You know how sometimes, there are ads that grab your attention with just one picture and a few choice words? Well, that was how I got lured to The Bird Southern Table and Bar, by an online ad. It had a picture of fried chicken beside syrup-drizzled waffles, a rooster logo and the words ‘The Bird Has Landed’. Hmm…apparently it doesn’t take much to trigger my need for meat.
While my mind does become easy prey for marketing hype at times, my taste buds are not so easily bribed. So at least I can count on them for objectively finding out if an establishment was worth the visit and money. Now, let’s talk meat.
The signature dish here is their southern style fried chicken but since this blog’s main focus is about finding the best beef in Singapore, let’s start with the Smoked Brisket Sandwich ($25). What we got was a lovable portion of thinly sliced brisket, Swiss cheese, smoky tomato jam, mayo, pickles and arugula sandwiched between ciabatta rolls.
I have never been a fan of how pale ciabatta bread looks, but I can’t deny the balance of crunch and fluffiness it delivered while serving as this sandwich’s vehicle. The brisket was good stuff. They were meltingly tender and cooperatively tore apart with every bite. (I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this because there have been countless times when a whole piece of meat just slides out after I take one bite from a sandwich, leaving behind a section of where it’s just vegetables and sauce.) The other elements of the smoked brisket sandwich worked harmoniously in creating an enjoyable experience. There was a tangy kick from the tomato jam and I liked how the cheese was evenly melted. I may not have fallen in love with it, but I do see myself ordering it again the next time I’m here. 7.5/10.
Next is their Blue Plate Special ($18), which consists of two pieces of fried chicken, chilled spiced watermelon and house-made buttermilk biscuit. The chicken was fried to perfection, with the skin being crisp and flavourful while the flesh underneath was succulent and cooked through. There was some dipping sauce but it hardly made the dish stand out from other, readily available fried chicken options. As for the biscuit, it was pretty much half-baked and that made it very dense and doughy. I was told that some people like it this way, but unfortunately, not me. I expected a ‘wow’ factor that would bring me back for more but there wasn’t. It was nothing more than…nice. Pity. 6.7/10.
Now we’ve come to The Bird Chicken Wings ($20) and I’ll try to be descriptive with this dish. It was sour.
For some reason, the hot sauces that accompany southern fried chicken have a high degree of tanginess. I’m ok with a little sour but this was overpowering. All we could taste was the sauce. The chicken was well cooked, with its formerly crispy skin now soaked in sauce that almost made my eyes water at first bite. The ranch sauce did help cut through the tang a little but in my opinion, it hardly made a difference. I’ll put in some points for the well-prepared wings, but it’s tough to score on taste when there’s only one aggressive flavour. Roli shared that the fried okra was a nice touch though. 6/10.
We got Deviled Eggs ($14) for our starter, and it’s only because I’ve always wanted to know what these tasted like. I’ve seen them on television and heard about them during talks on guilty pleasures. So when I saw images of these calorie-riddled babies, I just couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
They reminded me of egg salad, just a little on the drier side. Dining companions Roli and Christian shared that they weren’t too much out of the ordinary and I believe them. It’s just that novelty experience which thankfully, was well delivered here. While I did enjoy them, will have to say that when one weighs the balance between price and experience, one wouldn’t repeat this order. All in all, I give it comfortable points for taste but not value. 7/10.
Roli decided to try their Grits ($12), which I understand to be made from coarsely ground corn kernels. The texture and taste was definitely new to me and I can’t say it’s something I’d try again. It doesn’t remind me of corn and it was rather bland. The sharp cheddar cheese coating didn’t really do much in adding flavour, much to my surprise.
The carbohydrates definitely brings some satiety to the more protein-rich meals though. 6/10.
The more memorable things about The Bird Southern Table and Bar are their service – enthusiastic with a smile – and ambience. Roli liked how it gave a very classic, western feel while staying modern. It’s a very nice place for lounging around, enjoying good whiskey and having a side of fried chicken, southern style.
This place is apparently a long-time favourite in parts of the US, and their recipe for Lewellyn’s Fine Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, Shrimp ‘N’ Grits and Chicken & Waffles is 100 years old. So they might have a bit of a following here in Singapore.
Do note that lunch and dinner menu can vary quite a bit. For instance, you can’t find sandwiches in the dinner menu and a couple of chicken dishes are priced lower in the lunch menu.
Should You Try It?
If you’re a fan of southern fried chicken and know what to expect in terms of flavours, then I think it’s worth a visit. If you’re looking for an elevated version of otherwise easily available fried chicken, then I wouldn’t place it as a priority.
The Bird Southern Table and Bar
2 Bayfront Avenue
B1-07, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Mon – Fri: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (Lunch)
Mon – Sun: 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm (Dinner)
Mon – Sun: 11:00 pm to 2:00 am (Drinks & Light Snacks)
Sat – Sun: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Weekend Brunch)
Tel: +65 6688 9959
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