By: Deb Goldman
Pidgin Kitchen & Bar
7 Dempsey Road, #01-04
6475 0080 | pidgin.sg
Pidgin is a re-invention of the former French bistro, Pamplemousse. Along with its new, Asian-inspired menu and bevy of artisan beverages, the dining room has had an upgrade too; it’s both modern and comforting – much like the food.
In what is more than simple fusion, chef-owner Adrian Ling seamlessly blends his classical French training with a playful take on Singaporean favourites such as bah kut teh, char siew wonton noodle and tulang soup.
You’re invited to share the cleverly deconstructed dishes, from the signature chicken rice arancini ($8), a fried incarnation of the popular chicken rice dish, to the delicious crab otakcroquettes ($12), and a subtle but tangy plate of lamb meatballs, served in a tulang merah sauce with an accompaniment of locally sourced goat milk yoghurt.
Chef Adrian is a firm believer in sourcing his ingredients locally wherever possible, a maverick approach in this import-rich nation. But then again, Chef Adrian is a maverick. His bak kwah mac and cheese ($20), for example, is like a fondue on steroids: Sweet, smoky pieces of homemade bak kwah (barbecued pork) and al dente penne pasta luxuriate in a steaming bowl of pungent gruyere and cheddar sauce.
Other notable dishes include the razor clams tau suan ($20); succulent and sweet Jurong frogs legs ($19); and a duo of desserts featuring rose syrup panna cotta ($12) in a divine rhubarb puree with a sesame crunch, and kaya bread and butter pudding ($12).
Your only danger here might be over-indulging in some of the richer dishes.
Must-try Dish: Bak Kwah Mac and Cheese