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Food

S L A T E: Fork-tender Coffee Ribs & Melt-in-mouth “Char Siew” in Bugis

Last Updated: June 7, 2020

Written by Deanna Lim

We love sharing good food recommendations with you, but for now, keep these recommendations as bookmarks—visit them only when the COVID-19 situation ends. Stay safe!

The COVID-19 pandemic might have made it impossible for us to dine out and visit our favourite restaurants, and its effect on Singapore’s F&B industry has been nothing short of disastrous.

Slate

Nonetheless, most of our eateries and restaurants have rallied by switching to delivery—and SLATE (or S L A T E ., as they’re stylised) on Purvis Street is no exception.

I first chanced upon SLATE on Facebook, just before the start of this COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Intrigued by their claim of being “change-makers”, I reached out and got the opportunity to dine there one evening—before we were all stuck at home during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period.

One thing to note is that SLATE is a dual-concept restaurant. If you strolled past the glass-fronted eatery in the day, you might have thought that it’s an Australian-style café—minimalist interior and window-facing seats included. Yet come by again in the evening (as I did), and the atmosphere changes drastically.

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Walking in, I was greeted by an open-concept bar, and cosy tables with plush seats. Warm, inviting light bathed the restaurant, setting the mood for an intimate night out.

I tried a few dishes and cocktails, though right now not all of them are available for delivery. Of course, since we’re already on Phase 1 of safe re-opening, you’ll soon be able to dine-in at SLATE.

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Starting off with one of the dishes under SLATE’s NIBBLE category, this was a dish with an interesting name—Textures Of Cauliflower (S$13). It consists of 22 months aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, toasted pumpkin seeds and garlic chives, atop fluffy cauliflower florets.

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Savoury, rich and sharp, the Parmigiano-Reggiano packed punchy flavours that complemented the crunchy cauliflower and toasted pumpkin seeds well. Certainly, a lovely dish to whet your appetite!

If you’re craving this lovely starter while at home, you can get it delivered straight to your doorstep as part of SLATE’s delivery menu.

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For those who prefer seafood, browse the FRESH section, and try the Baby Scallops (S$13). This dish takes on a more Asian slant, with soy shiso dressing drizzled over diced green apples and jicama interspersed with bite-sized baby scallops.

The ginger floss and roasted kombu atop the scallops intensify the flavours even more, adding spice and umami. Fresh, salty and absolutely delicious, this is a starter you won’t want to miss.

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Taking a quick drink break, I got started on some cocktails from SLATE. Bird On The Buffalo (S$18) is a lovely gin-based cocktail with sake, shiso, yuzu and berries. The pretty petals atop the slice of dried orange really made for a good Instagram shot too.

Citrusy and tart enough to conceal the alcoholic kick, the floral fragrance from the rose petals complemented the subtly sweet drink. It’s almost dangerous, the way it’s so easy to down this drink.

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Those who prefer something with a bit more kick, try the Smoking Daisy (S$20). A punchy cocktail with mezcal and tequila Blanco, the lavender and coriander added an interesting twist of floral and herbal nuances.

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Still on the topic of small nibbles, the Kopa Grilled Baby Corn (S$13) is another dish you should try. And bonus, this is available for delivery too.

Adorable stalks of baby corn are grilled, and topped with a sweet and spicy glaze. Served with housemade crème fraiche on the side and a sprinkling of puffed barley for crunch, this was a delightful dish that had a mix of crunchy texture, fresh sweetness and lingering spiciness.

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Under the DEVOUR section of the menu, the Squid 2 Ways (S$23) is a pretty nifty way to enjoy squid in two different ways. Crunch into the crispy, moreish tentacles and a sheet of squid ink rice cracker. Squid tentacles are my favourite part when it comes to squid dishes, owing to its succulent and QQ texture.

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That’s not to say that the brined mango salsa squid wasn’t good—in fact, it was pretty spectacular! Sweet, tangy and with a hint of heat, pile some of this succulent squid atop the squid ink rice cracker for a DIY canape.

For those with heartier appetites, these two meaty dishes should satisfy you.

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The Kopa Grilled Duroc Pork Belly (S$22) has a really intriguing glaze—it’s made with banana “ketchup” and butter. It’s almost like char siew, but slightly sweeter, thanks to the glaze.

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Melt-in-mouth fats and juicy, tender lean meat make up this exceptional meat dish. The sauce truly ties the dish together—biting, slightly spicy, and just the right amount of sourness.

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My absolute favourite dish from SLATE, however, had to be the Australian Short Ribs (S$33). Sous-vide for 48 hours, coffee balsamic lacquer glazed the fork-tender ribs. The dish came with tangy slaw and ubiquitous shoestring fries as sides.

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When I say ‘fork-tender’, I mean literally falling-off-the-bone-with-a-poke-of-the-fork kind of tender. This was a contemporary twist on the familiar coffee pork ribs from zi char stalls, and I really appreciated the combination of nostalgia and freshness it evoked.

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Ending off with a refreshing dessert, the Watermelon Pop (S$8) is another nostalgic dish with a twist. Basically compressed, frozen watermelon on a stick, this fruity popsicle is sprinkled with smoked sea salt and garnished with shiso flower for that extra oomph.

I was pretty sceptical at first, because isn’t it just chilled watermelon? Turns out, the delicate, clean salt taste coupled with a hint of smoke went perfectly with the fresh sweetness of watermelon.

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I’m determined to return to SLATE once restaurants are open for dine-in again. In the meantime, feel free to order a sumptuous spread from them!

Expected Damage: S$30 – S$40 per pax

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

S L A T E .

24 Purvis Street, #01-00, Singapore 188601

Price
Our Rating 5/5

S L A T E .

24 Purvis Street, #01-00, Singapore 188601

Telephone: +65 6261 1724
Operating Hours: 10.30am - 7pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6261 1724

Operating Hours: 10.30am - 7pm (Daily)

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