Bar-roque Grill at Tanjong Pagar puns on the word, “Baroque,” a historical period known for excess and ostentatious ornaments. Unlike their tiny and bare strip of bar on the walkway, which is always crowded, the quiet restaurant is decorated with the Period in mind. A gigantic painting of a naked cherub hangs in the dining hall of high ceiling with a chandelier. But on closer inspection, even under the dim light, the furniture shows much wear and tear. A renovation is in order.
The food, however, is not Baroque. The website states that the dishes of French Chef Stephane Istel, who worked for Daniel Boulud for more than 8 years, “are classic yet powerfully responsive to the times and geography in which he finds himself.” In other words, you can’t really identify the focus of the restaurant except that it has many grilled items. For instance, the origins of the mains we ordered are from England, USA, and Middle Eastern. But I get ahead of myself.
The starter, Alsatian tarte flambee ($16), is something I haven’t had before, but just imagine skinny pizza topped with cheese and bacon. It’s beautifully baked, laced with burnt edges. Because we were celebrating an event, the chef generously topped it with truffles and it makes all the difference. It’s oooh-close-your-eyes umami.
The chef also comp us a mushroom ravioli in a creamy white garlic sauce with more mushroom. The mini ravioli, known as royan, is much smaller than usual, almost in squares of 1.5cm. The cantal cheese is slightly pungent, which I like. The chef knows his stuff; he fed with us substances with natural umami to whet our appetite for our mains.
As a grill house, their beef is very popular. I heard good things about their tartare ($38) and steaks (from $42) but I wanted beef wellington, which isn’t very common in Singapore. Beef Wellington is usually a baked dish of a fillet steak coated with foie gras pate (paste of grounded goose liver), wrapped in a puff pastry. But here, they wrap the beef in puff pastry, and top it with foie gras.
The steak is cooked exceedingly. Medium-rare, pink inside, very tender. Too bad I was too greedy and didn’t take time out to snap a photo.
My friend complained that the puff pastry isn’t flaky enough, and he had eaten beef wellington with puff pastry you can peel off layer by layer. I didn’t mind it so much. He also said that they shouldn’t put it on a bed of vegetables because the bottom got soggy. But I love how the juices flow into the vegetables, making them so delectable and flavourful and rich. I wanted to monopolise the greens.
Bar-roque boasts to have one of the biggest rotisserie in Singapore, and they are well-known for their rotisserie chicken ($32 half, $64 whole). Their skin is hard to beat. They added a spicy seasoning that makes it tingle, not inflame, the tongue. The meat itself is well marinated, however it is tough. I had the wings and still thought it was tough.
The lamb done 5 ways on couscous is their special for the day. The 5 ways–sausage, skewer, stewed, lamb ball, and lamb rack–are hit and miss. Some are superb like the ball and rack, but others like the stewed are hard. Bar-roque is very good at putting an ingredient under the meats so that the ingredient soaks up the juices. Although I am not a fan of couscous which sometimes has an earthy taste, I found it so delightful and robust.
Yup, we celebrated because somebody became a doctor. Too bad the dessert section is their weakest link. Warm cherry claufoutis with almond ice cream ($14) is so-so.
We paid about $57 per person. It was a good meal. I recommend coming here for the meats, and then maybe cross the street for bingsu.
165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01-00 Singapore 088539
Tel: +65 6444 9672
T-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm, Sun 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
You may also be interested in…
–Coriander Leaf Grill, Ann Siang: A Contemporary Grill With Asian Influences, Everyone Has a Different Favorite
–Garang Grill by New Ubin Seafood, Swan Ave: Pop-Up Restaurant Extended Infinitely
–Opus Grill & Bar, Hilton Hotel: Top Steakhouse with Freeflow Wine, and DURIAN COCKTAIL
–Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant by Teppei @ Keong Siak: New Bib Gourmand Winner
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.