SPRMRKT relocates to Cluny Court

Founded some 6 years ago at McCallum Street, homegrown brand SPRMRKT was the role model for a slew of other dining establishments that chose to adhere to a multi-concept experience in their space.

Last month, the brand relocated to the charming Bukit Timah neighbourhood at Cluny Court. A befitting spot given its proximity to World heritage site - Botanical gardens and its affiliation with inspiring daily life, coincidentally the long-time philosophy of SPRMRKT.

Writer Belinda Yong takes us through some of the dishes specially created by Chef-Owner Joseph Yeo who is well known for accenting his fare with a hodgepodge of Southeast Asian flavours.

Salt Baked Beetroot with Anchovies ($20++)
As someone who was always under the impression that beetroot is tasteless, this dish certainly opened my eyes up to the ways that beetroot can be enjoyed. The whole beetroot is covered in salt, baked and then thinly sliced. In abiding these methodology, maintaining moisture and enhancing the earthiness from the beetroot. The addition of anchovies gave the dish a touch more salinity without overpowering the beetroot. Definitely a refreshing dish to start off the meal.

Corn Fritters ($9++)
Corn Fritters sold outside usually have a disproportionate flour to corn ratio, with the flour taking precedence. However, the corn is made the star here. Every mouthful is a blissful burst of sweet corn and golden brown fritter, this combination raised a bar with the occasional guest appearance of spring onions and green chili. Cuka sauce served on the side is an Indonesian style spicy vinaigrette, a hybrid of Tabasco and belacan chili, mixing both spicy and sour at the same time.

SPRMRKT Florentine ($19++)
Many of us are familiar with the classic Eggs Florentine, but how many places do you know serve that over quinoa cakes? Well, at SPRMRKT they do. Quinoa cakes are first made by combining potatoes and quinoa and then oven baked for 15 minutes. Superbly tender and crumbly, the quinoa cakes are so well-seasoned that they are an absolute delight to have even on its own. Neither too heavy nor overpowering, it's pairing with egg yolk and hollandaise sauce gave it more substance. Diners have the choice of supplementing their meal with smoked salmon, but I personally felt that this was wholesome enough on its own.

Slow Braised Pork and Goji Berry Bowl ($20++)
As one of the many selections in the "SPRGRN Bowls" section, while this dish initially looked too healthy and raised suspicions on its taste. I was rather taken by surprise. Australian Pork Belly is slow braised with a variety of sauces and ingredients, causing it to be fork-tender and extremely moist. While there is no mention of how the brown rice was seasoned, it was extremely fragrant and had seemingly absorbed the essence from the braised pork. The use of brown rice provided texture while the goji berry added a natural sweetness to the dish. If eating healthier meant still getting to enjoy treats like this, I would consider  going full-fledged.

Salted Egg Carbonara ($23++)
As the dish was gently lowered on to the table, an intoxicating fragrance of salted egg yolk goodness whiffs through the air, heightening my expectations for the Carbonara. In the next few seconds to follow, I went through a whole slew of emotions - disappointment from the lack of salted egg followed by a pleasant surprise derived from the lightness of the cream sauce. The addition of Chinese sausage definitely made for an interesting conversation starter and has a slight sweet tinge to it. Although the combination of lap cheong and cream based pasta weren't the most cohesive, it made for an interesting experience.

Spicy Prawn Linguine ($25++)
Four huge tiger prawns lay atop a bed of tomato-based pasta, sprinkled with a touch of 'hae bee'. I was half expecting this to taste like a Seafood Arrabbiata pasta but it bore closer resemblance to a chili crab pasta. The prawns are seared and served in their shell helping to ensure the essence and juiciness of the prawns weren't lost in translation.  Sweet, sour and spicy, this dish ticks all the boxes.
Slow Roasted Kecap Manis Chicken Thigh ($24++)
With a myriad of exotic and one-of-a-kind dishes on the menu, diners who prefer a safer option will gravitate towards the kecap manis chicken thigh. A superbly tender poultry dish that isn't too overwhelmingly sweet. It's a toned-down version of a regular Ayam Panggang sauce. Roasted vegetables given a sprinkle of rosemary are healthy boosters to the meal.

Twice Cooked Lamb Leg and Achar ($28++)
The twice cooked refers to the sous vide process followed by frying. Before drying, the lamb is first coated with bread crumbs. The end product is a lamb katsu with a golden brown exterior and a slightly pinkish interior. Although the lamb itself is quite gamey, the pairing with achar aided in disguising that.

Caramelised Banana and Gula Melaka Souffle ($18++)

This was one of the most perfectly risen souffles I've ever witnessed. Impeccably light, airy and fluffy, the batter yielded a prominent fragrance from caramelised bananas and the last minute addition of gula melaka had trickled its way into the pore of the aerated desert. A shortfall of not fully incorporated sugar crystals administered some pleasant effects in the form of unexpected crunch.

Matcha and Red Bean Tiramisu ($13++)
The Matcha tiramisu is such an innovative twist to the classic version and executed flawlessly in this case. Upon first taste, the sweetness of the red beans dominates first while the herbaceousness of the matcha slowly makes its mark. A nice shower of shaved chocolate overhead gives the tiramisu a point of reference to its original make-up and also accentuates the earthy tones of the dessert.

Orange Berry Smoothie
It was highly apparent that the orange was freshly squeezed and blended, judging from the pulp in the drink. The use of coconut water also made for a very light smoothie. The layer of berry syrup that laced the bottom of the drink did not taste artificial and rounded up the harmonious beverage with a nice sweet tinge.

Staying true to its philosophy of "inspiring daily life" -  the new SPRMRKT intends to promote that through thoughtful dining, arts and lifestyle program which might involved hands-on cooking classes conducted by Chef Joseph Yeo, set to be introduced in June. So do stay tuned to their Facebook Page!

501 Bukit Timah Road
#02-13 Cluny Road
t: 9736 4170

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 8am - 8pm
Fri - Sun: 8am - 10pm

Words and photos by Belinda Yong who wishes that every time of the day is food o' clock. She loves trying new cuisines and creations,  and prays hard for a higher metabolism.

No comments: