Epicurious has been on my to-eat list forever. I'd heard rave reviews about their Dr Suess inspired "green eggs and ham", but we were put off having brunch by their weekend full-house. Then, Wild Honey opened, and the proliferation of brunch spots meant that Epicurious kept getting shunted to the bottom of the list. And eventually, off the list.
Until the plucky little eatery popped up as an option under those food delivery services. We had a bunch of their dishes bagged in for a cosy little dinner, and it was so good I just had to return to the bistro itself just so I could blog about it.
The Singapore river adjacent open-aired eatery is charming and homey; like dining at a friend's house. The dinner menu, recently launched, has a strong Peranakan slant; an effortless fusion of traditional classics and modern flavours. This makes Epicurious' dinners a unique standout from the standard bistro fare, and I love it.
This post is an amalgamation of 2 meals I had at Epicurious, one for brunch over the weekend and the other on a weekday dinner. Both were fantastic, mostly highlights, with a few that could probably do better.
A must-try for brunch, the Golden Poached Egg ($19.60) was perfectly executed - a beautiful breadcrumbed coat yielding a soft-cooked runny egg within, paired with a flavoursome bacon & mushroom saute, fried herb potatoes, and finished off with a flourish of truffle oil.
After all that hype, the Green Eggs & Ham ($15.60) was just a smidgen underwhelming, in terms of appearance: it was a lot less green that I'd expected. You really really had to look for the green in this. That being said, the basil pesto-ed scramble was perfect - moist and nuanced with a faint hint of refreshing basil. Parma ham and a light sprinkle of Parmesan lent a salty pungency.
For something with a distinctive local flavour, the Sunday Egg Curry with Roti Prata ($15.60) was a hit-and-miss. The vegetable curry, loaded with a couple of hard-boiled eggs, was delicate and delicious, but the prata was too thick. It was lacking that distinctive crispiness we're so accustomed to. A buttery brioche or crusty baguette would have been a much better complement.
From the dinner menu, the highly recommended Babi Assam Bruschetta ($10) was indeed worth the while. Pulled pork was slow-cooked with tamarind and chilli, layered atop crusty bread and flecked with fresh cherry tomato halves and finished off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. This was balanced and addictively delicious. A must-order.
Another favourite of mine, the Bibik Bouillabaise ($26), a modern interpretation of the provincial French seafood stew, was choc-a-bloc with Kuhlbarra barramundi, prawns, green-shell mussels, and tomatoes, swimming in a coconutty rempah titek spiked fish broth seasoned by fennel and lemongrass. This was rich in depth and sweetness but kept light and fresh with lemongrass. Absolutely glorious, and so good we didn't want to share. The red cargo rice was a nice touch, if you are partial to carbs but didn't want the accompanying guilt.
Another hit was the Banana Leaf Barramundi ($26), a twist on the Peranakan classic ikan assam pedas. Here, a thick slab of fish was slathered with a thick piquant paste that was at once sweet, spicy, salty and sour, swaddled in a banana leaf for fragrance, and grilled to imbue a smoky redolence. This was served with chargrilled lady's fingers and blistered tomatoes.
The "Bacon" & Egg ($26) was an Asian interpretation of breakfast eggs, a towering layer of 5-spice marinated twice-cooked pork belly, caramelised onions & red pepper, toast, and a golden poached egg. Scrumptious but several more lashings of that delectable hoisin-like gravy would have elevated this dish to a must-try.
#01-02 The Quayside
60 Robertson Quay
Tel: 6734 7720
Open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 9.30pm for dinner;
Saturdays & Sundays from 9am to 9.30pm
Closed on Mondays