Paddy Hills: A welcome addition

Driving up to Paddy Hills, I felt a certain sense of loss as I witnessed the misplacement of tradition. The old shop front which use to house a darn good duck rice stall, now replaced by something bright, something gleaming and undeniably sexy in a rebellious sort of way. Paddy Hills, clocking in just a few months of business, is new to the game of pleasing the finicky taste buds of Singaporeans. It's recent misfortune with the press regarding its lengthy waiting times hitting a sour note with many potential customers looking to visit the new joint.

It was my fortune perhaps to have been invited on a night nosh session which seemingly is less popular in contrast to the posh cafe fare churned out in the daytime. Perhaps its the hefty prices or the lack of lighting that would discourage the crowds; but the cool vibes discharged were succinct, engaging the inner-Aussie in me, the flawless transition from cafe to savvy tapas bar at night hitting it straight home on a personal level.

The drinks menu displays a good sense of creativity with a comprehensive collection of cocktails, mocktails and palatable wines. We had the Paddy's Elixir ($15), a rather over saccharine mixture of pink sake and yogurt topped with fresh grapes cleverly served in a goblet like drinking vessel for that additional 'bling-factor'. 

For something a little more engaging, get a glass of the Rupert & Rothschild Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage ( $18/glass or $68/btl), elegant with hints of cherries and dark chocolate, this would cast a net of sophistication into the whole dining experience.

Paddy Hill's dinner menu shines the light on fusion cuisine with a strong Korean background. Take for example the Toasted Spicy Rice Cakes ($23) with slices of Iberico pork, Ikura, gochujang sauce, goma, scallions and sous vide egg. A dish that would certainly get your taste buds fired up for more to come. 

The other mains continued in the same path with a myriad of dishes featuring the protein to being the star of the plate; take for example Moo ($28), where the wagyu rump retained a wonderful crusty sear on its exterior amidst intensely juicy innards. The beef broth touting to be boiling away for 22hr lacked the aroma and richness which we anticipated and the charred romaine was a rather strange addition that felt somewhat misplaced in entirety.

One of my favourite dishes of the evening was the rather understated Chick n'Egg ($20), here fragrant fried rice meets fried chicken, more troublesome chicken skin and the quintessential sous vide egg which acts as the self-saucing agent. I was thoroughly surprised by how the kitchen managed to pull off such addictive fried rice with a decent wok-hei despite its relatively western fusion roots. 

The Golden Man Tou Sliders with truffle fries ($30) was the weakest link of the night. The fried mantou buns were bland and lacked the texture to highlight its fillings, in which case are two options, either the lamb patties or pork belly, of which my allegiance falls with the latter; the lamb patties were unevenly salty and atrociously gamey. In all honesty, you might want to avoid this one.

The Steak Ssam ($60) was equally to the point, tender, and juicy. This was the dream works of all carnivores, Imagine this, Wagyu short ribs cooked sous vide for 72hrs and then given a quick sear. Served with romaine lettuce, scallion oil, gochujang paste, kimchi and ito togarashi, a quick assembly and a swift roll will guarantee an explosion of flavors on the palate. Definitely a dish not to be missed. The substantial price tag made justifiable by the impeccable meat. 

Another bucket list experience is the Hao Da De Ji ($32) a whole chicken, deboned and sous vide till perfection, ensuring the pinkness of the breast and plenty of juices retained. Served with charred con, shaved fennel, charred lemon paprika salt, salsa verde and romesco, this is an ideal dish for sharing amongst larger groups of friends.

Paddy Hills has managed to up its game from the usual cafe debauchery with a classy dinner menu that exudes sophistication and finesse. With better attention paid to the integrity of the produce, I do hope that business will pick up and a larger variety of diners be attracted to this 'hipster-condoned' establishment. Because, seriously, it's not the case.

Paddy Hills
38 South Buona Vista Road
t: 6479 0800

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