Telok Ayer Arts Club opened roughly a month ago in McCallum Street as a multi-concept venue by The Supermarket Company. More than just a restaurant, the venue combines food and drink, art and music in an accessible space.
The venue is curated by individuals from the creative scene with experts for the music and visual arts. From time to time, you can even glance upon paintings which are meant to suit the playlist and to an extent, the food menu.
Food-wise, the culinary team is helmed by head chef, Bertram Leong, who in the past was connected with the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore and Raffles Hotel Singapore. The cuisine here showcases an Asian interpretation to French Mediterranean cuisine, one that is easily accessible to the business lunch crowd by the day and the artsy types by night.
After dropping by recently to check out the new space, I must say that among the starters, I particularly liked the Dumpling (S$11). This is not your usual stuffed meat. In fact, the pork and chicken within carried a texture and consistency that I normally associate with sausages. There is even some bocconcini cheese at the middle of the stuffing! This is best dipped with the accompanying mayo which comes with a hint of basil and coriander.
For something wholesome, try the Tomato and Tofu (S$14) which comes sprinkled with miso, shiitake pesto, red wine vinegar and parmesan. I imagine this would be a hit among office ladies looking for something healthier as well as gym buffs who prefer to load up on proteins. The tomatoes here are unbelievably sweet and steal the show.
For seafood lovers, the Octopus and Shrimp (S$18), drenched in bbq vinaigrette, coriander, capsicum, cucumber and grape tomato, is another starter to consider though I would still go with either of the above two if you can only make one choice.
In contrast, I did not quite enjoy the Nicoise Salad (S$17). Seared tuna, avocado, roasted vine-ripened tomatoes, ratte potato, baby beets, pine nuts and parmesan are mixed with lettuce. I thought the salad was unusually salty or maybe I just ate the wrong parts.
For the office crowd, Telok Ayer Arts Club is also offering some lunch bowls and the Mediterranean Couscous (S$15) is definitely a good vegetarian, guilt-free option. I liked how the different flavors came together. It’s also quite filling despite being meatless, with the grilled corn, avocado, sunburst tomato, olives, cucumber, cheese curd, pine nuts and hummus thrown in.
One of the touted specialties here is the Locally Bred Spatchcock (S$28) and indeed, it doesn’t disappoint. Given the size, a spring chicken seems to be used here which explains the tenderness of the meat. The bird carried a sweetness which was highlighted by the red jus, paprika and herbs.
I’m a sucker for any seafood pasta so I am definitely partial to the Seafood Fettucine (S$25) which came brimming with Manila clams, crab meat and baby squid. This is Chef Bertram’s take on the traditional French bouillabaisse. It came with just the right amount of sauce which helps to avoid the common problem with pasta that tends to be cloying.
I thought the dessert was decently priced. Many people in my table concurred that it was one of the better dishes they’ve tried in a long while. The Baked Chocolate Pudding (S$10) with coconut crumble and French vanilla ice cream is a dish that I’d definitely return for in my ever-growing list of return visits. The excellent juxtaposition between the warm, moist chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream really did it for me.
Telok Ayer Arts Club
2 McCallum Street
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11AM to 11PM