April 18, 2015
Moosehead is a cosy little kitchen-bar at the ingress of Telok Ayer Street that serves heavenly gastronomia. Founded in 2013 by a father-and-son partnership of Glen and Daniel Ballis, Moosehead is, at its core, a Mediterranean kitchen.
They adopt a chameleon-like gastronomic philosophy, integrating the South East Asian and Japanese influences with that from the west, namely Spain and Greece.
The chefs chiefly employ their workhorse oven – the Inka charcoal oven, and then source most of the ingredients from local markets like Tekka. The heavenly creations from Moosehead’s kitchen have a complexity of tastes and yet, honest to its philosophy.
From April 2015, Moosehead is introducing their new Resident Chef, Drew Wilson, with the launch of over 10 nouveau creations as part of its evolution of taste. The philosophy of street-styled creative spontaneity will embody these new gastronomia.
In line with the Mediterranean core, the newly introduced starter is the Meze Board ($19), comprising orange zest-topped olives, crunchy feta and tzatziki with flat bread. I was impressed with how the olives are elevated by the orange zest, giving the olives a refreshing, new dimension of taste.
The tzatziki (pronounced za-zi-kee) is a Greek side dish of yogurt with cucumber, garlic and mint – it is a versatile dip. Originally, it is meant for the flat bread, but I was adventurous enough to try dipping in the crunchy feta and it was great!
The next two appetizers has got my heart smitten at first bite. The Pork Scratchings ($6) is such an addictive little appetizer. Topped with beef tartare that has been marinated with a complex of Dijon mustard, Japanese chilli spice, Tabasco, and with a generous dollop of yuzu mayo – this $6 piece of heaven is so good, I would blow $60 for 10 of these! Talk about overindulgence!
The other appetizer is the Devilled Egg ($8), which is essentially half egg with its egg yolk mashed into a combination of ricotta filling, tomato chutney and chives. This was a $8, Easter weekend special – a good handful of lucky people had a chance to enjoy this little dish.
For the health conscious diners, fret not – the Mediterranean options of healthy, small plated offerings will surely thrill and sizzle. Do try the Seared Watermelon ($12) – the flash pan-seared watermelon is dripped with olive oil and salt, feta, chives and topped off with Chinese watercress with dressing of mirin, lemon and olive oil.
Mirin is a sweetened rice wine used by the Japanese to enhance the taste of their dishes. In this case, the mirin rice wine seeps from the watercress and into the flash pan-seared watermelon, resulting in a unique, sweet tasting dimension to the watermelon.
Roasted Beetroot ($12) with droplets of pomegranate, toasted almonds and ricotta cheese is another eye-catching, healthy choice. Fruit lovers may enjoy this one.
For those who prefer greens, you may try the Avocado Wedges ($16) with oven-roasted pear and caramelised fig in red wine syrup. The combination of the aforementioned ingredients with goat cheese and spinach leaves with sweet lemon dressing will leave your taste buds fully activated.
The new dishes in the main course category are definitely must-tries. My favourite is the charcoal-grilled Flank Steak with Shimeji mushroom ($29) topped off with a dressing of honey mustard, crème fraiche with salt, spring onion and olive oil. The chefs are so adept at using the Inka oven, making the flank steak exactly medium rare, with all the jus retained.
The Marinated Scallops ($19) is the next, new main course that I would urge you to try. The scallops are painstakingly marinated in yuzu, mizkan rice vinegar and mirin rice wine – this method of marinating imparts the East-West gastronomic philosophy of Moosehead. Highly recommended.
If you have space in your bingy to spare, get either the oven-roasted vegetables – carrots or cauliflower. The Oven-Roasted Carrot ($14) is wonderfully cooked with a sweet apricot puree and persimmon.
And the Oven-Roasted Cauliflower ($14), which is a savoury side dish with garlic miso and leek confit.
Finally, the dessert – the Strawberries and Crème Fraiche ($12) – is an in-house sorbet with mint leaves, grated chocolate and crème fraiche. When thoroughly mixed, the crème fraiche blends in with the strawberries, thus neutralizing a large portion of its acidity.
Moosehead, in my opinion, is a place of choice for an intimate get together, especially with friends who share the same burning passion for great food. Its artistic setting that surrounds you with pop-art mural by top local artists, blends in well with the fusion Mediterranean gastronomic creations of the father-and-son collaboration. Moosehead Kitchen-Bar has moxie!
Read our previous review on Moosehead here.
Expected damage: $50-60 per pax