Cheek by Jowl
Visited my favorite Telok Ayer haunt and found another new favorite that is Cheek by Jowl. Serendipity I say, as it stands in the previous spot of Sorrel (a restaurant that I loved but has since closed its doors). It's not by coincidence that it's also backed by Loh Lik Peng of Unlisted Collection (Loh has good taste). Just 10 months into opening, Chef Rishi Naleendra is already making waves with his mod-Australian creations imbued with multi-cultural influences and the use of natural, sustainable ingredients.
For the $88 Chef Tasting Dinner menu, I had the opportunity to sample the balance in Chef's menu. The menu consists 4 snacks, 4 savories and a dessert. Of course, we had to taste a little more so that you know what to pick!
Baby Potato, Smoked Eel, Chive Dressing. Love the earthy punch from the cep mushrooms.
It's a mix of flavors and textures in the Chicken Liver Parfait Cigar and Date Jam. The light bitterness from the smooth liver was balanced with the sweet date jam that has a light tart element.
Quail Egg Wrapped in Kataifi Pastry with Togarashi Seasoning was made more for crunch than for taste IMO.
We thought the Coffin Bay Oyster, Smoked Tomato Granita was a great appetizer and palate cleanser as well. The smoked tomato granita was packed with intense umami with none of the expected dilution that I associate with granita. Very refreshing.
Smoked Mackerel ($22) with horseradish, pickled cucumber, green pea juice. I'm not a fan of mackerel but I'd gladly finish this one. The of pea juice with dill and horseradish helped to mask any potential foul taste, allowing us to appreciate better the silky and delicate meat.
Raw Beef Salad ($22) with Dry Aged Wagyu, Kohlrabi, Cured Egg Yolk, Kimchi. The dry aged wagyu was mixed with kimchi and salted egg, peanuts, with kohlrabi, like a deconstructed Vietnamese spring roll with coriander. I enjoyed the minty burst with each crunch.
Roasted Scallops (off the menu) with corn puree with miso, pickled and raw turnips, fermented prawn Sauce. This dish gave us a lot to talk about as we wondered how the pungent fermented prawn paste will be paired with the delicate scallop. Chef Rishi fermented his own prawn paste and when you mix it with the corn purée, it even produces a foie gras-like taste. That's chemistry happening right on your plate. A great new addition to the ever changing menu.
Lamb Shoulder ($38) Salt Baked Celery Root, Black Olive, Cavolo Nero. For those who can't live without a proper meat dish, there's the lamb shoulder for you. The meat was lightly spiced and very tender but overall I felt that the dish was a tad oily. The black olive sauce also added an interesting aesthetic element to the salt baked celery root.
The Coconut ($15) takes reference from our local Laksa dish and features laksa leaf-infused ice cream, coconut semifreddo, fresh pomelo, and tangy green chili sauce. This immensely popular dessert is created in collaboration with the all-Singaporean culinary team that operates the kitchen at Cheek by Jowl.
I preferred the Honeydew Melon ($15) with a mascarpone parfait, pickled melon rind, and mild melon sorbet. Some spices are added to this one and that provided a Mediterranean flavor to it the dessert.
Cheek by Jowl, a great replacement of my previous favorite. Be sure to expect more creative and well-balanced dishes from Chef Rishi, paired with a curated wine list that features predominantly organic and biodynamic wines from small-batch producers and boutique wineries.
21 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069620
Tel: +65 6221 1911
Mon - Fri: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6 - 10.30pm
Sat: 6 - 10.30pm
Sat: 6 - 10.30pm