Who doesn’t love a good piece of steak, am I right mamas? That’s the genesis behind new American restaurant RedBank Bar & Grill, located near the top of Orchard at Claymore Road. American buddies John Stevens and Matt Connors met at a barbecue here and bonded over a love of the great American tradition of tailgating (along with the lack of well-priced American fare in Singapore). RedBank is how they’ve decided to fill that void.
With a broad, American-style menu featuring favourites like steak, burgers, pizza, and an impressive list of American wines and craft beers, Red Bank serves up a casual, family-friendly atmosphere with plenty of seating (both indoors and out) and tons of sports on the massive high-def TVs that line the wall. (TBD whether they’ll show American sports – there was soccer on when I visited.)
The name is a tribute to the location of a former family beach house, again evoking wistful feelings for the great American tradition of summer grilling. The owners have tasked French chef Nicolas Drouglazet with realising their vision. He’s got the exacting standards and sharp skills French chefs are known for, but also brings to the table a passion for grilling that he honed cooking steaks and seafood on the beaches of Corsica.
Somewhat amusingly, when we asked him to pick his favourite dish among all the items on the menu, he declared it was the French Onion Soup (which happens to be a staple of American comfort food dining). Sure enough, this warm, flavourful dish immediately transported me to my favourite hometown diner with its hearty broth and crispy Gruyere crouton on top.
There are nearly two dozen appetizers, soups and salads to choose from; among my favourites were the Maryland Soft Shell Crab (succulent and tender with just a hint of spice, and not at all greasy) and the Virginia-style Crab Cake with lemon and mayo, which featured a generous portion of actual crab (and not bread crumbs and mystery meat!). I was particularly looking forward to the Oyster Biscuits (fried oysters served between two mini buttermilk biscuits) – apparently it’s among the most popular items on the menu – but found the biscuit a bit bland and dry. Perhaps I got an off batch; at least the fried oysters were tasty!
Fortunately the main event – the steaks – did not disappoint. Our table was served the 1.2kg Tomahawk (for two people, though in this case it fed four!); beautifully tender and perfectly seasoned (with sea salt imported from Chef’s home region of Brittany).
Equally delectable was the accompanying side of Bacon-wrapped Asparagus, which had a wonderfully smoky flavour. I subsequently found out that all meats are cooked in the high-end Josper Grill, which is something of an oven-grill hybrid. Armed with this knowledge, I’m keen to return to try out other entrees like the Carolina Pork Ribs and the Baja-style Lobster Tails.
As any respectable American restaurant would, RedBank has a fab selection of desserts catering to the Yankee sweet tooth. The Chocolate Chip Tiramisu was creamy and not overly cloying (nor was it alcohol-soaked, which can be a turn-off for that dish). Word on the street is that other dessert highlights include the Crème Brulee (which I’d guess Chef can make in his sleep) and the New York Cheesecake, which is made using one of the owners’ own family recipes.
With its spacious setup, reasonably-priced menu (most items around $20) and engaging TVs, RedBank is quite family friendly, and we hear they’ll soon be launching a Sunday brunch menu as well. They’ve also got a spate of special daily promotions, including all-day happy hour on Sundays, and free-flow housepours and sparkling wine for ladies every Wednesday from 7-9pm. They’ve also got live music on the weekends, along with a dizzying array of custom cocktails and shooters (in case you want to make a real night of it, mamas). My American craft beer was delicious, though I wish the menu specified the name of the brewery and location, rather than just the type (e.g. “Tangerine Wheat Fruity Wheat Ale” or “Black Sand Imperial IPA”).
All in all, I’d say RedBank achieves its goal of serving crowd-pleasing comfort food. Not every menu item hits the mark, but their grilled meats are truly a sweet spot.
RedBank, 442 Orchard Road, #01-02 Claymore Connect, Singapore 238879, Tel: (+65) 6694 5376
Opening Hours: Open daily from 12pm-12am (last order at 11pm); happy hour from 3-8pm.