Here’s another feather to add to the cap of savvy hotelier-restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, the man behind Unlisted Collection: The newly-opened 5th Quarter, a contemporary grill restaurant that serves up a tantalising array of meats that are big on flavour and presentation. Every dish is dreamed up by executive chef Drew Nocente, who worked in prestigious kitchens like Jason Atherton’s Maze Grill restaurant in London and was most recently Skirt at W Singapore hotel’s Chef de Cuisine.
The menu is designed according to six self-explanatory categories, ranging from “Smoked, Brined, Cured” to “Grilled, Seared, Charred”. Must-tries include the pork collar, which has been brined for 24 hours then sous vide, and the Pastrami with Egg and Celeriac, where the house-made pastrami is cured for two weeks and smoked for four hours thereafter. Under the “Roasted & Greens” section, indulge in a spoonful or two of the black mash (so named for the squid ink that gives the mashed potato its colour).
The highlights here (for us at least) are the creative, imaginative desserts offered, like chocolate that looks suspiciously like slices of salami; smoked pineapple with coconut and pistachio ($14); and fromage blanc with yuzu and soy ($10) – definitely for adventurous foodies with a sweet tooth to spare.
And if an excessive indulgence in the finest meats don’t tempt you enough to make a trip down, the restaurant setting will. It’s a 5,000 sq ft wide space in the Hotel Vagabond dressed in plush velvet curtains, dark wood flooring and paintings with gilded frames on every wall, alongside a pair of golden elephants positioned to look like they are hoisting up the restaurant lift (they’re designed and made in France by sculptor Franck le Ray). 39 Syed Alwi Road, open daily from 12pm-2:30pm and 6:30pm-10:30pm, tel: 6291-1936