There are many online reviews on the amazing cocktails from Nutmeg & Cloves. And we have to say after trying it for ourselves, it is easy to see why they are such winners on the palette (not to mention, they punch a mean punch!). The trend in cocktails has brought many new entrants to the scene, and competition means that it gets fancier and more creative which has certainly left us spoiled for choices.
However not every bar delivers on great food.
Nutmeg & Clove is one of the exceptions. Even if I was a teetotaler, I would come back just for the food! The head chef, Tryson Quek (previously sous chef from Fairmont Hotel), is very particular about creative ideas, delivery and the quality of food, which would typically cost much more in a regular restaurant for what we tried.
Just look as this jazzed up version of the Kong Bak Bao. These packages of joy are the size of a normal burger, not the kid-sized versions in Chinese restaurants.
The bread is soft and warm, and the kong bao melts in your mouth with every single bite, leaving me wanting more after each mouthful. I like the touch of adding vegetables to ease the feeling of fattiness in the mouth. The kitchen uses leanest part of the pork belly (I think it’s just to fool ourselves and ease our guilt 😛 ) and they have a special arrangement with their butcher to reserves the best stuff for its customers.
The Har Jiong Gai (prawn paste chicken) is a spin off the traditional version that we are familiar with. The main part is de-boned before deep-frying and glazing. This makes it really convenient for the diner! This dish immediately reminded me of the方太 cooking shows as a kid, where she would come out with interesting tricks such as these for housewives (of which my grandmother and mum were fans of her weekly broadcast) to kick it up a notch at home.
I was surprised by the Taro Cakes (yam balls). Just by looking at it, one would not be able to guess they contain the savory taste of traditional yam cakes. Served hot and crispy, they make a great snack. Not sure about the sprouts though, was it for decoration? The taste was a bit odd against the fried yam balls.
I wasn’t quite a fan of the cod fish croquette made with smoked cream cheese. Perhaps because I’m not so much a fish person, or perhaps the sauce was too sweet for my liking. Others liked it. I guess it all depends on your taste. But certainly it was served hot from the fryer, and I did like the bite into the crispness.
The Compressed Pork Ribs with Truffle Pomme Puree. The pulled meat is fork tender and the pomme ladened with truffle flavor. Apparently the kitchen uses real truffle to flavour their dishes (not the usual truffle oil essence)… Super for truffle fans! Just a note that for this dish, the pork tends to be heavily scented so for non-pork fans, you might want to stick with choices such as the har cheong gai instead.
The lovely cocktails we tried. The Dirty Chinese Martini (with preserved egg & ginger for palate cleansing) which was really strong, Valentine’s Day Special, and the Mariner, (sour plum infused Remy Martin VSOP, PX Sherry, Italian Bitters and Green Chartreuse). My favourite was the Mariner, it really tastes of the sour plum sweets we grew up eating as kids, complete with the wrapper as the cover!
Overall it was a very lovely experience with the great food, decor, service and I always have a soft spot for Ann Siang Hill (given it was near the first area I started worked in).
Overall – 8
Ambience – 8 (Air con a bit too cold, bring a shawl ladies. Cab can be a bit hard to get. Standby your favorite call taxi app)
Price – 8/10 (for the quality and overall place)
Nutmeg & Clove
17 Ann Siang Hill
Opened : 5pm – 12mn
Tel: +65 64239885