There’s a new dining concept in town, and its name is Butter.
Housed in the same minimalist, industrial-themed space as Fancy Bar, Chef Darwin’s latest venture is an exploration of “the expression of one’s journey through the flavours of life”, as stated simply in a similarly nondescript menu that graced our table.
Butter aims to bring fine dining to the masses at an accessible price level, with food priced around $14 – $32. The atmosphere at Butter is relaxed and casual, with a looped video of overseas scenery playing on the wall as one of the few decorations.
Beginning our meal was the Pork Broth ($12), a trio of tortellini served with fried beancurd puffs, edible flowers, lettuce, and homemade garlic pepper broth. The aroma of freshly made broth wafted up our noses as soon as it was poured from a quaint looking pot, enveloping our table with the faint, familiar scent of comfort.
The tortellini was well stuffed with palatable morsels of pork, and yielded an ever so slight note of heat. A promising start to the meal indeed!
For starters, diners can choose between a plant based option, or a more fiery, spicy one if one’s tastebuds are up for the challenge. Tomatoes ($12) was a deceptively simple sounding starter that blew us all away; three types of tomatoes done six ways including brulee, grilled, confit, and even foam!
The slightly sweet taste burst on my tastebuds with each bite, and definitely had me intrigued.
Forest ($14) was no doubt the most beautifully plated, with the freshness of the seasonal vegetables perfectly complemented by mousseline mashed potato and truffle ash. These were so beautifully crafted and flavourful, they would convert even the most diehard of meat lovers.
Carpaccio ($18) is somewhat of a mystery, with the coral tuile as a striking veil for the braised daikon radish, fish slices, and black fish roe underneath.
Come for the dinner seating, and you’ll be in for a fun game of “Guess what’s the ingredient” as you fish around (pun unintended) for all those goodies in Butter’s cosily dim setting!
Chef Darwin’s inventiveness comes further into play in the mains. The stronger contenders out of the four we tried, are Pork 2-Way ($28) and Brown Butter Fish ($26).
Pork 2-Way served up yuzu pork rilletes (reminiscent of katsu) with 36 hours honey braised pork.
The latter definitely caught me by surprise; while I’m not a huge fan of pork, this was an interesting take that I would recommend to whoever is looking to experience the unexpected. The peas a la francais that was served with the pork was bland in comparison, possibly to allow the star to shine.
The Brown Butter Fish was ONE. UMAMI. BOMB!
With sous-vide poached fish served atop lime potato risotto and brown butter sauce, words couldn’t describe how intensely satisfying these flavours were. Fried beancurd puffs and edible flowers had a re-appearance in this one, adding complex textures of crunchiness and softness that made this main a sheer delight to fork up.
Like the Tomatoes, it’s a simple dish but elevated in so many ways. You have to taste this to believe it.
The Trio of Prawn ($28), consisting of tiger prawns, dried shrimps, and kawa ebi (imported from Japan) with capellini doused in a homemade XO emulsion, garlic kombu, chilli, and scallop strands, was reminiscent of the comforting bee hoon most of us grew up on.
I felt this filling main could be a true winner with a touch less of oil and umami.
Coconut Shellfish ($28) was a modern take on the classic fish and chips. A rich, creamy concoction of coconut broth proved to be a comforting dip for the succulent mussels and clams. The side of onion rings and french fries made the dish somewhat more suitable as a bar bite, though.
To conclude our evening at Butter, we had two of their desserts. Tropical ($14) was a refreshing mix of mango sorbet, cream, and biscuit, while Chocolate Cloud ($16) started as a whimsical looking cloud of cotton candy and popcorn that melted under a show stopping, flame-lined concoction (which included Absinthe) to reveal a decadent mound of peanut butter covered white chocolate and chocolate ice cream.
With its accessible pricing, chill atmosphere and innovative dishes, Butter offers an interesting culinary adventure for diners. Pop by for a meal of picture and taste perfection!
Tel: +65 6535 0332
Words and Images by @chuepachups
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