Food Review: Bar-A-Thym Restaurant By Francois Mermilliod At Gemmill Lane | Mediocre Service For French Omakase Experience
The Place Located at Gemmill Lane, Bar-A-Thym has been around since 2015 and is headed by French Chef Francois Mermilliod whom had previously cooked at Au Petit Salut and Absinthe as noted on the restaurant’s website. So yes, Bar-A-Thym dishes out French cuisine which promises to be simple and uncomplicated and with a focus on seasonal produce.
Despite having been around for years, the restaurant remains very popular and was fully booked during our visit. As the space can be quite tight during service, do expect a rather busy service and a noisy dinner setting during your meal.
The Food Since it was our first visit here, we decided to go with the restaurant’s recommendation of trying the kitchen’s best by picking the French Omakase menu. At S$80 per pax for dinner service (it is S$60 during lunch), I have to admit that our expectations are rather high as with the reviews we have heard of the restaurant over the years. Now, that’s where things started to not go according to plan.
First up, the meal start with the entrée Blue Swimmer Crab Salad which we spotted on its normal ala-carte menu as well. Fresh crab with refreshing salad dressing, though nothing particularly noteworthy of this.
This was followed by the Brittany Mussels, which got me excited as with my liking for mussels. Again, fresh seafood with the dish complete with white wine, chilli, Chinese Duck Soya Sauce and Shallots. One of the propositions of the restaurant is to incorporate Asian cooking techniques in its dishes, giving some context to the use of the soya sauce. Again, competent dish, though it was unmemorable considering this being on the chef’s menu.
The mains for the night was the Wagyu Flank. Unfortunately, I have limited knowledge of the dish as the wait staff offered no insights on the mains when it was served – something I took issue on considering this is an omakase meal. For folks familiar with omakase, the chef will typically provide an introduction to the dishes when served as these ought to be the chef’s signature dishes or are dishes the chef will like to showcase on. When prompted for more, the wait staff roundly informed us that these are Wagyu Flank done medium rare as requested and off he went.
At this stage, I didn’t ask for the name of the dessert, and decided to enjoy the company of my fellow diners.
Rants Despite the slow service by the kitchen, we were told to clear the table soon when the dessert was served as the second round of dinner guests have arrived. And I was glad to call it a night at Bar-A-Thym.
Will I Return Again? Frankly, the food was satisfying, and definitely not overpriced for its ala-carte options. The service is a deterrence for me to return though.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Bar-A-Thym Restaurant by Francois Mermilliod
18 Gemmill Lane
Tel: +65 6557 2224
Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Sunday
Ranted by The Rantee