Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Singapore Eats: Artichoke Cafe + Bar

Tucked behind a gallery and a church like structure in 161 Middle Road in Bugis is Artichoke Cafe + Bar. It's our favorite brunch place, a discovery of my foodie friend Kaye Yao. Artichoke sits on a compound, called Sculpture Square, that looks quiet and almost deserted from the street...

...but once you follow the path to the cafe, you'd be surprised to see a bustling place, with quite a number of diners at what should be a relatively slow time for brunch (this was taken around 3 pm, the inside was still full).

Full as it is, the service is quite fast, and we like that it is quiet enough for "lazy weekend brunches" - as it was intended to be. The shop also spells spices...

...and if gourmet spices are an indication of the quality of the food, then expect that the dishes are full of that - flavor and surprises. It will interest you to know that the restaurant has a limited menu, constantly evolving month per month. With their emphasis on freshness, their dishes only use ingredients that are in season, and at its best. Here's what we ordered:

Breakfast Bangers & Mash - chorizo & country sausage balls on mash with brown gravy & a fried egg (S$ 18)

Eggs baked in tomato sauce with beef meatballs, spanish onions, homemade labneh (Lebanese yoghurt cheese) 
& pistachio dukka + toast (S$ 20)

Pan-fried haloumi cheese on  toast with organic Kin Yan Farm mushrooms, crushed avocado & wild rocket (S$ 16)

Poached eggs wrapped in Spanish Jamon Serrano with romesco sauce, garlic breadcrumbs, pickled zucchini 
& wild rocket + toast (S$ 18)

I don't think I will be able to describe the food in a way that devout foodies do, but I can say they taste as good as they look. There is something unexpected about their dishes, in the way they combine the flavors and textures, and just when you go "Uhmmmm, this is yummy!", there's a flavor that will pop out from nowhere that takes the dish from good to great.

Because of their revolving dish policy, I've never had the same dish twice. But what I can guarantee you is this. It's always been love at first bite.

Artichoke Cafe + Bar
161 Middle Road
+ 65 6336 6949


kong-chu said...

Love the pics! Taken with Lumix? :)

cd_mfo said...

Most, except for pics 2, 3, 4. Taken with a Canon S90 c/o my friend Richelle! Hehe!

Bjorn said...

Hey Christine,

it's Bjorn, owner/chef of artichoke. Gees, what an awesome writeup! So glad to know that you enjoyed yourself at artichoke!

Given how our menu changes so often, we don't actually have any nice new pics of our dishes to show people. If you don't mind, can I pretty please nick some of these photos for my facebook page? I will photo-credit you of course!

Lemme know. Cheers!

cd_mfo said...

Hi Bjorn! So wonderful to hear from you! Yes! We enjoy going to Artichoke! Feel free to share these photos in Facebook :)

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