With Guy Savoy dropping out of Marina Bay Sands, there hasn’t been anything exciting in the celebrity chef arena – till Bread Street Kitchen came along.
Visiting a restaurant in its opening week shouldn’t be any diehard foodie’s priority but I simply enjoy the novelty, plus I get first dibs in covering it. Usually they need some time to smoothen out kitchen and dining operations, tailor the food to the local palate, and service the hardest to please high-end customers. But with all that experience from Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, Kitchen Nightmares, and a long list of reality cooking shows – Gordon Ramsay must surely deliver.
The tour of Bread Street
We were quite fortunate that night, and had the pleasure of their bar manager cum mixologist take us around the restaurant. He first introduced us to Sophia, the key figure/head chef of Bread Street Kitchen Singapore with over 9 years of experience working with Gordon himself. Honestly, she looked a tad young for the head chef role but the proof is in the pudding itself as we unravel the hits and misses at the restaurant later.
William did a pretty nifty job of introducing the different constructs of the restaurant, highlighting that the floors and pillars were inspired by the actual streets of London – with the black/white tiles at the dining area fashioned after the ones from St. Paul’s Cathedral itself (Bread Street being not too far off). The bar, his pride and joy as he pieced it all up himself with an interesting detail – all the bottles are laid on its side instead of the brand side up because he wants to make the difference in choosing your poison instead of going for the same ol, same ol.
Getting down to business
The menu was simpler than I had thought, but naturally so because it’s supposed to be a casual offshoot from his more celebrated brands. Expect no surprises with hot/cold starters, and the typical meats of a restaurant with some premium selections like Alaskan Crab. What stood out was a section just for salads, and with both starter and main portions for you to choose from. Clearly something that we decided needed more focus than the rest.
For drinks, we ordered a mocktail (S$12), two glasses of a Chianti (S$26 each) and for food we ordered a s each, 3 starter portions of salads to share, a main each and two desserts setting us back at around S$687. I thought it seemed more worth it to get the entire bottle of Chianti at S$112 than the individual glasses because they tipped quite a sad portion into the goblets. Either that or just settle for the cocktails which had a more significant volume that can tide you through the entire meal.
A lukewarm start
They separated their cold and hot starter menus, with a good variety across the two and we ordered the seared scallops (S$24), 2 x Alaskan king crab cocktail (S$28) and the spicy tuna tartare (S$19). I have to agree with Wong Ah Yoke that the scallops came really rubbery despite being half-cooked in the middle, like most well-cooked scallops and the carrot puree didn’t do much to the overall taste especially with bacon masking everything else.
I enjoyed the Alaskan king crab salad although I can’t really place where the peppercorn taste was. The sauce was almost similar to that of Thousand Island dressing, but there was a hint of what I thought a smokey Worchestershire flavour to it. I regretted not trying the tartare which I was told was really good, and for that price, and compared to what with had – I say stick to the ordering the tartare.
Seared scallops, carrot puree, treacle cured bacon, apple and celery cress
Alaskan king crab and apple cocktail with pink peppercorn
The “Special” Salad Section
Of all the starters, including the salads, we all agreed that the greens garnered the most votes. We had the Caesar Salad (S$16), the Israeli Couscous Salad (S$16) and the Red Cabbage Salad (S$16). All the salads come with a main portion ranging from S$30 – S$36 and I’d say just stick to the starter sizes if you’re going to have a main each.
My absolute favourite here was the red cabbage salad which hit all the right notes with great textures and toasty flavours from the roasted almonds and sunflower seeds and crunchy bite of the kale x fennel combination in a tangy, orange citrus dressing. Second place goes to the Israeli couscous – larger than usual couscous beads that are cooked al dente in a refreshing mint scent. The Caesar salad was predictable, infused with anchovies and a covered in dense eggy dressing, competent to say the least.
Israeli couscous, sweet corn, cranberries, radish spring onion and mint
Red cabbage, kale, fennel, almonds, sunflower seeds and orange dressing
The Main(s) Hits & Misses
Fortunately, the lot of us felt like trying different things. We had the good ol’ English fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with braised lamb, steamed red snapper, Irish Angus rib eye steak and the roasted black cod together with a side of macaroni and cheese. The batter looked disappointingly oily but the first impression was that it’s light and quite well-seasoned. The fish wasn’t overcooked as well, despite typically being hard to control the doneness in a fryer. Mashed peas were mashed peas and it’s no wonder they priced the fish and chips and the burger at the entry level price of S$26 for mains. It was a quick and easy fix.
My least favourite dish, the shepherd’s pie at S$38 felt a tad overpriced. The intense gamey flavour of lamb, braised tender but with no distinct herbs or dimensions was disappointing. I enjoyed the burnt mashed potato crust but clearly – that shouldn’t be the focus of the dish. If you love lamb, and generally stronger tasting meats, this might be the perfect dish for you.
My favourite white meat that night had to be this steamed red snapper (S$38). I wouldn’t usually order anything that’s so lightly cooked but that night I just felt like having something different (plus I felt like I’ve been eating too much over the past few weeks). This was an amazing dish for me as the freshness of the red snapper went perfectly with the light shellfish sauce. It helped that the bed of leek and the razor clams had absorbed all the seafood stock adding on to the texture and flavour reserve of the dish with every bite.
The Irish Angus rib eye was more than competently done, cooked to perfection, and not as fatty as my other rib eye experience at Cut by Wolfgang Puck. This was a really well done dish, and coupled with a creamy blue cheese sauce – the dish is fullness factor all in.
I really liked the cod (S$44)! The skin was roasted well – with a sweet, caramelised finish that permeated through the crunch. The meat was nicely cooked, like slicing through butter with a hot knife – preserving the rich, juicy and tender white meat. I had to stop myself from finishing the roasted potatoes together with the artichokes.
For S$16, I’d say skip the macaroni and cheese. I’ve had better in mid-range restaurants and it was disappointing that this simple, home-cooked favourite isn’t up to par at all.
Too full for dessert – Not.
We were full, but the service staff strongly recommended a parfait – and we chose a sticky date pudding which we thought would be a crowd pleaser (S$18 each). While the parfait was well-balanced in acidity and sweetness, it was light and tasty. The sticky date pudding on the other hand, was forgettable. Dry and served with clotted cream (should have been an ice cream), it was unpalatable and the only dish left unfinished in the whole setting.
No matter which successful chain/franchise comes in – always give it a period of fielding their worst critics before patronising them. You’ll definitely appreciate the meal more knowing what to order at least, and what not to – in a bid to save those hard to earn calories (and money). Or you could wait for us to be your scapegoats. 🙂
Quality of food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 6/10
Bread Street Kitchen Singapore
Bay Level, L1-81
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Reservations: +65 6688 5665
Hours: Daily Lunch 11.30am to 5.30pm / Dinners Sun – Wed 5.30pm to 10pm Thu – Sat 5.30pm to 12mn
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