The Place Opened late last year, expectations ran high when The English House by Marco Pierre White opened along Mohamed Sultan Road )just a few doors from Hashida Sushi and Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse). Afterall, Marco Pierre White is a celebrated chef in England and this is his first restaurant in Asia. The space of The English House occupies what used to be Madam Wong (a nightclub at least a decade ago), and it beautifully restored two adjacent shophouses. The first impression of the place stems from the darkly lit lobby, where the property also holds 18 guest rooms which are not slated to open yet. For the restaurant itself, it is spacious and consists of three main dining sections which can accommodate up to 150 diners, including a cosy private room.
The interior is a blend of western touches and bits of oriental elements such as the Chinese signboards and marbled table tops reminiscent of old school local coffeeshops. The space also exudes a museum vibe, with the countless Terry O’Neill photographs and comic pictures on the walls.
The Food The Kitchen here is helmed by chef de cuisine Andrew Bennett, and you can pretty much expect classic British fares on the menu. For one, I do find the whole string of menus complicated. There is a Lunch set menu, a Saturday Brunch menu, a Sunday Roast Menu, an Afternoon Tea Menu and of course, its ala carte menu. Do note though some of the dishes are available on various menus while some are not. Perhaps less is more?
I managed to try a mix of dishes from the different menu during my visit. From the Saturday Brunch Menu (from S$55++ per person for 2-course), one of the option as part of the course is the Double Eggs Benedict with Wiltshire Ham with Hollandaise Sauce. The eggs benny has a perfect ooze of egg yolk, while the hollandaise sauce itself is tasty. One of the dishes which can’t go very wrong here.
From the ala carte menu, I had the Omelette Arnold Bennett (S$38) with Sauce Mornay, Smoked Haddock and Parmesan Cream. The presentation is not the usual omelette style as it has a very cheesy outer layer texture. While the colour and presentation is very singular, it is rich in flavour due to the parmesan cream and I would recommend as a dish to share along. Though delicious, it does get a little cloying after a few bites.
For a more unique sounding salad, try the Salad of Beetroot and Goats Cheese (S$24) with Candied Walnut dressing. This is interesting and refreshing in a different way, where the crunchy walnut added a good contrast to the thinly sliced beetroot.
As part of the 4-course Sunday Roast Menu (S$75++ per person), one of the mains I tried was the Roast Rib of Black Angus Molly Parkin with Yorkshire Pudding and Creamed Horseradish. This roast beef was on point, a good mix of tender and fatty cuts, which goes well with the Yorkshire pudding as well.
The other mains I had from the usual ala carte menu was the Whole Baked Sea Bass (S$125/serves 2) with Sauce Vierge, Baby Fennel and Pomme Vapeur. It is a huge fish, which I think is good to share even amongst four people. The sauce vierge complements the fresh flavours of the fish, which by itself is not very flavourful.
For desserts, they are all priced at S$22 and the portion for each is huge, which makes it good for sharing even between three to four persons. I had a combination of The Box Tree Bread and Butter Pudding, The Box Tree Eton Mess and the Traditional Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream.
My favourite here is the Apple crumble, a big portion of finely scattered crumbles accompanied by vanilla ice cream. It is not too sweet, and the crumble itself is quite tasty and crunchy.
The crowd’s favourite though, is the Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert which is literally too messy for my liking. This is a combination of whipped cream, broken meringue and strawberries. Too creamy for me, with little gratification. That said, my fellow diners enjoyed it.
Rants As ranted earlier, I find the multiple menus too distracting for diners. And the service could have been better, with menu served and explained even before we managed to settle down into our chairs – and I ended politely standing on a half-sit position for a good minute or more.
Will I Return Again? A meal at The English House will not come cheap if you go straight for the ala carte options. The set menus offer better value in my opinion especially for the lunch set, though be conscious that portions are generally quite huge, and if sharing is caring, that would be less damage on the wallet too. Otherwise, it is a nice and unique dining ambience in Singapore. Though, do expect comfort English fare, nothing more.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Make your reservation instantly at The English House here.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
The English House by Marco Pierre White
28 Mohamed Sultan Road
Tel: +65 6545 4055
Monday to Friday
Lunch : 11:30am to 2:30pm
Dinner : 5pm to 12am
Lunch: 11:30am to 3pm
Afternoon Tea: 12pm to 5.30pm
Dinner: 5pm to 12am
Sunday Roast : 11:30am to 8pm
Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5.30pm
Sunday Note : No Ala Carte from 11:30am to 5.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter