Thursday, April 9, 2015

Moosehead Kitchen and Bar - Insanely Talented Cooks and Their Unpretentious Deliciousness

Moosehead Kitchen and Bar may not be the most spacious eatery around, but let's just this get this out of the way. Their food is sublime.

Operated by Daniel and Glen, a father and son team where Papa Glen is the chef partner and sets the direction of the food and Daniel runs the front of the house.

The place itself resembles more of an underground kitchen gastrobar, and despite the cramped environment, there is a general buzz about it.

The folks at each table seem to enjoy their time here, and relishing the quirky cuisine that changes every so often.

Most of the food here is a crazy fusion of sharing plates culled from many regions, but cleverly packaged together in a very direct and unpretentious manner, and ably powered by their INKA oven in the kitchen.

Watercress, Watermelon and Feta Salad

Take this simple but gorgeous looking salad. There are basically only 3 components on this dish. Fresh watercress with its grounded nuttiness, atop a bed of flash seared water melon cubes and sprinkled with savoury feta cheese.

It is at once refreshing and comforting. The juicy elements of the watermelon threaten to overtake the confines of your mouth, as the creamy cheese placates the rest of your palate, only to be brought back to a sense of gastronomic reality by the crunchy watercress. Everything just works beautifully.

Pork Scratchings with Beef Tartare and Yuzu

If that first dish was an indicator of how crazy good the food can get here, this next plate of pork scratchings will just further solidify Glen's kitchen team as insanely brilliant chefs with all the mad scientist connotations that come with it. Where do I begin with this amazing dish?

The pork scratchings are so perfectly fried to a supreme crisp that nothing further can be demanded from that one component. The beef tartare beautifully cut and prepared and then, there is that yuzu sauce that just throws everything for a loop. Crispy textures, muscular and succulent beef, and that perfect citrus base. Culinary alchemy in a bite. It is like a party in the mouth with the extra booze thrown in, metaphorically speaking of course.

Scallops in Orange Emulsion and Apple Shavings

This colourful dish is another instance of their cooking brilliance. Freshly sliced scallops, infused in a dizzy concoction of yuzu, orange emulsion, mizkan and mirin and topped off with some frozen apple shavings.

The explosion of flavours and the intoxicating combination of textures will leave you spellbound during that first bite. The subsequent bites just reaffirms everything that has gone before. Perhaps this is my favourite scallop dish of all time? Probably.

Roasted Everyday Carrots

Who would think that eating a plate of carrots will be so fun and satisfying? Blanched in water, rolled in olive oil and salt and finally roasted in the INKA oven. The result is another surprising and delightful burst of flavours and textures in the mouth.

Dressed with honey mustard and persimmon scrapings, the final bit of crushed pistachios just nicely balances out the sweetness of the plate. Clever yet obvious, really.

Roasted Beetroot

Another INKA oven dish, one would think eating one whole chunk of beetroot would be too much. Not here at Moosehead apparently, as roasted wedges of beetroot served on a bed of homemade ricotta cheese is just the perfect tonic for beetroot haters.

They will be easily converted by the clever play of flavours here. The savoury and creamy ricotta bed is just the right counter to the sweet and earthy bitterness of the beetroot. Sprinkled with crushed almonds for that added crunch, it is as good as a beetroot dish can ever get.

Strawberries and Creme Fraiche

For something so classic as strawberries and cream, it is up to the Moosehead kitchen to put another crazy spin on things. It may look rustic and even simple, but the delicious and perfectly tuned strawberry sorbet is coupled with chocolate gratings to tamper that sweet acidity with classic cocoa bitterness.

That indulgence of creme fraiche replacing the classic whipped cream on the top just seals the deal further. How good is it? It is one of those desserts that may not wow you with the looks, but once you dig in with that first spoonful, it will take the impossible to stop.

Daniel and Glen

Father and son have an obvious love for food, that is evident enough. What comes through more is their passion for living and the finer things of life. But unlike some, the best bits of living is not about indulging in luxury.

They understand that feeling at home and at ease with the surroundings is key to the appreciation of good food and good things. Hence, their plates may seem unpretentious at times, but their levels of deliciousness cannot be doubted.

It is nigh impossible to find an eatery that can both surprise and satisfy you in Singapore these days. But I really enjoy Daniel and Glen's philosophy of making the best of local produce. Instead of replicating expensive dishes using premium ingredients, the food here is sold on the quality of their creative juices and their almost faultless execution.

Insanely creative and talented, Moosehead is just so lovely for all its unpretentious deliciousness.

Moosehead Kitchen and Bar
110 Telok Ayer Street

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