GourmetEstorie.com http://www.gourmetestorie.com Savouring Life's Enthralling Moments Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:06:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://wwwgourmetestoriecom-w5wki2un2zv1kpnfu9.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-GE2016favicon-32x32.jpg GourmetEstorie.com http://www.gourmetestorie.com 32 32 14531136 Ô Comptoir blends East and West with its crêpes and galettes! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/o-comptoir-clarke-quay-review/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/o-comptoir-clarke-quay-review/#respond Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:47:09 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=29134 Singapore Food Blog and Review

Craving for quality fusion crêpes and cider? Check out our review on Ô Comptoir along Clarke Quay for that perfect date night out!

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

Most Singaporeans are probably familiar with crêpes, but not its close cousin the galette. Both are French pancakes, but the former is a sweet pancake made from wheat flour, while the latter is savoury and made from buckwheat flour. Ô Comptoir in Circular Road is one of those rare places in Singapore that serves good crêpes and galettes. And true to its stereo-typically French roots, the crêpe and cider bar takes quality very seriously.

Famished? You will have to wait for your galette. Every single crêpe and galette is made-to-order. The restaurant owners also insist only on organic flour from a mill in France’s north-western Brittany region, because no one else makes it to the same exacting standards they demand.

The restaurant has a line of galettes and crêpes that is inspired by Japanese sushi rolls. I am usually wary of fusion food because the gimmickry often overshadows quality. But Ô Comptoir largely pulls off this fusion attempt with fresh ingredients and piping hot pancakes.

Try out the Chef’s Recommendations

The crab avocado maki galette with cider sauce ($16++) is a chef’s recommendation, and rightly so. You taste juicy crab roe first, then creamy and sweet avocado, before savoury crabmeat registers on your palate. It is a great mish-mash of flavours and textures.

I am ambivalent about the smoked salmon maki galette with wasabi sauce ($18++) as there are too many things going on in this dish. The smoked salmon is strong-tasting, but so is the thyme and wasabi sauce. It does not help that the galette is coated with a layer of black sesame seeds, which adds more complexity to a very forceful dish.

The allure of duck confit and mashed potatoes

Yet, after sampling a variety, I liked the Duck confit maki galette with mashed potatoes ($16++) the best. The richness of the mashed potatoes and the fragrant duck complimented the slightly grainy texture of the buckwheat flour roll.

The salted caramel maki crêpe ($8++) is the right amount of sweet and is delightfully chewy with its homemade caramel sauce. But while it is good, I cannot help but wish for a more substantial accompaniment such as ice cream, fruits, or nuts. The dish feels like it is incomplete without one of these or a richer sauce.

Ô Comptoir’s “usual” galettes are good as well. I had the cheekily named Ménage À 3 ($14++), which comprises Emmental cheese, ham, and a sunny side-up. For three more dollars, you get mushrooms and tomatoes added to the mix. The Ménage À 3 was pleasant enough, but I should have gone for the upgraded version. The mushrooms and tomatoes would have added pep to the slightly salty Emmental cheese and ham.

I strongly recommend the Khao San Road ($22++). This is a perfect example of how good a fusion dish can be, done correctly. The pancake is a perfect wrap for the prawns, mango cubes, tomatoes, bean sprouts, sunny side-up, mint and peanut bits. Every bite taken brings me back to Thailand, reminding me of the good street food.

Thirsty? Make sure you try the ciders and the wines. The ciders start from $6 for a 125ml serving. I tried the dry pear ($7++) and the rosé apple ($7++) and found them both great accompaniments to the savoury galettes. Don’t be surprised if the wait staff asks if you would like to have your cider (directly imported from France under controlled temperature conditions) served in a bowl, as is the practice in Brittany.

The restaurant’s mainstay is its pancakes and alcohol, but they also do serve salads, cheeses, and other sides and mains expected of a decent bistro.

Charming for that date night out!

Ô Comptoir has a charming ambience. There is a cheeky neon quote from Oscar Wilde on one of the walls, quirky light fixtures, and cosy lighting. The young-at-heart should request for the sole swing seat in the house. That spot also happens to be one of the best places in the restaurant to people-watch. When I visited on a Wednesday night, the place was quiet, with the restaurant and bar never more than a quarter filled. But with such an ambience, Ô Comptoir is a good place to have a romantic dinner or an intimate catch-up with friends before a walk along the adjacent Singapore River.

