Brio: Unexpectedly Brilliant Halal European Street Fare In The Far West Of Singapore

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When it comes to halal joints, I can be quite the fussy eater. For some reason, it’s hard to find a place that serves halal-certified Western cuisine that makes me impatient to return, till now.

Brio, located smack in the midst of the ever-busy walkways of Jurong Point, doesn’t draw you in immediately at first sight.

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Catering to mostly young couples and large families, their European-inspired extensive menu got me salivating and eager to try. My first plate was the Seafood Cataplana Linguini ($16.80), a classic Portuguese stew seasoned with basil, oregano and thyme.

I usually stay away from thick, cream-based pasta sauces, so I was a tad apprehensive about how much I’d like this.

Indeed, looks can be deceiving, because the sauce wasn’t heavy at all. In fact, it was savoury and aromatic, with generous portions of prawns, mussels and clams. Everything tasted sweet and fresh.

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If you lean more towards a pescetarian diet, you’ll love the Clam Pot ($8.50), a local take on the usual clam and white wine, but this time with spicy cream sauce. Once again, this sauce wasn’t overwhelmingly rich, and chilli padi aficionados will want to drink the remaining sauce straight from the bowl.

I also loved how naturally sweet the sauce was, which I believe was due to the use of the freshest seafood. I did, however, raise a suggestion with the staff, that perhaps serving the dish with a side of warm bread would complement the overall experience of consuming the dish.

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I am terribly partial towards meat dishes, so when my Oxtail Bourguignonne ($17.80) arrived, I was overjoyed like a kid receiving candy to see the glossy, tender meat before me.

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Stewed for 36 hours, I expected the meat to simply fall off the bone — and so it did, beautifully. It was an effortless task to completely polish off the dish, bone marrow and all. The seasoning had a lot of depth, but I do wish that the mashed potato was slightly more chunky as opposed to a puree.

But for less than $20, there’s really nothing to whine about.

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Usually, for risottos, I like to stick to seafood ones, purely because I enjoy how the seafood’s natural sweetness permeates the stock.

The Scallop & Shrimp Risotto ($15.80) is actually seasoned with red pepper coulis, making for an interesting colour as well as flavour. Even when I was already pretty full from the rest of the dishes, I could easily put away at least half of this dish. The risotto itself still had a bite to it, and there was a good balance of salty and sweet coming from the parmigiano reggiano and the seafood.

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No meal is complete without dessert — at least, in my books. So, I went ahead and went for the classic Chocolate Lava Cake ($7.50). You’ll be surprised how many places serve this, yet how few can do an amazing one. For me, a chocolate lava cake has to use dark chocolate (preferably at least 75% cocoa), and when cut down the middle, the centre has to run slightly gooey.

This one ticked all the right boxes, and I almost forgot how satiated I already was from the mains. The cake itself wasn’t dense, so it didn’t feel too overwhelming.

My lasting impression of Brio is one of great promise. I generally liked everything I tasted, and I honestly wouldn’t change much of the dishes. They carry true elements of the cuisine while adding a local edge to certain recipes which makes sense, given their locale. The next time you’re seeking halal Western fare that is more than just typical cafe food, you can bet on Brio. You have my word.

Expected damage: $20 – $45 per pax

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Brio: 1 Jurong West Central 2, Jurong Point, #02-24/K5, Singapore 648886 | Tel: +65 6795 9606 | Opening hours: (Monday – Friday) 11am – 10pm (Saturday & Sunday) 10.30am – 10pm | Website | Facebook