Firebake – Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant With Traditional Breads And European Classics
Firebake means serious business.
At this restaurant along East Coast Road (quite near 328 Katong Laksa and Chin Mee Chin), there lies a full-scale woodfire bread oven, hand-built from 37 tonnes of 5000 bricks.
Bread is baked using traditional European methods, incorporating all-natural ingredients, flour milled onsite, filtered Nordaq fresh water. WAH.
In the era of Singapore where everything is about fast, quick, machinery, efficiency, having a restaurant like this can be enlivening.
Occupying the shophouse unit previously resided by Carlton Restaurant famous for their roasts, Firebake felt like a bakery in a “provincial town” in France. Almost.
The rustic setting, the centrepiece of woodfire oven, several pieces of furnishing made of recycled wood, cast iron stoves, classics style earthenware, vintage porcelain… the music was Top 40s yo.
Quick warning. Oven in the middle = hot = can afford to dress ‘lighter’.
This is the brainchild of veteran F&B consultant Konstantino Blokbergen – born in Greece, grew up in Switzerland, trained as a chef in French cuisine, who set up a restaurant in Singapore.
Breads are named The Wave, The Field, The Rock and The Valley, ranging from white sourdough to sourdough fruit loaf, priced at $8 – $13.
I got the sampler set of bread board ($10), containing 4 different slices, complete with Greek extra virgin olive oil and Norwegian butter.
My favourite was easily the Sourdough Fruit Loaf, followed by the Rye Sourdough Loaf. The bread was pleasingly rustic, with an agreeable sweet taste.
Personal preference, do request for the fruit loaf to be toasted for that added crisp and aroma.
The other two breads tasted more to the ordinary side, but still better than the average bread out there. I reckon the proportion of salt to be better managed.
For the mains, selected dishes are slow-cooked, and recommended dishes include Norwegian blue mussel, larger, chorizo ($25), Cured Norwegian salmon, bread crust, dill, leek, pickled onion ($25), 4-Spice chicken liver pate ($12), and Heirloom tomato, pickled cucumber, feta, oregano ($17).
I had the Roast Half Spring Chicken ($23) which worked well in terms of having tender, juicy texture.
Unfortunately, the dish was heavy-handed in the salt-component. In contrast, the other table which I asked for feedback said their dishes were not salty enough?
This could be an issue with consistency, managing of seasoning proportions, which I think they could be iron out in time to come.
No such problem with the Pork Belly in garden vegetable broth ($22), a comforting bowl which reminded me of traveling days in Europe.
The type that you would stumble upon in a suburban town, served home-style.
Do get the Bread and Butter Pudding ($10), made with a handed-down recipe from Chef’s family.
What was extremely charming about Firebake was that it strived to keep things right, up to the finest detail.
They probably ‘fought’ very hard to get all these things working together.
Perhaps in terms of food, they could work on emphasizing their strengths, in which some of the dishes could have more caramelisation and smokier flavours.
Firebake – Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant
237 East Coast Road, Level 1 Singapore 428930
Tel: +65 9784 2950
+65 6440 1228
Opening hours: 6:00pm – 10:00pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
October 16, 2017