The fringes of Little India have started getting gentrified. What was once the hub for many mechanical mom-and-pop shops have given way to a number of notable hip cafes and bistros, amongst them, Morsels, a rustic restaurant styled like an English countryside cottage.
Helmed by twin darlings of the local culinary scene, Petrina Loh and Bryan Chia, Morsels manages an effortless fusion of the east and west with such seamless flair that dishes appear like it was
always meant to be married. The food is inventive, and fresh, with nary a whiff of
contrived pretentiousness. Best of all, flavours at Morsels are grounded and
Think fusion fare in tapas sharing portions, so budget 6 dishes, including dessert, per 2 persons. Morsels practices impeccable timing, with only one dish served at a time,
closely followed by the next only after you're done, so the petite doll-sized tables don't ever get
overcrowded with all of the dishes arriving at once. I love it. The languid pace of savouring the dishes is such a refreshing change-up from the clipped dining pattern regularly turned over by most local establishments.
As you'd expect of a restaurant on the fringes of Little India, carpark lots are limited and a parallel parking nightmare. A tip is to park at the open-air public carpark next to Sim Lim Tower, take the traffic junction across Jalan Besar, and onto Mayo Street on the other side.
The Zucchini Pancake ($12) layered with a wobbly mound of gorgonzola panna cotta, and a delicate weave of miso honey vinaigrette was a love-it-or-hate-it dish. Mostly because of the striking pungency of the gorgonzola custard. I like my blues, so this was quite the winner for me.
A must-try, the Grilled Wild Sri-Lankan Green Tiger Prawns ($26), imbued with a fragrant char, was contrasted against a zesty smoked strawberry gazpacho flecked with a fermented chayote salsa, and pulut hitam cracker. Incredible balance shown on this plate.
A signature here, the Steamed Venus Clams ($24) were small but plump with seafresh goodness, and dunked in a creamy fig broth, and spiked with homemade kimchi and pickled wakame. The crusty toasts on the side were great for mopping up every last drop of that sumptuous soup.
The Grilled Hungarian Mangalican Pork ($29) was luscious, and even without the Asian ginger sauce, cauliflower puree, kombu salt, would have been delicious on its own. This was sided by a ginger-sesame dressed baby kailan salad evocative of the local chicken rice.
Another must-try, was the Grilled Fish-of-the-Day, a Barramundi ($26) set above a mound of soba noodles slicked in a umami nori pesto and tare sauce, and topped with micro greens and ikura.
The fork-tender Ume Sake Braised Black Angus Short Rib ($30) was exquisite, the heft of the red meat complemented by the dry sweetness of the liquor. This was paired with okinawan sweet potato, poached baby bok choy and koji wasabi.
Yet another must-try, the 'Morsels' Signature Milo Tiramiso ($15) was glorious. Served kitschily in a mason jar, the concoction was rich but well-balanced.
35 Mayo Street
Tel: 6396 6302
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6pm to 10pm;
Closed Sundays to Mondays