Where to eat and what's new in Singapore: Catfish's Sunday seafood brunch, The Butcher's Wife, Mr Biryani, and more
Where we dined this week...
Sundays are easily the laziest days of the week. And while most of us would be fending off scaries of the impending Monday, Catfish has a better idea of making the best out of the final day of the week - with their Sunday Seafood Shack Brunch menu. It's a spread that's worth ditching your cornfed plans for an Eggs Ben platter, by roping in the freshest catches and enveloping them with Asian punctuations. To start, a fried hasselback potato topped with small chunks of chutoro and finished with some wasabi. Almost like an iteration of sushi but the crisp potato lays as a formidable match against a soft bed of Japanese rice. From there, move on to the spicy fish taco, where Catfish makes sure that the hit of spice is pronounced in the pimento mayo. Within a soft wheat tortilla, it glides on a panko crumb sea bass then met with sweet and sour pickled red cabbage to counter the heat while cutting through the fried batter. You're kinda reaping the in-between of the perfect fish & chips and at the same time, the makings of a well-endowed taco. Don't miss the Catfish Lobster Roll, with each moreish bite filled with fresh Boston lobster tossed in lemon and dill, cabbage slaw, and of course a pillowy brioche to bring it all home. For something heavier and to definitely share, Catfish's idea of a surf and turf results in a beef wellington and poached lobster with a wine jus to finish. And somehow, having a pastry crust lining the meat adds that bit of comfort to a Sunday feast. For some greens to go on the side, the roasted cauliflower would be the obvious choice. But we did feel that Japanese ginger-wholegrain mustard dressing was on the excess side. And after an indulgent meal like the above, it's best to finish it off with a pickled romaine lettuce salad. Or if you like us, crave a sweet ending, the Eton mess combines a slightly tart raspberry mix with vanilla meringue. This is how Sunday brunch should be done, we conclude. -JS
5 Gemmill Ln, #01-01, Tel: 6226 1395
Opening hours: (Sun-Fri) 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10.30pm (Sat) 6pm-10.30pm
The Butcher's Wife
Renewed and refreshed, The Butcher's Wife is an all-natural wine bar and gluten-free restaurant helmed by chef Mariana Campos. Introducing a new all-day menu inspired by Brazilian flavours, chef Mariana drew inspiration from the common fare of her homeland such as the pão de queijo, a traditional cheese bread snack. However, her rendition uses fermented tapioca pulp that adds a delightful tanginess with a blend of buttery cheeses and boy is it addictive. Especially when topped with tomato and chili sambal salsa sauce. Tapping on her personal comfort food, chef Mariana gave us a lovely taste of moqueca, a seafood stew featuring prawns, scallops and fish soaking in a spicy coconut milk broth. The initial taste jolted our tastebuds as it falls dead centre between Thai tom yum soup and fishhead curry. In terms of mouthfeel and taste, it is lighter than a curry and less sour compared to tom yum. That's not all, the chef uses her heritage to elevate Asian ingredients that most Singaporeans are used to such as fresh prawns that are coated in desicated coconut and puffed sago before being deep fried to golden perfection. The sago and coconut prawns are paired excellently with a housemade sweet açai mayonnaise that helps to balance out the hearty dish. Fermentation is one of the key elements of all the dishes and the payoff can be tasted from the marinated chicken thigh dosa — the South Indian crepe is made with fermented lentils and rice while the filling comprises of chicken thigh tossed in a fermented cashew cream and topped with pickled chayote, a type of gourd that tastes fresher than a cucumber. Not only is fermentation great for gut health, the slight tartness gives the dish a unique twist that you won't experience with regular dosa. Finishing off the meal, we had the tapioca and coconut fudge served with an in-house coffee ice cream — it blew our minds as the flavour profile was reminiscent of nonya kuehs but the texture was the opposite, crispy instead of chewy. Consider our preconceived notions about gluten-free food obliterated with an experience here. —BC
19 Yong Siak St, Tel: 6221 9307
Opening hours: (Tues-Sun) 11:30am-9:30pm
Where we're looking to dine...
Shack Shack Gardens by the Bay
The seventh outlet of the cult-favourite burger joint will be opening their doors at the end of the month at one of Singapore's most popular attractions, Gardens by the Bay. The space will undoubtedly look spectacular to match the vibes of the lush greenery surrounding them but something more exciting is happening — a new limited-time only menu will debut alongside the grand opening next week. Dining in may not be allowed but you sure can order some grub for delivery.
Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive #03-02/03
Featuring one of Singapore's best biryani, the newest Mr Biryani branch along Chander Road is open for business. Dig into their famous Hyderabad dhum biryani that is served with yougurt and spice marinated chicken, mutton, or jackfruit with a side of raita and curry. Looking for some sides to go along with your meal? Order an assortment of naan or the Bhindi Jaipur, deep fried okra, to round up your meal.
11 Chander Road, Tel: 8661 4273
Opening hours: 11am-4pm, 5:30pm-10pm