Keong Saik Snacks is impossible to find. Not because of its elusive exclusivity, but because it no longer exists. We traipsed up and down Keong Saik Road like a pair of treasure hunters. It must be here. It just must! A quick side move to the hotel next door to ask for help and we were redirected to our original standing place outside a glass door, and a title…The Study. Perplexed we entered, sharing our utter confusion with the lovely Christine, who assured us we were in the right place. Like a star witness, this place had been given a new identity…a new passport, name and planted exactly where it had last been seen. An excellent witness protection strategy.
The name change was motivated by patron confusion. Apparently perceived as a peanut and pretzel joint, the decision to rebrand was a good one, in my professional opinion (in the capacity of my day job – marketing). I too was a little confused by the name and well, to be honest, a little sceptical on the initial recommendation. It’s all down to trust in cases like these, but if I didn’t have the referral, I would have haphazardly stated “next” and booked elsewhere.
A relative newcomer to the stable of the very talented British chef Jason Atherton, The Study is a compact space, friendly and welcoming. A short, sharp, best-of British style menu, with some competing stand outs made selection a tough gig. We agreed to share our food and so kicked off with salt &pepper squid as well as tuna tartare with avocado & sesame.
Our mains saw us share a medium-rare beef steak as well as battered snapper with mushy peas. We both had duck fat chips as an accompaniment. And I’m glad, because I would be loathe to share those potato delights.
The steak, more rare-blue than medium-rare (not that either of us were complaining. Infact, it was preferred), was tender, succulent and beefy. I was never a convert of pepper sauce- until now. This one was lovely.
We washed it down with a glass of Chilean red. We were time pressured and the lure of The Library, a secret cocktail bar next door, was too good to pass up. After obtaining the password earlier, under the guise of needing to use the facilities, we walked next door through a Scooby-doo type secret bookcase to a delightful den of cocktails. Well worth a visit too.