It’s a pretty decent walk from Bugis MRT to Hunger’s Kitchen by AROME, which is located in Shaw Towers. A cosy, inconspicuous, and laid-back place, I was surprised to find that their food mainly borders on high-end ingredients and plating, yet all on a budget!
AROME used to be a stall in Wild Market (Food Hall and Bar) a communal dining area, a bit like an atas hawker centre or a marche, if you will. But AROME has since decided to get its own space, plus a rebranding to Hunger’s Kitchen, without losing their signature name, AROME.
The seafood appetizers were served first: Asian Marinated Tuna, Hunger’s signature Cold Pasta, and Confit Salmon, along with our interesting “mocktails”! If you’re intending to visit this restaurant, don’t pass these three dishes by (we’re about to introduce them to you) – they are our ‘heavenly trio’, and we’re not exaggerating. It’s not a proper visit if you don’t incorporate them into your food choices!
The drinks ($4.50 each) are refreshing and filled with chunks of fruit that are surprisingly large! The lychees were as big as fish balls, and as soft (or softer), too. The interesting combination of their drinks made them taste really unique, not unlike two types of Snapple with fruits – a pleasant treat!
(Raspberry and Peach Ice Tea, Mojito Fizz, Lychee Cranberry Fizz, Hawaiian Blue)
Now, we sample the heavenly trio of seafood “appetizers”!
The first of the trio, the Asian Marinated Tuna ($12.90), is plated beautifully! It’s a feast for the eyes all around. The tuna was deeply marinated and sliced evenly, and each piece was very flavourful, with a tender bite. Shavings of red radish and shoots were sprinkled around the tuna, topped with flying fish roe! We all also enjoyed this one’s citrusy take on dressing – certainly a fusion dish well done! Refreshing, flavourful, need-for-more – check, check, check!
Up next was yet another work of art, Hunger’s Signature Cold Pasta ($10.90)! We were surprised at how generous the portions of scallops, ikura, tobiko and ebiko in this dish were. They were also a good, intuitive mix.
The sauce was unbelievably unique – nothing quite like what we’ve tasted before – it borders on a really light cream sauce and a Japanese-tasting cream of some sort. We later found out it was a combination of two of our guesses, called the “seaweed cream”. This dish is truly worthy of its “signature” name!
The last dish in this seafood trio is the Salmon Confit ($11.90), which looked either raw or smoked. However, when we asked the chef about it, he told us it was sous-vided for a really long time – a French specialty method of cooking. “It is completely cooked,” he said, and we didn’t have to worry about how raw it looked. When we bit into the salmon chunk, it just completely melted in our mouths! The kombu sauce and vegetable garnishes made this dish so much richer! We couldn’t stop raving about how understated this dish seemed to be, and its wonderful, layered taste.
Next up, we tried their Mussel and Prawn Laksa Pasta ($15.90). This one really lived up to the “laksa” part of its name. It was absolutely balanced – not too much coconut cream or too jelak – and complemented the pasta really well. Fresh seafood, too! Another must try: An all-star pasta.
The Duck Confit ($14.90) is another popular dish, and I can easily see why. The duck is chargrilled to make it really juicy and tender, and it sits on a bed of truffle mashed potatoes, accompanied by mushrooms, fruits, asparagus, and baby tomatoes. Every piece of this dish worked well with each other. The duck was flavourful and tender, the truffle mash wasn’t overly ‘truffley’, and the fruity condiments made it a fuller dish overall. Even if you’re not really a keen duck-eater, try not to miss this one out!
The Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl ($12.90) has an incredibly generous amount of roe – just look at this! The teriyaki salmon tastes like how you’d expect teriyaki salmon to taste like, no deviation there. We feel the winning point for this dish is the generous ikura. The rice tasted slightly different from Japanese rice, and it didn’t have a vinegary taste as we’d expected, so this one was a bit disappointing.
Apart from the Mussels and Prawn Laksa Pasta, this Salted Egg Chicken Cutlet Nasi Lemak ($8.50) is another local delight worthy of mention! The salted egg chicken cutlet is well-seasoned and breaded very lightly, then drenched with salted egg sauce that seeps into the meat! The papadum is crisp, the sambal is delicious. However, we’ve got some qualms about the rice. Its texture is a bit off-killer. If you’re craving for a local delight dish, we’d still recommend the Mussels and Prawn Laksa Pasta as our first choice, though.
Finally, the Garlic Bacon Pasta ($12.90)! Like its counterpart, the Hunger’s Cold Pasta, it’s got a non-jelak sauce, being so light! Along with cream, there’s parmesan cheese, garlic, prawns and bacon. Sounds deceptively simple, but really, eating this dish is like peeling the layers off an onion – it has got many flavours that work incredibly well together.
And that’s all that we sampled for Hunger’s Kitchen by AROME. They’ve got an impressive menu; unfortunately, we weren’t able to try them all today. For really affordable yet high-end western fusion cuisine, you’d just have to visit this place!
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Hunger’s Kitchen by Arome
100 Beach road #01-01 Shaw Towers S189702
Tel: +65 8168 9549
Daily: 10AM – 10PM
Images and write up by @chowbaccas
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