Bombay Brasserie, South Beach Avenue, Singapore

I’ve been waiting for London’s Bombay Brasserie to open in Singapore. It was under construction for a long long time, which was highly unusual for Singapore restaurants. As December dawned, the hope is almost gone until two weeks ago.

The location is extremely convenient, right in the center of South Beach, where you’ll find the likes of upscale restaurants Black Cow and Peter Zwiener’s Crafted trying to get by. The area is upbeat during Friday evenings and a tad empty during mornings, punctuated by Wild Honey‘s departure from South Beach. I would call South Beach semi-jinxed, where you get tenants flipping like roti pratas. That area sadly needs some revamp (aka Feng Shui).

I thought Bombay Brasserie would entice a very niche market — Indian expats, particularly those hailing from London, but it attracts other ethnicities lured by the ritz of a Parisienne brasserie. Nope, not Chinese families visiting Suntec and Raffles City with screaming kids tagging along. Fridays at seven in the evening, crickets are chirping, so you don’t need to book a table at all. Bombay Brasserie would have thrived better on its opening if it were situated in Tanjong Pagar. Late December is already considered January, a muted opening when everyone’s scrimping after a holiday vacation and saving for the upcoming Chinese New Year festivity.

It is a shame. They went above and beyond with their interiors. One of the best designed brasseries I’ve seen in a while.

But I guess, everything is surface level these days.

The food is average best. We didn’t really explore underrated dishes and settled for Chicken Tikka Croquettes ($25) to share and Butter Chicken ($40) for entree, but you’d have gotten something out of it by the end of the meal. But those croquettes were massive for appetizers, and you probably can eat better Butter Chicken in hawker centers for a fraction of the price.

Only the house papadum, tamarind and coriander chutney made the brasserie experience slightly better. It comes with baguettes (not freshly baked) complete with Echire butter — borrowed from something French.

Customer service was a plastered smile, an insincerity boiling under the surface. For a new restaurant, there is no enthusiasm to spread the Bombay Brasserie religion. Perhaps it was because I was taking videos and photos of everything. It’s sad how we food bloggers are perceived these days. They’d have to trust their service and food are going to carry great reviews. If not, then it will definitely show, like Bombay Brasserie. The way the host would ask my companion for how the meal was, but ignored me when asking, as if I was not sitting there. The way they poured tap water in my still water, and I still had to pay $9 for it. The way they wanted to clear the dishes but I was still eating my butter chicken. The way there’s leftover naan, and they also wanted to take it away. It was downright unpleasant, as if they don’t wish for your presence and want you to leave ASAP. I’m not sure how the Google Maps reviews thought they had excellent customer service. But you only have a handful of tables to serve. Noting if someone ordered and drank still water wouldn’t be a heavy lift. Minus 1.

That said, maybe they’ll change once management reads this review. I would still recommend Bombay Brasserie for business meetups, a 2-3 hour lunch or dinner affair and it would still be okay. After all, isn’t it also a French brasserie? It’s hard to find a quiet restaurant these days. 2 dishes is great a partager for groups of 2-3. Groups of 4-5 can still stretch their budget, but solo diners would probably need to be more understanding. Come here when you’re less hungry and you won’t hurt your wallets.

Address: 26 Beach Rd, B1 – 23/24/25 South Beach Avenue, Singapore 189768
Bombay Brasserie Singapore Menu