Keong Saik Snacks: What's with the Hype?

A growling stomach and hunger pangs after a whole day of outdoor adventure racing brought me to Keong Saik Snacks to satisfy my post race cravings. A British Bistro with modern contemporary twists, the basis of it pass hints at satiety and hearty portions. Unfortunately, at the end of the meal, I was left sorely disappointed, albeit with spirits lifted only due to the laid-back atmosphere of the place. With such huge shoes to fill given it's management by Michelin Starred Chef Jason Atherton and rising waves of expectations as we settled into the bar counter seats soaking in the estactic rush of the kitchen (reminding me so much of my mind-blowing experience at Movida in Melbourne); I was really hoping for an extraordinary meal.

The Kimichi Burger ($20) was decent in my opinion. A good thick juicy patty cooked to perfection with the kimchi (of shrimp based origins) being a good alternative to caramelised onions or pickles. Still, portions were small (yeh.. I know they are acclaimed to serve 'snack' sized items), and did nothing for my voracious carnivorous appetite especially after the race.

Jason's Very Hot Dog ($19) fared much better, chorizo based sausage with lashings of delicious guacamole, "spicy' green chili or jalapenos and crispy shallots. This was good per Se, but left a nagging feeling on both me and my partner. given its humble beginnings for an extravagant price

Desserts as urgently requested by me were the Hot Doughnuts with Cinnamon and Vanila Chantilly. French inspired, these hot pillows of fluffy sweetness arrived at our tables quickly. Like French Beignets, the doughnuts were delicious on their own rolled in a crisp coat of cinnamon sugar. What failed it was the accompaniment of Vanilla Chantilly that somehow carried a sour note to its flavor profile, the speckling of vanilla beans deceiving the diner and its texture trending more towards a broken cloud than voluminous ripples of cream.

To those seeking to get a taste of Chef Andrew Walsh's fare, hop over to Esquina instead and give the more insolent sibling, Keong Saik Snacks a miss. That being said, service standards are top notch for a pint-sized bistro; staff were well groomed with admirable flair and armed with substantial knowledge of their products. Overall, this would be a one-off experience for me. I should visit the rest of Atherton's collected accolades though...

Keong Saik Snacks
49 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089153
Tel : +65 6221 8338

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