November 18, 2015
Lime House, a Caribbean restaurant that promises quality food paired with excellent drinks. Did I mention how comprehensive a list of rum they have as well? Though I certainly did not meet Captain Jack Sparrow on the way but by the end of dinner, I was pretty sure I sailed to the Caribbean Islands and back.
Located in a rich in heritage multi-storey shophouse, Lime House provides an inviting atmosphere for any occasion, be it for dinner, social and corporate events, lounging, you name it. Lime Houses’ interior is vibrant and colourful, a sure delight to be in for a good meal or just a casual liming (chill) session.
I made my way to the Lime Lounge and as I carefully perched myself on one of the seats, Seth shared with me a piece of good news. We were about to be served a 4 course dinner meal with sides and *drum roll*… rum pairing.
Rum Swizzle ($18++). First of the many rum pairing cocktails, this consists of Angostura 7 year from Trinidad and Tobago, fresh juices of lime and pineapple, and last but not least, falernum. What’s falernum you may ask and I am very sure the people at Lime House will be ever ready to answer you joyfully but let me do the honours since Richard, our main man for the cocktails, has kindly shared with us the 411 on rum.
Falernum is made up of spices like star anise, cloves etc. Lime House uses home-made falernum, which contains cloves and almond. It is robust and fruity, adding a sweetness to the tangy lime and pineapple juices. This spiced cocktail definitely whet our appetite.
Crab Dumpling ($15). I was looking forward to my first course of fresh crab meat encased in a celebrated culinary export of the Caribbean, callaloo (creamy spinach). The crab filling is generous and the callaloo is laden with fragrant herbs. Slightly hot, albeit like a curry but a lighter version. The dumpling is not too heavy, a wonderful start to a meal.
Oxtail Dumpling ($15). Chef Hassan explained how he slow cooked the oxtail for 3 hours and infused an Asian touch to the otherwise very traditional Caribbean comfort food. The clear broth is aromatic with slight hint of herbs, the oxtail filling is stewed till its’ soft and tender.
The first taste of the broth warms your soul and when combined with the dumpling, a wave of bliss washes over me. No wonder this is deemed as comfort food, it surely is comforting. This is a new dish on the menu and I highly recommend this.
Classic Daiquiri ($16++). When you mention daiquiri, images of frozen fancy fruit daiquiris comes to mind but that isn’t really how the original daiquiri was. Richard told us that the recipe was created in 1896 and the only ingredients were bacardi rum, castor sugar and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Lime House follows the original recipe to the T and uses tahitian seedless limes for the cocktails because the usual limes are too bitter for cocktails. I was really excited to try the original recipe for the first time since I am guilty for drinking one too many frozen strawberry daiquiris.
This cocktail is amazing. Unlike the pseudo fruity daiquiris, this is very strong and has a rustic flavour. It still goes down smoothly though it is strong because the lime and sugar combine together with the rum to give it a sour-ish sweetness.
Pan Fried Seabass ($30). This is served with chayote gratin, avocado puree, peppers and topped with spiced shrimps, yum. The prawns were my first point of attack and yes they were super juicy and of course slightly hot in flavour. It goes really well with the creamy chayote gratin because the latter balances out the spices.
The seabass is pan fried till its’ skin is crisp and I finished the entire fish skin, which is major for me because I have never enjoyed eating fish skin. I always thought they were slimy but this is a game changer. The fish itself is flavourful but can get a little dry. However, pairing it with the avocado puree solves the problem and enhances the flavour of the dish.
Hot tip and I mean it literally. Ask for a side of their in-house scotch bonnet chilli sauce. Considered one of the hottest chilli in the world, Lime House blends it with pickles to give it a zesty punch. Let me warn you, it really is hot but the taste… sheer pleasure.
I took a small taster and the spiciness went straight up to my head, my entire face felt hot for ages after and I was more awake than drinking 10 cups of coffee. I of course doused the fire with the daiquiri, how perfect.
Dark and Stormy ($18++). Think rum and raisin ice cream but a mean version of it. This cocktail is for all the rum lovers out there who needs that solid rum taste in their alcohol. As the name suggest, it is dark and strong. It has Myer’s white rum from Jamaica, fresh lime juice angostura bitters and ginger beer.
I have a sweet tooth but yet I like to be able to taste the alcohol in my drink without it being overpowering and this cocktail did it for me. Three drinks in and I am fairly certain that I’m now in the Caribbean Islands. They do have have a fresh ginger infused version that goes at $20++.
Beef Ribs ($98, meant for sharing up to a group of 8). Another one of Caribbean’s comfort food, the ribs are lightly seasoned with Lime House homemade BBQ sauce.
Just take a look, the outside of the ribs is nicely glazed with the BBQ house and the insides are baked till its tender. Unlike most ribs where there isn’t any meat at all and you probably have to spend a million years trying to pick at the bone, this rack is plentiful in quantity and also rich in flavour. Also, the meat comes apart from the bone easily when eating.
The sauce is full flavoured and goes very well with the meat, adding an extra layer to its’ flavour. Special mention to the delectable macaroni pie side, which is yet another Caribbean comfort food staple. It’s mac and cheese but in a condensed casserole form, what’s not to love about that?
Whole Jerk Chicken ($72, meant for sharing up to a group of 8). Lime House mixes mainstream Jamaican crossover with their signature Jamaican ‘jerk’ seasoning and bast it generously on a whole boneless chicken. Without any difficulties in picking out bones, it makes the entire process a more enjoyable one.
The chicken meat is soft and filled with flavour, unlike the usual tough chicken breast meat. The special blend of jerk sauce is simply delectable and it goes well with the chicken.
Mai Tai ($22++). Here comes the Mount Gay black barrel from Barbados, mixed with Cointreau, orgeat, fresh lime juice and finished off with mint leaves. Yet another drink that follows the original recipe closely, it contains absolutely no fruit juices except for the fresh lime.
I remember trying Mai Tai once and it didn’t leave a good impression on me. So I was pretty apprehensive about this but all my fears were gone after the very first sip. Refreshing and strong, this Mai Tai has captured my heart. It’s like drinking a mojito with a rum twist.
No addition of pineapple or orange juices, this Mai Tai isn’t overtly sweet and is strong in the rum department. Conclusion is, always stick to the original recipe, it circulated around first for a reason.
Spiced Banana Cake ($12). I am all praise for this. The moment I tried it I knew I had to speak to Chef Hassan and let him know how great a job he did. Though I was incredibly full, I had no trouble finishing this off and was almost eyeing the plate next to mine, almost. Had to remind myself greed is one of the seven deadly sins.
The banana used is a special strand that is less sweet than the usual ones, making the cake less saccharine. This made it complementary to the decadent and hearty fig ice cream, balancing out the dessert with a hint of spice. It is then finished off with a honeyed sauce. Not the lightest of desserts but neither is it the heaviest, I was really impressed and would go back to Lime House just for this, and the rum of course.
Deconstructed Pina Colada ($12). Now here’s the lighter option for dessert. It is made up of coconut custard, pineapple compote and lime granite. This makes for a freshening end to any meal. The coconut flakes adds texture to the entire dessert and what better way to cool down in hot and humid Singapore than this?
It was so hard for me to snap back to reality and know that dinner has come to an end. The people at Lime House are exceptionally warm and I could sense that they were genuinely interested in sharing their culture and food with us. Food was delicious, cocktails were all on point, I would definitely recommend a visit to Lime House for an authentic Caribbean experience.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Lime House offers complimentary rum pairing from 5pm onwards till closing. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely returning for more.
Expected Damage: $70 – $90 per Pax