Provisions: Asian Skewers and Claypot Rice with a necessary side of Alcoholic Libations

"Can I get you a drink, to start?". The keywords - to start - lighting the flames of ignition for a healthy night of libations afterwards. The moment those words escaped the lips of Head Bartender/Co-Owner KC Rahmat, this opened the flood gates to my imbibe-obsessed mind. I caught a glimpse of a bead of sweat rolling down his brow as I tossed him one challenge after another. Regrets. Retiring the night with his version of the vesper with suze bitter, gin mare gin and infused vodka, this lethal tipple carried waves of repercussions in its clear conscious.

Provisions is the newest Asian Skewers and claypot rice concept to grace the gentrified stretch of establishments on Block 7 of Dempsey Hill. It's an interesting premise, the industrial chic space exuding wintry vibes which goes hand in hand with the fuss-free, no service approach; whilst on the flip side, wooden fixtures and long tables manage to elicit thoughts of communal dining. A wild child that bears a certain sense of eccentricity, essential to standing out in the populous precinct.

Chef owner Justin Foo and Head Bartender Co-owner KC Rahmat run a tight ship, justifying your trip out to the boondocks with a combination of comforting eats - skewers and claypots washed down with bespoke cocktails. The fortuitous combination is somewhat inconceivable to most. However when everything comes to the table; the fluke converts itself to serendipitous coalition that encourages conviviality.

The skewer selection are a cut above the standard, offering stranger things such as intestines, gizzards, beef tongue and more. Let it be known that the Sotong ($8) is truly an underrated choice, fresh fried, the bouncy flesh is closely guarded by a light crust bathed in a shower of salted egg powder; carrying a heady aroma of laksa leaves and chili in its wake. Not to be missed are the Chicken Thigh ($5) and the Pork Belly ($7); the former marinated in yellow curry, lemongrass and kaffir lime hums with the romance of summer love, whilst the latter slathered in char siew sauce is neither too cloyingly sweet nor fatty. If you're in the mood to knock back a few pints and nibble on a couple of sticks, the Pork Intestines ($5) is a respectable 'selfish-stick', especially when surrounded by comrades who do not quite enjoy innards quite as much. The comforting soy sauce, five spice and garlic combination comes together to remind you of the extra bits and bobs you can get your hands on when ordering lor bak. Served on enamel plates, the meticulous attention to detail leaves no room for subtlety. The joint is cashing in on nostalgia and goes through great pains to do so.

Claypot wise, Provisions threads the same line of mad scientist visionary, shaking up the formula by offering everything from luxurious versions of Oyster and Uni rice to the humbler vegetarian-inspired Mushroom Oolong Tea rice. First up, the Seafood Rice ($16) was a perfect mish-mash of good ingredients - prawns, clams, liver sausage - on an bed of excellently cooked 5-grain rice sporting a healthy amount of crisp bottom layer from the the charcoal flames. Like socarrat in a classic paella, these are the most treasured bits and festooned with dark sauce and seafood stock, there's no passing up on the scraping enterprise. The Oyster Omelette Rice ($18) is a humdinger and arrives at the table looking deceptively dry on the surface - wait for it, the end result (all mixed in) is more than meets the eye, spilling forth fragrant shallot aromats and qualifying as a bucket list experience.

The rustic decor and centralised bar jabs the usual drinksters. KC Rahmat, the man behind the stick has 14 years of bartending experience tucked under his belt so you can rest assured that you're in safe hands. Even with vague emotive descriptions such as "hit me with something sweet and sour?" or "tropical and hot spicy", mutterings from my dining companions who were a bit of alcohol novices. The end result, however contrived, pandered to their taste preferences. Judicious with sugar yet carrying huge hits of spirits, these brought many smiles and giggles to the table.
Another must order: KFC (Korean Fried Cauliflower) - $10
Desserts aren't lavished as much care and I would implore you to skip those in favor of another libation. The kitchen takes the similar highroad with classic desserts, Pairing goreng pisang with vanilla ice cream and drizzling slightly-too-sweet chocolate sauce over the top in an attempt to draw references to a banana split - wild guess? The Cempedak Coconut ($8) is a little dated, but satisfies most cravings for Asian sweets with a heartwarming combination of jackfruit, gula melaka and toasted peanuts.

Reminder, service is kept to a minimal here; so don't be a sour puss if your glass doesn't magically refill itself. Make your way down to the service counter beside the bar to get hold of cutlery and proper hydration. However, if you feel the need to tip that cute waiter, pick up a pack of kachang at the Tip-Bits station and leave an amount that you deem appropriate. Be nice!

7 Dempsey Road
t: 6250 7090

Operating Hours:
Tues - Thurs: 4pm - 1am
Fri - Sat: 4pm - 2am
Sun: 10 30am - 3pm
Mon: Closed

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