The HungryGoWhere Awards 2016 & my vote for 'Best New Restaurant' - KITE

The HungryGoWhere awards are back with an exciting season this year in search of crowning Singapore's best food and drinks in over 21 categories ranging from 'Best Buffet' to 'Best Bar/Lounge' and a more expansive Hawker category including specific dishes such as 'Roti Prata', 'Laksa' and 'Hainanese Chicken Rice'.

This year, aside from voting via their website (link here), the public can now cast their votes via social media by posting a public post on facebook, twitter or instagram with these two hashtags: #HGWawards and #(business name). Note that voting ends on the 26th June'2016 11:59pm so speak your mind quickly! Bonus reasons for casting your votes includes the chance to win a pair of tickets to $100Gourmet, a dining event which sees Michelin Starred chefs collaborate with local talents happening in August and September 2016 - you could be one of the lucky 50 voters!

If you ask me, I'm the most excited about the 'Best New Restaurant' category where a recent dining experience got me fired up to place my votes. Yes, the jarring feelings that imploding in me upon digging into the Pork Collar ($20) at KITE compelled the usual passive self to cast my votes in sheer hope that the establishment would come out tops.

Let's dig a little deeper into dining circumstances at Kite; my first experience at the joint was played out as a first stop for a rather backbreaking food trail (read here). Back then, it was already apparent that the general manager, William and Bar Manager Samuel had a sort of generosity and congeniality un-jaded by the cut-throat restaurant business - with such amicable service and intriguing fare in tow, bringing my first year anniversary festivities with the boy, to the bar became indisputable.

and so I did.

The revelry was spontaneous, as much so as the private conversations that flowed between us and the owner himself. Despite the rather claustrophobic seatings of the restaurant, squished in between a bar in the midst of a longish shophouse; the cosy impression brought me back to Sydney where hushed farm-to-table dinners took place for the persnickety crowds. 

The drinks that fueled us were cleverly concoted by Bar Manager, Samuel Sim - previously of La Maison du Whisky and Horse's Mouth; demonstrated a delicate command of flavors quite similar to the making of pastries. The Who Moved my Kueh? ($18) stole my heart for the second time running; the reinvention of the humble kueh with pandan compressed into vodka and shaken egg whites resembling the false impression of coconut. It is essentially a rich and satisfying Peranakan kueh in liquid form,  augmented by hits of passionfruit and fresh lime to keep it breezy. Another frivolous combination is the Inner Peace ($19) which brings together ginger flower gin, yuzu, chrysanthemum honey, fresh lemon, pu-er and the unconventional cherry bitters in order to shake the genial concoction up a little. Those who prefer something a little heavier in flavors would come to appreciate the Little Rummer Boy ($22) -  toasted almond rum meets smoky mezcal, herbaceous amaro, mozart dark chocolate liquer, campari and cinnamon for a drink that's most suitable to rake in Christmas. All in all, absolutely necessary provisions when paying the joint a visit; the cocktail program very much as respectable as the line-up of modern comfort food.

Kick your night off with Chicken Skins ($6), it's glass shard like appearance; an ode to the artistry ongoing behind the scenes. Laced with bourbon and a hint of juniper for resinous restraints against its oily nature. Carrying on in the same vein is the Golden Snapper Sashimi ($14) hidden below shavings of fennel, and sided with charred physalis. The textures coming together miraculously that it all disppears too fast; even before the general make-up of the dish is figured out.

Another exemplary dish is their Cold Mentaiko Somen ($18) - tangles infused with a light smokiness crowned with slices of charred scallop, tobiko, crispy prawns and unagi. Perfect alongside the pleasant 'Who Moved my Kueh'.

The dishes are paced with rhythmic perfection, each gentrified pause allowing for the mind to wander just far enough before bringing it back to original grounds of inspiration. The Corn and Mushrooms is revolutionary, featuring king oyster mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, polenta, walnuts.. this dish yielding a consistency similar to a comforting chanwanmushi, infiltrated with the rich inserts of various mushrooms with herbs. But be warned, spoon fights will occur over this dish. Yes, it's that good.

The Pork Collar ($20) blows our minds. Mangalitsa pork collar meets a bread sauce like no other, composed of you tiao no less before theatrics take its course and a spiced bak kut teh broth smothers the pretty picture. We ate in silent reverence. very rarely do we do that.

Dessert is equally excellent and mildly perplexing as the coriander adds a illustrious savoury note at the end. Creamy Panna Cotta ($10) paired with frozen coconut yoghurt shards and coconut crumb pulls the sublime dinner into a amiable pause as we left dreaming of our next venture into its dark realms.

KITE, you have our stomachs and you have our hearts. Now promise to never leave us, k?

Vote for these boys over at the HGWawards either through the website here or posting on social media with the hashtags #HGWawards and #Kite. Voting wraps up this 26th June' 2016 so you might want to get a move on, quickly!

53 Craig Road
t: 9729 7988

Operating Hours:
Tues - Fri: 12pm - 2 30pm; 6pm -12am
Sat: 6pm - 12am
Sun: 6pm - 10pm

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