Food Review: Bacchanalia at Hong Kong Street | Innovative creations by Chef Ivan Brehm
The Place Previously located along Coleman Street, Bacchanalia reopened at a new space in Hong Kong Street a few months ago, boasting a more intimate 36-seater dining space with its open concept kitchen. As we stepped into the restaurant, it was hard not to be drawn to the kitchen table right at the entrance where all action was happening in full glory. I guess as our dining scene evolves to become more sophisticated and diverse, open concept and interactive dining is the next thing to watch out for. Helmed by head chef Ivan Brehm with previous stints at acclaimed restaurants such as Per Se and Fat Duck, it was quite exciting for us to check out the award winning Bacchanalia finally for the first time.
The Food It is quite hard for me to pinpoint a specific type of cuisine served at Bacchanalia, but one thing for sure it defies conventions in terms of the cooking methodology, use of ingredients and the unique creations of fusion dishes. We had the 3-course Table d’hôte dinner menu, priced at $65++ per person, which will run till 15th January from Monday to Thursday. There is no a la carte menu at Bacchanalia, so diners can pick from the 5 course ($115++) or 7 course ($150++) menus other than the limited time Table d’hôte menu.
We started with some Bread and Broth, consisting of a cheese and olive oil dip for our bread, which I thought was quite interesting.
To kickstart our dinner proper, our amuse-bouche featured a spoonful of beetroot done two ways in a combination of beetroot puree and dried beetroot with egg yolk. The other contrasting compliment amuse-bouche was the crisp scallop with orange emulsion.
The first proper dish of the menu is the cold-pressed coconut cream, aged carnaroli risotto rice, fermented coconut and chilli paste. We had a chat with Chef Ivan and learnt that this dish is inspired from Thai Tom Kha, also known as Thai coconut soup, which was definitely a distinct element of the dish that resonated well with us. The well-balanced coconut cream flavour and the risotto was a firm affirmation of the belief of Bacchanalia in presenting familiar flavours in unfamiliar ways.
For mains, it was a choice between the poached chicken breast or the grass-fed beef striploin, dandelion purée, walnut butter, aged balsamic, tarhana ($12 supplement). Needless to say, we went for the 28 days grass-fed beef from Ireland, which was packed with an amazing assortment of side ingredients from various parts of the world, such as the balsamic from Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. Interestingly, most of the ingredeints used here are sourced from various parts of the world, which also includes garnish herbs and flowers from the restaurant’s back yard garden as part of its responsible sourcing principle.
Even the palate cleansing pre-desserts served were defying conventions. The basil marshmallow and compressed dried pineapple were nothing like we had before.
Our dessert was the black sesame and almond cake, guava sorbet, soursop jelly. Personally, this was my least favourite of the night, not because it wasn’t good but more of the fact that it didn’t stand out as compared to the savoury dishes I had.
Rants It’s always a double edge sword with set menus, which means you can’t customise what you feel like having.
Will I Return Again? I like the concept of Bacchanalia and we think this is definitely one restaurant to watch out for this year. The strong worldly and innovative food concept, coupled with the interactive dining ambience are the main draws and we hope it will stay this way. This is one good restaurant to experiment a diverse range of flavours in one meal.
Make your reservation instantly at Bacchanalia here.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
39 Hong Kong Street
Tel: +65 9179 4552
Lunch: Tues – Fri, 12pm to 2:30pm
Dinner: Mon – Sat, 6pm to 10:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter