GastroSmiths – Homely Comfort Grub with Asian Flavours
You probably have heard of The Humble Loaf – a 10-seater bakery in Katong Shopping Cnetre. The bakery became very popular and it was difficult to cope with the crowd. Hence, the owner Dillion shut The Humble Loaf and opened five times as large GastroSmiths within Marrison Hotel in Bugis.
The menu at GastroSmiths is very different from The Humble Loaf. It has an interesting mix of comfort foods across different cultures such as Japanese, Italian, Spanish etc with an asian touch. For instance, you have deep fried ngoh hiong with foie gras, and grilled lamb shank in gochujang!
For a start, I had a cup of Shoyu Caramel Latte ($5) where there’s a party of flavours in the mouth. There’s savouriness from the shoyu with sweet caramel notes in the fragrant coffee. I don’t really have an adventurous tastebud and would still prefer my typical cup of latte or cappuccino.
Their simple Scallop Ceviche ($14.50) combines tangy yuzu and koji, with thinly sliced hokkaido scallop sashimi. Still making their own bread, the Crab & Caviar Bruschetta ($15) is filled generously with shredded swimmer crab in kewpie mayo, lemon and smoked caviar. Confit Halibut with Dashi Braised Mushrooms and Leeks is a new dish in the menu. The halibut’s smooth, buttery texture is accented here by the sharp flavours of the leek and very tasty dashi.
Foie Gras Ngoh Hiong ($16) is interesting with the flavour of the foie gras coming through as an aftertaste. But personally, I would prefer foie gras on its own. The sherry plum reduction helps to cut the heaviness of the foie gras. For something adventurous, the Bone Marrow & Toast ($13) is worth a try. No, it is nothing similar to the one in Golden Mile. GastroSmith’s version is much lighter and paired with shallots, chives, pickled mustard seeds.
Their mains are more outstanding, in my opinion. The Braised Lamb Shank ($27) is tenderly braised in gochujang, red wine and a variety of root vegetables. I would never expect the lamb to pair so well with gochujang. Coated in an addictive spicy sauce, the soft lamb meat gets a deep, piquant flavour which we love.
I have been eating quite a few beef don lately, so I have set quite high expectations for it. Hokubee Ribeye Don ($28.50) uses Japanese rice seasoned with doses of furikake and sweet vinegar and topped with grilled Hokubee beef. Hokubee is being injected with soluble oil to yield a more desired marbling and is often refered as “poor man’s Wagyu”. It is beefy enough, but it is the tenderness of the beef that is really enjoyable. Great if you wish to have an affordable plate of beef bowl without burning your pockets. For additional $2, you can get a runny 63 degrees egg.
Too full by now so we only picked G.S Apple ($12.50) for dessert. Featuring compressed apples, brown butter cake, oatmeal almond granola, apple clouds, it’s a party in the mouth when you take a spoonful of it as there are different textures from the ingredients and it’s a refreshing end to the meal. According to Dillion, the menu will keep on evolving. I can’t wait to be back to try other interesting items on the menu!
Address: #03-06, i12 Katong, 112 East Coast Road, Singapore 428802
Mobile: 9772 9511
Opening Hours: 10am to 9.30pm. Closed on Mondays.
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