Last Updated: September 14, 2015
Located in the newly renovated Claymore Connect building off of Orchard Road, RedBank Bar & Grill promises a ‘uniquely American dining experience’. Co-founders, John Stevens and Matt Connors, both hail from the East Coast of the United States. Over their shared love of all things American and grilled, the idea for RedBank was born.
As promised, the co-founders have enlisted the help of veteran Chef Nicolas Drouglazet to help bring their classic American recipes and cooking techniques to life here in Singapore. Being an American myself, I was extra keen to give RedBank a try.
The interior of the restaurant has a very modern, trendy feel with the metallic color scheme and lounge style chairs. The restaurant, which was previously home to Tony Roma’s, is massive and includes plenty of seating, a large bar, private room, as well as ample outdoor seating.
RedBank also houses a large TV and projector screen in hopes of becoming a go-to place for all major sporting events. RedBank has a packed bar menu including an exciting array of small-batch American craft beers to choose from. I was however admittedly a teensy bit disappointed to not see my long lost friend Bud Light on the menu.
We started off our meal at RedBank with the Brown Derby Cobb Salad ($22.00). The Salad gets its name from the restaurant where it was invented on a whim in Hollywood, California. Of the many cobb salads I have had around Singapore, this is one of the best.
The vegetables were crisp and fresh and the homemade dressing had the perfect taste and consistency to compliment the ingredients.
Next up was a medium sized bowl of New England Clam Chowder ($17.00). Often used to warm you up on a brisk New England day, this dish had a nice thin consistency. The taste was not overwhelmingly salty and the chunks of clams provided a nice bite.
In my Midwestern American upbringing I have never come across Virginia-Style Oyster Biscuits ($18.00), but I know that I like two things: warm buttermilk biscuits and anything fried.
This may have been my most favorite thing I tried at RedBank. The large oysters are fried, placed between bite-sized biscuits and given a dollop of sauce. A plate of these and a couple beers while watching a football game and you’re set.
Staying true to co-founders Matt and John’s East Coast upbringing, RedBank also offers Virginia-Style Crab Cakes ($18.00) on the appetizer menu. I found this dish to be heavy on the crab, light on the cake and a touch greasy. The three sharing cakes were nicely portioned and came with a classic, homemade lemon-mayo dipping sauce.
From the sides menu we tried the Hush Puppies ($12.00), which I was so very happy to see on the menu. This variety had a strong cornmeal flavor. The outside was not as hard and crispy as I would have preferred, but overall I enjoyed the flavor and dipping sauce.
Hush puppies are a great American side dish that go well with both seafood and red meat.
The Tuna Tartare ($20.00) comes sprinkled with paprika and mixed with a generous dose of herbs. Green onions and dill were the strongest flavors I detected. The chucks of tuna were generous and had a nice fresh taste, but personally I would choose the oyster biscuits or crab cakes over the tuna.
Now, if there’s one thing I know about, it’s American beef. Having grown up in the heart of cow country, Nebraska, I have had my fair share of steaks. We tried the US Rib Eye ($45.00 for 300g).
The rib eye cut traditionally has a much more fatty taste and texture as compared to a strip or fillet. This steak was a quality cut, cook and taste. We paired our meats with sides of crinkle fries, mashed potatoes and rice pilaf. I found the potatoes to be the best option.
The Baja-Style Lobster Tails ($48.00) are covered in a dusty house seasoning and paired with two dipping sauces – balsamic and butter. While the taste of the lobster was tender and fresh, for only three tails at $48 I would much prefer a hot off the grill steak.
Hello, beautiful. I pretty much came to RedBank to try the beef. The US Fillet Mignon ($45.00 for 250g) did not disappoint. RedBank uses an indoor Josper charcoal grill, as they strongly aim to bring outdoor American barbecue flavors indoors.
I was ecstatic to be able to instantly detect the taste of smoke and black pepper. The fillet was cooked at a perfect medium – medium rare. You can definitely tell Chef Nicolas has grilled a number of steaks in his day.
Lastly we tried the Grilled Salmon Fillet ($23.00) flown in from New Zealand. I am going to go out on a limb here and make a generalized statement. If you are dining at a classic American restaurant serving beef, the salmon is very rarely going to be the best thing on the menu.
This particular fillet was a little dry and I found the pesto topping to be too overwhelming. Unless you have certain moral or dietary restrictions, I am going to suggest you always order the beef.
Knowing Chef Nicolas hails from France, I had a feeling the desserts were going to be good. The Lemon Pie ($12.00) eats more like a tart with it’s hard, crumbly crust. The lemon taste and whipped top were very enjoyable.
In my opinion, there are few desserts better than a classic piece of New York Cheesecake ($12.00). This slice of cheesecake had a classic, predictable taste and texture, just what I was looking for.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal at RedBank. I thought the menu items were well chosen and executed. To me, the vibe of the restaurant seemed more desirable for dinner than lunch. It was almost as if you could feel the push and pull of RedBank so desperately wanting to be a casual eatery, but also needing to present a certain amount of trendiness for the Orchard Road crowd.
While the service staff was struggling to work out the newbie kinks and the prices were a little high in my opinion, RedBank’s many offerings – happy hour, ladies night, live bands and private events – prove they are passionate about and committed to providing a worthwhile, authentic American dining experience.
Hopefully service standards improve to compliment the entire concept.
Expected Damage: Lunch $30 – $40 per pax, Dinner $50 – $70 per pax