Monday, July 13, 2015

Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen has landed in Singapore's MBS!

In today's age of Facebook, YouTube and Cable TV, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of famous, well-known chefs. Celebrity Chefs, as it were. And the most famous of them all (by some margin) is undoubtedly Gordon Ramsay. He doesn't have the most Michelin Stars (that honour goes to Monsieur Joël_Robuchon) or the best individual restaurant (his flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsay doesn't even appear on S.Pellegrino/Acqua Panna's Top 50); Rather he is famous because he is the most media savvy. Even the non-foodies among us would have watched snippets of his many TV shows - Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen, for example - or chuckled at a "this beef is so raw that it's eating the salad!" meme.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore

Well, after years of waiting, Ramsay has finally set up shop in Singapore - with his new Bread Street Kitchen restaurant in the MBS Shoppes! Naturally there are a great many people eager to try out his cooking: there's a two-month wait list for dinner at the moment. Of course, the darling and I have equally eager mouths so we're stoked to have finally had our chance last night!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore

First up: A word about the pricing. Although Bread Street Kitchen is Ramsay's casual, family-friendly brand in his empire, this isn't a cheap restaurant. Starters are $18-$28, mains $26-$90 and desserts $15-$30, so a three-course dinner will, on average, set you back $75 and up per head. I would argue that it isn't expensive, though - in Singapore that description is reserved for the dozens of restaurants serving $200, $300, and $450 meals.

In any case, price is a matter of opinion, which is often affected by whether the food is worth it. The complimentary bread basket doesn't disappoint, with crisp bread-sticks and an interesting white bread with what tastes like ikan bilis (anchovy) crust. I loved the fishy saltiness; the darling not so much. Served with a generous slab of French President salted butter.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Bread and Butter

Our first starter - Seared Scallops with carrot puree, treacle cured bacon, apple and celery cress ($24). We agreed that the scallops could have been a little bigger, but that might perhaps then have bumped up the price. The scallops themselves were seared perfectly and were tender, succulent and sweet. We also very much liked the carrot puree and other accompaniments that were flavoured just right to complement, but not overpower, the delicate taste of the scallop.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Seared Scallops

We also very much enjoyed the Spicy Tuna Tartare with chilli, garlic, sesame oil and wonton crisps ($19). A very oriental / asian inspired dish. We liked the flavours - clean and refreshing. If we had to nitpick - the wonton skin wasn't drained properly and was therefore a little too oily. Oh, and "spicy" to the angmoh palate still means "no chilli taste leh" to ours.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Tuna Tartare

Service in the restaurant is pretty par for the course (compared to other middle-upper-ranged restaurants in town). Wait staff are pleasant and decently knowledgeable about the menu items, and know how to set the table for sharing without needing any prompting. Moving on to the main courses, then!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Main Courses

The Traditional Fish and Chips with crushed peas and tartar sauce comes highly recommended, so we decided to give it a try. Given this restaurant's credentials we think the $26 price tag is remarkably good value. Portion size could perhaps be a bit larger - the bigger eaters among you might not find this enough to fill your tummy. Taste-wise it's just competent, though. Yes, the chips are crispy (bordering on too crispy, even), and yes the fish was moist and juicy, but one big downer for us was how soggy the entire battered bottom had become.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Fish and Chips

I mean, a picture tells a thousand words, so we'll let you be the judge. Is this normal for Fish & Chips?

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Fish and Chips

On the server's recommendation we also tried the Shepherd's Pie with braised lamb, onions, carrots, potato puree and brioche garlic crumbs ($38). I absolutely loved this pie! There's chunks and chunks of succulent, juicy braised lamb with the most delicious flavours. It's not a perfect dish: It's a tad salty and I was hoping for a better 'crust' on the mashed potato, but overall I would totally come back just to eat this again.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Shepherds Pie

For desserts, we go for the Monkey Shoulder Cranachan cheesecake with roasted balsamic strawberries ($18). Cranachan? Yup, it's the first time we've ever heard of it too. Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert made out of whipped cream, honey and whisky (Monkey Shoulder whisky in this case). So essentially what we have here is a whisky-laced, light & frothy whipped cream cheese dessert with lightly roasted strawberries. Pretty yums!

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Cranachan Cheesecake

We also had the Treacle Tart with creme fraiche ice cream ($18). The heavy, dense and syrupy-tasting treacle tart is complemented well by the slightly sour scoop of creme fraiche ice cream. All things considered we enjoyed this dessert just a little more than the cheesecake.

Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen Singapore Treacle Tart

If you've been keeping count - that's $168 for two after service charge and taxes. I will say that we were satisfied with the dinner overall. Food isn't as gourmet or inventive or presented as nicely as what you'd get in his fine dining outlets like Petrus in Knightsbridge, but this ain't that kind of restaurant *.

Bread Street Kitchen is in MBS'es Shoppes area - on the Bay Level, L1-81 (the opposite corner from the ice skating rink / food court). Reservations by Telephone Highly recommended (+65 6688 5665) because they take ages to reply by email. Non-halal.

* Totally random unrelated reference to Kingsman: The Secret Service.

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