The Pecking Order is a small watering hole located in a pre-war corner shop lot smack in the middle of Singapore's central business district, in the shadow of looming glass towers.
I was invited to this tasting but wasn't expecting much from such bistro/ cafe/ bars catering to sleep deprived, overworked financial types with deep pockets but no time or mood to smell aromas or taste flavours. I expected the food to be overpriced and of average quality.
I was wrong.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food, reasonable pricing and enthusiastic service; coming away from the tasting session feeling good and satisfied ;-D
Inside The Pecking Order, the oblong shaped interior is cosy and suitably hip without overdoing it. The lights were warm, subdued and calming - exactly what is needed after a frenzied day and night chasing targets and numbers.
The decor is an eclectic mix of vintage and contemporary. A bit psychedelic, slightly dazzling, it blends in with the buzz of the vibrant Boat Quay area outside.
If you prefer al fresco dining and someplace more toned down away from the razzle dazzle, the side lane beside The Pecking Order is quite cosy actually.
It's a nice hideaway.
The staff at The Pecking Order were all warm, attentive and enthusiastic. Our used plates were changed promptly. We were asked smilingly, politely and unobtrusively at suitable intervals, if we needed anything more. The arrangements for the tasting session were also meticulous.
The bar at the front is well stocked and the enthusiastic mixologist serves up some delightful cocktails.
I had a couple of this gin and grape (SGD20 nett). Yes, two ;-D
The Pecking Order serves salads, sandwiches and pastas during lunch.
Here's what we had at dinner ;-D
Burnt aubergine mash (eggplant) with spicy piment d'espelette and fried garlic (SGD10 nett).
Roasted potatoes with blue cheese, black truffle and chives (SGD12 nett).
Mussels escabeche with sour sweet shaved funnels and garlic toasts (SGD12 nett).
Crispy oyster and prawn fritters with avocado creme (SGD12 nett).
Croquette shaped salt cod fritter with anchovy aioli sauce (SGD10 nett).
Pressed sandwich of sea urchin and dry cured coppa ham (SGD18 nett).
Sea tiger prawns with crustacean butter and seaweed sauce (SGD16).
The good size prawns (about the size of my forefinger) were de-veined and pan seared in butter. I was able to taste the ocean freshness and crustacean flavours with buttery savouriness in the firm flesh.
Braised lamb ribs on a bed of carrot mash and dressed with gremolata (SGD24 nett).
I like the gentle gaminess and the creaminess when I chewed on the fat and meat of the moist tender lamb. The sweet fine carrot mash was good too.
Sliced grilled Kurobuta pork jowl with honey and soy sauce, and braised red cabbage side (SGD22 nett).
Sweet porcine flavour with subtle smokiness from the slight char outside. A savoury sweet crowd favourite. A little bit more moist would make this perfect for me.
Tender, slightly chewy, beefy wagyu hanger steak with red pepper "chimmichurri" and portobello mushroom sauce (SGD28 nett).
Molten chocolate and salted egg custard lava cake with vanilla ice cream (SGD12 nett).
Quite an adventurous creation but I was too full by this time to appreciate the unique blend of chocolaty savoury sweetness. I suspect that I will enjoy this more with coffee or tea during mid-day or mid-afternoon breaks.
The Pecking Order is one of 800+ businesses that honour The Entertainer App for "buy one get one free" deals.
Please note that this is an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: The Pecking Order Cafe Bar
Address: 13 North Canal Road #01-01, Singapore
Hours: Mon to Fri 8:00am - 12 midnight (cafe & bar) | Sat 10:00am to 8:00pm (cafe only) | Closed on Sun
Date visited: 24 Mar 2015
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