Birds of a Feather opened in October 2016 in Amoy Street to favorable reviews among food critics. It offered western cuisine with a distinctly Sichuan influence – a concept which was a novel one even in a foodie haven such as Singapore. Several social and print media features over the past few months certainly piqued my interest but I never got to try it until recently, when I was invited down for a media tasting of the venue’s new menu.
The new food offerings were unveiled to the public on the 6th of April and I had the opportunity to check out a few of the new dishes that same day. I was impressed. The favorable reviews surrounding Birds of a Feather are certainly not unwarranted.
We started off the dinner with a number of small plates which serve to highlight the venue’s interpretation of the blending of eastern and western cuisines. The Baby Octopus ($18) is perhaps a classic European starter but here it came with black fungus, cucumbers and was slathered with Sichuan garlic sauce. It’s a light and refreshing option to have if you’re looking to order several dishes for sharing.
Then came the Pig Ear Mosaic ($18), a cold appetizer which has more in common with Sichuan cuisine. The dressing was a mixture of sour with a bit of spice – just the right amount to whet the appetite. I loved the firm, semi-glutinous texture of the pig ear.
For those looking for that “mala” Sichuan flavor in their starter, the Kawa Ebi Swim in the Chilies ($17) is a reasonable option. Small river shrimps are used here and fried into crispy bits with the Sichuan spice consisting of chili, garlic, leeks, Sichuan pepper and dou ban jiang. This might just be the most explicitly Sichuan dish on the menu.
My favorite among the starters however, has got to be the Crispy Chicken Winglet ($16). This, too, had Sichuan spice in it but I thought it worked perfectly with the extremely crispy skin and copious amounts of garlic that went into marinating. The chicken was divine at every bite.
Seafood – especially salmon – may not be top-of-mind when it comes to any Sichuan inspired cuisine but I thought the Salmon 2 Ways ($23) was executed splendidly. You essentially get cured salmon on one side that’s been house-cured and Gravlax cooked at 40 degrees for 10 minutes while you get yuzu-flavored salmon tartare on the other with a hint of Sichuan pepper. The presentation was theatrical and the flavors diverse especially on the tartare considering this is just a salmon dish.
The Xiang Su Duck ($30) essentially came two ways – braised duck breast marinated in a mixture of spices including cinnamon and star anise and duck confit. I thought the duck could be juicier but this could just be because of the breast portion that was used.
The Hong Shao Short Ribs ($38) earned the approval from everyone in the table and certainly, this is the main dish that must be ordered when at Birds of a Feather. Just writing about it now makes my tummy grumble! Their version takes a step further from your usual tender short ribs. The meat is enhanced with the flavorful combination of Sichuan and western sauces, resulting in a very addicting gravy that sticks to the meat. You’ll want to slather it on the accompanying bok choy, potato noodle and even the lone piece of garlic chip.
During the media tasting, I also managed to try a couple of brunch items that Birds of a Feather serves during the weekend.
One of the brunch dishes also makes use of the same short ribs – the Hong Shao Beef Ragoutte Orecchiette ($26). You get a bit more carbohydrates for the brunch version with the accompanying pasta and other toppings such as black fungus and pine nuts but the beef is essentially the same flavor.
The Bird’s Skillet ($23) is a must for cheese lovers although I personally had to go easy on this dish due to the chorizo. The slightly spicy mixture of cheddar, tomato sauce, Camembert and eggs is quite rich and I would personally have it over a side of bread to feel less guilty.
The desserts are as imaginative as the mains. While some lean more towards traditional Chinese, I think Birds of a Feather shines on the desserts with a western inclination.
On top of my personal desserts list at Birds of a Feather is the MonoTone ($15). Don’t let the relatively dull colors fool you. If you have room to order just one dessert, I would suggest this as you get a combination of various flavors in one dish! You get a light coconut mousse on the side while sesame flavored parfait and sable adds complexity to this sweet ending. Finish it off with the black sesame coulis for an added crunch.
The GWC Coffee Dessert ($15) is a caffeine-infused brownie that’s best shared. For coffee lovers, you’ll be pleased to know that almost all the elements on the plate is coffee-infused – ranging from the brownie to the soil and finally the espresso shot that’s used to break down the candy cloud upon serving.
The Glutinous Rice Cake ($12) suits those looking for a more traditional dessert. Do note though that the version used here is the savory one which may not exactly please those looking for something explicitly sweet. For that, the Poached Pear ($12) would be a better option with its osmanthus jelly on the side.
Birds of a Feather
115 Amoy Street
+65 9755 7115
Mon: 11 am –11 pm
Tue & Wed: 10 am –11 pm
Thurs-Sat: 11 am –12 am
Sun: 11 am –10 pm
Chirpy Brunch Sat & Sun: 11 am –5 pm