food

The Social Outcast, Bt Timah: Their secret barramundi got me going ga-ga

Last Updated: September 25, 2021

Written by Sonia Lourdes

From hawker to restaurant, the gang at The Social Outcast has outdone themselves by relocating to The Grandstand to helm their very own outlet. Well, it’s not every day you get to see a Muslim-owned business churn out-of-the-box dishes while working with a charcoal and hickory wood grill oven, right? 

The Social Outcast Entrance

I met up with owners, Mint and Noelle, where I learnt that they were hoping to shake up the halal food scene without conforming to society’s perception of what a Muslim-owned F&B business should sell. 

“A couple of fellas came and asked us for nasi goreng but since when we sell nasi goreng?! (sic)”, exclaimed Mint upon sharing an anecdote of what they faced during their first few days of operation, “It’s no longer a small stall at a hawker; now we have to focus on a lot of things especially the presentation of our food,” he continued when asked what makes their new outlet different from their previous two. 

The Social Outcast 1

Before you dive into their menu, remember to head over to the open kitchen and hit up any chef for their ‘secret menu’. Trust me when I say it won’t disappoint after the seal’s broken. Do also note that the secret menu will feature seasonal ingredients on a three- to four-month rotation. 

What I tried 

For starters, I ordered the Smoked Deviled Eggs with Caviar & Ikura (S$18) and Roasted Canoe Beef Bone Marrow (S$28). Talk about fusion, huh? 

TSO - deviled eggs

Growing up with my palate being introduced to the traditional flavours of deviled eggs, The Social Outcast’s smoked deviled eggs was a different experience altogether. Served atop a bed of rocket salad, who would’ve thought caviar and ikura would pair exceptionally well with smoked eggs?

I personally preferred how the saltiness of the caviar and bitterness of the rocket salad blended perfectly well with the smoked egg. What’s great was the smoky aftertaste it left in your mouth after each bite. I was blown away by the flavour profile. 

The Social Outcast Bone Marrow (2)

Next up was the bone marrow. I didn’t know what to expect with this dish because I’ve never been a fan of bone marrow at all. However, unlike the typical tulang dishes that can be found around the island, I was served with a plate of three beautifully opened bone marrow topped with tomato concasse salsa and chicken crackling with a side of char-grilled focaccia. Again, who would’ve possibly come up with a concoction like this? 

The Social Outcast Bone Marrow 3

While I felt that the bread could do better with a garlic-butter finish, I loved how the meat of the bone marrow was cooked to perfection eliminating any sort of odour. Topping it with salsa was genius—imagine having a bite of melt-in-your-mouth fatty goodness mixed with the tanginess of salsa and crispness of freshly charcoal-grilled bread. 

My mouth was having a party on its own at this point. A lot of thought was put into this dish and this could possibly be my only favourite way of eating tulang

The Social Outcast Pizza

Moving on from two brilliant starters, I proceeded to order a pizza off their menu. I mean, what’s the point of heading down to The Social Outcast without indulging in their woodfire pizzas, right? Named after most of my idols, I was torn between the culinary superstar Anthony Bourdain (S$24), gangster-duo Bonnie & Clyde (S$30), and rock-legend Freddy Mercury (S$26).

While I want(ed) it all, the latter eventually called out to me. Alas, the Moroccan-spiced lamb pizza named after the legendary Parsi singer truly lived up to its name of being a confusion. 

The Social Outcast Pizza (2)

Although it was baked to doughy goodness, the nutty pesto base and in-house white truffle-honey stole the show with its sweetness, lacking a tinge of spice from the meat. While the sweetness was too much for my palate, a drop of Tabasco sauce was my lifesaver because it elevated the dish far more than intended. But, the show must go on!

TSO - lamb ribs

Right off the mains, I had the Charcoal Grilled Lamb Spare Ribs (S$45). Visually, it wasn’t a treat but the ribs were glazed with barbecue sauce, and served with a side of tempura fries, rocket with tomato concasse salsa salad, and a charred garlic bulb.

TSO - lamb ribs 2

Char-grilled and well-marinated, the meat fell off its bone, as it should, but it was lacking a raving oomph factor. Also, the tempura fries gave the Middle East a run for its money with its excess oil left on the plate; however, I got over the greasiness after washing it down with a sip of The Tapping Tapir Apple & Vanilla Fruit Soda (S$6)

The Social Outcast Fish

Last but not least, I decided to treat myself to something off the secret menu and ordered myself a whole Grilled Stuffed Barramundi (S$48). The dish is Mint’s rendition of a local Malay dish called ikan cencaru belah belakang (fried hardtail stuffed with sambal). Similar to the origin dish, the barramundi came char-grilled and stuffed with in-house smoked fish roe and sambal belacan wrapped in a banana leaf. 

The Social Outcast Fish2

Okay, two things; never would I imagine having a freshly prepared Asian-style barramundi, let alone stuffed with fish roe. Non-fish lovers, don’t fret, for the freshness of the fish will definitely have you diving back for more. All hail Mint because the barramundi did it for me! I probably blacked out for a bit because there are not enough words in the English language to describe how well-balanced the dish truly was.

Bonus: the 30-minute wait didn’t bother me one bit because it was prepared to perfection.

Final thoughts

The Social Outcast Indoor

There you have it; The Social Outcast has more to offer than their burgers and after putting my palate through a medley of dishes; I’m definitely going back for more. A quick chat with Mint also revealed that there’ll be more exciting dishes to look forward to in the coming months. Mama, oooh, I can’t wait! 

After 7pm is when you see the place filling up so remember to book a reservation here to avoid disappointment.

Expected damage: S$15 – S$25 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

The Social Outcast

200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand (Facing The Car Mart), #01-35A, Singapore 287994

Price
Our Rating 4/5

The Social Outcast

200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand (Facing The Car Mart), #01-35A, Singapore 287994

Telephone: +65 8923 8924
Operating Hours: 11am - 11pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
Telephone: +65 8923 8924

Operating Hours: 11am - 11pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon
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