morsels, little india

visually appealing and tasty fusion tapas-type eating at this hideaway of a restaurant in little india.

I’ve heard a lot about this place – how the chefs returned from culinary studies to set up this tiny new-age restaurant serving japanese-influenced fusionish – and let’s be straight, the food is pretty good, and the space both cozy and modern-scandi (which really just means it’s gorgeous).

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oxwell and co, chinatown

could-be-fantastic but falls-short-of-the-mark british cooking at this small restaurant in the club street stretch of eateries. I know there are people scoffing at the whole “british cooking” idea, but I think that’s a rather antiquated idea – it is possibly beyond doubt that it used to mean rather plain boiled meat alongside overboiled greens, but these days I would more readily associate it with a polished-up version of rustic comfort food.

which – I suspect – is where this place was heading for, but I’m not sure it succeeded.

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shin kushiya, harbourfront

pretty decent japanese part-of-a-chain at vivocity. this is my family’s favourite normal-time japanese restaurant, for having pretty consistent standards and a large menu – as well as its specialty of grilled skewers. I think this is of a higher pedigree than the sushi tei chain, but at the rate that sushi tei is innovating (always impressive to me given how many outlets they have) and the fact that standards here are a tad lower than they used to be, it’s likely that the unique point of this place are its grilled sticks-o’-stuff.

we come here too often, and order far too much to tell you about everything, but I have found the food to be mostly decent. I like that we start off with complimentary bowls of raw vegetables served alongside miso that tide you over until the food comes. service is quick, but we are greedy. here’s some of what we had on this visit: a cold plate of truffled angelhair pasta with fish roe and sea urchin – we didn’t expect this to be cold, but it was pretty good; a mandatory plate of tempuraed okra wrapped with tuna and seaweed; a large piece of grilled mackerel, and a selection of grilled skewers.

if it’s your first time here, I suggest getting the swordfish-and-leek skewer, as well as the salmon mentaiko. both are very nicely flavoured with the best sort of char, and my favourite is actually the very simple stick of okra. I always order the saba here, grilled with salt, because it comes in a large, juicy portion and has never failed me. and also because I like the taste of mackerel.

the menu’s large enough to satisfy a diverse range of tastes, which makes this ideal for family dinners where you know people are just bound to get fussy. it’s also casual enough so you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to – and almost certainly not-formal enough that my dad could assemble that little bit of art you see in the last photo.