Last Updated: January 31, 2021
I like to be surprised. When approaching any restaurant for the very first time, I deprive myself of any information about the place—no Google searches, no scouring on social media. It lends a purity to judgement, free from the stains of bias and expectations. With restaurants like EatCetera, my cluelessness is easily managed, because their food remains largely shrouded in mystery.
This three-month-old establishment brings ‘Pan-European cuisine’ to the heartlands of Redhill, which perhaps raises more questions than it answers. It’s nestled comfortably under ARTRA, a high-rise condominium complex which screams all things modern and new. Playful palindromes aside, there’s quite a contrast between the weathered walls of Redhill MRT and the building’s chic grey aesthetic, much like the restaurant’s seemingly out-of-place offerings.
At its centre, EatCetera promises food which you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere in our little red dot. Dishes from Belarus, Germany, and Russia all come together on the menu—a welcome addition amidst long-term travel bans. Don’t come here expecting only platters of bratwursts and pork knuckles, because Chef Christian Bruhns hopes to take diners on a gastronomic tour around Europe.
To start, a serving of Russian Salad (S$18) arrives impeccably dressed. There’s a pile of potatoes, cucumbers, and smoked ham that’s diced and adorned in a house-made Belarus mayonnaise. Its menu description notes ‘Top Secret Russian Recipe’ in a thoroughly KGB-esque fashion, so I can only imagine the food here to dictate national security (and importance).
I’m instantly seduced, falling prey to the luscious creamy notes from this cold plate. I quietly pile on scoops of salad onto the accompanying slices of sourdough, hoping no one catches me in my escapade of gluttony. I’d ask Chef Christian for a recipe, but of course, then he would have to kill me.
Across the border in Belarus, we have the Draniki (S$8). Here, potato pancakes are laboriously pan-fried till golden-brown and crispy around the edges. I’m biased towards carbs, so it’s hard not to love this.
Think rosti, but more bite-sized and with a smooth, buttery inside. If I’m nitpicking, I’d wish for the edges to be a little softer. It’s still a crowd-pleaser, no doubt, because how can one ever go wrong with potatoes? Opt for the sauteed mushrooms iteration, which boasts a delightful serving of saucy sliced mushrooms to go with your draniki.
Bringing a taste of home to the table is the Fish Soup (S$11). Nope, this isn’t along the likes of our local hawker variant. Instead, this bowl comes chock-full of potatoes, leeks, and smoked trout. Heroically seasoned is what it is, where each mouthful bathes the mouth in a thick, velvety broth that is courageously salted.
Moving on to the meat side of things, EatCetera’s signature skewers manages to turn heads in all its swinging glory. An apparatus holding skewers of Pork Collar (S$22) and Lamb Rump (S$33) stands impressively tall at the table, just so the other diners know who the serious eaters are.
Visuals aside, there’s much to appreciate with the flavours here. The former leaves me swooned with an aggressively spiced rub that leaves the tongue tingling with excitement. Each chunk of pork is charred lovingly, a testament to the wonders of the josper oven. I preferred this over the lamb, which I felt could do with more generosity in its seasoning. This comes served with a duo of yellow and red bell pepper sauces. Just don’t mistake them for ketchup and mustard.
I’m beginning to feel full at this point, but that doesn’t stop me from indulging in the Hungarian Veal Goulash (S$33). Chunks of veal come slathered in a brick-red sauce, topped off with sour cream. It’s a red-and-white combination that leaves me feeling thoroughly patriotic—an irony when considering how far from home this dish resides.
A helping of spätzle sits alongside the goulash. It’s a pasta variant that comes oddly shaped, to the uninitiated at least. EatCetera’s rendition is tossed in butter and cooked al dente. Desperate is what I’m reduced to, as I hurriedly splash spoonfuls of gravy onto my already full plate of spätzle. I’d recommend sharing this plate, lest you don’t mind gaining a few extra pounds. But then again, who am I to tell you how to live your life?
In the fairy tale that is my meal at EatCetera, my happily-ever-after comes in the form of Kaiserschmarrn (S$18). I shan’t embarrass myself by utterly butchering the name, though one thing I am dead certain of is how lip-smackingly delicious this dish is. Fluffy, souffle pancakes are made only more decadent by being finished off in the pan for a crisp exterior.
My stomach desperately wants to reject each bite, but my heart tells me otherwise. I’d risk it all for these pancakes, and I think you should too. Add on a scoop of vanilla ice cream (S$6) to make the whole affair even more sinful, and save the self-deprecation and shame for later in the night.
I left with a wide grin plastered over my face because it’s hard to deny the emotions conjured by honest-to-goodness home cooking. Backing each plate is a blend of hearty portions and bold flavours—a universally loved combination. Come prepared for a highly educational and delicious affair with menu options that feature somewhat out-of-the-syllabus European fare. Much like its clever play on Greek calque ‘Et cetera’, I know this isn’t the last that EatCetera will see of me.
Expected Damage: S$25 – S$40 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
12 Alexandra View, #01-02, Singapore 158736
12 Alexandra View, #01-02, Singapore 158736