Thank you Ô Comptoir for the invitation

Ô Comptoir – SG
79 Circular Road
Singapore 049433

Reservations: 6534 7645
Facebook

Opens Daily
Mon an Tue 11am to Midnight
Wed and Thu 11am to 1am
Fri and Sat 11am to 2am
Sun 10am to 10pm

Considering More?

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Monti – Singapore’s Longest Brunch Buffet with a Stunning View! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/monti-singapore-brunch-buffet-review/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/monti-singapore-brunch-buffet-review/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 14:19:55 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28868 Singapore Food Blog and Review

Get excited for one of Singapore's best Sunday brunch buffets with a stunning view - Monti, located at the Fullerton Pavilion. Gastronomic delights await!

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

Monti Magnifique

There are brunches, and there are brunches. They’re calling it Singapore’s longest brunch, and at Monti’s, the food starts from noon and the party goes till midnight.

Monti takes over the Fullerton pavilion from the celebrated Catalunya, where it glimmers like an inset jewel on the waterfront. Inside, the ground to ceiling glass facade gives it a soaring, spacious aesthetic that presents the marina Bayfront in its full glory. The trade-off with so much glass though, is the occasional heatwave from Singapore’s characteristic sunny days. But it seems like a worthwhile trade, for the views are stunning — sunlight glistens across the water and flits flatteringly across your dining table; it is an instagrammer’s dream. Inside, the aesthetic is elegant and uplifting, with bright hues of blues and yellows adorning the room.

Singapore’s longest brunch is served a la carte, which means you get to choose what you want, and exactly when you want it. This makes for food that’s always prepared fresh and brought to the table piping hot or nicely chilled, instead of sitting around looking hopeful on an open counter top.

The Seafood Platter

The first thing you notice when you sit down is the massive seafood platter that greets you. It’s a visually-dramatic starter and fitting centrepiece that arrives with a bit of theatrics and smoking dried ice, but nothing too over the top that it distracts from the royal display of king crab, oysters, shellfish, sashimi and prawns. It comes highly recommended that you take a moment here to misdirect your dining companions with gorgeous bayfront views, or by flinging empty clam shells at them, and by doing so buy yourself some more time alone with the fresh, succulent-sweet crab.

One of the many joys at Monti is the tableside chef service. Brunch is peppered with personal touches–our grilled octopus salad is assembled in front of our eyes, with the chef regaling us with origin stories of Sicilian lemons. The salad is bright and zesty, with octopus in abundance; we’re quickly working up at appetite by this point.

Pasta Galore and oh, that Truffle Risotto

The brunch menu is suitably lengthy, and the range of options you could consider are near limitless–you could probably rack up a hundred pasta combinations alone. With an infinite number of possibilities but a finite appetite, it’s important that we introduce some highlights to maximize your dining experience. The first of your selections must be the truffle risotto (i.e. Cacio Pepe e Tartufo). The warm risotto is finished tableside in a giant wheel of parmesan, where the cheese melts gently into the mix with each fold. A generous portion of truffle is shaved delicately over the risotto and served steaming with umami. It almost makes you wonder why all risottos aren’t similarly made in chunks of cheese.

Foie Gras, Iberico Pork Jowl and More!

Other favourites include the Foie Gras — rich, creamy and balanced perfectly with a tart wine jelly that’s made in-house. One item that you shouldn’t overlook is the French Toast from the egg selection. Don’t be fooled by its simple name and humble associations (relative to say, the king crab). It’s perfectly done, and incredibly addictive. I could wake up to this every morning.

The other must-tries include the Charcoal Grilled Iberico Pork Jowl – crunchy on the outside from an excellent char and juicy on the inside. You can tell the quality of meats partly by how the fat tastes — meats of poor origin often have a distinct chewiness and a strong, off-putting odour; on the other hand, the best fats have a luscious quality and a slight sweetness. It is here that the iberico park jowl shines. You may want to get a couple more of these for the table, they’re going to go quickly. The lamb chop and ribeye were tasty enough, but could have been grilled on a higher heat for better char. I’d happily dig into more pork jowl instead.

