I guess I hoped for the same high quality dining experience at Barossa that I had enjoyed at nearby Gajalee (after all, visiting Serangoon NEX a second time specifically for the food had led to my discovery of the excellent Dian Xiao Er). And I suppose the name got me thinking of the Barossa Valley wine region in Australia: perhaps this would be a sort of German-Australian fusion place, what with the well-known Deutsch-Australier influences in the Barossa region? There were sausages on the menu, after all. I was optimistic. Or hoffnungsvoll, you could say.
I kicked off with the Beef Borscht Soup. Look at the photos to see if you can guess what I am about to say…
Then, issue four, the ‘cabbage’: I am not sure what those leaves floating in the soup were, but they didn’t look like cabbage leaves to me (and they tasted of nothing at all, like tap water). Problem five, the buttered slices of bread: bland bland bland – acceptable if you’re eating a full English in a dingy café somewhere in West Thurrock and need something to soak up bacon grease and baked beans, not acceptable if you’re in a pricy, trendy bar in Singapore.
Let’s see if the main courses were any better:
The duck was fine (tasted almost exactly like bacon, actually), and the linguini in pepper cream sauce was tasty enough, but in an entirely unexciting way. Much like the pasta I make for myself at home, in fact: tastes good to me, but it’s nothing special at all (and I certainly wouldn’t ask someone to pay $26++ for my cooking, that’s for sure). I like it when there is a trace of a flavour in a dish that keeps me guessing, but there were no interesting discoveries to make here. The sauce was packed with mushrooms: again, that’s just fine, but the menu is mysteriously silent about them.
Anyway, the meat was a bit soft and wet for my liking, and the spicy flavour was strange (that might have been the sumac, if there was any), and not that strong, truth be told. The piquancy was not really offset by any strong meaty flavour from the filling either (I had higher hopes from a lamb sausage).
Worst of all, the sausage casing was pretty much knife-proof in places: I ended up stripping great swathes of it off the sausage by accident with the cutlery and having to chew it whole. As far as the sausage wars are concerned, let’s just say the shareholders of Brotzeit Pte Ltd can sleep easy…
I also had the distinct impression that the kitchen simply worked to a template: customer orders sausages = include mustard on every dish. Served on a well-scratched wooden chopping board to look homely and rustic, I just worried about hygiene. The potatoes were good, though, in a somewhat bland way, and the portion generous. A little question for the chef, though: aren’t potatoes baked in a cheese sauce gratinées, rather than sautéed as per the menu?
The Eton Mess was, like everything else, sort of ok: it looked good, and it had blueberries in it, but the strawberries were rather sour (maybe not a bad thing given how sweet the rest of this dessert is), and certain fragments of the meringue had gone golden and chewy.
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http://barossa.com.sg/ – Barossa’s website.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barossa_Valley - explains why I hoped there would be a German connection here.
I borrowed the external shot of Barossa from the Time Out Singapore website, as my own external shots were so poor.
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