June 2, 2016
The Kitchen at Bacchanalia is a new rebranding concept by Head Chef Ivan Brehm, where diners can enjoy a hearty meal in the heart of the bustling restaurant’s kitchen.
It is quaintly tucked away in Hong Kong Street with no large signboard at its exterior, except for its name seen on the full-paneled window of the restaurant’s front.
Focusing on keeping things simple and emphasising on a communal dining concept, the restaurant offers a 36-seater space, which spans across the front and back of the kitchen.
Leaving behind Bacchanalia’s roots of yesteryears, chef Ivan hopes to redefine dining where one would embrace the full culinary experience while being in a relaxing, homely atmosphere.
You will be pleased to find flavours that are imported from around the world, they are reinvented into dishes that tells of chef Ivan’s travel experiences and personal stories.
Most ingredients are locally sourced, greens and herbs are freshly plucked from their very own roof top garden, or brought in from Cameron Highlands. With such quality assured, we were in for a gastronomic treat!
You can choose from Bacchanalia’s three-, five- and seven-course menus, which range from $75++, $125++, and $165++, respectively. Specially concocted cocktails, artisanal spirits, and wine pairing starts from $95++.
Feast your eyes on some of the dishes from the menu.
Breaking Bread. Every meal at The Kitchen starts off with a simple breaking of bread to symbolise the sharing of meals.
Fluffy sourdough bread are served with a clear broth made with the steam extraction of seven different types of vegetable, which had an evidently strong pea and celery taste.
Kimchi Vegetable. One of the two appetising snacks that were served before the seven-course meal was a crunchy pickled vegetable, which has been fermented for two-months.
Served with chive oil and Uranian saffron gel, its taste kicks right in and whets your appetite for what’s in stored ahead.
Banana Flower. The second snack is similar to the texture of an artichoke leaf, and prepared with the same cooking method. It is served with a special balsamic-like sauce to intensify the mild sweetness from the banana flower.
Cauliflower Grata. Available on the lunch menu, the cauliflower grata is creamily smooth, and hides a refreshing garnish at the bottom of the bowl, which gives an aromatic boldness to the flavour when you stir it in.
Hamachi “On Toast”. A debut dish to The Kitchen at Bacchanalia, cured Japanese hamachi dices are served with Osetra caviar atop a crispy bed of rice cracker.
While the “toast” was blend and only adds crunch and texture to the dish, the natural sweetness from the fresh hamachi took centerstage, just as it should.
Beetroot Tartare. Beetroot, a superfood, normally drenched in its unsavoury earthy flavours, was creatively transformed into a play of textures, served with confit egg.
The horseradish emulsion looked like a playful dollop of paint on an artist’s palette, which acidity played down on the beetroot’s strong flavours. It was decorated with a cracker that has a slightly charred taste, as it was made by the bubble reduction of beetroot juice with oil in a pan.
Uni Pasta. An unlikely combination, the Bafun Uni is served with chocolate buckwheat pasta, basil vierge and egg yolk on the underneath.
I was hoping it would be more chocolatey and sweet, especially with the powdered chocolate. Chef Ivan explained that cocoa powder is added for its texture—powder dries out your mouth, which would help enhance the creaminess of the dish when you take a second bite.
Coconut Risotto. The aged carnaroli rice with fermented coconut was delicately cooked by infusing the rice with thai coconut soup and butter replacement.
The risotto was creamy without being heavy on the tastebuds, which was neatly balanced with a Thai-inspired salad and spicy chilli powder to neutralise the flavours.
Wagyu Au Poivre Vert. M9+ Blackmore wagyu striploin was pan seared to medium-rare perfection, making it juicy with every bite with a lingering beefy finish. To add depth to the dish, it was served with a side of Chinese mustard, wild pepper leaves salad, green and pink peppercorn.
Butter poached chicken breast. The chicken breast was the tenderest piece of chicken breast I’ve ever sank my teeth into, which was wonderfully plump with each bite.
Garnished with reconstructed cheese and laced with greens, the chicken breast could easily be chowed down within a minute or two.
Soubois. The meal came to a near end with a bite-sized, pre-desert platter that doubles as a palate cleanser. The quince was slow poached for 24 hours and made into a sorbet that contains bourbon, lentil, dates and rose fromage blanc.
Presented alongside were frozen pineapple and mango marshmallow, which had an intriguing spicy tang to them.
Chocolate Tart. The tart was light-as-air and filled with grapefruit jam, which to my delight wasn’t too sweet. It was also topped with pecans and Assam tea ice cream, making it a sweet completion to the scrumptious meal.
If you’re interested to find out what goes into your dishes, chef Ivan is an extremely helpful and amiable host that takes pride in his creations. Just don’t be shy to have a chat with him.
While the kitchen was busy cooking up a storm, the dinning areas were filled with chitter-chattering and laughters. You’d feel like you’re in Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell Kitchen”, but a much friendlier version of it.
If you’re looking for a warm ambience and delectable food to share with your close ones and family, Bacchanalia is the place to be at. Oh, don’t miss out on their house-special Gin & Tonic too!
Expected Damage: $80 -$150 per pax