Sideways: Smoked Bone Marrow & Roasted Artichokes At This Mediterranean-Inspired Tapas Bar Along Rowell Rd

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Take a walk along Rowell Road and you’ll find yourself drawn to this retro-looking, time-worn building, which previously housed Broadcast HQ.

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Stepping into this unassuming shophouse, we fell in love with the quaint and small space, which had a rustic charm to it.

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Brought to you by the same folks behind The Hangar, Pav and Giulia, Sideways is a Mediterranean-inspired tapas bar with their very own wood-fired brick oven built from scratch.

The carefully curated food menu features a variety of cold plates and hot tapas, including numerous gluten-free and vegan-friendly options.

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We started off with a plate of homemade Beetroot Pickles (S$7) that was made using white Italian balsamic vinegar.

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While I’m not particularly fond of pickles, the crunchy slices of beetroot, topped with pickled onions, was the perfect appetiser to get us started.  

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The aroma of the freshly-baked Sourdough (S$4) permeated the restaurant the moment it was taken out of the wood-fired oven.

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At Sideways, the bread goes through a slow fermentation process and is made with their very own starter, cultivated in-house, along with a mix of rye and white flour.

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The Sourdough bread was amazing on its own; light and fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside, and completed with a smoky aroma.

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The Shrimp & Basil (S$12) features a piping hot bowl of roasted shrimps in a savoury, garlicky broth made with shrimps shells and fried basil. While the broth may have been a tad too salty on its own, it went perfectly well with the bread.

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You can also opt for a vegan-friendly dip. Made with roasted red peppers, eggplants and caramelised onions, the Smoked Eggplant and Peppers Dip (S$9), when paired with the bread, was simply delectable!

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Next up, we had the Angus Ribeye (S$16), 150g of Australian Angus ribeye steak charred in their wood-fired oven.

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What I loved about it was how the wood-fired oven added a robust smoky aroma and flavour to the slab of meat, yet at the same time, the steak remained succulent and tender on the inside, featuring a lovely pinkish hue in the middle.

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If you’re looking for an equally satisfying vegan alternative, try their Roasted Artichokes (S$9).

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Topped with a layer of mozzarella and garnished with chopped basil leaves, the Italian artichokes are also roasted in the wood-fired oven and had a slight sweetness to it.

Like the previous dishes, the smoky flavour was pretty intense. My only gripe was that texture-wise, it was a little too tough for my liking.

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Finally, my favourite of the lot — the Smoked Bone Marrow (S$13), which I was looking forward to before coming to Sideways.

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This forkful of buttery decadence was the result of the beef bone marrow roasted in the oven with a touch of garlic, breadcrumbs and thyme. Before we know it, the bone marrow was scraped clean, and I was left wanting for more.

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Next time you’re in the mood for some wholesome and honest Mediterranean grub, look no further, ‘cos you’ll be heading sideways.

Expected damage: S$4 – S$16 per pax

Sideways: 109 Rowell Road, Singapore 208033 | Tel: +65 6291 3441 | Opening Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Mon to Fri); 10am – 11pm (Sat); 10am – 5pm (Sun) | Facebook | Website