(All credits of the photos in this post go to the original owners. We did not take any photo since we were focusing too much on enjoying the food :P)
Since it was Valentine’s Day, and we have not gone out alone (without the kids) for quite a while, I decided to go upscale a bit and choose a place that we would not visit very often. And since we would be catching a show at Marina Bay Sands (more on that in another post), why not trying out Bread Street by Gordon Ramsay. After all, I was quite curious how his own restaurant would be, given his reputation of expecting nothing less than perfect in his cooking shows.
The restaurant looked friendly enough, not so intimidating. Probably it was purposely decorated so that it would not scare off first timers like me. The reviews online are mixed, but I still decided to give it a try. After all, there should at least be something palatable, and we are not so fussy so something decent should be warmly welcome 🙂
As customary for European restaurants, we were greeted by the bread. And gosh, we really loved it. There were a few varieties, and although the butter was a bit on the salty side, the newly baked, crusty bread really made a good introduction. We happily devoured them, and had almost finished the whole basket by the time the first course arrived. And, they are on the healthy side, wholemeal and with lots of nuts. So, no guilty feeling.
As we visited on Saturday lunch time, there was only the brunch menu available. There were some interesting starters that I wanted to try out, but they were only available in the full menu. Never mind, work with what you have. Luckily, the tuna tartare was available. And I had no regret ordering it. The crispy crackers went perfectly with the fish, and we wished there would be some more. The fish was beautifully seasoned, not fishy at all, and literally melt in my mouth. Scoop up some fish with the cracker, spread a little bit of the accompanying fresh cheese on top, and toss in your mouth. The feeling is purely wonderful. And even after the crackers were long finished, we had a fun time savoring the fish alone.
The second starter we ordered was tamarind fried chicken. It had received mixed reviews, with some listing it as a must have, while others complaining that it was dry, hard and even paled in comparison with Korean fried chicken.
My first impression was that, wow, it was huge for a starter. 3 whole wings, each cut in half, was enough for a meal actually. And while the seasoning was a bit savoury, I really liked the batter and the hint of sour tamarind. It was cooked throughout, and no pink spot even to the bone, yet it was still moist inside and crunchy outside. Fans of finger food wil surely enjoy it, and I have no problem ordering it again, although we will likely have to cut back on other dishes due merely to its size alone.
For the main course, the no brainer choice is fish and cheap. After all, it’s an English restaurant, and what screams English more loudly than a plate of fish and cheap. And it really did not disappoint. The fish fillet was super fresh, with chewy and smooth texture, and totally no fishy smell. Juicy and sweet on the palate. And the batter was crispy and not a single bit oily at all. Probably deep fried with very hot oil at perfect amount of time. Again, the piece of fish came with a generous serving of yummy thick cut fries. Guilty sinful carbo, but awfully good, especially when dipped in the in house tartar sauce and puréed pea. If stomach space is not an issue, I will happily finish until the last strip, but I had to tell myself to stop, since there were still more dishes coming up shortly.
The second main course that we ordered was the beef burger. Again, it came with huge portion of fries, which only added to the guilt we had as we were still struggling to finish the one that came with the first main. However, this was not as stellar as the previous dishes. It was not bad at all, had generous serving of medium cooked beef, but I found the burger too bit and thick, and the beef a bit dry due to lack of sauce, even though there was a layer of melted cheese in between. Also, I did not quite like the texture of the hamburger steak, I prefer it served to me whole. It was an ok dish, just not amazing. Maybe for the next visit, we will swap it with a starter, so that we can enjoy more varieties, go gentler on our stomaches and not feel so guilty on the pile of carbo.
As many reviewers had mentioned, we saved some room for desserts, and it did not disappoint. Luckily we ordered just one dessert to share, and it was a really good one. Monkey shoulder Cheesecake with raspberry ice cream. Another crowd favourite and recommended dish, and for good reason. The ice cream was probably made in house, had distinctive fruit taste and not too sweet, even a bit on the sour side, to pair perfectly with the creamy cheesecake, which was firm but smooth, bouncy and did not crumble easily when under attack of the spoon. And it was not lumpy at all, rich and cheese but still smooth and did not cause bloated feeling at all. Perfect execution. Definitely something I will be happy to order again.
Overall, a very good meal. A place we can go back again for sure. Upper middle scale, but not totally unaffordable. A good addition to the crowded culinary market here. And a surprise that all those yummy dishes were made by a young female chef, who had worked with Gordon himself in London before. Well done, and hopefully the kitchen here is not so brutal as what we have seen on TV before.
Last but not least, we were served by a MD. He was exceptionally kind, courteous and polite, spoke fluent English with a slight accent, and had stylish pony tail. But I really had no idea he was the MD of the restaurant until I checked the Internet to find photos for this post. Maybe it was a busy lunch service that day, or maybe he just wanted to feel the pulse of the customers and make sure everything was done right. Anyway, he was really nice and not pushy at all, and exceptionally helpful. Oh yeah, he wore something different from the rest of the service staff. Again, I did not notice it till now 😉 Ok, I will be more watchful next time.