Thursday, August 14, 2014

AGNIA at Once Upon A Bar @ Capital Square (Church Street)


I am glad that I am being introduced to Chef Jason Vito and Chef Benson Tong, two young and inspiring chefs who likes to give classic dishes a new life with their own interpretation of classic. After sampling some of the dishes, I fell in love with the culinary skills and inspiration. Chef Jason who is trained in French cooking and Chef Benson who is accomplished in Asian cuisine has found the perfect combination, recreating innovative classic dishes out of the little kitchen at AGNIA at Once Upon A Bar located at Capital Square 3, Church Street.

Albondigas Adobo 4.5/5

As Agnia is located in a drinking place, there are some items on the menu that will be good to go with the alcohol. One such item is the Albondigas Adobo. The huge meatballs made with chorizo and cooked in a delicious tangy tomato paste has a hint of spiciness. I am a meatball lover and this is one of the best I have tried.

Foie Gras Rojak 4/5

I have tried foie gras paired with rojak sauce but at Agnia this is even bolder taking the whole Chinese salad or better known as rojak locally to pair with the French foie gras. Foie Gras Rojak may sound crazy and one will wonder whether this combination works? Surprisingly the combo works for me. The chefs have managed to marriage both classics into one while retaining its individual character. The chefs even made the prawn paste from scratch and baked the pineapple slices to reduce the raw sourness of the fruit. These affects is demonstrated in the nicely balanced dish.

Duck Confit Penyet 4.2/5

Another dish that clearly demonstrates the chefs idea in the alternative cuisine is the take on the classc Ayam Penyet. At Agnia, we are presented with their own version of Duck Confit Penyet. The duck was crispy and tender with a tad of Asian spices. Cooked using French technique and smashing it before servicing in the Indonesia way, once again we see how classics are recreated but yet not losing its roots.

Mushroom Soba 4.2/5

For a more comforting dish, one can go for the Mushroom Soba which is another take of Italian and Japanese influences. It has a nice body in the konbu dashi broth while the used of soba gave the dish a more enjoyable texture bite to spaghetti. Vegetarian will be rejoice in this refreshing, earthy and comforting Japanese noodle dish.

You probably can see why I am excited in both Jason and Benson's culinary interpretation of the classics. It gives a new live and excitement to classic dishes while not spinning off from its fundamental. Some may labelled it fusion or called it alternative cuisine. Be it what, people only put good food into their mouth and only good food brings people back. You may think these dishes will come at a price, great to say that they are not and mostly remains under $15. I actually look forward to visit Agnia again because there is another dish in the menu which is the Beef Noodle v2.0 that is highly raved. I understand briefly it is a dry beef noodle interpretation with a slab of steak resting on top. The sound of it is already very interesting isn't it?

Update: Due to some unforseen circumstances, AGNIA has made changes to the menu.

Capital Square 3
25 Church Street
Singapore 049482
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer (DT Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 1130am - 230pm, 5pm - 10pm

1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk down Telok Ayer Street towards the direction of China Square Food Centre. Turn left into Pekin Street. Walk to destination at the end of the street. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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