SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - It is so easy to get exctied about Provisions.
It is co-owned by two guys. Chef Justin Foo, who worked in Restaurant Par Andre, the now-defunct French fine-dining restaurant Le Saint Julien and Italian restaurant Senso Ristorante & Bar, while head bartender K.C. Rahmat was last at the nightclub Pangea.
The combination of their experiences resulted in a cool restaurant that serves good food and interesting drinks, with great music and a relaxed vibe that makes the nightmare of getting into - and, most annoyingly, getting out of - Dempsey worthwhile.
The restaurant bills itself as Singapore's first skewers & claypot rice cocktail bar, so when eating there, ordering an item from the claypot menu is a must.
Where: 7 Dempsey Road
Open: 4pm to 1am (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 4pm to 2am (Fridays and Saturdays), 10.30am to 3pm (Sundays), closed on Mondays.
Info: Call 6250-7090
My favourite was the Oyster Omelette Rice ($18), which had the base of gloriously charred rice and an orh luak (oyster omelette) cap.
It doesn't matter if you like the bottom or top layer because when mixed, it is comfort food times two.
Although the Seafood Rice ($16) was the least exciting option amid the claypot selection - how does one beat Oyster & Uni Rice ($28)! - its flavour was no less exciting or rich.
The rice was cooked in prawn broth, but one will taste bits of pork lard too.
Within the selection of skewers available (from $4 each) were some exciting bites.
The chicken thigh ($5) was marinated in yellow curry, kaffir lime and lemongrass, and cooked over charcoal.
But the beef tongue ($9) was my favourite. Kicap manis (a sweet sauce from Indonesia) was poured over it and the tongue was cooked till it was just about tender, but retained a little chew.
From the plates section, I was looking forward to some fried chicken when I saw KFC ($10) on the menu, but it is actually Korean Fried Cauliflower.
I'll admit I was slightly disappointed and maybe that was why I could not appreciate this fully. The sweet and spicy marinade leaned too much towards sweet, which made me feel like I was eating soggy caramel popcorn.
Be careful when you start with the Pig Ear Fritters ($12). I liked that it was spicy, slightly salty and extremely addictive: the seasoning of five spice powder, white pepper and chilli powder made it impossible to stop eating this.
It is a great thing that Provisions has many fun local cocktails - try the Bandai Bandung ($14) or the Spiced Hot Teh-Si ($17) - because you'll be snacking so much, you might as well drink too.