Saturday, March 30, 2024

Butcher's Block @ Raffles Hotel Singapore - Refreshed Spring Menus Forged Through Fire, Rooted in Hawaiian Philosophies


I revisited Butcher's Block at Raffles Hotel Singapore to explore its refreshed Spring menus, showcasing the best of nature through produce sourced directly from the restaurant's local farm. Partnering with Singaporean indoor vertical farm, farmd, Butcher's Block demonstrates its commitment to food sustainability, reflecting the Hawaiian values of Aloha Aina (love of the land) and Malama Aina (to care for the land).

Hokkaido Milk Parker Roll, Konbu Butter 4.8/5

A signature delight, the complimentary Hokkaido Milk Parker Roll with Konbu Butter sets a high standard. The fluffy Asian milk bun paired with konbu butter is irresistible, though one might need to resist filling up before the main course.

Australian Lamb Tacos, Chermoula ($15 for 2pc) 4/5

The Australian Lamb Tacos ($15 for 2pc) present a delightful fusion of flavours and textures. Shredded lamb shoulder rests atop a crisp yellow endive leaf, accompanied by a vibrant medley of yuzu kosho, chermoula, pickled fennel, green apple, and coriander. Dusting green powder adds a pop of colour and an extra layer of flavour. Drawing inspiration from Mexican cuisine, the traditional tortilla is replaced with endive, offering a refreshing and crunchy vessel for the succulent lamb filling. This innovative twist is reminiscent of Korean barbecue, where grilled meats are often enjoyed wrapped in greens, known as 'ssam.' The result is a taco experience that balances bold flavours with fresh, crisp elements, creating a unique and memorable dish.

Western Plains Spam ($38 for 2pc) 4.2/5

Chef Jordan's rendition of the Western Plains Spam ($38 for 2pc) pays homage to the beloved Spam Musubi, a popular snack and lunch staple in Hawaii. Drawing inspiration from this iconic dish, Chef Jordan crafts his own version using premium ingredients and a touch of creativity. Instead of using store-bought spam, Chef Jordan takes the extra step to make the spam from scratch, using free-range pork sourced from Western Plains, Australia. The grilled spam is artfully sandwiched on top of a block of Yumepirika rice, creating a harmonious blend of textures and flavours. Wrapped together with nori, reminiscent of Japanese onigiri, the dish offers a delightful combination of savoury, salty, and slightly sweet notes.

Australian Lamb, Carrot Brown Butter Puree 4.2/5

From the "Whole Animal Butchery" section of the a la carte menu, we indulged in the Australian Lamb ($55), showcasing this noble meat's versatility. The dish presents three distinct cuts of lamb — rack, leg, and saddle — each meticulously prepared in-house and cooked using three different techniques: grilling, smoking, and sous vide. The lamb rack, tender and succulent, boasts a perfect char from the grill, while the leg offers a smoky aroma and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, thanks to the careful smoking process. Meanwhile, the saddle, cooked sous vide, delivers unparalleled juiciness and tenderness, ensuring a memorable dining experience with every bite.

Pork Loin Char Siu, Pork Belly, Prosciuto Tuile 4/5

Pork Tomahawk 4.8/5

Another standout from the "Whole Animal Butchery" selection is the Whole Pig from Western Plains ($120), meticulously prepared in-house to showcase five distinct parts of the animal, totalling 350g of delectable meat. The five different cuts include the Tomahawk, Pork Loin, Pork Neck, Pork Belly, and Prosciutto Tuile. Among these, the Pork Tomahawk steals the spotlight, aged for at least 21 days before being expertly grilled with the skin on. The result is a pork dish that is impeccably clean in flavour and tender in texture, with a satisfying crunch from the puffed crackling on the skin. Another noteworthy preparation is the Pork Neck, executed in the Chinese Char Siu style, which exemplifies the diversity inherent in Hawaiian cuisine, blending various culinary influences to create a truly unique Hawaiian cuisine.


Rangers Valley Full-blood Wagyu OP Rib 4.5/5

From the expanded "Chef's Prime Selection" showcasing premium beef from Rangers Valley in New South Wales, Australia, we indulged in the Rangers Valley Full-blood Wagyu OP Rib ($480), accompanied by kabocha squash bone marrow puree. Aged for up to a week to enhance its flavour profile and boasting a marbling score of Mbs 9+, this exquisite cut is bursting with rich flavours. Its succulent meat is complemented by a delightful crust on the surface, achieved through the gentle kiss of an open flame.

