With a strong focus on french cooking techniques, BUTTER at North Canal Road is a modern European restaurant that wants you to appreciate the crafts behind each dish, while enjoying the final piece assembled in front of you. Set in a minimalist, industrial-theme space, its nondescript menu is just as intriguing as its surrounding.
Pork Broth 3.5/5
For Soup, we had Pork Broth ($12). The garlic pepper broth base takes after our traditional Bak Kut Teh but westernised with butter to give it a fuller body and a buttery aftertaste. The skin of the tortellini by itself can be a little dry and tough but somehow that works with the richness of the broth. No croutons for your creamy soup but in place are fried beancurd puffs to reinforce the Asian element of this dish.
For Starters, we had the tomatoes and carpaccio. Tomatoes ($12) literally breaks down 6 types of cooking techniques for the tomatoes. On the plate are brulee tomato, grilled tomato sundried tomato, confit tomato, tomato chips and tomato foam, bind together by basil oil, accompanied by a couple of parmesan chips for texture and flavour. Though this style is not new but I like how this dish amplifies the beauty of tomatoes.
Pork 2-Way 3.8/5
We tried 3 mains, among which Pork 2-Way ($28) stands out with its fork tender 36-hours honey braised pork, paired with a Yuzu pork rillettes. I love how the fats of the braised pork melted down in my mouth so readily. The rillette is like a croquette, with a very moist and well flavoured filling. A thinner crust would have been better.
Trio of Prawn Pasta 3/5
Trio of Prawn Pasta ($28) is rather similar to a typical kawa ebi pasta but the addition of the dried shrimps pushes it to be closer with our Hokkien mee. It was slightly too oily and the capellini seemed to be weighed down by the oil.
Brown Butter Fish 3.5/5
For Brown Butter Fish ($26), we have the sea bass with brown butter sauce, accompanied with lime potato risotto. The brown butter sauce oiled the texture of the fish, making the sous-vide poached fish really moist and tender. The fried bean curd puffs adds crunch, while the sharp and piquant capers cuts the richness of the dish. What doesn't work is the lime potato risotto that is cooked with mayonnaise, it is too cloying and oily for the dish.
Chocolate Clouds 3.8/5
In the kitchen since the age of seventeen, nothing could ground Chef Darwin till he stepped into the French culinary world, which enthralls him with the intricacy of french cooking techniques. His personalities reflect in these two desserts - a sophisticated looking, refreshing Tropical ($14) and an opposing messy, rich Chocolate Clouds ($16). Still in his mid twenties, the jovial, childlike side of him put his most adored Reese's Chocolate into Chocolate Clouds. Melt down the hovering cotton candy clouds unveils a dollop of crunchy peanut butter with chocolate ice cream. The salt level does need to be adjusted but overall, a decadent dessert that Reese lovers will die for.
Tropical would be him in a full Chef mode, working intricately with the tropical fruits at hand and churn them into jelly, sorbet and mousse. I like how each element turns out, especially the light and airy mousse and the refreshing sorbet. However, crumbles may better bring out the best of each element than the dense butter biscuits, which were too cloying sweet and hard.
The nondescript menu prevents you from developing any perception on any dish and through experiencing each dish with an open mind, BUTTER is able to gear your attention into the cooking techniques that go behind each dish, while spotlighting a specific ingredient in each dish. Sharing the same space as FANCY, a bespoke cocktail is within reach to enrich your evening.
Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
35 North Canal Road
Tel: +65 65350332
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (NE Line), Raffles Places (EW Line, NS Line)
Mon-Sat: 5pm - 930pm
(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. Look out for an alley and turn left into it. Look for the entrance to the building and take lift to level 2. 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. Look out for an alley and turn right into it. Look for the entrance to the building and take lift to level 2. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]