I randomly read about this place somewhere and had a quick look online. Judging from the website, Hutch Bistro looked inviting, with nice menu choices and nice decor. The restaurant is located in New Farm but not in close proximity to any other restaurants or cafes. There's Hutch Bistro... and around it, a whole bunch of apartment buildings.
We went there for a casual dinner one weekday evening and I had already decided what I wanted to order before we even got there (the joy of internet menus). It was a bit early for dinner but Hutch had a decent amount of customers scattered throughout their outdoor and indoor dining space. Most of these people looked like regulars and that's always a good sign.
Charlie and I ordered Turkish bread to share for starters. For mains, I chose the chicken and coconut salad and Charlie went for the white wine and pork sausage. The waiters were really friendly and efficient and they did a good job keeping us satisfied (enough water, clean tablecloth etc) without being overbearing.
The Turkish bread came quite quickly and it was much more than we expected. They did specify that it's a sharing dish but we're so used to small portions of bread that we were 'this close' to ordering 2 portions. Luckily we didn't... the Turkish bread stack is tall and there are olives and a plate of hummus to accompany. We both really enjoyed the Turkish bread. It was crispy and fragrant on the outside and soft and warm on the inside, drizzled with olive oil. Simple but so satisfying. I would have been happy with a plate of that and some soup on the side - perfect meal for any day of the week. As it was, the hummus was fantastic as well. Great texture and flavor. Thumbs up!
Our mains arrived not long after (I think the waiting times at Hutch were just right - enough for you to digest in between meals but not so much that you run out of conversation). The pork sausages looked stunning on a bed of mashed potato. It was scattered with crispy onion rings - yes, crispy onion rings do taste as awesome as they sound. The mash was creamy and smooth but I couldn't help but after watching the mashed potato course on MasterChef (where they put close to a 1:1 ratio of butter:potato), I couldn't hep but think about how much butter goes in to achieve that. As for the pork sausages themselves, I really liked them but Charlie thought the flavor was a bit too strong. It IS as strong flavor and that's slightly unexpected considering that pork is normally quite a mild meat.
My chicken and coconut salad was fantastic. The ingredients were wonderfully fresh, which made the salad stand out from most others that I've tried. As I've mentioned before, salad tends to only ever be 'acceptable' to me. It's my way of getting in the vegetables and vitamins. I rarely get excited about the taste. The same can be said for Charlie, who like most other males, has a 'blah' attitude about any dish featuring vegetables. However, he was even more crazy about this salad than me. The chicken seems poached as it doesn't have any excess oil but having said that, it's still tender and juicy. There isn't a prominent sauce or dressing in this salad but it gets its flavor from the salad components themselves: cucumber, rocket, toasted coconut and chili. I couldn't identify any source of fat or oil - what a guilt-free meal.
Overall, I had a great impression of Hutch Bistro. It's somewhere I'd be happy to visit again, and I'd love to try dessert next time too. Great service, comfortable environment and simple but fresh and tasty food. This is the sort of restaurant you wish was near your house.