When it comes to sweet treats in the east, only one name comes to mind: Sweet SAAK Bakery. Infamous islandwide for their cinnamon buns, known in various circles for a delightful carrot cake and those in the know will brag about their specialty cakes. On a weekly basis, countless Sweet SAAK devotees look for any excuse to get to St George’s for Cinnamon Bun Wednesdays; they are creating a following for their Friday Pizza Nights, and if you follow them on Instagram (start now), you’ll be aware of their ‘traditional’ Sunday breakfasts that have a growing legion of fans…now including Team #biteofbermuda.
Overcome by the constant stream of images on our phones, we ventured to St George’s on a Sunday morning to experience the Sweet SAAK breakfast for ourselves. If you are a fan of breakfast, it is strongly suggested that you do the same.
Aside from the delicious pictures (and yes, we know that you can’t taste pictures), we weren’t really sure what we were in for, so there was a bit of excitement in approaching the unknown. One step inside the bakery and three out of five senses are instantly piqued. First up…smell. The door had literally just closed behind us and the immediate sentiment was “It smells so good in here”. Then the sight of smiling patrons and all the baked goodness on shelves and in the showcase is accompanied by the sound of music playing and the murmurs between the busy staff consisting of owner Kamilah, older brother Ankoma on the grill and another family/staff member behind the counter.
The breakfast menu is not expansive and though it is a ‘traditional’ breakfast, there is no codfish and potato to be seen. So, right now you ‘re perhaps thinking; “but biteofbermuda you said traditional breakfast….no codfish…how can that be??”
Read on please.
First off, Sunday breakfast is the brainchild of Ankoma, a.k.a @and_he_bakes on instagram. He decides the menu, and he mans the grill.
The menu is the true exemplification of simple is best. The short, no frills version of the menu is pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, breakfast sandwiches and your choice of bakery items. But this is Sweet SAAK, so "simple" is really not that simple. On this day, the man on the grill opted to delight customers with apple cinnamon or malted waffles (or pancakes). Also available is their eyebrow-raising ‘Christmas Morning Breakfast’. This Sweet SAAK exclusive consists of cassava pie, fried macaroni, eggs, bacon and grilled tomato (though recounting this is a bit of an emotional experience because on this day the steady stream of lucky customers who came before us had finished off that fried macaroni).
We had a day of eating planned so we opted to share a breakfast between the three of us, which you can rest assured will NOT happen again. Big mistake. We decided on a custom order of malted, apple cinnamon waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon and cassava pie along with two cups of their specialty loose tea.
Here’s how it went.
The waffles were served topped with slices of kiwi and powdered sugar. The combination of the day’s specials resulted in a fluffy, airy, waffle, with melt in your mouth chunks of sweet cinnamon-y apple throughout. Sweet enough that the powdered sugar alone made syrup unnecessary. We could go on and on describing these waffles but the short version is those things that come in boxes disguised as waffles are not even in the same stratosphere as the ones coming from the Sweet SAAK waffle iron.
Because everybody makes it, cassava pie can be a touchy subject to Bermudians…and this cassava pie tastes just like ya mama made it, which is accurate because it is the creation of the siblings’ mother. Almost cake-like in texture, and sweet with the slightest savoury flavour to it owing to the browned edges and that magical ingredient that makes everything better…good old fashioned butter. You want this. Period.
Lest we forget, scrambled eggs, done right, i.e. no colour other than yellow and no crispy edges, seasoned simply. Noo ketchup offered…none needed. Bacon which Kamilah proudly proclaimed (read: jeered) was ‘her’ bacon (because sibling rivalry is a thing) rounded out what can in the least amount of words be called a truly great ‘traditional’ breakfast.
After our shared breakfast, we sat down and talked at length with the pair and were privy to stories about the bakery, bread, cinnamon buns (a touchy subject), and breakfast. The one consistent factor through all of these topics is family. As a matter of fact, all throughout the bakery there are little special odes to family. So much so that the quote at the bottom of the menu says ‘Welcome to the family’. Truly fitting for an operation that has family built in to every aspect of it - family is truly the heart and soul of Sweet SAAK, and this shines through in both the atmosphere and the food.
So back to breakfast, the menu consists of things the duo experienced growing up in their family home, where their mother always baked, and the tradition continues as their own children now also spend time together with them in the kitchen. That strong infusion of family influence is what makes Sweet SAAK breakfast a traditional one. And it doesn’t stop there. In the course of our conversation, Kamilah emphatically stated she wants to birth ‘new traditions’. With all of the things that Sweet SAAK has accomplished so far, this family is well on their way.
Sweet SAAK breakfast is available on Sunday mornings only. We suggest finding a comfy spot upstairs to enjoy your breakfast, and be sure to let us know what you think!