[Weekend Pick]: Butcher Boy for late night munchies and Sunday therapy

On first glance, Butcher Boy comes across as just another one of the bar-touting restaurants flashing a  modernistic approach on Asian cuisine in the hope of enticing the ignorant tourist or expatriate. But on closer inspection, the joint boasts some amazing accolades, mostly with Andrew Walsh of Cure helming the finances and kitchen. Cure, having survived more than 2 years in the merciless Keong Saik neighbourhood, has proved its mettle; the informal diner is in good health and does a bustling trade with a spotlight placed on ever-changing menus dictated by seasonal goods.

Chef-owner Andrew Walsh has turned it up a notch in his second and newest venture, churning out grilled meat specialities with Asian sauces - think baos and buns, sharing plates and Asian centric cocktails - all inspired by his tasty adventures whilst traversing Asia. There's an immediate sense of ease and comfort, something metaphysical as you step into the low-light of the longish dining room. The high stool seatings and the tight tables encourage communal dining with a lofty chance of alcoholic tipples, the open bar making sure to fortify those thirsty needs. Staff are affable and not before long, a bottle of wine graces your groups table, and fret not, it is a perfectly plush spot to indulge in a tipple at mid-range prices.

The beverage menu is far from short; but not to be missed out on are the Asian inspired cocktails concocted by award winning Bar Manager Knut Randhem. I kicked off the night with the Whisky Charlie Mango ($22) - a subtle palate tease with a savoury edge from the combination of mango cordial and chili bitters to whet the appetite. If you're here past 10pm at night, slightly ravenous, you're in good hands. The food here is gutsy, edgy yet rustic and extremely comforting. For instance the Korean Fried Chicken ($20) which we insist you should order the House Pickles ($6) as perfect accompaniment; arrives piping hot and sticky to the core. It was marvellous: sesame seed flecked and deeply flavourful. So was the intense Duck Banh Mi ($18 for 2) which defied all odds and despite its minuscule size, delivered huge flavours from the homemade duck pate doled in generous portions between soft rolls.

If you're gunning for something a little more meat-centric, the Butcher Boy Bacon and Cheese Burger with Fries ($28) can be a city of dreams. The patty is derived from a mix of ground brisket and chopped wagyu ensuring a nice fat content that develops a serious charred flavour from the flaming grill. Overall, a juicy package that was re-enforced by sturdy yet slightly porous buns. Also highly recommended is the Hangar Steak and Fries ($28), as do most of us, it's a cut that's usually dismissible. Chef Andrew does it justice here with perfectly pulled Maillard reaction techniques, maintaining its pink juicy innards while sporting excellent grill marks on its exterior. The soul of the dish stems from the staggering range of sauces you can get your hands on - the homemade XO sauce, sambal, yuzu béarnaise and black pepper - when devoured in various permutations and combinations, can be very satisfying.

But perhaps the best thing I had that supper was the Szechuan Brussels, garlic and chicken skin ($12). It was a mass of brown, in a good way; charred brussels tossed in a melange of garlic oil and Szechuan chili is littered with bits of crispy chicken skin for a playbook of textures. There's no denying it and I would strongly suggest you get this snackage to accompany your cold draft.

For a punctuation point to your meal, be sure to save room for the Peanut butter ice cream and plum jelly sandwich ($10). The anachronistic combination is revitalised in modish form with butter-lacquered brioche toast sandwiching a slab of rich peanut butter ice cream covered in a thick rim of  crushed sugared peanuts. There's no glamorous way of devouring this, and we suggest you go straight in with your hands. While you're at it, order the Smoking Carriage ($20) where dictator 20, 'death-be-upon-your-hips' salted caramel, bitters, orange and some smoke sorcery convenes in a glass. It's a magical assemblage that you'll want to never end.

Sunday revellers, take note that Butcher Boy also dishes out a belly-busting Sunday Roast with either roast beef or pork as options next to the standard roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, Asian greens and black pepper gravy. If you're looking to take this into the night, Butcher Boy has its doors open on Sunday evenings till late. What a sport.

Butcher Boy
31 Keong Saik Street
t: 6221 6833

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 5pm - 12am
Fri - Sun: 12 - 3pm; 5pm - 12am

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