I read about this new café at Far East Square last week and we decided to come for an early lunch on Friday. They apparently sell sandwiches that are smoked in-house hence we were excited to try this, as it is rare to find good sandwiches in Singapore. We had really good lobster rolls at Club Street Social so I guess we were looking for the same kind of experience. We reached at 11am and there were no customers yet.
We looked at the menu and decided on a Montevideo & a New Yorker. We went to the counter to order and were told that each order above $10 gets a free cup of coffee.
When we ordered, the waiter turned around and asked his colleagues (there were 2 other older waiters behind him) if the meat was ready.
“What” I thought to myself ” doesn’t the store open at 730am?” I asked him this question and he just smiled sheepishly. My very 1st alarm bell rang. I always trust my gut instinct so I was feeling a little apprehensive.
Our sandwiches and 2 free cups of coffee arrived.
My husband ordered the Montevideo and I had the New Yorker. We opened up the wrapper and the insides of the sandwiches look full and delicious. I excitedly took photos before we ate.
With the next 10 seconds, my husband reacted first by pulling out a half-chewed piece of beef brisket and placed it gently on the table. Within the next 5 seconds, another piece came out. I looked at him puzzled. He said the beef was not smoked well and it had obviously not been cooked long enough. The meat was very tough and the flavours lack depth.
I proceeded to have mine and was sad to say that it was not much better – mine was extremely chewy and I had to swallow huge pieces of the pastrami whole. It was filled with tendons and I was not able to chew through it. It tasted really salty as well. In the end, we could not finish any of the pastrami or brisket and instead ate the bread with the rest of the vegetables inside the sandwiches.
We had superb beef brisket in Brooklyn Flea Market in December last year and this sadly did not even come close to that. And that was in a makeshift store in a flea market.
With beef that is this tough and salty, I am not confident they can go the distance in Singapore’s competitive food market. Every other month, a new café or restaurant opens here and word spreads fast.
Maybe Smoke Shack was just having a bad day when we came but we will not be coming back here again when we have so many other cafes to try out. We walked away disappointed at having a bad lunch.
2 Amoy St. #01-01 Far East Square, Singapore, Singapore 049945