Tucked away in a restored, black-and- white house in the colonial-style Rochester Park cluster of restaurants, this elegant yet decidedly casual eatery – and attached alfresco bar – has the potential to be one of the city’s best.
The food is marketed as ‘South- East Asian-influenced contemporary European cuisine’, and usually I would balk at such a wordy description; this type of fused cuisine can, more often than not, lead to a complicated, overseasoned mess. But after two visits I’m happy to report that Krish’s food is far from confused: it’s original, and I am confident in saying this is Singapore’s newest splurge-worthy spot.
I kick off proceedings with the intriguingly named pork belly tikka. The dish arrives and I am greeted with fine slices of marinated pork, kept moist with a tamarind and shaved red onion salsa. The acidic punch of the sauce perfectly cuts through the fattiness of the coriander-, cumin- and garam masala-spiced meat and provides the dish with an unexpected lightness.
A starter of carrot ravioli lives up to the high standard that has already been set; the four pasta parcels swim in a ginger-and-brown-butter emulsion offset by pomegranate seeds. Although decadently creamy, it’s surprisingly delicate and, dare I say it, light.
The risotto of sweet-green peas and spice-crusted paneer, and the roasted eggplant samosas with balsamic tomato and basil aioli, are both filled with rich flavours and – forgive me for repeating myself – pleasingly light.
The main dishes did not disappoint. The seared duck breast – juicy slices of duck laying atop a curried confit hash with a fennel and tamarind reduction – confirmed that things were only getting better. The braised lamb shank sprinkled with rogan josh spices, and served with mint raita and a chickpea mash, is delicious. Although I love the practical choice to serve the shank deboned, the dish suffers from an obvious lack of crunch, since the textures become mushy when served together.
The seared sea bass with Israeli couscous and the French butter sauce beurre blanc suffers a similarly slushy fate, even if the orange-onion chutney with coriander and chilli provides the dish with a crisp texture and citric twist. A crunchier skin may improve the dish, although the fish itself is unbelievably moist.
In addition to being innovative, Krish’s menu offers a wide range of prices, including mouthwatering specials – essential for attracting repeat customers. Having already dined there twice, I’ve spotted a number of return-worthy dishes.
It earns props, too, for the generous selection of reasonably priced wines by the glass: there’s a good half-dozen choices of both red and white, all priced from $12 to $16 a glass – perfect for diners not wanting to spring for a whole bottle, or those looking for a bit of variety with their meal.
While there are annoying lapses in service – wine glasses not refilled, a too-brisk clearing of plates, a lack of detailed menu knowledge and, annoyingly, dishes served at separate times – the quality of the food proves too strong for me to stop loving this restaurant.
In fact, I’m already planning my next visit. I’m sure I can hear their papadum-crusted snapper with a mint-coriander emulsion calling my name. Loudly. Mary Weaver
9 Rochester Park
9 Rochester Park
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