We really like Overeasy, and so when we heard that The Butter Factory (TBF) group had opened a new concept bar & grill at the Esplanade, we were psyched to check it out. Unfortunately, our experience fell flat. So much for expectations.

It’s supposed to be “a modern take on the traditional all-american backyard cookout, with a garden party atmosphere” but eeiks, fake grass is not cool! I didn’t like the outdoor area. The indoor area was a bit nicer, I liked the cutsey mini sofas and the bar was nicely done up. Service staff looked very young - enthusiastic (place was two thirds empty) but clearly inexperienced.

Ok, on to the food. First of all, the bar menu was the most uninspiring I have seen in a long time. The most interesting item might well be the luncheon meat chips but that can only take them so far. It was quite a letdown compared to Overeasy’s bar menu where I would be spoilt for choice on what to order.

We decided to order from the main menu, comprising various snacks and grill items, and a trio of sauces accompanying each item. I ordered the Classic Dog ($12) – chicken sausage in between two hotdog buns garnished with onions and pickles. The accompanying sauces were BBQ, chilli cheese and balsamic beans. The sauces weren’t too memorable but I was starving and the sausage was pretty tasty.

HS had the Rib Eye ($30) and he muttered, at first cut, “These guys don’t know what medium rare is”. Oops. The steak came with a trio of pickle & herb, mushroom orzo and rosemary roast sauce. HS barely touched the sauces so I’m not too sure how they tasted. I don’t think he really enjoyed his meal though.

There are some interesting sounding sauces such as coffee bourbon, flamed peppercorn, truffle spread and jalapeno tartar which you can order separately at an additional cost (cant remember how much - $2 - 3?) but we didn’t see the need to try these. Sorry for the lack of food pics but the lighting was dim and the pics on my lousy iPhone 3 were terrible.

Alcohol wise, I first ordered a glass of the house white wine – Xanadu Dragon Range unwooden chardonnay ($8 during happy hour) – it was bleh. Don’t order it. The Marrenon Chardonnay “Les Grains” 08 we ordered was a tad better and at $57 a bottle I can’t complain.

Hmm I know it’s early days yet but I cant help feeling disappointed. Let’s hope they buck up because if not, there’s really no reason for me to make a return visit.