If you are looking for a cafe/bistro/casual dining place around Chinatown or Duxton/Tanjong Pagar area, you might want to head down to the newly established Arterial on Temple Street (near Sia Huat) for just that, because it is perfect for a gathering of friends and colleagues. Why the name Arterial? Is it because the food is artery-clogging? That was what I was wondering when I first heard about the name, but I then found out upon visiting the cafe that it is actually named after a vein behind the temple (in your brain), which is coincidentally where the cafe is. Ahhhh. A light bulb appeared.
The place has a lovely decor. The use of wood and naked light bulbs juxtaposed against a black chalkboard wall created a relaxed, friendly environment.
Perfect setting to have a glass of vintage Coke. There's also a good selection of 5 craft beers available, plus a red a white and sparkling, if you're in the mood for a drink.
On to the food! We sampled a spread of appetizers and a main dish between the two of us. There was the arterial handmade wanton ($11.90), chicken liver pate ($9.90), chicken wing fries ($11.90), meatball al forno ($11.90), pork aspic terrine ($13.90) and hunter's beef stew ($16.90). The wantons were really delicious, first up. Just eaten on its own, shared with a friend. We also couldn't stop munching on the chicken wings! The meatballs were just fun. The beef stew was a big portion as it comes with some bread, but was quite normal for me. I'm not too sure about the chicken liver pate - - the dish felt a bit like a non-event (but the bread was good).
What's really spectacular, and a must-try, would be the pork aspic terrine! It is a 'fusion' dish of sort if you insist but what struck me was how refreshing and delicious it all was! The cold jelly was pork flavored! It's slightly salty, but so good. I don't really know how to describe this -- I've never had anything like it before. If there is one odd thing you need to eat this year, go for the pork aspic terrine.
For desserts we tried the mocha cake with coffee glaze ($6.90) that came with some whipped cream (option to upgrade to ice cream available!) and banana semifreddo ($6.90). While the latter was alright, the mocha cake was ridiculously good. It was slightly hard and crusty on the outside, but when you cut into it, it's so moist and dense (in a good way) inside. Valrhona chocolate has been used in the production of this, so you know quality is there.
Arterial is the sort of place that will not cause any arteries to pop or clog, but it sure sends blood pumping with so many fun and well-made dishes that are perfect for sharing with people over lunch or dinner. I'll recommend this place if you are looking for a place to simply hang out and enjoy with friends!
24 Temple Street, Singapore 058569
10am to 10pmFacebook Page