Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Tasting Session

August 07, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Tasting Session
56 Tanglin Road
#01-03 Tanglin Post Office


Opening Hours:
Tue - Sun: 8am - 11pm
Closed Mon



http://www.nassimhill.com.sg/

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, The Arctic Star, Purple Taste, and Fundamentally Flawed.



Excellent Bread, Pastries & Drinks

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 6
Budget about SGD $50 ++ per person.


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Located in old Tanglin Post Office off Tanglin Road, Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar is well known for many things, in particular, their delicious, freshly baked French bread and pastries, communal tavern atmosphere, and being able to tap your own beer! Owner Samuel Yeo, who operates other popular lifestyle dining concepts under his Imaginings Singapore group (including KPO, Balacclava, and BARstop), has positioned Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar to be a day-to-night dining destination, for example, offering cocktails from as early as 8am, till late!

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Signage



Ambience at Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar is styled to resemble a medieval European / German tavern, with colourful stained glass windows, globule lamps, large and sturdy oak wood dining tables, and a communal marble counter with beer taps at the end. While there are bright spotlights throughout the interior, these are often kept off, lit by natural lighting during the day, and low, warm ambient lighting at night, lending a feeling of serenity and intimacy, though it makes photography difficult. The buzzing, friendly atmosphere is welcoming, and the aromatic smell of baking perfumes the place. Great!

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Exterior


Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Interior


Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Taps



Service at Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar is decent / average. The relatively young staff are cheerful and friendly, offering greetings / goodbyes, and seating guests quickly. Product knowledge is lacking in the junior staff, they cannot describe dishes, nor make confident recommendations, although they are up-to-date on current promotions. Thumbs up for efficiency, they came around regularly to clear and change empty / dirty plates. Lacking in attention to details, as they did not top up our cutlery, I resorted to taking it from the empty table next to ours after every course. Service is possibly the weakest point of dining at Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar. However, our affable and friendly hosts kept the conversations lively.

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Menu Drinks & Desserts


Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar Menu Appetizers, Entrees, Sharing Plates



Food at Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar is modern bistro quality, with primarily French and Italian influences. In particular, their bread and dessert pastries, which are freshly baked / prepared each day, is the speciality here. They also feature a rather extensive menu of appetizers and entrees, with hits and misses. Portions are large, and suitable for sharing. Prices are reflective of a high-end bistro / gastrobar, budget about SGD $50 per person for a proper meal here. If you're just getting cakes / bread / pastries, budget about SGD $8 per person.

Stained Glass Windows & Globule Lamps


Bottles Of Spirits



The variety of freshly baked French breads is varied, and meant for takeaway, though you're still able to order several slices of bread if dining in. I spotted the Sourdough (SGD $6.80), Dark Rye (SGD $7.50), Baguette (SGD $4), Croissant (SGD $3 / 2 Pieces), and Wholemeal (SGD $6) bread. Staff tell me that their best seller is the Almond Brioche (SGD $8), which is very popular and tends to sell-out each day.

Bread Sourdough (SGD $6.80)


Bread Dark Rye (SGD $7.50)


Bread Baguette (SGD $4)


Bread Croissant (SGD $3 / 2 Pieces)


Bread Wholemeal (SGD $6)


Bread Almond Brioche (SGD $8)



Their Guinness Beer (SGD $8) bread is a signature item here, and is also very popular. Each slice has an earthy, slightly nutty, malty taste, with the aromatic smell of beer / stout. Great taste! The texture is crisp and soft, pairing well with butter, which helps to being out the flavour, but also goes well with spreads. However, I noted that it's not good with soups / broth / gravy, as it's not porous enough to absorb these.

Bread Guinness Beer (SGD $8)


Bread Guinness Beer (SGD $8)



The house cocktail Yuzu Breeze (SGD $19) features prosecco, pimm's No. 1, yuzu, orange, and soda water. Refreshing and thirst quenching, this sweet and light mix goes down easily.

Yuzu Breeze (SGD $19)



The house cocktail Raspberry Lychee Iced Tea (SGD $17) features Absolut Elyx vodka, lychees, raspberries, and mint leaves, in a refreshing iced tea. Great on a hot / warm day!

Raspberry Lychee Iced Tea (SGD $17)



Didn't fancy the house cocktail Peach Tree Lemonade (SGD $16), which features Absolut Elyx vodka, peach schnapps, lemon juice, honey, and mint leaves, because it was more sour than sweet. Also, I couldn't taste any of the peach schnapps in it. When served, staff told me this was the Wicked Calamansi Sour cocktail, and when I told them they got the wrong order, they clarified with the kitchen, and came back to say this was the Peach Tree Lemonade. Till now, I'm still not entirely sure this was the right order...

