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KULALA Weekends: SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar

Need a new wine-and-dine spot to hang with your peeps? We've got one that is right up your alley. And the food's actually good.

It has been a while since we introduced a weekend hangout spot and that’s totally our fault, but we’re back and our latest find is quite a doozy. Singapore has no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars – food and dining make our country’s DNA, after all. But how do you not become a dime in a dozen? Good food is everywhere, so what else is there that you can do? Amp up the décor? Pick a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-address?

For SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar at Robertson Quay, it’s kind of both. (It’s pronounced “supermarket”, though we don’t think anyone will fault you for spelling it out. You do you, my friend.) Not only do you have to walk all the way to the back of the STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery building – hush-hush location, check – you still have to go up a flight of stars. When you’re finally there though, you’re greeted with instant zen, plenty of daylight and a view of the Singapore River. The ambience here is simple – gold-framed lamps, wooden tables, “caged” bar chairs and quilted couches – and sometimes, that’s all you really need.

The food is great too. There’s none of that seen-to-death brunch, all-day breakfast fare – just good ol’ fine dining with a small local twist. Fusion food, especially when Singaporean elements are involved, gets a bit of a bad rep, but trust us – fusion works at SPRMRKT. Think Chinese sausage, water spinach and bok choy – or lup cheong, kang kong and xiao bai chai, as we Singaporeans like to call them – mixed with American fare and a side of fine wine. Intrigued? You should be.

We started with the Pacific Oysters – which were huge, by the way – and a side of crisp-to-the-heavens Baby Potatoes. Topped with extremely light ricotta, we couldn’t stop snacking on them even when we were already full. The mains – Chicken with Chorizo, Lentils and Bok Choy, and Haddock with Dou Miao, Romaine and Risotto – came next. Not only was the chicken moist and tender, it tasted so…surprisingly Chinese. Is that char siew (Chinese sweet barbecued pork) we taste in the lentils? The haddock, which rested on a bed of crunchy, slightly charred romaine and risotto, was perfectly cooked. Our only complaint? NOT ENOUGH RISOTTO. But that’s only because risotto runs in our veins.

Since coming back from Milan and Paris, we haven’t been able to kick our need for post-meal desserts. Damn those perfect pavlovas, crepes and tiramisus. At SPRMRKT, lunch comes with dessert, so how could we turn them down right? RIGHT??? We went with the Broken Apple Pie – can’t really go wrong with this one, and the portion was just right – and the very simple Fruit and Sorbet. Though the latter was the least sinful of the lot (read: no ice cream), the quality of the rock melon and blueberries were so worth it.

If you don’t have any plans for the weekend, we’ve settled that for you right here. Sure, it’s only Tuesday, but there’s no harm in planning early, is there?


Photos: YOYOKULALA.com

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