Read and post reviews on Pidgin Kitchen & Bar at its new address
Pidgin Kitchen & Bar serves delicious and mouth captivating Southeast Asian foods through combining popular regional cuisine, western cooking techniques, and the team's wicked sense of imagination.
Tue - Thu: 12:00 - 14:30
Tue - Thu: 18:00 - 22:30
Fri: 12:00 - 14:30
Fri: 18:00 - 00:00
Sat: 11:00 - 00:00
Sun: 11:00 - 17:00
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To discard a primordial soup of names as a wall décor, and gun for a name – Pidgin, which means a mash-up of languages that bridges communication in a region, say, Singapore – that declares its wish to go local, restaurateur Adrian Ling had boldly overhauled his French bistro Pamplemousse to make way for Pidgin Kitchen & Bar.
In its rebirth, the bistro now has a white-walled interior (that aims for industrial chic, alas, again) that registered more as greenhouse or chapel, with an adjacent open bar roofed by black wooden beams. Most things stay European. Tables and chair in Nordic blonde wood lighten up the overall palette. Columns of mirrors towards back reflect back the length of the space, echoing an extended feel of the restaurant.
The menu runs in bold 50’s-era typeface, in powder blue-green, and food is split according to categories. Further nostalgia stems from the use of blue-rim enamel-tin cup with prints of flowers. Description wise though, the menu reads locavore, at least regionally. (It even said Malaysian tomatoes without batting an eyelid.) This is not followed up with advocacy. Instead, the dishes seem more bent on intrigue and novelty.
Bread & Butter & More ($7.00)
Mow down the hype and read for the subtext on the menu instead, if you need substantial carbs: bread rolls (including some sourdough bun and other darker breads) with a terraced cone of Bordier (you have to try this) butter, some excellent extra virgin olive oil, and sundried tomato and marmite pesto. Bar grub should be skipped for things like these.
Adding Asian elements was more forced for a cocotte of mac and cheese with bak kwa. The roux-drenched penne is rendered heavy with truffle oil alone while the sweet barbequed meat only made it waxy, and not any different than adding lap cheong to the mix.
At other times, novelty surfaces in the façade: a tau suan (it clearly was the starched mung bean soup in appearance) turned out to be savory, made with dashi, and has juicy nuggets of razor clams. Purists may cringe but this was rather pleasant and strangely, light.
More subtly Asian are dishes that truly have a clear intent on taste than on concept. Pidgin brought over its uni tagliolini from its Pamplemousse days, a snug roll of pasta soaking in a creamy amber sauce topped with uni and nori powder – you know it is glorious without even tasting it. And it is.