Oh, how I love Singapore’s CBD. When I came to know about Jarrell’s Bistro along Telok Ayer Street, it was only right to check out the mysterious kid on the block.
Aside from the hustle and bustle that fills the atmosphere, what I love—second to the city vibes—has to be the food. It’s quite like a global food district on its own, with restaurants serving up unique cuisines from around the world.
I was particularly excited about visiting Jarrell’s because of its interesting interior and menu. Entering the modern Asian-Western fusion bistro was like walking into a dim, yet cosy pub—but with an edge of spunk.
The enchanting futuristic interior greets one with walls splashed with pop culture and custom-made rustic furniture all around. It also has an open kitchen where guests can watch the action go down. Don’t forget the open bar with a myriad of booze options to choose from and unwind after a long day at work.
Now, on to my main mission of the day: Jarrell Bistro’s daily lunch sets. Starting at S$22++ for a 2-course menu and S$27++ for a 3-course selection, I was eager to dive into the menu to see if it would be one to recommend to my friends working in the CBD.
What I tried
First up, Decadence (S$17), one of two entrées to choose from on the lunch set. Do note, this luxurious option comes at an additional S$4. Be graced by pan-seared foie gras, soft-boiled egg, baby spinach, mushroom ragout, balsamic reduction, and edible gold foil.
It’s best enjoyed with the creamy egg atop foie gras. The latter was cooked perfectly; one to please the foie gras lovers.
Indeed, it is quite a lavish option for lunch, but you never know when you’re going to need a treat yo’self day.
For starters, I tried the cheeky Cure for Hangover (S$15), served in a timeworn teapot. From its appearance alone, I love how Jarrell’s Bistro entertains the idea of theatrics. Yes, you pour the soup out into small tea cups to enjoy!
Featuring venus clams in superior broth and amazing aromatics like garlic, ginger, shao xing wine, and chilli, I’d happily attest to its playful dish name. The kick of heat complemented the umami-filled broth and just as each sip ends, the shao xing wine leaves one feeling triumphant.
Now the 辣辣 Pasta (S$18) might not be on the lunch menu but it definitely deserves a special mention. The peppery, spicy, and tangy pasta comes with a handsome amount of la la.
Yet, what made this dish spectacular was the homemade kam heong paste, together with curry leaf powder and chilli padi. The flavour combination was phenomenal and even as the spice lingered on longer with every bite, it was a risk worth taking.
Onto mains to choose from, the Chicken Little Burger (S$15) is one of four options. The sinful stack features a fried prawn paste chicken thigh in between two buttered brioche buns and sambal belacan. Oh, and not forgetting the valiant sidekick—french fries.
I mean, what could go wrong? The crispy, golden fried chicken was juicy and oh-so-flavourful. Chef Jarrell certainly did not hold back on the prawn paste, which I really admire. Plus, this stack features fluffy brioche buns! Talk about premium ingredients.
I must add that the sambal belacan is not one to be trifled with, especially if you’re not good with spice. Nevertheless, if you’re ever craving for a good chicken burger, I’d definitely recommend this.
One thing I love about Jarrell’s Bistro is the abundance of fusion dishes here. As more East-meets-West dishes take foodies by storm, the Oriental Karkinos Pasta (S$22) is one to keep your eye out for. For an additional S$4, you can opt for this deluxe dish as your main for your lunch set.
The tagliatelle was cooked till al dente, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While the chunks of jumbo crab meat were delightfully generous, I found the homemade chilli crab sauce mixed with Pomodoro a little too sweet for my liking. I expected the spice to come through more than the sweetness but this was just two notches away from what I was looking forward to.
Next up, Labyrinth Rewards (S$15). The classic beef bolognese is also an option on the lunch menu.
I appreciated the use of fresh tomatoes which elevated the tanginess of the sauce, as well as the al dente pasta, which gave the dish a nice bite. Though I feel for such a classy line-up so far, I would’ve preferred freshly grated parmesan.
While it was plated spectacularly and had an insanely generous portion, this pasta dish stayed more on the safe side when it came to flavours. Now, don’t get me wrong; it was decent and delicious, yet nothing impressive. It’s an option for you to consider if you fancy something hearty and comforting.
As for dessert, we were served the EVer.2 (S$15), a MILO tiramisu featuring MILO ‘Gao’ ladyfingers, MILO nuggets, mascarpone cream, and mint leaf. This is available on the lunch set menu for an additional S$4 too.
Don’t be fooled by its modest appearance; this was decadence in a cup. Perhaps I’m getting old, but every spoonful of MILO was a trip down memory lane. The added crunch from the MILO nuggets paired addictively with the luscious cream, making this a dessert worth every calorie.
I must say, this is a mighty find in the CBD for hearty lunch sets. Despite falling short of gastronomical flavours by just an inch, Jarrell’s Bistro is definitely one to visit especially if you’re in need of a robust lunch. I only wish the 辣辣 Pasta was part of the lunch menu.
As for the ambience of the place, I’d likely be back to catch up with friends over drinks by the cool bar they’ve got. Consider your next office lunch or office drinks session sorted!
Expected damage: S$20 – S$30 per pax
*This post was brought to you in partnership with Jarrell’s Bistro.
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Our Rating: 3 / 5
198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637
198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637