Peach Tree Lemonade (SGD $16)



The Strongbow Apple Cider (SGD $15) is available on tap, and is a strong, bitter-sweet, hard cider, with the taste of sour green apples. Fizzy, with a thin head and a light golden colour, crisp on the palate but lingers with some bite. They also offer various beers on tap, such as the Erdinger Weissbier Beer (SGD $11 / $18).

Strongbow Apple Cider (SGD $15)


Erdinger Weissbier Beer (SGD $11 / $18)



A precious little Espresso (SGD $5) shot, served in a cute cup, with a sweet pistachio biscotti on the side. The Caffe Mocha (SGD $7) was decent too, as the lashings of chocolate fudge lends a much deeper chocolate flavour.

Espresso (SGD $5)


Caffe Mocha (SGD $7)



These lovely Market Fresh Mussels With A Hint Of Chili (SGD $25) may be small in size, but they're big on flavour! The small, meaty, juicy Bouchet mussels (250g) from France are fresh, and the incredibly savoury, slightly spicy gravy is so good! Reminds me of a Tom Yum / lemongrass / chili cream gravy in taste, with the combination of white wine, garlic, cilantro, and a special siracha butter! The slight heat doesn't hurt, but leaves you addicted and wanting more. Highly recommended, but as it's only available once or twice a week (psst... on Wednesdays!), it sells out fast!

Market Fresh Mussels With A Hint Of Chili (SGD $25)



The star of the Kale Caesar (SGD $17) is not just the eponymous leafy superfood (kale), but the crisp, salty prosciutto chip on the side! Dressed in a savoury but light anchovy cream sauce, with sliced hard boiled eggs, parmesan crumbs, and sliced garlic croutons. Thought it's pretty good, worth ordering!

Kale Caesar (SGD $17)



The Asian BBQ Chicken Salad (SGD $15) features tender grilled chicken, lettuce, carrots, red bell peppers / capsicum, sliced mandarin oranges, edamame, toasted almonds, sesame seeds, and crispy wonton skin crackers, all dressed in a soy ginger sauce. A complex yet delightful melding of flavours; salty, savoury, sweet, tangy, zesty, as well as textures; crunchy, juicy, crispy, tender. Incredibly good, loved it! Highly recommended!

Asian BBQ Chicken Salad (SGD $15)



While the Popcorn Chicken Bites (SGD $12) with fresh baby radish slices and sesame seeds had a flavourful siracha aioli and a crisp skin, I felt it somewhat lacked flavour and taste in the actual chicken meat itself. Possibly among the weakest dishes I had here, I wouldn't order this again.

Popcorn Chicken Bites (SGD $12)



Owner Samuel Yeo really likes his fried gherkin pickles, so much so that he asked to put the Gherkin Tempura With Sour Cream And Bacon Dip (SGD $9) on the menu. Now, this is an acquired taste, a love-or-hate type of appetizer, it will not appeal to everyone. I rather like the sour, tangy taste of gherkin pickles, and with the crisp, thin batter, I think it's goes great with beer! The tasty, savoury, salty, sour cream and bacon dip is very good, and somehow works together with the fried gherkin pickles.

Gherkin Tempura With Sour Cream And Bacon Dip (SGD $9)



Staff admitted as much that the Poutine (SGD $13) is nowhere near Canadian standards, due to the lack of cheese curds. But it's still a pretty good appetizer, with thin shoestring fries coated in Chef's entrecote sauce, savoury minced beef, and gooey shredded mozzarella cheese. The gravy is yummy! Overall, one of the better poutine's I've had in Singapore. Update Jul-2016: The improved Poutine is now much more tasty, for the same price! The thin, crisp shoestring fries are still topped with a generous amount of gooey shredded mozzarella cheese and savoury minced beef, but chef has now fortified the gravy with wine, giving it a nice depth of flavour!

Poutine (SGD $13)


Poutine



Was rather surprised at the small portion of Soft Shelled Crab (SGD $13), in comparison to the other shared plates which hold bigger portions. Crisp and savoury, the crab flavour is distinct, and the remoulade chive sauce lends a fragrant aroma of herbs. Personally, I think this is less value for money than the other appetizers, also, you can get better soft shell crab elsewhere.

