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Immigrants Gastrobar

Asian
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Tables fill up with friends gathering over Chef Damian’s tapas-portioned heritage dishes and drinks from a generous selection of whiskies, beers and spirits.
With warm lighting falling on furniture of vintage pedigree,Immigrants is a welcoming laid-back space featuring a full bar and plenty of seating.

Daily: 17:00 - 01:00

$40 based on 20 submissions
After Work (6 votes), Relaxed (4 votes), Ala Carte (3 votes)
Johnnybooze

Awesome Peranakan and Eurasian dishes!

You will not find a selection of such old school Singaporean dishes anywhere else!
The food is all awesome and I highly recommend the singgang and buakualat (I'm unsure if its spelt that way) fried rice !
asahi on tap and a great selection of craft beers!
def must try This joint I'm Joo Chiat!

The HGW community like this place for...

  • Sambal Buah Keluak Fried Rice3 votes
Community submitted Favourites:
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Based on 20 votes
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19 Nov 2014 • 4 reviews • 0 follower

What happened?

Between my first visit over a year ago and this visit, it seems standards at Immigrants have dropped somewhat. 

Where's the memorable buah keluak fried rice? Instead, we were advised to order the buah keluak paste to go with the white rice. This paste was way too salty while the white rice was hard and undercooked.    The sweet potato leaf with prawns dish was overcooked and the prawns fell apart as they were being forked.    The restaurant should also consider larger dinner plates. It's really uncomfortable trying to use a fork and spoon in a tiny metal bowl which is fine for serving, but not for dining. 

I hate to give a bad review especially since I had a very good impression from my first visit. But I had brought an overseas guest to dine at the restaurant and felt extremely let down.

I do love the range of beers though!


13 Aug 2014 • 225 reviews • 5 followers

Gourmet bar bites with local flavours

This Joo Chiat restaurant-and-bar's kitchen is manned by chef Damian D'Silva, well-known chef and champion of local cuisine. While it is a gastrobar, the bar bites are far from typical and the dishes are bursting with local and heritage flavours. The sambal buah keluak fried rice ($20) is an easy favourite. For the unititated, this is a good introduction to the bold, nutty flavour of the black mangrove nut. The rice glistens jet-black and is positively saturated with the inimitable earthy flavour of keluak seeds married with sambal chilli. The portion is small, which works, because this is a very rich dish.
06 Jul 2014 • 20 reviews • 13 followers

The ghost of former glory

I've eaten twice at Immigrants now, and both times were huge let-downs. While my first dining experience could be put down to teething problems (I ate there with a friend shortly after Immigrants opened), the second time was really saddening, especially since I still have a vivid memory of previous good meals that Damian had cooked up before. Those super high standards that Damian used to hold have clearly fallen.  

Having eaten regularly at Damian De Silva's previous stall (Big D's Grill), I was looking forward to my second meal there, especially after reading Damian's article in the Australian Daily Telegraph. He had plugged Immigrants as #1 in the top 10 list of places to eat in Singapore. I decided to give his place a second try with my wife a couple of weeks back, just to see if the restaurant deserves his (self awarded) ranking. 

We decided to pop by for an early dinner, and ordered the buah keluak rice (which was always my favourite at Big D's), sweet potato leave with sambal, otak and one other Peranakan dish. EVERYTHING tasted like it was re-heated in a hurry...the sauces were loaded with sugar, there was barely any heat in any of the spices, and the otak was dried out inside like an Egyptian mummy. Everything was also over-salted, as the food is clearly designed to sell the alcohol in the pub... 
Suffice to say that I have gotten better meals on Indian domestic airlines. 

Immigrants clearly does NOT deserve to be in any top 10 list of Singapore's must-eat destinations... 

Also, to those reviewers who claim that you can't find better Peranakan food, I suggest you sober up, walk out of Immigrants and find any Peranakan place along Upper East Coast Road. I personally much prefer Peramakan or Candlenut (which has markedly improved in its new Dorsett location). 
22 May 2014 • 20 reviews • 4 followers

Shiok! Sedap! Mahal!

We tried a number of dishes - the cold tofu with century egg, buah keluak rice, babi masak nanas, squid bombs, beef cheek rendang, ayam sioh and the sweet potato leaves lemak. Overall the food quality was good and quite satisfying. Be prepared for burning tongues as the different sambals are really HOT but shiok! The portions would be just about right for 4.  We literally stumbled out after dinner because we were so full and mainly due to the buah keluak rice which was quite rich. Between the four of us, we ordered two bowls but didn't manage to finish it.

The Babi Masak Nanas could have been a bit more sour, the Ayam Sioh was a bit blah and the sweet potato leaves could have had more lemak gravy but overall we give the food a thumbs up however it's not somewhere we would go often because it IS pricey.  To us, it was a treat because we were celebrating a birthday but on a normal night, a family would not want to spend that much. The buah keluak rice cost us $20 per bowl!!  
Ambience was average and the dining tables were small in size and number.
30 Dec 2013 • 1 review • 0 follower

Terrible Cocktail & Food Quality

We heard decent things about this restaurant and looked forward to trying the food. It turned out to be a huge waste of money, food quality not good, cocktails were horrible, chemical tasting. We tried the sambal anchovies, tofu century egg relish (the best of the dishes), beef rendang, chicken wings (o.k.), otak, and the worst of all - the squid bombs. Rubbery cold pieces of squid topped with chilli sauce. The menu sounds good but execution was terrible. Wish this had been better. The only redeeming factor was the pleasant waitstaff.