Along the way, don’t forget to try out the drink-making stations with your friends, where you get the chance to be your own bartender. Hit up a couple of mojitos and bloody marys, all in the name of a bit of good fun (and refreshing boozy beverages, of course). Here’s a hot tip we picked up from the friendly staff: clap your mint leaves, and don’t muddle them — a light pressure releases its fragrance, while abrasive force extracts the bitter compounds.

Stuffed as you may be, there’s always room for dessert. The dessert table at Monti is not one you want to miss. Don’t be fooled by their petite, unassuming stature; each little morsel packs a powerful punch of flavour. Look out for the Peanut Cream Tartlets and the Torta Caprese (chocolate tortes) and their deep, rich chocolate interiors. Try also the Stuffoli with Honey & Nutella, little fried cheese balls which you top with honey and Nutella — it’s like a moreish, chewy, cheesy churro.

Monti has all sorts of good things going for it at its Sunday brunch. And it certain earns its longest brunch title with the DJ sets and live jazz that take over towards the late afternoon and into the night. What I’m actually more curious about are the postmodern jukebox-styled sets that I hear Monti hosts on Thursday nights. Now, if only they served brunch in the evening…

Thank you Monti for the invitation.

Monti at 1-Pavilion
82 Collyer Quay

Singapore 049213

Reservations: 6535 0724
Website

Every Sunday
12pm-3pm (brunch buffet service)
3pm-7pm (live DJs)
9pm onwards (Jazz At Monti)

Price:
$90++ (buffet only)
$120++ (buffet and non-alcoholic drinks)
$140++ (buffet and free flow wine)
$160++ (buffet and free flow champagne)

Considering More?

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Savour These Delicious TCC “Onigiri” Rice Dumplings this Dumpling Festival! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/savour-these-delicious-tcc-onigiri-rice-dumplings-this-dumpling-festival/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/savour-these-delicious-tcc-onigiri-rice-dumplings-this-dumpling-festival/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 11:12:39 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28841 Singapore Food Blog and Review

For the second year running, The Connoisseur Concerto (TCC) marks Dragon Boat Festival (30 May 2017) with a creative take on traditional Chinese rice dumplings. TCC blends at least three cultures in its 2017 rendition of rice dumplings, available only in May 2017 at all TCC boutique cafes. In traditional Chinese fashion, the sticky rice dumplings are …

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

For the second year running, The Connoisseur Concerto (TCC) marks Dragon Boat Festival (30 May 2017) with a creative take on traditional Chinese rice dumplings. TCC blends at least three cultures in its 2017 rendition of rice dumplings, available only in May 2017 at all TCC boutique cafes. In traditional Chinese fashion, the sticky rice dumplings are wrapped in large, flat leaves. But in a Japanese-inspired twist, the dumplings take on triangular shapes and feature “hotate” (‘scallop’ in Japanese) in one of its three options. And to top off its eclectic cross-cultural offering, TCC has introduced an all-new Singaporean laksa prawn flavour, on top of familiar local favourites spicy chic(ken) and sambal hotate.

Laksa prawn onigiri ($7.90)

The Laksa prawn onigiri was probably my favourite flavour of the trio because of its faithful laksa taste. I appreciated that the dumpling was filled with most of laksa’s goodness—think numerous juicy prawns, diced tau pok (bean curd puff), and fishcake slices. Though some diners might find issue with the subtle laksa flavour, I think TCC made the right call in ensuring that the laksa’s rich coconut tones are not overwhelming.

Sambal hotate onigiri ($7.90)

I liked the Sambal Hotate onigiri, even though it was disconcerting initially because I wasn’t used to having scallops with rice! But my initial misgivings quickly gave way to pleasure as I savoured the al dente chewiness of the scallops and the mild, but recognisable, taste of the sambal chilli.

Spicy chic onigiri ($5.90)

The spicy chic onigiri most closely resembled a traditional Chinese rice dumpling in both appearance and taste, except for the spice. This had the strongest flavour profile out of the three flavours. This dumpling would probably appeal to the more conservative diner who prefers dumplings closer to what they are used to.

Whether you take out these “onigiri” dumplings or enjoy them in-store, try having a hot cup of tea to accompany these piping-hot dumplings. These onigiri dumplings would also make a great tea time snack. It is a pity that TCC will only sell these inspired rice dumplings this month, because these “onigiri” dumplings are strong contenders for the menu if TCC ever looks to expand its food offerings. Best grab them before they disappear for another year!

Thank you TCC for the onigiri!


