Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cicada @ Clarke Quay - Modern Asian Cuisine With Cocktails On Tap


Cicada is a newly opened restaurant at Clarke Quay that offers cocktail on tap and Asian-inspired dishes using Western culinary techniques. Unlike the restaurants in the area, Cicada stood out with its lush and greenery interior with softwood furniture.

Cicada Sling

Iced Kopi

We started our dinner with a couple of cocktails from the tap to go along with the small bites. From the tap, we kickstarted the diner with Cicada Sling ($18) and Iced Kopi ($18). Both are light and easy drinks that will ease one into the night. The other cocktails available on the tap are Quayside Aperol Spritz, Fennicillin, Thai Collins, Chocolate Mojito and Farang. During happy hour, the cocktails are going at $15 per glass instead of $18.

Truffled Edamame 3.5/5

Beer Battered White Bait 4/5

For small bites, we had the Truffled Edamame ($9) and Beer Battered White Bait ($12). While the truffle gives the edamame a beautiful scent, it doesn't get infused with the beans inside. Hence I doubt it is necessary to add truffle to it unless one eats the skin. Or else lightly seasoned with salt is sufficient. As for the beer-battered whitebait, topped with wasabi snow is very addictive. I could not stop going back for me.

Smokin' Dumplin's Foie Gras 3.5/5

An interesting take of the Chinese dumpling is Cicada's version of Smokin' Dumplin's served in an encased jar filled with applewood smoke. It comes in 3 stuffing options, Truffle Foie Gras ($22), Truffled Mushroom ($14) and Pork and Mushroom ($14). The dumpling skin is replaced with a crepe skin to house the stuffing in it. I didn't enjoy the dumpling because the crepe skin becomes soggy from the filling inside. However, I feel that this will be acceptable for Westerners for the innovative take of the traditional Chinese dumpling.

Cicada's Nori Tacos 4/5

The Cicada's Nori Tacos ($14) comes in trio with a crispy nori shell. Available in three flavours, they are Salmon Belly Cubes with Japanese Pickles ($14), Korean Beef Bulgogi with Kimchi Slaw ($14) and Pan Seared Foie Gras with Peanut Sauce, Pickled Cucumbers ($18). This is not the first time I have eaten such interpretation, but I really enjoy the fusion of the vibrant flavours.

Cicada's BaoBao Trio 3.5/5

If you not into tacos, there is an oriental interpretation of the slider using steamed mantou. Cicada's BaoBao Trio comes in 3 delightful flavours. They are Crispy Prawn Kakiage with Wasabi Mayonnaise ($14), Chicken Katsu with Rojak Salad ($12) and Aubergine & Mushroom with Teriyaki Mayonnaise ($12). Once again, these dishes are not new, but I applauded the thoughtfulness behind the sauce pairing for each ingredient.

Char-Grilled Spatchcock 4/5

For the mains, we have the Char-Grilled Spatchcock ($42) which is suitable for up to 4 people. Weighing around 800g, the bird is marinated with a middle eastern spice rub. Nothing fancy in the cooking, allowing the full appreciation of the tender meat with a subtle aroma of the spices. It comes with cherry tomatoes, potato gratin, sauteed mushroom and rojak salad as accompanying sides.

Grilled Vegetables Platter 4/5

For the vegetarians or you still want some vegetables for your meal, there is the Grilled Vegetable Platter ($35) that comprises of Impossible Meatballs, Sweet Corn, US Jumbo Asparagus, Shiitake Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, Baby Carrots, Baby Potatoes and Sundried Tomato Pesto.

Oriental Braised Duck Leg 4/5

Among the dishes, the Oriental Braised Duck Leg ($24) is one of my favourites. The duck leg is cooked to tender, absorbing the sweet, savoury five-spice duck jus. Though I find the sauce is on the sweet side, it may be my own preference. This is paired with crispy yam balls, the classic duck and yam pairing in Chinese cuisine.

Sakura Ebi Capellini 4.2/5

My favourite goes to the Sakura Ebi Capellini ($22). Each mouthful of the springy capellini is filled
with the strong crustacean flavour, complemented by the toppings of sakura ebi, bonito flakes and shredded nori.

Purple Sweet Potato Panna Cotta 3/5

Moving to the desert, we began with the colourful Purple Sweet Potato Panna Cotta ($12). Aside from the vibrant plating of mixed fresh fruits, the panna cotta was a letdown. Instead of being smooth and silky, it turned out to be a mousse-like texture.

Cicada's Chendol 4/5

I am actually quite surprised with Cicada's Chendol ($12) that comes with a scoop of coconut ice cream. It hits the spot with the fragrant coconut milk and gula melaka, which to me is the deciding factors of a good bowl of chendol. The grass jelly is rather weird for chendol, but I am not complaining as I thought it gives the dessert extra textural enjoyment.

Yam Mille Feuille 4.2/5

I find the Yam Mille Feuille ($12) a creative creation that reminds one of the Chinese Orh Nee dessert. In between the layers of crispy pastry are fragrant yam paste, paired with coconut ice cream on the side.

Sticky Date Pudding 3/5

The Sticky Date Pudding ($14) with butterscotch sauce and vanilla ice cream, unfortunately, was too sweet for me. That aside, the sticky date pudding is moist and flavourful. I have to admit I don't have a sweet tooth. Hence this is hard for me to finish.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Clarke Quay
Block 3C River Valley Road
Singapore 179022
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning (DT Line), Clarke Quay (NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed: 5pm - 11pm
Thu-Sat: 5pm - 1am

1) Alight at Fort Canning MRT Station. Take Exit A. Turn right and down River Valley Road. Turn right onto Tan Tye Place. Walk to the end of the road. Turn left onto Clark Quay. Walk to destination. Journey time bout 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit C or G. Walk to the river front. Turn left and walk down the river. Cross the bridge. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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