Pidgin Kitchen & Bar

Despite being told of Pidgin Kitchen & Bar by a couple of friends who raved about its fusion food, I was initially reticent about coming here.  I can't put my finger on the reason for the resistance, but maybe it was because its name didn't quite roll off the tongue, or maybe because there was something about the name that evoked a wannabe, blow-hard pretentiousness that was off-putting.

Oh boy was I glad to have been "dragged" here by a friend, and snap judgment proven wrong. Pidgin's fusion fare effortlessly blended the modernism of western dishes with the traditionalism of our Asian culture. In that, the familiarity of Asian flavours grounded Pidgin's contemporary food with heart.

The chilled but grown-up ambience was much like its food, where sophisticated clubby house music wafted through the casual relaxed buzz of the double-storied restaurant cum bar.

Service was spontaneous and fun, with a server, Jane, in particular, who was so adorably effervescent and earnest. I liked that she went the extra mile to recommend some of her personal favourites (which totally panned out!) and even explained the origins of the dessert! If dining on weekends, be sure to make reservations, as the restaurant is usually packed.

The Crab Otak Croquettes ($12), spiked with curried spices and moist, was fantastic on its own, but I felt that the chye poh remoulade should have been served sparingly, and plated on the side, rather than pooled copiously. It detracted from the excellent croquettes.

The Corn Perkedel Fritters ($8), studded with Japanese sweetcorn kernels and chorizo iberico, with a chilli jam dip, were crunchy and juicy all at once, addictively good.

The Chilled Spanner Crab Chasoba ($28), laced with XO sauce, and topped with freshly shredded spanner crab, furikake and chives, was surprisingly delicate and clear, even if I could hardly make out any semblence of XO sauce or furikake. If I had a gripe, I'd have liked this a tad colder.

A must-try, the Mushroom Stuffed Dumplings ($20), heady with an airy fairy aromatic truffle emulsion, broccolini and fried enoki strips, was scrumptious.

The Hokkaido Scallops ($26) may be a little pricey, at $13 a pop for each fat scallop, but I loved the marriage of green curry foam and kaffir-limed granola.

The Eggs Meurette ($15) comprised perfectly poached kampong chicken eggs doused in a luscious kecap manis-ed, red-wined gravy dotted with bacon lardons and white button mushrooms. The petite buttered toasts were an excellent touch for mopping up every last bit of the delicious gravy.The Hubs would have licked the plate clean if it weren't so lacking in decorum.

The Duck Confit ($32), impossibly fresh, and incredibly moist and fork-tender, was balanced with a rich hoisin-centric gravy, lychee gastrique, duck fat blistered baby potatoes and crisp mesclun.

The Sweet Celedon ($15) was a superb pandan lava cake, juxtaposed against the bitter accents of hojicha ice-cream, and balanced with gula melaka soil, fresh strawberries and mint, and valrhona white chocolate clay

Pidgin Kitchen & Bar
7 Dempsey Road #01-04
Tel: 6475 0080
Open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Fridays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 12midnight for dinner;
Saturdays from 11am to 12midnight;
Sundays from 11am to 5pm;
Closed on Mondays
Website: www.pidgin.sg

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