TCC

Various boutiques; visit

https://www.theconnoisseurconcerto.com/boutiques/locate-us.html

Onigiri Flavours (available only in May 2017)

https://www.theconnoisseurconcerto.com/latest-happenings/233-tcc-onigiri.html

  • Spicy Chic—$6.50
  • Laksa Prawn—$7.90
  • Sambal Hotate—$7.90

Trinity Set

Any THREE dumplings at $15

Special Promotion

Purchase a main and get up to three dumplings at $3.90 each

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The $88++ A4 Kumamoto Wagyu Wednesdays Buffet at Triple Three, Mandarin Orchard! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/wagyu-wednesdays-buffet-review-triple-three-mandarin-orchard/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/wagyu-wednesdays-buffet-review-triple-three-mandarin-orchard/#respond Thu, 18 May 2017 13:12:10 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28819 Singapore Food Blog and Review

After my first well-received trip to Triple Three, I had been excited to return again. I finally got the chance to do so this month, and while I found that much had remained the same, one thing had changed. There were now daily themed buffets, including Triple Three’s thematic take on top-grade, A4 Kumamoto Wagyu beef …

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

After my first well-received trip to Triple Three, I had been excited to return again. I finally got the chance to do so this month, and while I found that much had remained the same, one thing had changed.

There were now daily themed buffets, including Triple Three’s thematic take on top-grade, A4 Kumamoto Wagyu beef on what it calls Wagyu Wednesdays.

How good is the beef, and is Wagyu Wednesday worth the visit?

Is the Wagyu beef good?

The beef is faultless. This isn’t unexpected, since the Japan Meat Grading Association has graded this Wagyu a four on a five-point scale (five denotes ‘extremely good’, and one refers to an inferior cut of meat). You can expect this premium meat to be buttery, tender, and generously marbled.

But you will have to be strategic about the beef dishes that you go for, since the restaurant serves the Wagyu in seven different ways, and they aren’t crafted equally.

  • The star of the show was undoubtedly the grilled Kumamoto Wagyu beef. Make this your first stop at the buffet’s yakinuku station. These three to four beef slices were heavenly—sliced to a perfect thickness, they were smoky, buttery, and melt-in your mouth. I went back half a dozen times for this remarkable dish.
  • The Kumamoto beef is also done in the following ways, which were decent, but not spectacular:
    • Steamed with herbs, onions and enoki mushrooms
    • Roasted to a medium-rare doneness, with a special house blend of herbs
    • Done nigri-style—slices of beef are served over vinegared rice
    • Done tataki-style—thin beef slices are marinated, lightly seared, and then served with homemade yuzu-ponzu dipping sauce.
    • Stewed
    • Served with rice. The soft-boiled egg served alongside went nicely with the beef in this gyudon, and I would have gone for more than one serving, if not for how I wanted to leave space for the grilled Wagyu.

Is this buffet worth the visit?

This buffet is not the cheapest in town (see prices below), nor is it the most extensive. But you will get what you pay for. The grilled Wagyu alone is worth the cost of dinner. On top of that, there is a strong seafood selection. Enjoy freshly-shucked Pacific oysters, red prawns, Alaskan King Crab legs, mussels, clams, as well as Boston lobsters when they are seasonally available (note: Triple Three has a lobster buffet on Fridays and Saturdays; see below). I also found Triple Three’s pastry selection to be particularly strong.

Consider too, that Triple Three’s location in the middle of Orchard Road means excellent public transport connectivity. Several other good dinner buffets are in hotels that are not easy to get to without a car.

If you are keen to visit Triple Three, but don’t fancy beef that much, the restaurant also has the following themed days:

  • International Mondays: Great for an after-work tipple and meal, with free-flow Kirin draught beer.
  • Foie Gras Tuesdays: Exactly what the name suggests—the buffet features foie gras in a variety of styles.
  • Okinawa Thursdays: Sample champuru (stir-fried) dishes, soki soba, wild tuna, ashi tebishi (Okinawa-style stewed pig trotters), and fresh fruits from Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. Orion Beer also goes for only $28++ for a bucket of five.
  • Lobster Weekend (Friday & Saturday): The lobster mentaiyaki (lobster baked with roe) is the buffet line’s mainstay during these two days.

Triple Three is probably one of the few buffets (if not the only one) currently to serve great Wagyu beef at a very reasonable price. Wagyu Wednesdays might only run for a limited duration, so make sure you go down soon to savour cuts of this premium beef.

Thank you, Triple Three, for the invitation.
Image Credits: Mandarin Orchard


Triple Three
Mandarin Orchard
Level 5
333 Orchard Road
Singapore 238867
Reservations: 6831 6288/6271
Website: www.meritushotels.com/diningorchard 

Kumamoto Wagyu Wednesdays

Every Wednesday starting 3rd May 2017, until further notice.

Opening Hours

Dinner: 6.30pm to 10pm daily

Pricing

Sunday to Wednesday:

$88++ per adult; $33++ per child (6-12 yrs)

Thursday to Saturday, Eve of Public Holiday and Public Holiday:

$108++ per adult; $48++ per child (6-12 yrs)

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Brunch out from the boring, at The Disgruntled Brasserie! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/brunch-out-from-the-boring-at-the-disgruntled-brasserie/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/brunch-out-from-the-boring-at-the-disgruntled-brasserie/#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:23:56 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28795 Singapore Food Blog and Review

The thing about brunches is that you want them lazy, and you want them long. You get both of these at The Disgruntled Brasserie, with a five-course brunch set ($48++ per pax) and optional free flow of boozy drinks (additional $38++ per pax) that delivers some incredible bang for your buck. The plates are pretty …

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

The thing about brunches is that you want them lazy, and you want them long. You get both of these at The Disgruntled Brasserie, with a five-course brunch set ($48++ per pax) and optional free flow of boozy drinks (additional $38++ per pax) that delivers some incredible bang for your buck. The plates are pretty and the portions generous, making it a great way to lounge around with your friends over the weekend, especially around the fabulous Ann Siang Road area which always seems like a uniquely different part of modern Singapore.

Salt-Baked Beetroot & Smoked Burrata

Three small plate starters are offered to each diner – kicking off the morning is the Salt-Baked Beetroot & Smoked Burrata ($16), a compelling combination of earthiness and smoke, dressed in deep maroon, bright greens and marshmallow whites, like a little Christmas party on your plate. Next is the Gruyere Cheese Soufflé ($16; featured image), an immensely satisfying, savoury starter that made me wish it was a main. It has a heady, fondue flavour with lingering scents of white wine, and the soufflé wobbles just so delicately as you cut into it. It’s easily my favourite dish of the day.

Boston Lobster Bisque

The third small plate to arrive was the Boston Lobster Bisque ($24), a single ravioli accompanied by a deep, intense bisque that you pour over at your own pace. A fun bit of self-theatrics, except when you’re trying to pour bisque deftly with one hand while attempting to film it with your other hand like a drunken skier with a GoPro. That said, it’s a very tasty bowl that imparts the rich crustacean flavour that you would want from a bisque. The portion is a little small, but given that you’re at this point only half way in, you’re quite glad it’s just the size it is.

Carbonara Taglierini

My main was a Carbonara Taglierini ($24), which was carbonara done right – not swimming around in cream; just egg yolk, parmesan, and lots (and I mean lots, three types in fact) of bacon. It’s a heavy dish, so you’d have to be pretty hungry coming in, but between the fresh pasta, runny crusted egg and chunky bits of bacon, you could be excused for inadvertently developing a second stomach.

Pan-Roasted Barramundi

My dining companion had the Pan-Roasted Barramundi ($24), and the first thing you notice is the absolutely humongous piece of asparagus (perfectly grilled and tasty, by the way), but the second thing you do is the great burst of colour and variety of textures on the plate. Then you start on the fish, and you find that it’s firm, flaky and moist – all the things you’d want from a nice piece of barramundi.

Baileys Crème Caramel

Three desserts are offered, from which you get to choose one. On this fine day, I had the joyful pleasure of trying all three (one of the benefits of dining in a group, and also why you should always go for brunch with people who share). The Baileys Crème Caramel ($18) is a curious dish, and possibly the most interesting of the three. Liquid at the bottom, crispy at the top, and cool in the centre, this is the one to get if your palette needs a little tantalizing at the end of your meal.

Apple Tarte Tatin

The Apple Tarte Tatin ($16) is exactly what it says it is. It is also, unfortunately, kind of boring. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant dessert, and you notice its quality in the vanilla beans speckled throughout the ice cream, but I’d opt for something a little more exciting to round off the meal – it does help overcome the inertia stopping you from getting up after a satisfying brunch.

Homemade Shiso Leaf Ice Cream in Lemon Curd

The Homemade Shiso Leaf Ice Cream in Lemon Curd ($16) is a wonderfully refreshing alternative, colourful and bright on the palette. To be honest, I had to do a bit of Googling to find out what exactly a shiso leaf was (such ignorance, I know), and lo and behold, found out that it’s that ubiquitous leaf they use to plate sashimi. Now all along I’d thought it for display and inedible, but as it turns out, it’s pretty darn tasty. So give this one a shot if you’d rather taste some shiso without having to look like an overhungry person at a sashimi restaurant.

If you’re one of the mathematically inclined and have been adding up the prices so far, you’d notice that the brunch set presents some incredible value. If there’s someone that was disgruntled at this brasserie, I can attest that it sure wasn’t this diner. With its classy, relaxed space set alongside Ann Siang, and tasty bites to lounge away a lazy afternoon with, if the Disgruntled Brasserie’s new weekend brunch isn’t already on your radar, it’s high time it should be.

The 5 course weekend brunch menu is priced at a $48++ per person, with the option of paying an additional $38++ per person to enjoy free-flow prosecco, wines, beers and juices. A la carte prices are also featured.

Thank you The Disgruntled Brasserie for the invitation


The Disgruntled Brasserie
28 Ann Siang Road
Singapore 069708
Reservations: 6808 2184
Website: http://disgruntledchef.com 

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Taste a new spin on Indian cuisine at Flying Monkey Restaurant and Bar! http://www.gourmetestorie.com/taste-a-new-spin-on-indian-cuisine-at-flying-monkey-restaurant-and-bar/ http://www.gourmetestorie.com/taste-a-new-spin-on-indian-cuisine-at-flying-monkey-restaurant-and-bar/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:09:08 +0000 http://www.gourmetestorie.com/?p=28775 Singapore Food Blog and Review

Sunlight was waning as I wandered along Bussorah street, having some trouble finding this week’s restaurant visit. As the day turned to evening, Kampong Glam was waking up; people begain filling up the Turkish, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern restaurants. I myself was looking for the Flying Monkey, a recently opened restaurant and bar serving …

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Singapore Food Blog and Review

Sunlight was waning as I wandered along Bussorah street, having some trouble finding this week’s restaurant visit. As the day turned to evening, Kampong Glam was waking up; people begain filling up the Turkish, Lebanese, and other Middle Eastern restaurants. I myself was looking for the Flying Monkey, a recently opened restaurant and bar serving pan-Indian cuisine and spice-inspired cocktails. I finally discovered it under an awning, as there was no evident signage on the façade of the building. Only when coming closer did I see its neon name blazing on the back wall of the restaurant.

Varun, my plus one, arrived soon after. With an extensive history of eating Indian food and imbibing alcoholic beverages, he was there to provide a informed second opinion of the food and drink that we were about to taste.

The eponymous Flying Monkey

We were then introduced to the face of the bar, Kannan “The Beard” Pillai. A bartender with a unique sense of sartorial style and a creative concocter of novel cocktails, Kannan began preparing a selection of four cocktails for us. He started with the eponymous Flying Monkey ($18), a mixture of monkey shoulder, ginger liquor, and bitters of orange and mango syrup, smoked with cherry wood and garnished with a stick of cinnamon and a slice of blood orange. A warming and spicy whisky.

Mind It! A cool, refreshing beverage.

The Flying Monkey was followed by Mind It! ($18). At the bottom of the chilled metal bucket heaped with ice was a sweet and refreshing Monkey 47 gin that had been infused with jasmine for 2 weeks. With maple syrup, mint, and lemon added, the result was a cooling beverage that reminded me of elderflowers.

Served in a small clay pot was the Yo Yo Mani ($18), a gritty mixture of two rums: Plantation 3 Stars White & Overproof Rum, and Koko Kanu Coconut Rum. With extra coconut water and cream, as well as some 5-spice Kerala Rice Syrup added for measure, this gritty concoction tasted of the seaside.

Kannan “The Beard” Pillai torching the Monkey on Fire.

The Beard showing his skill at pulling the flaming drink.

The Monkey on Fire, still on fire!

