Nestled amid the vibrant dining vicinity of Ann Siang Hill is Oxwell & Co, a British inspired gastro-pub which has been around since 2013.
Its three-storey shophouse premises includes a casual bar on the first floor for refreshing tipples, an elegant hall on the second floor where the main dining takes place, and a private function room on the third level that is reminiscent of a rustic drawing room complete with eccentric British touches.
We went to check out what the restaurant is offering on its menu for this festive season, and were pleased to see three dining options that caters well to different group sizes.
Fabulous Feast ($110++ per pax) has portions meant for sharing with a minimum of three people. Each party will receive a selection of savory snacks and two starters to kick off the feasting, followed by a choice of main with two sides for each guest. A sharing Orange & Ginger Cake will round up the Christmas dinner.
Traditional Ala-Carte 3-course Dinner ($85++ per pax) would be good if you're looking at a meal with just your someone special.
For a more casual Christmas mixer, the Canapés Package ($60++, $70++ or $80++ per pax depending on chosen menu) for minimum of 20 guests would be suitable. Expect items such as Cullen Skink Shooters (a thick soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions), Beef Sliders, Tiger Prawn Skewers, and a Christmas Trifle Pot to round up-the delectable array.
As it was our first visit to Oxwell for both my dining companion and me, we trusted our good sense to leave it to the chef to decide what food will arrive on the table. Can't go wrong with what's recommended right?
The prices indicated below are per ala-carte order should your tummy need to indulge in the feasting even further (on top of what is already included in the festive dining package).
What sounded pretty ordinary turned out to be a highly addictive snack of Crispy Corn Kernels ($5) with hints of pleasing curry flavor. The crunch of Pork Scratchings ($6) was delightful on the ears and delicious in the mouth. Irish Oysters ($8 per piece) burst with lovely briny taste and rested easy on the palate, winning even a non-oyster fan like me. We were undoubtedly off to a great start!
The starters that followed was just as enjoyable, I'm particularly fond of the Spiced Duck Rillette ($24). Coupled with fermented carrot and cassis jelly on sourdough bread, the combination of salty, zesty flavors and contrasting textures was a wondrous party in every bite.
Tiger Prawns ($22) partly satisfied with splashes of lip-smacking garlic butter, its crustacean piquancy was accented with aroma of smoked bacon. If only the prawn's texture can be a tad more bouncy.
Mains were substantial with generous cut of Irish Salmon Fillet ($38) paired with hollandaise sauce, seaweed crisps, sweet potato leaves and salmon roe. Each component was well-executed and we polished everything off the plate.
I was skeptical when I saw that the Oven-roasted Serama Chicken ($36) used breast meat which is my least favorite part of a chicken. But this breast impressed with its moist tenderness. The port jus complemented it well, but the chestnut and chicken liver stuffing was underwhelming with overpowering taste of the liver. We thought perhaps to reduce the amount of chicken liver or use duck liver (foie gras) instead would make the dish work better overall.
It may be just side dishes but the highly yummy Duck Fat Roast Potatoes ($14) and Brussel Sprouts ($16) cooked with maple butter and smoked bacon were stars in itself.
Do keep some space for desserts though, because you wouldn't want to skip the Orange & Ginger Cake ($14) with Chantilly cream, Iranian pistachio and chocolate ice cream or Berry Triffle ($12) with jaconde sponge, custard and mint.
The food at Oxwell was not exactly life-changing or intriguing in those molecular gastronomy way, but was superbly hearty and comforting in every sense, suiting me very well. If you're looking for an alternate venue to hotel buffets or boring restaurant chains for this year's Christmas or New Year gatherings, it's certainly worth giving Oxwell & Co a try.
Oxwell & Co
Address: 5 Ann Siang Road, Chinatown, Singapore 069688
Contact: +65 6438 3984
Opening Hours: Mon 4pm-12am / Tue-Fri 12pm-12am / Sat 4pm-12am / 12pm-12am
Prices stated are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST.