of classic American fried chicken pieces. The cutlet was nice and crispy but the problem was that it was so thin in some places, the chicken was dry. The Tabasco honey butter wasn't well mixed, and since I like to dip piece by piece instead of pouring the honey butter over my waffle, I didn't get any of it's fun spicy sweet contrast until I got to the bottom (though this could've been easily remedied had I stirred the sauce or just asked for Tabasco). I was still happy to be eating it but if we went back I might stick to the pancakes (which peeking at other tables, I saw looked just as gloriously massive, fluffy and blueberry studded as the originals) or go for the Farmer's Plate because I've always been happy with the house sausage in New York.
If you're coming from New York, obviously, you can skip it (unless you want to take advantage of the shorter line to pancakes) but if you're coming from elsewhere or live in Tokyo and are looking for a solid Western brunch place, Clinton St is definitely the best we had this trip.
*I should be ashamed of how much Western food we eat when we travel but the options are just so limited here in Seoul that I'm not even a little bit embarrassed