For the Monkey on Fire ($20), Kannan added grand marnier, maraschino, honey, coconut water, and spices to monkey shoulder whiskey, then torched the drink, setting it on fire. He then proceeded to ‘pull’ the flaming drink ala teh tarik. The azure liquid poured from cup to cup, and finally settled down with the signature cinnamon stick garnish. With some alcohol burnt off, the Monkey on Fire wasn’t as strong as the Flying Monkey, but was additionally warm and smouldering from the heat.

With plenty of alcohol in our bellies, it was time to fill the remaining space with some good Indian food. Nothing is a more classic staple of Indian restaurant cuisine than Tandoori Chicken ($10). After their marination of the chicken overnight with their house spice blend, the chicken turned out very succulent and fragrant. Such succulence, Varun told me, could only have been achieved with yogurt in the marinade.

You would normally expect to find a dish like Calamari 65 ($10) at a British fish ‘n’ chips establishment, but given the informal appropriation of chicken tikka masala as Britain’s national dish, an Indian adaptation of fried calamari could be a welcome and tasty addition to the cuisine. The batter uses flour that is traditionally used to make poppadum, and acquires a curry kick from the curry powder in the batter. Crisp curry leaves as a garnish finish the dish.

Truffle Naan ($14)

We caught a strong whiff of the next dish before we even put it in our mouths: Truffle Naan ($14). The naan is slathered with truffle cream and served with pear chutney and paneer mousse on the side. Varun was not a big fan of the truffle, but I personally thought it was an adventurous offering that I was unaccustomed to finding in Indian restaurants. The side dips were also savoury enough to be eaten on their own. We felt that the naan could have been nicer if it was oilier like most naans, but we find out later from the boss that truffle cream was used intentionally instead of truffle oil to reduce the pungency of the truffle flavouring.

The Tulsi Cod ($15) was immaculately plated and served on a black stone tray, with clearly charred edges from its time in the tandoor. However, the crispy exterior gave way to super soft flesh that had retained its juices. Every bite left a taste of lingering spice.

We were provided fair warning that the Nargisi Kofta ($24) might prove too pungent for some, especially ladies. Nevertheless, Varun and I were game to try it. According to the lore shared with us, this dish was created for a young Indian prince who had to have the mutton minced 13 times to create the smoothest texture possible. The kofta certainly proved to be very fine, like a pate, and the taste of mutton was intense. It can be a bit too strong for those used to lighter flavours, but mutton lovers should give this a go.

Quail Musallam ($26) featured a whole quail and chicken egg placed on top of a bed of flavoured basmati rice and smothered with curry gravy. While most of us are used to eating briyani-style rice with chicken or mutton, the quail proved to be a delicious, if more diminutive substitute.

Our second dish of naan came with the Nalli Gosht ($26), a lamb shank braised overnight, the bone sticking up in the middle of a bowl of garang masala gravy. “This is more like it!” Varun said as he tucked into the garlic naan, which he found sufficiently oily. It seemed to have just left the tandoor, as it was still warm, fluffy, and crispy. It was also good for dipping into the gravy. I also enjoyed the naan with the lamb meat: fall-off-the-bone softness that disintegrated in the mouth upon touch.

Dessert came in the form of Jalebi ($10), a crispy, ultra-sweet, deep-fried snack that is commonly sold on the streets of India. Varun remembered eating a lot of these in his childhood, and finding good jalebi in Singapore, he told me, was elusive. Already, Flying Monkey’s version was promising, as they were made fresh instead of being left in the open like many street stalls, where they quickly become stale. The jalebi on our table shone with oil and edible silver foil. Its sweetness was initially overwhelming, but I grew to enjoy it like a sweet biscuity pretzel, that went well with the accompanying cream. However, both Varun and I felt that it could have been slightly less oily, a sentiment we mentioned to the owner, who was ready to hear our feedback.

The Flying Monkey is a very new establishment, and the second floor is still under development; Kannan shared with us that they were considering making the second floor more lounge-like, maybe even installing a PS4! That would certainly be a very novel concept for an already avant garde restaurant and bar like the Flying Monkey. I look forward to further developments in an already fantastic purveyor of next-generation Indian cuisine.

Thank you Flying Monkey for the invitation


Flying Monkey
67 Bussorah Street
Singapore 199480
Reservation: 6291 0695
Opening Hours: 12-2.30pm; 5.30pm-11pm

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