Bukit Timah which means “Tin Hill” in Malay, and you would think that the area contained, well, tin in the past, but nope, apparently it was a misconception.
The original Malay name for Bukit Timah hill was Bukit Temak, meaning “hill with temak trees”, referring to pokok temak- a tree that grew mostly on the sides of the hill. When westerners heard the malay name Temak however, it sounded like Timah to them and hence Bukit Timah. We seem to name a lot of our streets (even our country name itself) after misconceptions.
Moving on though, Tin Hill Social, located at Horse City, is very aptly named, for it encompasses a mingling space in Bukit Timah where people can gather. The restaurant is huge and has several different areas, with two main ones being the open kitchen and the bar, both having their own indoor and outdoor options.
All areas are nicely furnished, and you can see some Banksy-esque, graffiti pop art on the walls. Also, spot the tin robots and figurines that are scattered on the shelves that further enhance the theme.
The place emits a casual, fun and clean vibe, so you don’t feel too intimidated going there in shorts and slippers, which I feel is a vital factor due to it being located around the cluster of dance, yoga and sports schools.
I expect people who are hungry can refuel at Tin Hill Social after their classes, but I find that it is a nice place to hangout and relax with a drink or two on weekends too.
Surrounded by lush greenery, this restaurant is definitely very ideal for a get-together meal with your family, friends or simply for drinks with your colleagues after work. There are plenty of seats both indoors and outdoors, so fret not if you are coming in a sizable group.
This starter was glorious. Tender and chunky pieces of octopus legs, each piece consistent in chewiness, which was a lovely surprise. Sous Vide; French for vacuum, is a method of cooking in which food is sealed in airtight bags.
Thereafter, the bags are placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment. Sous Vide for over 12 hours with Romesco sauce accompanying on the side. The Parsley Pistou was refreshing and robust and did more than just garnish the dish. The hazelnuts were crunchy and gave the dish a lovely added texture!
While I may be more biased towards this dish since I’m a sworn Scallops-lover, the Seared Hokkaido Scallops was hands-down my favourite dish of the day. The chunks of scallops were so fat, fresh and sweet. The crispy Quinoa on the sides really added a nice crunch in contrast to the chewy scallop meat. The combination of Lotus Nuts Puree, Homemade XO Sauce and shrimp paste couldn’t be more perfect.
200 grams of beef, hay & hickory smoked for 12 hours. The good ol’ marbling on the meat will give you a nice fatty, melt-in-your-mouth kind of meaty goodness experience that is too die for. The sesame bun is also really worth mentioning here due to its extremely strong sesame flavour and perfectly pan-fried form.
It was crispy yet not burnt. Simply on point. Moreover, the potato fries on the side really complimented the burger well with its nice sweet twinge.
300 grams of Angus beef, Sous Vide for 72 hours. The portion of meat, which is served Medium-Medium Rare, is taken right off the bone, which naturally carries more flavour. Besides being flavourful, the beef also had a strong iron aftertaste and was very fatty due to its marbling of over 80%. This dish was not as smokey as compared to the burger dish mentioned above.
The pieces of fried pork lard that crackle excitedly when served give the beef dish an extra zing and pop of flavours!
Recommended to pair this dish with the Winner’s Tank Shiraz 2013 at $12 a glass.
Hay Smoked Pork Ribs ($29.50)
This Smoked Pork Ribs dish here has a unique taste that might not appeal to everyone. There is a hint of herbs infused into the meat, which is probably due to the essence from the Bay Leaves as part of the marination process. Apart from that, meat falls off the bone easily after having been slow cooked for 12 hours. It is thus not difficult to tackle each piece. The smattering of cherry tomatoes will refresh your palette slightly and the charred apples provide an extra sweetness.
The menu has a decent variety and seems to be able to cater to different taste buds and people with all kinds of dishes – meat-heavy ones, soups and stews, refreshing salads, and pizzas. They also offer many hay-smoked dishes, which is not commonly found in other restaurants in Singapore, so go ahead and give them a try.
Take a turn to Horse City in a rare, lazy day and have a nice, leisurely meal while enjoying the quiet away from the sounds of our busy country.