Consumed: The Wok And Barrel

I first heard about The Wok And Barrel through its owner, Shen, over Twitter (@MadamTans). She’s so clearly passionate about food, it seemed a crime not to give her new restaurant a try.

I don't know about you, but I think it's a great name.

True to its hawker roots, The Wok And Barrel serves nasi lemak alongside a very unique menu of Singaporean fusion bistro food. Conveniently, it’s also very close to where we live, so we swung by on the first night of its bistro menu.

With my first bite of the Beef Rendang Pizza ($11.90), I declared to James that “we are SO coming back”. Crust, cheese and beef rendang are three of my favourite things to eat, and who knew they went so well together? I’m usually a thin crust person, but I liked this crust for being a little fluffy, like naan. Also, the rendang was the real deal.

It doesn't *look* very much like pizza, to be honest. (Also, photos are not awesome because I forgot the camera and used my Blackberry.)

The Lamb Char Siew ($29) was something of a leap of faith. I like run-of-the-mill pork char siew, but lamb seemed to be uncharted¬†territory for the traditional five-spice flavours. It was also a bit worrying that, when the dish arrived, the chef herself came running after it – they’d forgotten to drizzle the 50 year-old balsamic vinegar on top!

Shen, in action.

But oh, how I enjoyed the lamb. It was juicy and tender with just a little bit of fat running through it. The flavour was wonderfully unique, and even though James isn’t usually a fan of balsamic vinegar, he was just wow-ed by how well it complemented the lamb and five-spice.

The lamb. Mmmm. Not forgetting the fries, which were great too. They tasted as though they'd been battered lightly before being fried.

This restaurant also serves unique drinks. There’s supposed to be a happy hour deal where you get a pizza for $5.90 when you order a beer, cider or wine between 5 – 7 pm. Alas, we ordered just after 7.

I had the Coldstream apple cider (served in a flute glass, interestingly enough) while James had the Bavik Pilsner.

As much as we loved the food at The Wok And Barrel (such that I’m already planning to return), I think it could benefit from a few little niceties by way of food presentation. I like a good unpretentious restaurant as much as the next greedy goat, but when prices creep towards the $30 mark for a main course, you do start to expect a bit of garnish, slightly more attractive plating… touches like that. Or am I being too nitpick-y?

Update:

I ordered takeout a few days later and had the Desiree pizza, which features Kurobuta pork bacon with spinach on the same cheese and crust. Also very good. The beef rendang pizza seemed to have been updated with more rendang gravy, which I thought was a nice improvement.

 

The Wok And Barrel
13 Duxton Hill, +65 91073028

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4 Comments

  1. Mitja - August 21, 2011

    Beef rendang pizza? My wife is going to laugh but I’m so there.

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