Crostini Bar along Haji Lane seems to have a few dining concepts under one roof. Upstairs is Bar Stories, primarily a watering hole, and food is served downstairs. True to their name, their main focus is crostinis of all kinds, but few are aware that they also have a carte blanche menu, where you are served 5 or 8 courses of what the chef wants to prepare that day.
We made a reservation for dinner, and went with the intention of trying the carte blanche. When we arrived, after confirming that we were there for dinner, we were curiously still ushered upstairs. We sat at a tiny table for possibly 10 to 15 minutes, while waiters walked past us without paying any attention to us at all.
Finally, I couldn’t take it any more and flagged someone down, asking if we could order and what the carte blanche menu was like that day. He suggested that we didn't take the carte blanche because the wait could be long if the kitchen was busy. After disappearing for another 5 minutes, they finally took our order, then gave us a table downstairs.
That unfortunately set the tone for the rest of the meal. I wasn’t particularly happy that we were“forced” to order the crostinis, and we were seated next to the main door that people kept opening and not closing behind them.
As far as the food went, nothing was particularly outstanding. The grilled steak crostini was probably the best of the crostinis, and the slow cooked egg, a non-crostini item, gave some hints that the carte blanche definitely has potential.
The fairly lackluster meal was saved by the dessert, as well as the lychee martini that I ordered. Dessert was an espresso and chocolate mousse with bits of chocolate soil, which was surprisingly good. Both the coffee and the chocolate were perfectly balanced. The cocktail was also excellent, which I guess is to be expected given the bar upstairs.
I’m definitely still curious about the carte blanche menu, but given how inconvenient parking is in the area, I don’t foresee us coming back to try it any time soon.
Meh... I guess it's a good option if you're in the area and don't want the usual arab/indian/muslim food you'll find there.
55 Haji Lane
Mon – Fri: 4 pm – 11 pm
Sat & Sun: 4 pm – 1.30 am