When I was studying at New York, I often went to the world-famous Katz’s where Harry met Sally and she faked an orgasm. That was years ago, and if my memory doesn’t fail me, the food at Sacha & Sons is quite good, almost comparable to Katz’s.
Opened by Wild Honey‘s bosses, Australian Stephanie Hancock and her Jewish New Yorker husband, Guy Wachs, Sacha & Sons is named after their son, Alexander; Sacha is a Russian diminutive of Alexander. Those who are familiar with New York Jewish delis should be informed that the food here is not kosher, although the menu follows very closely to New York delis, and there is no pork in the dishes.
Latke with pastrami and hollandaise ($16)
For those who aren’t familiar with Jewish food with its hard-to-pronounce harsh sounds, the menu can come across as daunting. Don’t worry, just tikam tikam and makan lor. But there are several terminology you need to know before ordering:
1. Pastrami: Beef, usually brisket, cured, dry-rubbed, smoked, boiled, and steamed.
2. Differences between corned beef and pastrami are that corned beef is brined–not dry-rubbed–and is not smoked.
3. Difference between smoked salmon and gravlax salmon (pronounced as GRAF-lux) is gravlux is not smoked.
Now you’re ready to order.
Order these if you’re Asian:
(1) latke (pronounced lard-KE, $16): alternate layers of pastrami and latke (Jewish rosti), drizzled with an easy, not tart, hollandaise–overall, very flavorful and balanced.
(2) Reuben sandwich ($18/ $26/ $35, choice of rye, bagel, brioche): this sandwich is traditionally eaten with rye, so we went for rye that clamped between the slices, pastrami, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage). The sauerkraut lifted the sandwich, giving it a sensational complexity. The pastrami could be moister, but still edible, still delicious. It was the pastrami that lost out to Katz’s.
Order this if you’re angmoh: toasted brioche with chopped liver ($14, above). Dunno why so many angmohs had it on their tables, but it was middling to us.
Scrabbled eggs, sturgeon, smoked salmon, bagel ($18)
Gravlax bagel ($16)
Order this if you’re New Yorker: bagels in any form. Don’t know why New Yorkers are crazy about bagels. Do you know one bagel is 400 calories – and it doesn’t even taste nice. Just dense bread lor. We had hoped they could offer more varieties of bagel. When we were there, there was only sesame bagel; there should be a plain, no-sesame bagel option.
Apple strudel ($10)
Blintzes ($12, crepes with sour cream)
Chiobu suggested going to Lady M for desserts. XH suggested Antoinette. But no, I the dictator decreed we stay and as a result, we suffered and regretted the limp apple strudel, and the so-so blintzes. We didn’t even finish 20% of them. What a waste of food. Desserts were their Achilles’ heel.
Another major flaw lies in the construction of the menu, which doesn’t state the serving sizes, so customers don’t know how much to order. For instance, ordering latke alone isn’t sufficient for one person. I suggest they rearrange the menu to “small” (less than 1 person), and “normal” (for 1 person).
But if Sacha & Sons’ aim is to create a New York deli in Singapore, then they have succeeded beyond measure. Prices are a bit high–we paid $145 for 4 persons, or $36 for one–but the food was mostly delectable, and they played Ella Fitzgerald. I enjoyed the cafe immensely and would recommend it.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.