Soft Shelled Crab (SGD $13)



The unique Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles (SGD $19) is worth ordering, because it combines bacon and waffles. BACON & WAFFLES! With cheddar cheese and bacon bits baked directly into their waffle batter, served with rashers of bacon, and a chive sour cream on the side. The waffle texture is the thin and crisp version, and my only minor complaint is that it's slightly dry, though this is helped by the fragrant chive sour cream. Worth ordering, because... bacon & waffles! Update Jul-2016: The Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles remains just as good as ever!

Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles (SGD $19)


Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles



This is among the best Chili Crab Pasta (SGD $25) I've had in Singapore thus far. The spaghetti is done al-dente, with some bite, the chili crab gravy is thick, with alternating notes of sweet, savoury, tangy, and spicy, and there is some lingering heat. The generous portion of fresh, deshelled crab meat, and spicy chili padi complete this dish. Highly recommended! Update Jul-2016: The improved Chili Crab Pasta is now less spicy, and more sweet savoury in taste. Plating has also been improved, they've arranged the fresh, deshelled crab chunks on top of the dish, highlighting the star ingredient!

Chili Crab Pasta (SGD $25)


Chili Crab Pasta



I struggled with the Tonkatsu (SGD $21), while I liked the panko bread crumb crust of the large, meaty pork loin, the actual texture is tough, requiring some effort to cut, and chew. Even the crunchy red cabbage slaw, and perfect 75 degree sous vide egg on top, cannot save this from being an overall mediocre dish. Until they get a more tender texture to the pork meat, you're better off ordering something else instead.

Tonkatsu (SGD $21)



The giant, 500g Grain Fed Angus T-Bone Steak (SGD $65) is a house special, served with fresh arugula leaves, and sea salt on the side. The beef steak is flavourful, you get the taste of the grains and fields in the meat, though it's let down greatly by an inconsistent doneness. The bone has the best meat, medium-rare, tender, and juicy. But as you get nearer the edges, the beef becomes medium-well, and loses some of the tenderness. I'm not sure if this is a result of cooking technique, the portion being too large, or because we let it rest too long while we took photos. Too inconclusive for me to safely recommend, or not recommend, this dish.

Grain Fed Angus T-Bone Steak (SGD $65)



Loved the suggestively named Triple X (SGD $9), with its rich, moist, triple sec infused chocolate sponge cake, layered with dark chocolate ganache. This luxurious dessert is great tasting on its own, and can only be made better with quality ice cream. Worth ordering! Update Jul-2016: The Triple X dessert cake remains just as good as ever!

Triple X (SGD $9)


Triple X



While the Pear Cheddar Crumble (SGD $11) had a light, crunchy, savoury, aged cheddar and pecan nut crumble, the warm, sour, pear cubes were too firm in texture, not tender and soft. The vanilla ice cream on top is just decent. A rather average dessert.

Pear Cheddar Crumble (SGD $11)



This is among the best (western dessert pastry) Carrot Cake (SGD $9) I've had in Singapore thus far. This classic layered carrot cake has a moist, soft, fluffy texture, generously studded with carrots, pineapples, walnuts, and raisins, topped with cream cheese frosting. The combination of sweet and fruity, crunchy and soft is just beautiful. Lovely dessert, wins my vote for best dessert of the evening! Highly recommended!

Carrot Cake (SGD $9)



Update Jan-2016: The light, fluffy egg of the Egg White Souffle Omelette (SGD $17) was delightful, and the sauteed spinach within is nicely soft, yet still retaining its bright freshness in taste. Good!

Egg White Souffle Omelette (SGD $17)


Egg White Souffle Omelette



Update Jan-2016: The Spicy Huevos Benedict (SGD $20) features poorly executed poached eggs, over savoury with a hint of spicy Spanish chorizo sausage, sitting on crisp white ciabatta bread, spread with earthy jalapenos guacamole, and topped with hollandaise sauce. A confusing dish at best, each individual component is tasty, but it doesn't really come together in harmony. Below average.

Spicy Huevos Benedict (SGD $20)


Spicy Huevos Benedict



Update Jul-2016: The Baked Bone Marrow (SGD $12) features large hunks of beef bone, and is served with sweet caramelised onions and crisp buttered baguette bread. Incredibly decadent, the rich creamy fatty beef bone marrow is nicely oily and smooth. Best shared!

Baked Bone Marrow (SGD $12)



Overall, I find Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar to be a relaxing bistro with great ambience, decent enough food, great tasting desserts and bread, and friendly, efficient (but sometimes blur) service staff. Prices are slightly high as compared to other bistros, but I will return to Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar for more!


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