Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Maggie Joan's Mediterranean Small Plates

By Wednesday, November 04, 2015 , , , , , ,

I love back alley finds and Maggie Joan's join the ranks of awesome small plates restaurants in Singapore. The new restaurant by Daniel and Glen Ballis, the people behind Moosehead, focuses on the vibrant Mediterranean cuisine from their backstreet 'tavern'. No seriously, Maggie Joan's main entrance is from the back alley of Amoy Street
The windowless interior features an underground industrial d├ęcor with unique picks from junkyards. A contrasting homey semi private area for cozy gatherings. 
Staying true to their Mediterranean roots, Maggie Joan's features familiar flavors in refined modern interpretations. Fresh seasonal produce is used and that only means vibrant flavors and a changing menu (more reasons to come back)!
A good restaurant has to serve good and warm loaves and Maggie Joan's started our dinner right with their home made garlic and rosemary bread with hummus ($5). The bread was slightly dense, perfumed with the aromatic herbs and goes perfectly with the slightly acidic hummus with hints of cumin. At this point I had to push the plate away to prevent myself from ruining dinner. 
Oh eggs! In a new style which I foresee will be very popular in the coming months. Slow poached egg, rolled in dukkah (a sesame, coriander, cumin, hazelnut and panko mix), and then deep fried for that slightly crunchy texture. The egg could with do a little more cook as the whites were a tad too transparent for me. An eggy saffron aioli gave the dish an extra creaminess. Get your own portion!
I love my vegetables and this roasted Jerusalem artichoke and manchego ($8) had me going for many more servings after my first bite. French Jerusalem artichokes are crunchier and these achieved light caramelization in the INKA charcoal oven. And then there's the milky Manchego cream that the roots sit on, contrasted by the crunchy mixed seeds with more salty goodness of the grated manchego. Delicious! 
Next, a Hamachi sashimi with carrots and brandade ($23). The Yellow tail was brushed with orange and lemon glaze for that slightly sweet but refreshing citrus tang. The highlight was the brandade mousse, made of fresh fish instead of bacalao for the salty and creamy whipped texture.
Heirloom tomatoes with plum and burrata ($21) is a standard feature of a Greek meal. Simple, fresh produce, and oh so good. The juicy fruit were perfectly complemented with pickled plum, creamy and milky Italian burrata and a light salty tapenade. 
Scallop Carpaccio ($21) featured fresh sweet scallops marinated in sherry and lemon dressing, adorned with a mint pea puree and crispy Iberico ham. Loved the contrasting textures in this one. I'm not a pea fan and well, the puree was an interesting contrast to the sweet scallops. 
The mains were both awesome in my opinion! The Roasted Sea Bass ($28) was delightful with a wonderfully crusty skin and dense briny meat. The sweet pickled tomatoes were bursts of flavors- the yellow ones were soaked in honey and vanilla, while the red cherry tomatoes were marinated in balsamic and garlic, thyme, and olive oil! I loved the wholesome vegetable pesto broth that came with the fish. #cleaneatingmuch 
Porcine lovers would dig the Grilled Iberico secreto, prunes, & cauliflower ($36). The Spanish pork was first brined then sous vide, and finished in the INKA for the flavorful meat that disintegrates upon the touch of the fork. Cauliflower puree over potato anytime btw. This is a winner. 
I was surprised at how much i loved the Orange burnt cake ($11) with yogurt and pistachio. L-O-V-E that dense texture (olive oil is used instead of butter) and tartness (even more so with the added touch of orange syrup). You could balance it with the Greek yogurt (oh perfection). But I liked it without.

Fig lovers are in for some red wine poached figs with house made ricotta ($10). Come another time and you may get a different fruit that is compressed and soaked in red wine, honey, thyme and brown sugar. Pile on the fig with more fig jam, ricotta, almonds, hazelnut, with orange and balsamic dressing. Mouth-watering!
If you need something really sweet, then the White chocolate ($10) with spiced crumble and passion fruit is it for you. Well there were tangy bursts of mango gel and passion fruit, but the surprise was the hint of Tellicherry pepper hidden somewhere among the soil crumble.

Love Maggie Joan's. It's a tussle between Humpback and MJ for the best small plates spot this year. Go check them out!

110 Amoy Street, #01-01
(Access from Gemmil Lane, back street of Amoy Street)
Tel: +65 6221 5564
Weekdays: 12 - 2.30pm, 6 - 11pm
Sat: 6 - 11pm

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