Brunch Review: Artichoke at Sculpture Square, 18 Middle Road

May 13, 2012

Finally went to Artichoke last Sunday for brunch after so many recommendations from people to check it out. It was also a chance to meet up with my favorite people from uni, including a guest appearance from Colin who never fails to bring some hearty laughter to the table. If you have not watched the short video review from them, go see it here.

Well, on to the food and the experience! If you were to ask me.. so what's good at Artichoke? I'll be hard-pressed to give you a definite answer because THEY ARE ALL SO GOOD!

This here, is just a preview of the food later.

We were there at around 11.20am.. and the place was not open yet so we looked quite a sight, huddled at the gate to Sculpture Square waiting for food while smelling the bacon in the air. I took a train and stopped at Bras Basah MRT, exit E, walked down Waterloo Street all the way till the main road and then took a left. There you will see this courtyard like place. That is Sculpture Square, and Artichoke is right inside. Pretty hidden. I used to work around the area so it was fine for me.

This was the view from the metal gate while we waited.
So we were the first to be there, but surprisingly when we tried to step indoors and escape from the heat we were barred from doing so because we had no reservations! That was quite a downer, but well, rules are rules. At least there was a free table outside. Apparently they get really full during weekends, so do call before going down!


It's also quite funny how the "No split bills" line kept popping up everywhere -- on their walls, the menu..  They also have some particular rules about ordering ala carte when in a group. Apparently it is because it is a small kitchen so they need to keep it simple and it is supposed to be communal dining.

Here's their menu. Prices are rather steep at first glance seeing the items within are so 'little' compared to what you can get at Food For Thought which is just a few doors away. However, as proven later, the prices are actually quite justified...


They also have a Brunch Special which they passed to us on a piece of paper, which Jaelen ordered.


To start off with some drinks. The iced latte ($5.50) was gladly needed in the warm morning. Can't tell if the coffee is good or not (I always can't).


Jaelen was feeling adventurous so she ordered an "Uludag" Pomegranate soda ($4.50) from Turkey. Which turned out like this. It actually tasted like cranberry juice, pretty alright.


And then on to the feast! The food was served pretty quickly considering we ordered 5 sets at a go, and by then the place was almost full house with customers.


The one that you see closest to you is my order - the scrambled eggs with rocket, sourdough toast and local organic mushrooms and feta cheese ($16). Nette had the same as mine.

Well. It's the best damn hearty brekkie I've had in recent times! Seriously did not expect the portions to be that big and generous. The eggs was done just right, not too wet nor dry and the mushrooms were plain heaven. Not to mention organic and local. Supporting homegrown fungi here! Rocket leaves are always a favorite, and the sourdough toast was also super good together with the eggs. I really liked the entire set. 


Scott had ordered the Scrambled Eggs with rocket, sourdough toast and sweet glazed bacon chop ($20). What we didn't expect, once again, is how the bacon chop came in a friggin SLAB. It was very exciting just looking at it. It's what we call in chinese, a "三辰肉”, or translated as "three-layer meat".

Again, look at that will ya! Shiokadoodle.


Next is Colin's cheese and jam toast ($14). It was a stack of toasted sourdough bread and a dish of homemade labneh (yoghurt cheese), Turkish jam, walnuts & rocket. The cheese was, to quote Colin, "very cheesy". The texture is also somewhat like yoghurt, very soft and spreadable. The turkish jam was tangy and interesting.


And finally, Jaelen's brunch special ($22). It was made of 2 eggs cracked over potato and homemade chorizo sausage hash with red cabbage escabeche, roasted corn and sourdough toast.

The photo looks exactly like the description, doesn't it? I have no idea what is a chorizo sausage hash, but it sure tasted good! A very unique brunch set that kinda gave the traditional version a twist.

After our meal, we were also presented with some gummies in a brown packet! What a sweet touch. 

I also had a quick walk indoors after the meal to see what it is like indoors. Looks really good as well. Next time I'll try to get a seat inside. 

The guy at the door (perhaps the maître d) also gave me a quick intro of the place. He was very friendly and talked enthusiastically about their $220 lambgasm. Woots! They do dinner as well which I am also tempted to try.

And here are the guest foodies. From left: Jaelen, Scott, me, Nette and Colin. The weather quickly turned from warm to drizzly by 1.30pm so we had to hurry out to shelter at Bugis after.

I really enjoyed the place and food in the end even though we had reservations (figuratively, not literally) when we first reached the place with the outdoor seating, menu prices.. However, the staff turned out to be very attentive, friendly and the food was excellent and thus price justifiable. One of the best I've had in recent times. Highly recommend that you go check it out asap, but do call in!

Artichoke Cafe + Bar
Sculpture Square, 161 Middle Road, Singapore 188978
+65 63366949
Closed on Mon
Brunch Sat & Sun: 11.30am-2.45pm, close at 4pm
Dinner Tues – Sat: 6.30pm-9.45pm, close at 11pm

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