Ever since that incredible meal at the fabulous Maggie Joan's, I've been hankering to try their sister restaurant, Moosehead Kitchen and Bar.
A casual restaurant serving modern Mediterranean cuisine in small-plates, Moosehead's distinctively livelier and breezier (also because it's open-aired) than Maggie Joan's. Whereas the latter's food was a smidge more serious and boasted more refinement, Moosehead's offerings were decidedly carefree and easygoing. Still, I preferred Maggie Joan's cuisine, which I felt had tighter execution and more cohesive flavours. (a fun bit of trivia: the owners of Moosehead Kitchen - Bar named Maggie Joan's after their beloved gran)
Service was, similar to Maggie Joan's, sluggish. Our water glasses only got refilled once throughout the 3 hours we were seated, after we asked for it. And our credit card payment took 20 minutes to process. In a restaurant of 4 other occupied tables. To be fair, the restaurant was short-staffed; there was just the 2 waiters handling the night's dinner service.
A must-try, the Bacon-Wrapped Char-Grilled Dates ($9) crowned with a dollop of aioli and a shower of pinenuts, was a game-changer. I typically detest dates, in particular those saccharine cloying Chinese red ones in many of the herbal soups (urghh), but these were flush with a rounded, nutty flavour, which balanced the salty bacon. So damn good we ordered seconds.
The Hummus ($9), mellow and velvety, was dusted with sumac for a bright acidity. Excellent when schmeared over grilled homemade pita.
These Fried Artichokes ($9), dotted with bottarga and sided by creamy ricotta, were the best artichokes I've ever had, bar none. I first had artichokes on a pizza, and that turned me off well and good, for a really long time. But these, wonderfully crisp with breadcrumbs and nuanced, were delicious enough to turn me back on artichokes.
The sumptuous fattiness of the Bone Marrow ($10) was complemented by the salty richness of the ortiz anchovies and the subtle tang of the sourdough toast,
The roasted Cauliflower ($15) seasoned with garlic miso and strands of leek confit, was a mixed bag. The charring was lovely, but the florets weren't thoroughly cooked through.
Ditto for the Broccolini ($10) which needed a few seconds longer on the grill. That sweet-spicy-peanutty hoisin aioli was fantastic though.
The Burrata ($22), dotted with pickled cucumbers and topped with Thai basil, was a little flat. And somewhat forgettable. This needed the heft of some cured meat to add some body.
The Chicken Breast ($25), surprisingly moist and delicate, was paired with charred baby corn and a creamy smooth tarragon tahini.
The Lamb Neck ($34), dry rubbed in ras el hanout spices, was a dud. The bold of the spice mix nor the pungent cheese failed to balance (or even mask) the weighty gaminess of the lamb.
The Pork Collar ($31) delightfully luscious, was paired with puffed rice, softened hispi cabbage, apple compote, and fresh dill, was my favourite main.
I don't usually order fries as a side, but a friend needed the carbs, and boy am I glad she did. The Triple Cooked Chips ($9) were addictive AF, having been burnished with some kind of sinfully scrumptious animal fat.
The Chocolate Mousse ($10) with salted caramel, vanilla ice-cream, and candied peanuts didn't look too impressive when it arrived on our table, but wow did it make up for its uninspiring facade in taste. A beautiful juxtaposition of the sweet and salty, hot and cold, this was a must-try.
Moosehead Kitchen + Bar
110 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: 6636 8055
Open weekdays from 12noon to 2.30pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Saturdays from 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner;
Closed on Sundays