The decor of Club Street Social is pitch-perfect, the fashionable kind of bars these days with an industrial look of cement floor, brick walls and hanging lamps. Very dim lighting, good for casual dates and groups of friends, bad for photos. It has an edgy, underground New York ambience. A perfect place for hipsters–we love it.
Two important factors that enhance the ambience: 1. they play angry jazz songs which makes the joint edgy and anti-establishment. 2. The size of it, sitting about 30 people, gives an intimate and unpretentious atmosphere.
Not an extensive menu, there are only drinks and sandwiches.
For drinks, my date ordered Hendricks ($20), which isn’t on the menu–you can ask the bartender what she can concoct–and I had cocktail #7 ($16). The cocktails are in general very expensive, considering the glass is minuscule.
My date said if he wanted to be picky, a Hendricks comes with a cucumber and not the lemon in the drink. But the drink by itself is alright.
My cocktail #7 consists cognac, bacon, date and walnut. Bacon in a cocktail!!! Can’t really taste the bacon, date or walnut; it tastes more like an alcoholic sour plum with a sweet citrus fragrance. The smoothness of the taste makes it very easy to drink and be inebriated.
Next time, being the adventurous sort, I want to try Cocktail #4 ($20) with rye italian vermouth and vegemite. Vegemite in a cocktail!!!
I also want to bring the RERG team down because I love the place so much and we could order the spiked pitchers ($49). There are two kinds: (1) gin, lemongrass, galangal, pineapple which sounds refreshing or (2) cognac, red wine, nutmeg, ginger ale, which sounds festive and fun.
There are three kinds of sandwiches. (1) Crostini is a very, very thin and crispy slice of baguette, topped with food, like a canape. It’s bite-size, very tiny and comes in 3 or 5 pieces. This is more for snacking. (2) Tramezzini is white bread sandwiches. (3) Panini is pan-toasted ciabatta bread.
Having been eating continuously since 2pm, at 7pm my date ordered the crostini topped with anchovy, ricotta cheese, citrus salt ($10 for 3 pieces/$14 for 5). In his words, “There is just the right amount of lemon to cover the fishiness of the fish but not dilute the taste of fish. A deep connection between the ricotta and anchovy gives the dish an equipoise.” Dunno what he talking lah. So chim. I think he just means it is delicious. But I thought it is shockingly tiny, you can finish in 3 bites, 1.5 bites if you’re Annabelle Chong.
I ordered panini with pan-seared lobster, avocado, yuzu mayo ($28). $28 is a steep price to pay for sandwiches but OMG it is worth every dollar. SOOO GOOD. Better than sex! Still hot from the pan, the top bread is pure crust! The bread is pan-toasted with olive oil so when you bite into it, it is so incredibly crispy with a crunching sound, so aurally sexy and texturally satisfying! And the white part of the bread is very soft. The ocean-sweet lobster flesh is supple and the milky, slippery avocado sets off the lobster magnificiently. Copious amount of yuzu mayo gives the dish a slightest tanginess and sweetness. Imagine all those amazing textures and flavors, each playing off against one another, making such a simple dish so phenomenal, so staggering, so mindblowing. I wish there were more lobster meat. If there is a critique–and this is so minor it may not even be worth mentioning–it is that it may be less oily. I eat with my hands–oily hands–and I feel the oil on my lips. Good for lubricating purposes, not so good for the hips. I never thought I would enthuse over a sandwich!
Service: My date said if he ever opens a restaurant, he would poach the waiter: “The waiter is incredibly charming,” my date gushed. It is very refreshing to find a congenial local waiter; these days, the best service goes to PRCs or Pinoys/Pinas. Not only is the waiter friendly, knowledgable, and articulate, he is also observant and considerate and topped up our glasses very regularly! Another friendly person is the bartender. The bartender and the waiter made us feel like we were right at home, like we are all among old friends here.
We paid $87.10 in total (for sandwiches and two drinks! ouch!). The sandwiches are worth every penny but the cocktails need to be priced cheaper by 15-20%. I tell people that there is no such thing as a perfect review because an eatery, especially a new one, always has flaws and needs improvement. Club Street Social may prove my theory wrong. It is perfect in every way, from the decor down to the food and service. This is the place to spot me.
Rating: 4.638/5 stars