The dining enclave of Dempsey Hill might not be the most convenient location to get to without a car, but I thought Provisions would be worth a trip.
A skewers and claypot rice cocktail bar? Sounds interesting enough. The concept is said to be the first in Singapore!
Some of my friends are also talking about this newly-opened joint for another reason: Go check out its handsome chef!
Haha, and so I did. Chef-owner Justin Foo looks pleasant in person, with a nice smile. Guys who can cook have an unexplainable charm.
Though Provisions is his first foray into the food & beverage business, Chef Justin is not without culinary experience. He's classically-trained in French cuisine, and has worked for Chef André Chiang, Le Saint Julien, Senso Ristorante as well as French company, Sodexo Singapore.
Provisions marks his return to his Asian roots, and is inspired by his love for Asian communal dining.
Together with Head-bartender/Co-owner KC Rahmat who has almost 14 years of industry experience, they established Provisions as a spot to indulge in hearty Asian delights and creative cocktail concoctions.
They've incorporated a subtle provision shop for patrons as well, which is very much in line with Provisions' name.
Expect to see familiar knick-knacks and toys, such as bubble-blowing gum placed around the restaurants. Yes, you can play with those while waiting for your food to arrive.
Do also pick up a pack of kachang puteh or old-school titbits, and contribute to the "Tip-Bits" system. Provisions' menu is nett-priced, which includes 7% GST and no service charge, so it serves as a way to show appreciation and reward the service by the staff.
My growling tummy beckoned me to quickly check out the menu and place the orders. Good to see that items are affordably priced.
Skewers start from $4.90; Claypot rice start from $9; Drinks/bespoke cocktails start from $12/$14.
While the skewer selection might not be extensive, there is a balanced range of chicken, pork and seafood to choose from. These are differently marinated with a variety of spices and sauces such as szechuan pepper, cumin, turmeric, galangal and kecap manis, before being grilled over charcoal fire.
All the Chicken Heart ($4), Pork Jowl ($7), and Octopus ($10) skewers arrived looking a little dark and burnt, and could be more tender to bite. The Sotong ($8) with salted egg sauce had a better execution that evening.
I was contemplating between the Oyster Omelette Claypot Rice ($18) and Seafood Claypot Rice ($16), and eventually decided on the latter. #firstworldproblem #lovecarbsbutneedtodiet
Very happy with the choice as it came with prawns, clams and liver sausage. So generously topped, we can't even see the rice beneath.
The well-cooked grains already has the dark sauce mixed in. Fragrant enough, but do add some of Chef Justin's homemade chili to oomph up the flavors further. Those crunchy, charred bits at the sides and bottom of the claypot were the best.
It was altogether heart and comforting.
Portion is meant for one person, though it can be sufficient for two to share when there are other dishes too.
While the spotlights are on the claypot rice and skewers, there are enticing small plates such as Pig Ear Fritters ($12) and Oyster & Omelette ($8) to complement those.
I wasn't too fond of the Muar Otah ($6) or mackerel fish cake as its texture was rather dry.
The must-try recommendation would be the KFC ($10). Nope, not Korean fried chicken, but Korean fried cauliflower!
Those chunks of vegetables were soft on the inside, contrasted with a gentle outer crisp that was coated with well-caramelized savory-sweet, dark soy sauce. Best enjoyed while it is piping hot. Totally tasty and addictive.
Desserts at Provision take on an Asian influence as well.
Chendol ($4) and Banana Pisang Sundae ($8) sounds quite typical so we had the Cempedak & Coconut ($8). The jackfruit was grilled, and coupled brilliantly with coconut ice cream, gula melaka and peanut. Tropical and refreshing!
Overall, I enjoyed what Provisions has to offer. Food was promising and mostly enjoyable. The comforting, nostalgic theme was well-played, and stood out amongst the many restaurants and bars in the vicinity.
Address: 7 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249671
Contact: +65 6250 7090
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 4pm-1am / Fri & Sat 4pm-2am / Sun 10.30am-3pm / Closed on Mon
Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and nett (inclusive of 7% GST, no service charge). Information is correct at point of published date.
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