The month of May has been an exciting one for the Singapore's F&B scene with many new restaurants opening. One of them is Restaurant Ibid by MasterChef Asia winner of the first season - Woo Wai Leong. He calls his cuisine Nanyang-style. Basically inspired by the South East Asia multi-cultural society, synthesis of Asian and Western cooking techniques, and the quest to forge a new identity as well as to reconnect with his cultural heritage.
Spring Onion Shaobing 4/5
Dinner at Restaurant Ibid comes in set menus. There are 3 set menus, 4 course ($78++), 6 course ($88+) and 8 course ($118++). We started with the complementary Spring Onion Shaobing, a typical street food snack which can be found in China. At Ibid, the shaobing is stuffed with mozzarella cheese paired with yeast butter and laksa leaves. The pungent from the black pepper gives the snack a beautiful aroma as one bites into it.
Escargot Skewers 3.5/5
The other complimentary dish is the Escargot Skewers. The escargot is brushed with Dou Ban Jiang mayonnaise, grilled over charcoal and then dipped in bawang goreng (caramelised shallots). It is then wrapped in betel leaves and torched until charred. Its an interesting way of appreciating the escargot but I thought it needed a bit of zest to lift the flavour.
Tea Egg Soubise 4.2/5
The Tea Egg Soubise comes with a centrepiece of sous vide organic egg in a light and refreshing broth made from a blend of aged mandarin peels and Pu Er tea leaves. crystal rock sugar and kelp. It is paired with fresh shiitake mushrooms and gingko nuts that have been fried in brown butter and salt.
Lamb Tartare 3.8/5
Lamb Tartare probably is a first for me. The lamb rump is charred in pan and then chopped into small pieces before tossing with finely chopped celery white onions. You will not get the gaminess as the chopped lamb is mixed with a spice mix of cumin, dried chillies and Szechuan peppercorn. I only wish there are more of the lotus root cracker for me to go with the lamb tartare.
White Radish Porridge 3/5
The texture of the White Radish Porridge tastes more like a puree for its creamy texture. The creaminess comes from the soy milk cooked with overnight rice. Thinly sliced radish strips provide a nice crunch to the smooth finishing. While it is a nice dish, I felt that the dish did not give me the satisfaction or anticipation, somewhat like the rhythm is broken.
Ah Hua Kelong Grouper 4.5/5
The Ah Hua Kelong Grouper may looks like any ordinary pan seared fish fillet with crispy skin but you will discover the treasure when you dive into it. Lying on the bottom of the seabed is the silky tofu butter. The dish jumps to live with the shaoxing fumet, an emulsion of fish stock, carnation milk, shaoxing butter, shallots and black peppercorn.
Black Garlic Short Rib 4.8/5
I heard that the Black Garlic Short Rib is a signature dish of Chef Woo, which he has showcases in numerous pop-up before opening the currently restaurant. Besides the tender and juicy short rib, the highlight is the used of angelica root and pickled black fungus for that extra crunch. The acidity of the black fungus pickled in soya sauce, black vinegar and sugar helps to cut through the richness, for a harmonised enjoyment.
Momoiro Collar 4.5/5
The Momoiro Collar is grilled over charcoal for a beautiful smokey aroma while retaining the succulence. What surprises me is the accompanying sauce that is made of caramel glazed black vinegar, red fermented beancurd and red rice wine and butter, which complements the pork excellently.
Lotus Rice 4/5
The last course before moving to dessert is the Lotus Rice. Infused with the lotus leaves flavour, the glutinous rice is packed with an abundance of flavours from the mushroom, foie gras and preserved liver sausages.
Hibiscus Dessert 3/5
I actually didn't know that hibiscus can be eaten until I had the Hibiscus Dessert. The beautiful hibiscus garden comes with rosella tang yuan, Chinese ginger sugar crumble, house-made red bean jam and yoghurt ice cream. The chewy tang yuan is rather bland, so have it together with the sweet red bean jam and yoghurt ice cream to enjoy it.
Soy Milk Ice Cream 4.8/5
A must try at Restaurant Ibid is the Soy Milk Ice Cream made from soy milk and tofu. Its like our local beancurd. There is a sense of familiarity but yet elevated by the technique and other components on the plate such as the almond espuma and sesame cake.
Overall I have enjoyed the food and dining experience at Restaurant Ibid. I like how Chef Woo uses ingredients that is close to our heritage but given it a new modernize interpretation with western culinary technique. While some of the dishes may still need a bit of fine tuning but its heading the right direction, with great potential to be the next big hit
Note: This is an invited tasting.
18 North Canal Road
Tel: +65 91518698
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NE Line), Raffles Place (EW Line, NS Line)
Mon-Sat: 1130am - 230pm, 630pm - 1030pm
(Closed on Sun)
1) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk towards the junction of North Canal Road and South Bridge Road. Cross the junction and continue on North Canal Road. Walk along the shophouses along North Canal Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Raffles Place MRT station. Take Exit G. Walk towards North Canal Road. Continue on North Canal Road. Walk along the shophouses along North Canal Road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]