SINGAPORE - (THE NEW PAPER) Ah, Australians. Those boisterous, cheeky people living comfortably in an environment that is a smorgasbord of cultures.
That's why modern Australian food is so interesting. This blend often creates thrilling new flavours and experiences. At Cheek By Jowl - it took over the fancier Sorrel - Australian chef Rishi Naleendra seems en route to that.
Many of his dishes combine ingredients and cooking methods from various cultures. The result? An Instagram-worthy plate.
The menu is an evolving one, which adds to the excitement too.
My main gripe about Cheek By Jowl is not about the food but the ventilation. It is not a place to wear fancy clothes to or carry that expensive bag, because you will take the smell with you.
If there's a dish to introduce you to the restaurant, this is it. The dessert Coconut ($15) is pretty and amazing. The coconut laksa ice cream ranks as one of my favourite desserts, and the green chilli sauce is delightful.
The very pretty Ocean Trout ($22) is an enticing mix of sweet and salty, with a hit of wasabi to round it off.
Everything about Roast Pumpkin ($22) works - the spices, the sauce and the texture of the pumpkin.
When the accompaniments overshadow the main ingredient, like they do in Barramundi ($32), it's a problem. The black charred scallion sauce is particularly delicious. I wish the fish was more moist.
The Smoked Oyster ($5 a piece) whets the appetite but it's not a standout, although I appreciate a smoked anything.
WHAT Cheek By Jowl
WHERE 21, Boon Tat Street
WHEN Weekdays: 11.30am to 2pm Mondays to Saturdays: 5pm to 10.30pm
This article was first published on April 6, 2016.
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