This may have started out as an invited tasting (courtesy of the fabulous people of FoodNews PR), but I'm gonna take an aside and credit a foodie friend of mine, Izzy, for 2 of the best eats of 2015 (the other being Bochinche). She'd raved about the food at Sugarhall, a Jigger & Pony affiliate (and neighbour) and highly recommended the awesome roasted chicken.
As with all new-fangled restaurants in Singapore, Sugarhall had opened with great fanfare a little over a year ago, where the CBD-set swarmed and reservations weren't allowed. Now that the gleam has dulled somewhat, the crowds have dissipated, and reservations can now be taken for groups of 8 persons right at the last minute on a Saturday night.
It's a revelation that the restaurant is far from a full-house on a weekend night; Sugarhall's fare is fantastic, with every dish a slamdunk, and service is upbeat, knowledgeable, and gregarious. BUT, I have a supposition: the fact that the restaurant is 2 (or 4) or shades too dim may cause diners to think of Sugarhall as a watering hole that serves yummy nibbles, instead of a restaurant that serves superb cocktails. I would, audaciously, suggest that the restaurant brighten up (a lot) during dinnertime, and only turn down the lights (and up the music) sometime during last orders. That may lend some credibility to Sugarhall being a restaurant first, and cocktail bar second.
As per invited tasting S.O.P., we returned for a revisit the night before Halloween, which validated my initial thoughts about Sugarhall. The Hubs is now a big fan. Unless stated otherwise, the dishes herein-below are must-trys.
The fat and juicy Short Neck Clams, swimming in a broth sweetened by Tio Pepe sherry was mopped up with a nutty crusty bread. Delicious to the last drop.
At the revisit, the Hubs lapped up the Short Neck Clams ($18). He isn't a fan of clams, so the fact that he practically licked the bowl clean spoke volumes. Sparkling fresh and impossibly sweet, the concoction was spiked with birds eye chilli for a punchy heat.
The Broken Pork Sausage, made in-house, was wonderfully textured, complemented by the charred cabbage slicked with bonito butter.
At the revisit, the subtle spice of the Broken Pork Sausage ($14) was enhanced by the sweet smokiness of the grilled cabbage burnished with bonito butter. It would be awesome if the cabbage could be offered as a side dish. It could totally stand on its own.
The Tasting of Beef comprised 3 slabs of 120gm meats. From left to right: Angus Black Onyx (Australia) Sirloin 360 days grain fed with a marbling score 3+; John Stone (Ireland) 21-days dry aged Ribeye; and John Stone (Ireland) 21-days dry aged Tenderloin. Perfect for sharing in a group if there's no consensus.
At the revisit, the Hubs observed that the Tasting of Beef ($76) was extremely well-priced, which I agree. Incredibly juicy, and intense with flavour, every mouthful was heady with smoky singe. We ate these unadorned, without the accompanying chimichurri sauce which was laced with parsley.
Although we didn't have this at the tasting, we were urged to order the Whole Spring Chicken ($32) at the revisit. This was indeed the best roast chicken we've had in a long while, even if the presentation of the head and feet might seem pretty gross to some. Brined in rosemary, this was luscious and succulent. So delicious, in fact, the cucumber yoghurt dip was rendered redundant.
The Burnt Carrots, glazed with Saint Maure cheese, and orange ginger, and finished with a cranberry compote, was so sweet it could pass off as a dessert. Great for the vegetable-averse.
At the revisit, the Burnt Carrots ($12) was very well-received by the Hubs, who loved the fruity, tangy, smoky accents lent to the root vegetable.
The Grilled Cauliflower (menu price $12), laden with a bacon puree, burnt butter, capers, and hazelnuts, was perhaps the only dish I didn't take to. Surprising, as I love cauliflower. I thought the butter was a touch too creamy and overwhelmed the delicate nature of the cauliflower.
Sugarhall offers a decidedly limited range of desserts, but what little they do, they do it well. The Baba au Rhum (menu price $14), a fluffy spongy confection drenched in a Jamacian rum syrup, was lavished with raspberries and whipped cream, and sprinkled with yuzu zest.
Like Jigger & Pony, the cocktails at Sugarhall are not to be missed, like the Legardo Rosa, a potent blend of Bacardi carta blanca, passionfruit syrup, and lime juice, finished with an egg white froth, angostura bitters and mezcal spritz.
102 Amoy Street
Tel: 6222 9102
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 12midnight;
Closed on Sundays