Today, I decided to have redpan for dinner with my lovely date. Also, this will be our very first food article to date.
redpan is the collaboration between local firm DP Architects and the people behind burger bistro GRUB at Bishan Park. Featuring local flavours with a twist, redpan promises to deliver “creative interpretations of modern dishes with a spotlight on local ingredients and familiar flavours” and at an affordable tag. The elegant interior gives the restaurant the impression of somewhat an upscale bar & restaurant. But will the food standards match up?
The entire Marina Square was surprisingly quiet on the day we visited. Probably it’s because of the Monday blues, and that everyone just wants to go home. When we arrived at redpan, the server greeted us warmly, and off we go to our seats.
Again, the restaurant’s quiet because of the sparse crowd in the mall, with only two families, a table of Japanese businessmen socialising in a casual setting, and a table of old friends gathering, drinking champagne. I thought that the design had a very lavish feel to it, almost like an upscale hotel restaurant. At least to me, that’s what it felt like.
As I had already looked up the menu online, I was left contemplating between the Bak Chor Foie Gras Pasta or the Har Cheong Chicken Cutlet ($16), and soon enough, decided on the latter. Cheryl had already been eyeing the salted egg prawn tacos ($16), and that sounds interesting. Also to start off, we wanted to try the Truffle Floss Fries ($9). So that’s that and the order is made.
At last, our fries came. Truffle aroma? Check. The sauce used to complement the fries and floss was something sort of a sweet mayonnaise. Wait, or was that the aioli? Thought that there was an aioli dipping sauce! I honestly couldn’t tell.
Something about how the floss and the sauce worked really well with the truffle fries. There’s this wonderful feeling of a nice crisp of hot fried potatoes on the first bite, with the fragrance and savour of truffle resting on my palate, before the nice silky and smooth brush of sweet chicken floss. I’m taking these as signs of good things to come.
Next to arrive was my chicken cutlet. Breaded, eh? Personally, I’m not a fan of breaded batter, but I guess we’ll see how things go from here. From the menu, I was promised with mashed potatoes, but this mashed hash-browns with onions looking thing was served. Honestly, I like that. I’ve made it before on a whim at home because I ran out of potatoes, and it actually is a good idea. So I couldn’t wait to try. I’m just waiting for Cheryl’s order to arrive.
At last, after about a few minutes, her dish is here! Look at that salted egg sauce just dripping off the sides of the tacos. I’m hungry. Time to dig in.
That’s my Har Cheong Chicken Cutlet. Frankly, as I took a bite into the piping hot fried chicken, I only felt a hint of the prawn paste. What it felt to me was just ordinary fried breaded chicken. I mean, if they’re gonna market it as Har Cheong, then they’d better be cooking up some of that Har Cheong like they do in certain bars that come with fried prawn-paste chicken wings. But overall, it was alright for me.
While the “mashed” potatoes tasted great, and I actually like the idea of onions and potatoes in tandem, sadly, the potatoes didn’t arrive hot. Sure, some might argue that I have waited quite a while for Cheryl’s dish to arrive, but the counter-argument for that is that it wasn’t even warm, unlike the chicken, which was hot.
I can see Cheryl’s disappointment. She didn’t quite enjoy her dish. I asked her why, and she told me that it wasn’t even hot. I see a recurring issue here. Our dishes didn’t arrive hot at all. Come to think of it, we even waited for our food to arrive say, 10-15 minutes after our appetiser. That’s as surprising as I am still, right now, writing this. I mean, there’s no reason for taking some time for the food to arrive if it didn’t leave the kitchen hot?
So I tried the remaining tacos. Taking my first munch on the tacos, I myself, am disappointed. I mean, clearly, from the photos, you could see some charred bits on the tortilla wrap, and that taste lingered into the entire dish as the salted egg sauce didn’t taste as named. It didn’t feel like salted egg sauce. At all. The lettuce didn’t seem fresh either. To be honest, it was very unsatisfactory.
You might ask, why not feedback that to the server? Well, Cheryl and I just wanted a nice and relaxing evening after a tiring day, and decided to let it rest. Maybe it could have been just a one-off situation when we just happened to be at the wrong day for redpan, but this certainly is what we’ve experienced on our first visit here.
Total damage: $20+ per person, and forfeiting a return ticket to redpan