Last Updated: January 4, 2019
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to dine in a vintage English pub, Mr Punch Public House at the MINT Museum of Toys is a must try.
Located near Bugis, this retro gastropub serves up hearty dishes named after the 1900s British ‘Punch and Judy’ puppet show.
Mr Punch Public House sits in the museum’s basement, so you can head down for some food after wandering about the museum. With old enamel posters on the walls and cocktails with vintage brand names, the interior is just as intriguing as the menu.
We started off with a zesty and fresh Tiger Prawn Salad (S$10.90) to whet our appetites. Huge and juicy grilled tiger prawns took the centre stage, with a bed of mesclun greens and sprigs of fresh mint. The cucumbers, rings of onion and cherry tomatoes kept the salad light and refreshing, while adding a fresh garden vibe to it.
What really tied the salad together for me was the homemade lemon mustard sauce that they drizzled over the dish. Tangy and sharp, the dressing prickled over my tongue the same way summer heat washes over you at the seaside.
To wash down the salad, we had the French Onion Soup (S$6.90). This classic French onion soup was simmered in beef stock for four hours, so you can be sure that the soup is properly infused with a rich and gamey beef flavour.
Topped with a crunchy lid of toasted mozzarella, this clear soup packed a flavourful punch. I really liked how fragrant it was, with a mellow sweetness that lingered at the back of my throat.
The second act of the meal was the mains, which Mr Punch Public House does wonderfully. The Miso Cod Gnocchi (S$30) isn’t what you’d think of when you think about British fare, but I have to say, this was my favourite main dish.
A hefty slab of Chilean black cod rested on homemade gnocchi and sauteed mushrooms, with rich cream sauce. At Mr Punch Public House, they marinate the cod for six hours before baking it, so that the fish maintained its delicate texture and intense flavour. I could easily break off pieces of the flaky fish, which was silky-smooth and buttery.
If you thought that the gnocchi was simply there as a backdrop for the black cod, you’d be utterly wrong. Soft, creamy and slightly chewy, each bite of the gnocchi flooded my mouth with buttery potato goodness. My only gripe was that these dense potato dumplings got a little jelak towards the end.
Not into fish? The Stuffed Chicken Leg (S$25) is great for those looking for a meat dish that isn’t too heavy. The sous vide and grilled chicken leg contained mushrooms, garlic, thyme, onions and carrots. It also came with a side of grilled potatoes and zucchini.
The deboned and stuffed chicken leg resembled a really fat sausage, and each bite contained well-balanced flavours and textures. From the tender meat, to the earthy mushrooms to the slight crunch and sweetness from the onions and carrots, this was a delightful way to enjoy chicken.
Mr Punch Public House also does their version of Beef Bourguignon Pie (S$22), a thick and hearty stew which comes with a “golden-pillow” inspired roti prata. The chunks of sous vide beef brisket are cooked with stock and red wine for 16 hours, leaving them chewy with soft fats.
I liked that the stew had faint notes of red wine which didn’t overpower the beef chunks. You can enjoy this in two ways: just the beef brisket and stew on its own, or tear of pieces of the roti prata and dip it into the stew.
No meal is complete without dessert, so the final act of the meal was the Panna Cotta Garden (S$7) for a sweet ending to the meal. Served in a simple white cup, the vanilla panna cotta came with Oreo crumble for the “soil”, and fresh berries.
If you’re just looking for a simple sweet treat, the sweet and tart flavours would be great for you. I prefer my desserts a little sweeter and richer, so this didn’t quite hit the spot for me.
Dessert wasn’t everything I expected it to be, so a drink or two was in order.
When it comes to cocktails, Mr Punch Public House doesn’t pull its punches. The Lipton (S$23/glass, S$130/jar) is a re-imagination of the familiar tea brand, only this time with alcohol.
Made with Hendrick’s, Earl Grey, triple sec, raspberry and fresh citrus, this gin-based drink was deceptively strong. We ordered a huge jar of Lipton to share amongst four diners, and struggled to finish it.
I really liked how the drink tasted like fruit punch. Sweet and tart, this nostalgic cocktail was really refreshing. Be careful though, because it’s so easy to drink that you might find yourself just guzzling down glass after glass of this fruity concoction.
So if you’re looking for a dining spot that’s out of the ordinary, head over to Mr Punch Public House for vintage-themed drinks and simple yet hearty dishes. The lighting may not be the best for photos, but their stand-out dishes like the Miso Cod Gnocchi and Beef Bourguignon Pie makes up for that.
Expected Damage: S$30 – S$50 per pax
Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Mr Punch Public House
26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382
26 Seah Street, Singapore 188382