From London's bustling Bread Street, Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen, recently joined the prestigious club of Celebrity Chef restaurants at Marina Bay Sands Singapore. Welcome to South East Asia, Bread Street Kitchen Singapore!
|The iconic box that you'll find in all Bread Street Kitchens|
Unless you're living in a cave, chances are, you would've heard of the name Gordon Ramsay or at least has seen a glimpse of the profanity-swearing, hellish temperamental celebrity chef on television. That's the persona that Ramsay has built in public, but from personal accounts of chefs who had worked with him, I heard that it's all a play of great acting. You know, without antagonist character, television is hardly worth watching.
Gordon Ramsay group has many brands under its name, which brings the next question, why Bread Street Kitchen? Why not Maze, which he opened in Cape Town, South Africa and Melbourne in Australia, or why not run his eponymous, Michelin Starred, Gordon Ramsay such as those established in Tokyo, Paris and a handful of other cities? Perhaps they're still testing the uncharted waters in South East Asia and not really sure yet if they want to go all out in this part of the world.
Just a month after it was open to public, I visited Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands. This particular compound of shoppes always bring back fond memories from the trip I had around the property, a few years back. The restaurant has been fully booked ever since and to walk in without prior reservation is almost impossible, even during lunch time. You could imagine how packed this place gets from dinner time onwards!
The restaurant occupies 2 levels, the basement level is divided into a lovely private dining area on one end and an area with high tables overlooking the busy open kitchen.
|The private dining area|
On the upper level facing the bay outside, is a more casual dining area and an interactive bar where you could casually exchange banter with the talented bartenders. The interior at Bread Street Kitchen has a retro British industrial era to it, and the checkered monochrome floor, are some of the signature decor that one will find in all the Bread Street Kitchens in London and Hong Kong. In the afternoon, the glass windows facing the bay will be opened, and the restaurant transforms into a lively semi-alfresco bistro.
If you're lucky to find the Bar Manager there (like I was), William Pravda, a very talented and passionate gentleman, who will gush, with no reservations, about his lifelong passion and knowledge in making elixirs. "It's not a job, is a life style", I quoted him verbatim. Having discovered his love in making drinks since school time (like, more than a decade ago), I feel a slight tinge of envy, because he found his life pursuit so early in life!
|Right: Rhythm & Blues SGD 11|
Take for example one of the elixirs that William crafted right before our eyes, which is also one of the signature non-alcoholic cocktails here, Rhythm & Blues. It's a smooth drink crafted from mango, blueberries, fresh basil, and with a slight twist you don't normally find in drinks: egg white, and salt & pepper.
To be honest, I'd much rather the real deal (ie: the alcoholic version), because all the mocktails I've had before taste more like iced syrup drinks. But what I had here, made me think twice about my prejudice and my expectations for mocktails just got a little higher (thanks to these drinks!).
|Right: Forbidden Forest - blackberries, cucumber, rosemary SGD 11|
The RestaurantSo, will our taste buds that are so saturated with chili crab and rendang, find Ramsay's interpretation of British European cuisine palatable? I was about to try the dishes here and was happy to have a brief conversation with Sabrina Stillhart, the gregarious Executive Chef of Bread Street Kitchen Singapore. At the age of 29, she's commanded a team on 25 chefs in one of the most sought after celebrity chef's restaurants. She's joined Gordon Ramsay group in her teens as a Commis Chef and after all these years, her passion and talent must have stood out in Ramsay's eyes and thus trusted Sabrina with the crucial role of overseeing the opening team in Singapore. I always admire female chefs in the curiously male-dominated profession, tip my hat to you, Sabrina ;)
Let's start with some light bites, shall we? a complimentary bread and butter basket will occupy you while your food is being prepared.
For starters, we had one Cold and one Hot Starter, which were both lovely, but the Beef Brisket left a deeper impression in my memory. I just loved the shredded cold beef brisket, and it was nothing like what I've had before. I never knew what piccalilli was or tasted like, until I had the yellow cauliflower at the side of the beef brisket. It's supposedly a British version of Indian pickles, to which I'd say, tasted quite interesting.
|Flatbread with butternut squash, Taleggio cheese, mushrooms, pine nuts, basil pesto SGD 20|
|Potted salt beef brisket, grain mustard, piccalilli, Caraway crackers SGD 19|
|Traditional Fish & Chips, crushed peas, tartar sauce SGD 26|
So, the Slow-roasted Dingley Dell pork belly was very thinly sliced, like half a centimetre across and the crackling (the most exciting part) was crispy as it should be. It was a good dish and because it was thinly sliced, it felt so light and I almost felt guilt-free noshing down one slice after another!
|Slow-roasted Dingley Dell pork belly, spiced apple puree SGD 28|
They say save the best for the last and the dessert, which came after a good long while after the main course, ended our hearty lunch on a high note! When my host told me that the cheesecake here is truly good, I had a slight doubt, I mean, cheesecake is cheesecake anyway, how could they be any different, right? The Monkey Shoulder Cranachan cheesecake with roasted balsamic strawberries just made my MOST favourite cheesecake. It was light and fluffy (almost like eating condensed cheese foam, can you imagine it?) and it's infused with whisky, so alcohol fans, you'll find yourself at peace with this particular dessert. Sure, the price may be quite steep for such a small plate of dessert, but you rarely find a gem like this you know, so to me, it makes up for the once in a lifetime experience.
|Monkey Shoulder Cranachan cheesecake with roasted balsamic strawberries SGD 18|
|Chocolate fondant with salted caramel and mint chocolate chip ice cream SGD 20|
So, after all my convoluted, verbose rambling and gushing, you must be wondering if this place is worthy of visiting, or whether it really lives up to Gordon Ramsay's reputation, right? I had a great meal and drinks here and I could see myself returning here in the not so distant future, even if it's just for the cheesecake.
Chef Ramsay, if you happen to read this post, will you please consider Jakarta or Bali for your other restaurant projects in the future? =)
Your truly, the hipster foodie.
View the full Menu here.
*) Prices are subject to Service Charge & Tax
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Reservation: recommended (they've been fully booked since its opening and walk in guests are subject to availability of space)
Lunch: Daily 11:30am - 5:30pm
Dinner: Sunday - Wednesday 5:30pm - 10pm | Thursday - Saturday 5:30pm - 12am
Bar: Sunday - Thursday 11:30am - 1am | Friday - Saturday 11:30am - 2am
Bread Street Kitchen Singapore
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Bay Level L1 - 81 and B1 - 81
10 Bayfront Avenue
Ph: +65 66885665
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MRT station: Bayfront (CE1 / DT16)
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