Sarnies – New Dinner Menu Packed With Rustic Favours
Started in 2010 by Aussie Ben Lee, Sarnies is a vibrant café located at Telok Ayer, right in the heart of the bustling Singapore Central Business District. To celebrate their 6th year of serving up comfort café grub and specialty coffee, Chef Zak has revamped the dinner menu, with new items packed with rustic flavours. Sarnies has always placed an emphasis on providing wholesome meals made from scratch using only fresh, quality ingredients such as grass fed beef, chicken free from hormones and antibiotics, and bacon cured in-house, just to name a few.
With 26 years of experience in the kitchen, Chef Zak (formerly from NYDC, Open Door Policy and Open Farm Community) is the creative brain behind the newly crafted dinner menu. He feels that cooking is an art and he looks forward to discovering and creating new items every day. He wants the dishes at Sarnies to be classic, with a special twist to the flavours so as to stand out from others.
Our night began with Sarnies’ Spicy Buffalo Wings ($14) which really packed a good punch! It arrived looking fiery hot, with an aromatic smell of spices. For Sarnies’ unique rendition of Buffalo wings, Chef Zak used 20 spices for the marinade before slow-cooking the wings for approximately 4-5 hours, followed by frying. You get a slight crunch upon sinking your teeth into the Buffalo wings before reaching the tender, well-cooked meat. If you can’t really take spicy food, prepare a glass of water as the spiciness only kicks in awhile later! FYI – we perspired in the air-conditioned café!
New items include slider trios, with a choice of Grilled Haloumi with Onion Jam & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes ($13) or Pulled Pork with White Coleslaw & Homemade BBQ Sauce ($14). Every component is made from scratch and each bun is lovingly kneaded and baked fresh in-house daily. We loved the cheesiness as it wasn’t too overwhelming and the caramelized onions enhanced the overall flavour. The juices from the cherry tomatoes burst sweetly in your mouth, so wonderful! It usually comes in a portion of 3 but we only had 2 due to the heavy mains that were served later on.
Big eaters would enjoy the Texas-style Burger with Overnight Smoked Brisket, White Slaw, Dijon, Gherkins, BBQ sauce and Hand-Cut wedges ($26.50). It’s stacked so high with smoky, tender brisket, it’s almost impossible to take one full bite of the burger in a mouthful. We fell in love with the BBQ sauce as Chef Zak blended the usual BBQ sauce with his secret Moroccan spices to make it special. The buns are also done in-house on a daily basis.
For those with a more adventurous taste bud, go for the Southern Indian-style Hand-cut Pappardelle with Prawns, Coconut Milk and Curry Leaves ($19.50). The pasta is made by hand, cooked al dente to order and coated in a light creamy curry sauce. Chef Zak does his pasta dough every 2 days to maintain the freshness of all ingredients and ensure you get premium quality food at Sarnies. This hearty pasta was the highlight of our dinner!
Another bigger plate we had was the Blackened Grass-fed Sirloin, Columbian-style Chimichurri and Olive Oil Mash ($24.50). Chef Zak re-stocks his steaks every 2 days and he vacuum-packs and chills his steaks and never purchases frozen steaks. The combination had a balance of savoury flavours, with a hint of zest.
All meals need a happy ending so we had Sarnies’ Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream ($8). They usually serve the original flavour and sometimes, Peanut Butter flavour, but we went on a lucky night as they had the Matcha White Chocolate Brownie available. It wasn’t too sweet and we could taste the subtle matcha flavour. What a great end to the night!
Besides serving amazing food, Sarnies also whips up a good range of cocktails, with spirits, beers, ciders and wines on their drinks list as well. This café boasts a really relaxing atmosphere and is easily accessible when you get off work in the CBD. Moreover, it’s quite romantic to dine al fresco on a breezy night. With their variety of delectable sides, mains and desserts, Sarnies is bound to gain many loyal customers.
Note: This is an invited tasting.