decent european-american-westernish food in the hipster part of chinatown. I say western in the colloquial way it’s used in singapore to refer to any sort of food belonging to those regions – fusion just doesn’t nearly have the same ring – the menu is rather typical of a modern bistro. I was drawn to this restaurant by their rather lovely graphic logo – and the way the place was done up, all retroesque (obviously) and bistro-like.
it’s pretty decent food, and I’ll give it a lukewarm recommendation if you’re in the area – but given the other offerings there, and the fact that chinatown is a veritable treasure box of food findings, I don’t think I’ll return anytime soon.
it’s a long, narrow space, with very graphic-designer-type illustrations on the wall, which I liked; some of these are offered on (very exorbitantly expensive) t-shirts that they’re also selling. the tables are placed together very close – and it’s almost a little claustrophohic – you could very much participate (not that we aren’t already doing it in a voyeuristic-we-all-know-we’re-listening-to-each-other-speak sort of way) in the next table’s conversations if you were so inclined.
we started off with a scotch egg, very english. it looked rather fascinating – fried up to a mottled coating with crevices streaking across the surface, and lots of minuscule little dots pockmarking the top – it reminded me rather of an alien egg. the sort you see in movies and which crack open to – actually, I’m sure you can imagine. the taste itself was rather as lukewarm as it was served – I fancy the sausage coating on the outside had far too much breadcrumb/binder as it tasted a little doughy and stodgy, which was a pity. the pickles on the side rather helped lift the slightly-underseasoned flavours of the dish, but I also had lots of help from the the ketchup bottle.
the mains faired better – I had a niçoise salad which was topped with a seared slab of raw tuna. there was great char on the fish, but it was served really rather cold, and the greens doused in a fair bit of olive oil (which was taste-y, at least). I think my greatest annoyance was that the salad was of such a paltry portion – it was certainly priced as a main – and the scant handful of beans were barely acceptable.
my sister truly enjoyed her burger though. it came very, very red – so be aware of this if you do order it – but also very juicy, so much that it started spilling over the wooden board when cut. it’s a standard soft sesame-topped bun and melty american cheese concoction with a large side of well-cooked fries – but this was a generous portion and she couldn’t finish.
I think I sound a bit grumpy – but it really wasn’t a very inspiring meal. I don’t often have the chance to bring my sister out for a meal (modern schedules are terribly conflicting) and so I was hoping that this would be something special, but it was standardly-average fare at inflated-hipster-prices (though likely only about competitive with the other options in the area), and I think the best thing to get might be the burger – though the next table did have a rather intriguing mac-n’-cheese that looked worth trying too.
the next time I’m in the area, I’ll probably head to soori, keong saik snacks or that taratata – have you guys been? – or maybe back to always-reliable ember. incidentally, we were here on a sunday evening and the entire street was very much empty, and many places closed – keep in mind!
21 Keong Saik Road
tel +65 6223 1334