Last Updated: August 16, 2017
Tucked at the top of Dempsey is restaurant-bar Provisions, the only cocktail bar in Singapore to offer skewers and claypot rice along with exciting infusions of bespoke cocktails that are hugely inspired by asian flavours.
I don’t think I’ve ever come across another place that allows you to pair alcoholic beverages with comfort food on sticks and in pots so this is definitely a first for me.
Surrounded by hip gastropubs in the vicinity, Provisions doesn’t lose out when it comes to the sleek interior department.
Once you enter the bar, you’ll find yourself in an industrial-chic setting that’s decked out in wooden tables and metal chairs — definitely a comfortable spot to indulge in some contemporary Asian favourites and creative cocktail concoctions.
The bulk of its menu is delegated to a wide selection of skewers with all kinds of cuts, including chicken, pork, mutton, beef and even offals.
If you want to try something slightly unconventional, go for the Beef Tongue ($9) that’s doused in kecap manis and grilled with scallion and garlic.
If innards aren’t your thing, try crowd pleasers like the classic Pork Belly ($7).
Garnished with spring onion and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, the pork itself was well-marinated and grilled to perfection over a charcoal fire. As generic as this may be, you really can’t go wrong with this skewer choice.
Seafood -based skewers are also part of the curated selection with Sotong ($8) being one of the sticks available. This rendition is marinated with a good amount of chilli and boasts a decadent topping of salted egg sauce as well.
The Pig Ear Fritters ($12) was probably one of our favourites among the fried food items.
The combination of fire spice, chilli and pepper really blends well with the crisp batter and makes for a simply delectable seasoning. This would be great to munch while chugging some craft beer!
Tweaking the traditional claypot rice dishes and introducing a modern twist, the culinary team at Provisions have invented ingenious creations such as the Oyster Omelette Claypot Rice ($18).
In this rendition, five different types of rice grains are mixed in with a generous serving of oyster and eggs, all of which is doused in an absolutely fragrant sauce base. As with every good claypot rice dish, you can also look forward to scrapping up the delicious charred bits that are stuck to the edges of the pot as soon as you polish the top half.
To end your meal on a sweet note, order one of their Asian-influenced desserts off the menu. We had the Cempedak & Coconut ($8) which consisted of cempedak and vanilla ice cream, both drenched in a generous amount gala melaka and topped off with crushed peanuts.
After you’ve had your fill, head over to the cocktail bar where your alcoholic needs will be met by the resident bartenders who’ve had years of mixology experience under their belt.
There, you’ll be greeted by head bartender and co-owner KC Rahmat who has a knack for inventing unique cocktail mixes using Asian herbs and spices.
Off the cocktail menu, we had the Passionately Dark & Stormy ($17). This speciality cocktail is mixed using aged Kraken rum that is infused with mull spices and a dash of lime juice. Half a passion fruit and some mint leaves are placed over top to add on to the citrus-centric flavours.
If you’re craving for some local flavours, have at the Bantai Bandung ($14) which is crafted with a combination of aged rum, rose syrup, evaporated milk and lastly, gula melaka. Chendol jelly is also added to enhance the beverage even further with some much-needed texture.
Like to be surprised by some Bespoke Cocktails ($14++)? Challenge the bartender to create any cocktail of your choosing — whether it’s sweet, fruity, savoury or spicy, there’s nothing they can’t concoct.
We asked for a belacan cocktail and certainly got what we wanted. Dubbed the Bloody Belacan, we had something that was similar to a Bloody Mary but with more kick from the fiery chilli paste. A quirky combination but shiok nonetheless.
With aims to promote local cuisine and culture to the expats who frequent the Dempsey area, Provisions has certainly got it all down to a T. Everything from the “Tip-Bits” area filled with old school snacks to in-house chilli blends evokes some sense of nostalgia and is certainly reminiscent of actual provisions shops from yesteryears.
I’ll certainly be back for the hearty pots of claypot rice and delectable skewers, if not the undeniably innovative cocktails crafted by the skilled bartenders. Here’s something a little different from the usual upmarket fare you’d find in most gastropubs.
Expected Damage: $35++ per pax