In New York City, there is an delicatessen known as Katz Delicatessen. They are more often known for their Pastrami on rye - or if you are a Meg Ryan or Billy Crystal fan, their cameo in the film When Harry Met Sally. In my teenaged mind, I assumed Meg was having an unexplainable amount of happiness over her sandwich. (I was later horrified when I watched it again and actually paid attention to dialogue.)
Perhaps she was - I've never tried their Pastrami.
Sacha & Sons, hailing their authentic New York flavors has opened in Singapore, in central Orchard. Of course, before I decided to try their food (and further write this review) I read some reviews from other sites and was immediately taken by their signature carved meats, boiled-then-baked bagels with lox, and their suburban American charm.
This American charm was not lost on me when I arrived after making my appointment online, and was seated at my bench while awaiting my brunch mates:
You will notice, I hope, that the menu focuses heavily on Pastrami or corned beef. Occasionally your eyes will come across the words lox, cream cheese, latkes and eventually even see chopped liver.
They are all as intriguing as you think. Since it was brunch, we were quick to pick up on these items as well and orders were made after several negotiations with each other across the table. We thankfully didn't have the same issue with drinks or I envision a bleak future for any future brunch dates we may have.
I had a lovely black cherry soda and my company decided on the standard lattes - no complaints were made about the coffees. Since two out of three of us used to be what I hoped to be experienced baristas and all three of us had coffee running in our system instead of blood I assume the coffee was up to standard and not hastily produced. Also those black striped straws are cute as f**k.
The first of the treats was the Scrambled eggs with Sturgeon, Smoked Salmon and Caramelized onions at $18. This came with a herbed cream cheese on the side and a sesame bagel:
I had a sample of this as my company chowed down, and the scrambled eggs were lovely - silky with balanced flavors between the smoked salmon and sturgeon. The sturgeon meat by contrast is sweet and fresh, offsetting the saltiness of cured salmon. Fish being almost always risky on eggs was my initial impression, but this slight worry was placated by how delicious the scrambled eggs were.
I assume they went down a treat when paired with the fresh bagel and a smear of cream cheese.
My second companion had a simple and classic Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese for $10 - a pricey treat.
Again on the traditionally made sesame bagel was this generous dollop of cream cheese folded with smoked salmon and herb - the creamy texture of cream cheese with an additional sharpness of smoked salmon and a fresh hint from the chives (or spring onions, or scallions if that's more familiar to you). Since my companion has a weakness for this, she devoured the whole thing with little issues.
We also had a serving of Chicken Soup with Plain Matzo, or Matzah balls for $12. Personally, I have only ever heard of these Matzo balls and mostly as a Jewish staple, or even comfort food.
The Matzo balls are basically made of Matzo meal (a sort of flatbread), eggs, water and a fat of choice, then cooked in the soup. I will have to concede that while the chicken soup, sweetened with a doubtless amount of carrots, is lovely; comforting and ideal to whet the appetite - I did not really understand the Matzo balls that were presented with it. They had a bread like texture, attributed by the meal perhaps, and tasted somewhere between softened bread and a very light chicken meatball.
It is an acquired taste, but the soup was enjoyed, delicious and clear on the palate.
There was also a side of Chopped Liver (chicken), served with a side of (you guessed it) sesame bagel, topped with crunchy Gherkins, and also Sauerkraut with sliced eggs. As a side, they go for $10 per 100g, and they also have other sides as well, such as Moroccan Grated Carrots or a classic Potato Salad, but I've heard too much about the chopped liver to miss it. Also, I may or may not enjoy offal dishes too much and this dish hits the spot.
This was used as an excellent pâté, (we had lots of bagel left), and tasted like well-cooked, creamy livers without any over exertion to disguise or hide the taste of actual liver.
Truth be told, I am currently still nibbling on some on a leftover, reheated bagel as I type this - so no, don't overlook the chopped liver if you are into offal dishes. It also tastes really great with a couple drops of Tabasco sauce if you need an extra punch.
The one and perhaps the only Grilled Reuben.
Folds of hand-carved Pastrami, a slab of Swiss cheese with tangy Russian dressing and soft Sauerkraut clasped in crispy rye, served with a mouthful of coleslaw and a couple of gherkins. You get your sandwich in a couple of options - the most important two options being the size (mine was a Regular for $18), a Large for $24, and an Extra Large (or You-Straight-Up-Insane) for $35. The second option would be the bread of choice - either rye, brioche or a bagel.
The Pastrami came recommended by the cashier, and I was glad for the recommendation. The Pastrami just tastes of the effort that was put into it - I took particular enjoyment in the peppery crust lining the very edges of these slices of heaven. Quality meat that has gone through the process of curing, with a lovely spice rub, cooked and then finally steamed when ordered, slightly succulent while leaving a peppery-salt aftertaste. The rye is toasted just so, with a melting cheese crisped around the edges for your pleasure, with the tang of dressing and fermented cabbage in the form of the classic Sauerkraut.
My world seemed to drop away. I occasionally regrouped from an Eden of Pastrami to take further bites and attempt to maintain some conversation with my two companions. If you are into sandwiches, and can appreciate the beauty of a steak or ham sandwich - this sandwich is for you. My 120g of Pastrami was filling and went down a treat in between some bites of gherkins, with sips of soup.
The world made sense for a moment. I felt a happiness that only beef could give me. If this is me being dramatic about food I don't even care - this was a sandwich I think our American counterparts would be proud of to see in Singapore.
I can tell you, in all honesty - Sacha & Sons is not cheap as far as brunch goes. However, I'm not adverse to visiting them again (perhaps corned beef will be my next calling) for some quality time with a beautiful sandwich over conversations with friends and family. It is well-known that Sacha & Sons is a sister company to the better recognized Wild Honey (I've been there once and didn't care for the experience) - but Sacha & Sons may well outdo her counterpart.
You can be rest assured that this delicatessen will serve you proper grub here, and they will ensure you are filled adequately, as per their motto.
Sacha & Sons can be located at:
333A Orchard Road
Sun-Thurs: 10AM - 10PM
Fri-Sat: 10AM - 11PM
+65 6735 6961