I was a bit sceptical when I first read the claim. Was Daun Bistro in the boutique D’Nova Hotel on Purvis Street really our first Singapore Indonesian fusion bistro? Unlikely as it had seemed to me at first, it turned out to be absolutely true.
Daun Bistro sits adjoining the ground-floor lobby of this cosy, rather nondescript hotel. From the advertising outside, though, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s a bistro with a hotel attached.
We went a-visiting on a bright, sunny afternoon and the quiet calm inside was a pleasant respite from the heat. Décor was an abundance of earthy browns and blacks, as well as a generous infusion of deep red from the furniture. Certainly a candidate worthy of consideration for a fun flirty date.
A tiny bar sits around the cashier counter. Above it, a TV was playing music videos.
What I tried at Daun Bistro
It was the photos of huge hunks of meat sitting on wooden boards that had first piqued my interest in Daun Bistro. So, my first order was a no-brainer: the Meat Platter – 2 pax (S$42.80++). We smiled at the sight that greeted us as the waitress carried it to our table.
It’s as close to a literal smorgasbord as you will find.
Spicy Grilled Pork Ribs, Ribeye Steak, Crispy Fried Chicken Wing and Chorizo (pork sausage) all shared the limited space. Alongside, there was a small bowl of Daun Bistro’s signature sambal. A few pieces of keropok, lettuce leaf garnished with pickled onion, and a solitary lemon wedge completed the mesmerising scene.
I don’t now how they prepare them but the Spicy Grilled Pork Ribs were among the most tender that I have ever tasted. Every last morsel was juicy to the core. The Ribeye Steak, while superior to what I have been served at other establishments could not keep up.
We found both the 2 Crispy Fried Chicken Wings to be true to their name, crispy as can be. Chorizo hasn’t been on my list of favourite food and that didn’t change at Daun Bistro. It was fine as another element of this meat lover’s dream.
My second order was for the Fried Boneless Chicken Crazy Fried Rice (S$16.80++). I love how even the fried rice is simply laden upon a flat serving board instead of being mollycoddled in a plate.
It seems even this dish is meant for sharing. It gave the table a very close, communal feel. You may be forgiven for getting middle-eastern vibes from the eating-of-shared-plate concept. It made me think that a Daun Bistro meal may be a good bonding session for colleagues, too.
As with the Meat Platter – 2 pax, the Fried Boneless Chicken Crazy Fried Rice was served with keropok, lettuce leaf garnished with pickled onion, and Daun Bistro’s signature sambal.
We found this dish to be simply delicious— the rice was fluffy, slightly charred and not too dry (just the way I like it). The fried boneless chicken was super crunchy on the outside and extremely juicy on the inside. I was even tempted to order another serving as takeaway.
Delicious as the meat was in both dishes, I would say that the sambal carried more than its fair share. Daun Bistro prides itself on creating food that takes the best of traditional Indonesian herbs and spices— that was evident with this delicious concoction.
Besides the usual suspects on the cocktail and mocktail menus, Daun Bistro also has Lowenbrau Lager (Pint S$14, Jug S$35, Tower S$65) and Little Creatures Pale Ale (Pint S$16, Jug S$40, Tower S$75) on tap. They also have 2 Daun Special Flavour Draught Beer— Lychee (Pint S$20) and Peach (Pint S$20).
Daun Bistro delivers on its promise of contemporary Singapore-Indonesian fusion cuisine with a creative flair. We found the presentation especially marvellous. Served on a wooden board instead of a plate or platter, each dish possesses a wonderful unbridled character evident even before you take a bite.
I do think, though, that the prices are a little bit on the steep side. Our 2 food orders— Meat Platter – 2 pax and Fried Boneless Chicken Crazy Fried Rice –— and 2 Cokes brought the bill to almost S$80.
While we did enjoy the meal and acknowledge that it is ‘in a hotel’, we can also understand why some may give this place a pass. We arrived at about noon and were the only patrons for the hour or so that we were there.
Having tasted the food, I would say that such discouraging numbers may do a great disservice to this fine eatery. It’s my hope that this review may go some way in encouraging anyone looking for a unique dining experience to make their way down to Daun Bistro. Their food definitely deserves the chance to shine.
Expected damage: S$17 – S$40 per pax
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Price: $ $
Our Rating: 3.5 / 5
14 Purvis Street, Singapore 188593
14 Purvis Street, Singapore 188593