artichoke, middle road.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

i've wanted to try artichoke's brunch offerings for quite a while now, especially after seeing rave reviews. the menu (available online) was intriguing as well- it had a middle eastern slant, and none of the regular brunch stuff.

it was good that we'd made a reservation. it was a hot day, and they were running at almost full house, it seemed. plus, a lot of the tables were outside (singapore's weather is really not conducive for al fresco dining). happily enough, we were given a table inside.

i'd already made up my mind to have the lamb shakshouka ($26), so really, i didn't have much to deliberate upon. my sister, however, was torn between the cauliflower sabbich ($22) and the smoked salmon pancake ($24). having seen numerous rave reviews of the cauliflower sabbich, i convinced her into trying it. sadly enough, when we were ordering, we were told that they were out of the fried cauliflower, and would replace that with brussels sprouts. my sister isn't a fan of brussels sprouts, so she went with the smoked salmon in the end.

given that the place was crowded, i was bracing myself for a long wait for the food. the food, however, arrived really quickly (like within five to ten minutes), taking us by (welcome) surprise. i'm impressed by the efficiency of their kitchen- A LOT of places have to learn from that, really.

i ended up really liking what i ordered. the tomato based sauce was piping hot and flavoursome, while the kewpie yogurt gave it additional creaminess. the lamb shoulder was cooked till tender, and came apart easily. plus, they were really generous with the portion. i would happily pay for it again. in fact, if i were to come back (and i will), i'd probably just go with the same thing, because it was just so good. and that, i think, is the highest compliment one could pay.

like me, my sister was happy with what she ordered. i tried a bite of it, and agreed fully. the sweetness of the pancake surprised me, though- i was envisioning something more neutral. still, it was a sweet-savoury combination that worked well.

when we were done with our food, a waitress walked by with a huge slab of bacon. and of course, being gluttonous, we were tempted into ordering it. the moment the maple glazed bacon chop ($10) was put on our table, my sister commented that she could smell the maple. it was good, but perhaps just a little too fatty for my liking- i ended up cutting off some of the fat. i think that's just me, though.

service was friendly, efficient and attentive- our water jar was quickly replaced once it was empty, and they were generous with smiles. it's one of those places that i'd gladly go back to. not cheap, but worth it.

161 middle road

reading menus is one of my hobbies.