Butcher's Block Farm Salad, Comte Cheese 4/5

To complement the delectable mains, we savoured a variety of sides, including the Butcher's Block Farm Salad ($14). This refreshing salad features a medley of fresh greens and herbs harvested directly from the restaurant's own indoor vertical farm. Tossed with a flavorful roasted garlic aioli and finished with grated comte cheese, each bite is a burst of vibrant flavours and textures, showcasing the essence of farm-to-table dining.

Grilled Asparagus, Potato Koji 3.5/5

Sourced from France, the seasonal White Asparagus is brushed with butter and delicately seasoned with lemon zest, lemon juice, and fleur de sel. The asparagus is lightly grilled to perfection. Paired with a delicate koji foam dusted with shiitake mushroom powder, each bite offers a harmonious balance of flavours and textures. The natural sweetness of the white asparagus is beautifully complemented by the buttery richness and tangy zest seasoning, creating a delightful dish.

Crispy Potato, Brown Butter Emulsion, Sunomono 5/5

Indulge in the irresistible Crispy Potato ($14) at Butcher's Block. These twice deep-fried smashed potatoes are a true sensation, boasting a perfect balance of crispiness and tenderness. Tossed in garlic butter and generously dusted with furikake and dehydrated kimchi powder, each bite bursts with layers of flavour. The garnish of fresh chives adds a refreshing touch, enhancing the overall palate experience. Despite being served alongside sunomono and brown butter emulsion, these potatoes shine on their own and are undoubtedly a must-order item for any visit.

Kinmedai 4.5/5


Transit from the land to the sea with the exquisite Japanese Kinmedai ($107) at Butcher's Block. This delightful dish features tender Kinmedai adorned with spring onions, marigold leaves, onion flowers, and fennel flowers, creating a symphony of flavours and textures. What truly surprises the palate is the ingenious use of Cantonese black bean sauce, showcasing the diverse culinary influences found in Hawaiian cuisine. This fusion of flavours highlights Hawaii's rich cultural melting pot, resulting in a truly unique and unforgettable dining experience. A side of Hokkaido Sushi Rice with Furikake is served to complete the dish, allowing diners to enjoy the succulent fish with the perfect accompaniment. This nod to Hawaiian dining traditions adds depth and complexity to the dish.

Grilled Squid Luau 3.8/5

Indulge in a modern twist on a traditional Hawaiian dish with the Grilled Squid Luau ($48) at Butcher's Block. This innovative reinterpretation features grilled squid, expertly cut into thin strips and seasoned with a tantalising blend of lemon chilli vinaigrette and chermoula. The squid is then paired with a Japanese taro leaves sauce, creating a harmonious fusion of flavours. To elevate the dish further, it is garnished with vadouvan spiced almonds, farmed radish, onion flowers, and fennel flowers, adding layers of texture and complexity. A drizzle of coconut cream provides a touch of richness and decadence, balancing the bright and refreshing flavours of the dish. While the flavours are undeniably bright and appetising, some diners may find the squid cut too thin to appreciate its texture fully.

Grilled Peach, Blood Orange Sorbet 4/5

Concluding our meal at Butcher's Block, we savoured the delightful Grilled Peach ($14) dessert. Nestled atop a bed of sable crumble, the Spanish white peach exuded a natural sweetness enhanced by a slow grilling process over a wood fire. This imparted a caramelised sweetness with a subtle hint of bitterness, adding depth to each bite. Complementing the grilled peach was a scoop of refreshing blood orange sorbet, providing a burst of citrusy flavour that balanced the sweetness of the fruit. The dish was further elevated with the addition of a delicate charcoal tuile, offering a subtle smokiness and a crisp texture. Garnished with fennel flowers and marigold leaves, the presentation was as beautiful as it was delicious, adding a touch of elegance to the dessert.

Overall, Butcher's Block continues to impress with its innovative dishes and commitment to quality ingredients. The Spring menus offer a culinary journey that celebrates the essence of nature and showcases the restaurant's dedication to sustainability.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

Butcher's Block
Raffles Hotel Singapore
Raffles Arcade
328 North Bridge Road
Singapore 188719
Tel: +65 6337 1886
Nearest MRT: City Hall (EW, NS Line), Esplanade (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Lunch (Thu-Sun): 12pm - 230pm
Dinner (Wed-Sun): 6pm - 945pm
(Closed on Mon and Tue)

1) Alight at City Hall MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Junction of North Bridge Road and Bras Basah Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit F. Walk to Beach Road. Cross the road. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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