This new Esplanade waterfront eatery is all about – you guessed it – its sauces. The 18 varieties, in savoury, spicy or sweet flavours, are made for the burgers or sausages to take a dip. We tried six, and each had its strong suit: chilli cheese had a smooth blend of jalapeño, red pepper and cheddar cheese (no beef); chopped jalapeño and English parsley gave the tartar sauce a nice kick; and pineapple juice cuts through Dijon mustard in the barbecue dip.
Our favourites – both regrettably removed from the menu after our visit – were the truffle spread and, surprisingly, a coffee bourbon; nevertheless, all the sauces seem to complement everything nicely, from the chicken sausage Classic Dog ($12) to the sides. Extra sauces can be added for $1.20, but with three choices included with each main, there’s plenty to try already.
Upon recommendation from our waiter, we tried the Sauce Melt ($26). This solid, satisfying burger with a thick patty comes stuffed with cheese, and the sauce of your choice is smothered on top. We went the barbecue route, and as we anticipated may be the case, the additional two sauces that accompanied the plate provided a flavour overload. It was a super-saucy affair, which quickly devolved into a soggy, sticky (though we must say, tasty) mess. We recommend going for the ‘Sauce Triplets’ ($15) – three mini-burgers that come with sauces served on the side, allowing you to daintily dip as you wish.
Opened by the folks behind Butter Factory, Sauce is appropriately hip. Stylish white furniture and plush couches for lounging are set up on a spacious deck covered with grassy carpeting, which make great seating to listen in on the Waterfront Stage’s show du jour – that is, if the restaurant doesn’t have its own house-y lounge music playing over the speakers at the exact volume, something we encountered, causing an unpleasant mingling of music.
It’s little kinks like this that reveal teething troubles Sauce has not been able to shake off. A defining feature of our experience was the waiter’s confusion regarding menu policy (are three sauces and sides included? Can you substitute for other options?). Several menu changes we learnt about after our visit certainly won’t help matters.
In the end – though we still can’t conclusively say this is standard, or just provided for us because we asked – we ended up with all of our dishes paired with the three sauces of our choosing; every main also comes with your choice of one side dish. We went with some mashed potatoes ($5) and the Bubble & Squeak (basically mashed potatoes with bits of bacon, $7), both of which complemented the mains nicely. Ultimately, Sauce provides a tasty, interactive night out. Try it with friends – and load up on the sauce. Berwin Song
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