communal, clarke quay

decently good modern-americana at this slip of a restaurant in the central business district. this place has slight hipster aspirations – but so schmexy-cool with its dark speakeasy atmosphere that it’s easily forgiven; plus the food was pretty good.

smallish-but-not-terribly-so portions, decent flavors, and a good atmosphere – it’s contemporary portlandish american eating, enjoyable in its own way.


it’s a one-page menu, which benefits small kitchens such as this one – the chefs don’t lose focus of their food, and most of it comes out at a decent standard. and while it’s not quite the classic steakhouse, you can get classics like burgers and ‘wiches – both of which I eschewed for the more interesting plates.

I started the meal with a chocolate souffle (which really isn’t surprising if you know me), but let’s go at this in a less crazy more typical fashion. the cornbread came in cute little crescent wedges, lightly sweetened, warm, and served alongside honey butter. a very good rendition, though I can’t help but wonder why they don’t stick with more rustic cubes – which would mean less waste (and more for me to eat). those tiny nibblets of charred corn were delicious.

the salad of butter lettuce hid pieces of kiwi and macadamias tossed in a vinegary vinaigrette – I really liked this actually. it’s a little overpriced for a couple leaves of green, but it was a decent portion, and the parmesan and vinaigrette made for a great combination.

as did the barramundi with its frothy mussel jus, which came well-seared with a distinct brown crust, and firm white fish – still moist, though I think it could have done with just a little less cooking for enhnanced flakiness.

the dessert menu is pretty paltry here – and no, ice-cream is not a proper dessert. only five items, most of which could be euphemistically termed classic american – I rather consign them to boring; a place like this has the potential for so much more.

nonetheless – we got the chocolate soufflĂ©, which is a must-order on any menu, and the lemon tart. both were competent, though nothing quite worth returning for (or even the bother of detailed description: the chocolate was sufficiently dark, the lemon tart suitably tart, both rather small). I suggest you stop after the main course, grab the bill, and head to chinatown for a spot of chinese sweets: bigger bang for your buck, and more expert dessert preparation.

and so – good meal in all, and the place certainly lends itself to cozy chatting. there’s a pleasant hum of noise that lubricates conversation, service is both attentive and polite – and the dark interior of the place invites lingering past dinner (though pity about the boring desserts).

Communal: Diner. Bar. New American Restaurant
12 North Canal Road
Singapore, Singapore 048825
tel +65 6221 7790
$$$: each = one app + one main + one side + two desserts = just-short-of-seventy

4 thoughts on “communal, clarke quay

  1. I really like single page, precise menus. As a designer and as a diner. Long menus have the tendency to overwhelm. If the food is good, I like to view the menu as a to do list and when the menu is long, that’s more than overwhelming!

    I prefer small desserts as I’m not so much a dessert person. But the price should reflect the size!

    • the size didn’t reflect the price, though. I like small desserts because I can go through more of them, but at these newfangled modern prices it’s a little dear on the wallet.

      I completely get the whole menu-as-a-checklist bit! these hips don’t lie!

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