I like Moosehead Kitchen Bar, a lot.
Moosehead just resonates with me in so many ways. The location, ambiance, people, food and vibes all hit the right notes for me. I actually didn't think I could find a place like this in the heart of Singapore's business district.
Moosehead is located right across the street from Telok Ayer MRT station. So it's super convenient for people who use BMW transport - I am a BMW person when in Singapore (bus, MRT, walk).
Inside Moosehead, the space is small but intimate and comfortable - the restaurant is inside a long and narrow pre-War shoplot, a stone's throw from Singapore's Chinatown.
The furnishings were eclectic and Earth friendly like the food, and the personality of the youthful owners. It's stylish without being extravagant - you know.., the inside out type of stylish, not the put on kind.
Moosehead's owner Australian Daniel Ballis grew up travelling in Asia with his executive chef father, who now runs several restaurants in Moscow, Russia.
Daniel had managed restaurants in Four Seasons Hotels in Singapore and Sydney before striking out on his own with Moosehead.
Daniel still has the wanderlust, with a keen eye for food.
Daniel spent his early teens in Kuala Lumpur, and now in Singapore, so he is well exposed to the melting pot of flavours and aromas.
Chef Manel from Barcelona, Spain was also well acquainted with Asian cuisine, having worked in Beijing and Singapore. Chef Manel's chief culinary influence were from his grandma and mom's homecooking.
Manel is also an artist by training, so he treats his food like art. Bringing familiar elements together in surprising, delightful ways. I can sense the Spanish and Mediterranean flair at the core of Manel's food, overlaid with tasteful touches of Asian twists.
Daniel and Manel experiment a lot, so not everything is for every palate. But hey, that's the way it is with innovation and creativity - there is always an element of risk in innovation - you can't please everyone all the time, but many are impressed (by your free and adventurous spirit).
For me, I like the way Moosehead's food are like bridges, instead of fences. There is a free spirited mix and match, yet respectful of the core of the respective cuisines.
Let me show you what I mean.
Crispy spiced ears, SGD16+.
Daniel started us off with this fried pig's ears. Chewy and crispy strips of pig's ears, flavoured with coriander, paprika, cumin and pepper.
It was a pleasant way to keep the jaws busy while engaged in other business.
I was munching on this the whole afternoon while photographing other food :P
Chargrilled asparagus, garlic miso, fried leeks, SGD14+.
Asparagus garnished with lightly fried leeks sat in a puddle of garlic miso sauce. Crunchy, with spots of char outside, the juicy asparagus spears worked well with the savoury sweet sauce.
Bacon-wrapped, chargrilled dates, roast garlic aioli (sauce), pine nuts, SGD8+.
A blend of savoury and sweet flavours (from the grilled dates), and a mash of tender and nutty crunchy textures. Likable but the dish was delivered a little too charred at the edges for my liking.
Grilled octopus, red peppers, lime, SGD35+.
Love this tender, meaty grilled octopus arm with red pepper and lime sauce. The arm cut into thick "coins" tasted and felted like dense, spongy tofu.
Bread, Balsamico, Olive Oil, SGD8+.
Burratina, basil oil, SGD21+.
Grilled vine tomatoes, bonito, balsamico, SGD18+.
The bread, cheese and tomatoes blended together beautifully. This is one of the most delicious ways of eating bread that I have tasted. It's a
Chicken Bulgogi, pickled shitake, horseradish, SGD18+.
Tender bite size chunks of well marinated chicken. A plain Jane in today's fancy dress party :P
Secreto Iberico, fresh tomato puree with wasabi, SGD28+.
Done medium rare, the Secreto Iberico was tender, creamy and slightly smoky. Delicious layers of savouriness and porcine sweetness.
The tomato and wasabi sauce was refreshing and had a subtle spicy bite. The tomato puree took most of the usual sting out of the wasabi, reducing it to a gentle tingle. Great sauce but I like to eat the Secreto Iberico neat to appreciate all it's subtle notes.
Love this Secreto Iberico.
Beef onglet, teriyaki mushrooms, sweet potato, bonito, SGD34+.
Nice beefy flavours from the medium rare meat. Garlanded with colourful loads of crispy and spongy sides that go well with beer :D Others may find the sweet potato crisps and teriyaki saoked mushrooms distracting.
For me, I savour the beef and enjoy munching the sides separately with beer :D
Chilli pineapple ice pop, gula melaka frozen foam, banana cream, chocolate, SGD14+.
Layers of sweetness balanced with slight tanginess. Soft sweet icy foam, hard sweetened
Plum & mixed berries tart, vanilla creme fraiche, SGD14+ per serving slice.
Crumbly buttery crust filled with tangy plum slices and berries sweetened with foamy vanilla cream. Slightly too sour for my liking but this seems like a ladies' favourite,
Chargrilled avocado, ajoblaco, shaved frozen apple, ikura, puffed quinoa, SGD18+.
The fresh avocado skinned and pitted, was grilled then sat on a dish of ajo blanco sauce and topped with toasted quinoa grains, salmon roe and shaved frozen apple. The creamy dense avocado pulp was punctuated with crunchy, sweet quinoa and savoury salmon roe.
Overall, I enjoyed all the food presented by Daniel and Manel today. The menu is inclusive, open, globally inspired. Yet, it is respectful, sensitive and faithful to the soul and spirit of the origins.
It is a new kind of authenticity (some may think this is an oxymoron :P ).
The menu at Moosehead changes
Moosehead is one of those places where I feel my words are inadequate and unable to fully express the feelings in my heart and on my taste buds. (Love you more than I can say? Good old Leo Sayer says it best :P )
If you have an adventurous palate, you must come and see for yourself what I mean.
My thanks to Bing for the arrangements, and Daniel and Manel for the invite.
Restaurant name: Moosehead Kitchen
Address: 110 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
Hours: Mon - Fri: 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm, 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm Sat: 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Date visited: 29 Jul 2014
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