Recipe: Bryant Ng’s Kaffir Lime Custard French Toast


Chef Bryant Ng can add a new notch to his ever-widening accomplishment belt: Los Angeles magazine chef of the year, Food & Wine best new chef, cookbook contributor, and now brunch master. Last Saturday Ng’s downtown hit, the Spice Table, debuted a shiny new brunch menu, which, like the rest of the restaurant, showcases a mix of Southeast Asian flavors. Ng’s daytime-appropriate dishes include scallop congee, beef rendang hash and eggs, and biscuits with creamy lamb-bacon gravy. Is it sugar you require? Ng’s got you covered with kaya coconut-glazed doughnuts and this, his kaffir lime French toast. The resourceful chef dips stale dinner rolls (brilliant) and soaks them in a batter of kaffir leaf, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and eggs before baking them slowly to achieve a creamy, custardy texture. One helping of these comforting cakes with a mimosa would send us right back to bed. We recommend trying these at home—where warm covers are in close proximity.


Stale dinner rolls (cut 1.5 inches thick, top and bottom removed)

3 cups half and half

2 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla bean, or 1teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons honey

4 teaspoons sugar

8 eggs, whole

Zest of 2 limes

2 teaspoons kaffir leaf, minced

3 teaspoons salt

Powdered sugar, dust before cooking


1. Mix batter ingredients

2. Dip bread in batter, allow to soak.  Make sure custard soaks through

3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar

4. Cook in butter, to color and crisp

5. Hold in a 200F oven until ready to serve

6. Serve with maple syrup and butter, of course

Recipe courtesy of Bryant Ng, The Spice Table