Nassim Hill: when the lights go down.

Apart from being a really good brunch venue, Nassim Hill churns out a solid good dinner menu in substitution for the absence of its signature Reuben Sandwich (watch me wax lyrical here) at night.

With nightfall, lights are dimmed and the normally breezy cafe assumes a more seductive image. In sync with its intimate vibes are the elaborate dishes like the Market Fresh Mussels ($25) for example. Feisty with a hint of Chili, live French Bouchoty mussels are first cooked with white wine, sriracha butter, cilantro and garlic till its wilful lips are pried open, allowing for the salacious aromatic juices to pour into its folds. Tuck into this dish with a good hunk of baguette to soak up the ambrosial liquids at the bottom of the bowl, trust me, this was one of the rare moments that I actually looked forward to a soggy loaf of bread.

For an alcoholic beverage with a bit of a kick, get the Dirty Sriracha Bloody Mary. Despite the overall mix falling short of black pepper and more tabasco, the skewer of baby tomatoes blanketed in sriracha was a real showstopper and its tangy disposition makes it a great drink to kick start the appetite.
Dirty Sriracha Bloody Mary

top: Asian BBQ Chicken Salad; L to R: Gherkin Tempura, Kale Caeser, Beer Bread

I don't usually love my salads, but the Asian BBQ Chicken Salad ($15) won me over. The segments of mandarin orange and bits and bobs of edamame beans, a welcome contrast to the bowl of crisp garden fresh greens. The soy ginger dressing grows on you after its slightly sweetish first impression, its familiar scent drawing ties to Soup Restaurant's Samsui Chicken dish. For something just a teensie bit more healthy (take note that Kale IS a superfood), order the Kale Caesar ($17), here, the super greens are dressed in a creamy anchovy dressing, garnished with sliced egg, proscuitto crisps, parmesan crumbs and sliced garlic croutons . A guilt free treat that taste a whole lot better than the notion of eating so healthily.

When I was younger, I would always order my McDonalds burgers without that foul sickly green pickles in. Growing up didn't change a thing at all, and my loathing for pickles bulldozed its way through my ever changing palate. That is why I hated the next dish, the Gherkin Tempura with sour cream and bacon dip ($9), the whole idea of coating gherkins in tempura batter sounding a bit too abstract for my liking. Needless to say, I decided to dip fries in the bacon sour cream dip instead. Because, bacon... duh.

Popcorn Chicken
It became quite apparent that the folks over at Nassim Hill do have quite a thing for sriracha and we see the prevalent condiment making yet again another appearance on the menu with this Popcorn chicken bites ($12) drizzled with sriracha aioli. Regrettably, what appeared as a very promising fried thing encountered a few setbacks starting with the tough and dry chunks of chicken that were unfortunately more batter than protein. Yikes...

Well, if sin city is your normal hangout in the food realm then, turn your attention to the Poutine ($13). Fries are doused in Chef's entrecote sauce, minced beef and finally with shredded mozzarella cheese torched till melty and golden brown. This deep dish will have you eating more fries than necessary, but its all very deceptive soon, all till you scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Soft Shell Crab
 And here is the Soft shell Crab ($13) served with an agreeable remoulade chive sauce so as not to drown out the natural flavors of the crustacean itself. A great dish for those not looking to fill up on anything to carb heavy before the main deal.

That's where the Chili Crab Pasta ($25) comes into play. Flirting with the idea of our famous local dish, the pasta features jumbo lump crab meat sauteed in a spicy tangy chili crab sauce. Personally, I found this rendition a bit too watery for my preference, however, the kitchen puts an extra shine in their offering with a spicy hit of chili padi to make it just a little more intriguing to the palate.

Chili Crab Pasta

If there is one dish that I can't stop extolling about, it's got to be the Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles ($19). It must be the fresh rashers of bacon that insinuates itself about the signature waffle batter as it hits the hot iron. A toss up of bacon aromatics and toasted cheese adding crispness to the slightly sweet batter, all this with MORE bacon and a side of bacon and chive sour cream. Bacon overload? - I beg to differ. In fact, if they served it with bacon infused maple syrup, this dish would be worth a million dollars.

Cheddar Cheese Bacon Waffles
L: Tonkatsu; R: Grain Fed Angus T-bone Steak
The mains however fell short of expectations, the Tonkatsu ($21), tough and a wee bit overcooked is capped by an irrelevant sous vide egg that does nothing to salvage its dried state. The 500g House special T-bone Steak ($65) continues in the same light with doneness so inconsistent, it actually is possible to feed a whole table of diners with different preferences with this one piece of steak.

Top: Triple X, Bottom: Carrot Cake
In my dismal state, I turned to desserts for a bit of soul uplifting and boy was I surprised by the cake options at Nassim Hill. The Triple X ($9) numbing the jaded taste buds with a heavy dosage of triple sec that imparted a slight bittersweet flavor to its chocolate interior. What stole my heart, however, was the Carrot Cake ($8), a rendition chock full of toasted walnuts and dried fruits to give prominence to this humble dessert.

Then there was the Pear Cheddar Crumble ($11), an incredibly clever dessert that combined sweet caramelised pear with savoury cheddar cheese biscuits. My only gripe would be the baked pear which could obviously have seen a little more patient treatment from the chef, as the chunks still retained a crisp crunch.

Nassim Hill has the potential to be a great dining spot for larger groups and intimate gatherings given its roomy interiors and medieval tavern like vibes. Food, however is a bit of a hit and miss; so heed my advice and just give the waffles a good whack. Meanwhile, Entertainer App users can revel in their 1-1 main course deal at this establishment.

Pear Cheddar Crumble

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
#01-03 Tanglin Post Office
56 Tanglin Road

Operating Hours:
Tues- Sat: 8am -11pm
Sun: 8am - 10pm
Mon: Closed

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