Oysters and dinner: Humpback at 20 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089832

September 22, 2015

There is now a place to go for yummy oysters, fish, veggies and cocktails! I'd say the newly opened Humpback opposite new Majestic Hotel is probably my version of a "Eat Clean" place, where you have items fresh from the sea, super vegetables and relatively low calorie white-based alcoholic drinks to match. It has now become my default place to go for drinks if I'd want a light dinner to go with it in the Outram/Chinatown area. The shophouse has a long bar counter, and maybe 10 seats indoors, but there are also about 10 or so seats alfresco. The decor was apparently modelled after oyster bars in the States. 


And States is where the lovely owner couple Indra and his wife (of Sugarhall and Jigger & Pony acclaim!) have found inspiration from. Specifically, the waters off Washington state near Seattle, where they discovered the power of great oysters. There's about 3 types of oysters (depending on the season), which goes for an unbelievable $2-3 each during happy hour, Mondays to Saturdays 5-7pm. That's just cray! My favorite was the fat and creamy Shigoku Fat Bastards, which had smooth shells compared to the skinnier Totten Inlet, because of the waters around them. 


I really enjoyed the Gin Martini ($22) as well, made with dolin dry vermouth, cucumber and of course the floral Hendrick's. Clean, refreshing and stiff, which is what martinis should be like (unless you ordered a dirty one).

My dining companions (the lovely Ms-Skinnyfat & co.) had the Bugs Bunny ($22), made with tanqueray london dry gin, carrot, lemon, egg white as well as the Watermelon sangria ($22) with portland dry gin 33, dita lychee liqueur, watermelon, lime, sea salt and prosecco. Both were on the sweeter, lighter side for me. Did you notice that all the drinks are gin-based, by the way?

Here's the food menu! Prices are really decent for a cool hip seafood restaurant like Humpback, right smack where everything happens.


Ok seriously... unless you are a rabbit, skip the Carrots ($8) (*not that it is not good, but... them just carrots, I don't get it.) 1/5

The Kale ($14) for example, is worth ordering. An increasingly popular veggie known for its superfood properties, these crunchy, lovely kale chips were mixed with buttermilk, pear and pecan nuts to create a party in your mouth! I seldom eat kale, but if they are all made like this, it might just become a staple. 3.5/5

Then the Burrata ($14), which I also quite enjoyed. It came with salsa verde, picual and some sourdough to let you mop up all the goodness. The burrata was creamy and light enough to be enjoyed as an appetizer AND help mop up the alcohol that you might be imbibing. 3.5/5


The Hamachi Ceviche ($22) was one of my dining companion's favorites, and for good reason! This dish was simple beautiful. If it was a woman, it'll be like.. Charlize Theron. There's avocado, yuzu, radish and almond shavings all over it. A must-order for any raw fish/sashimi fanatics. 4/5

We also enjoyed some baby blue mussels ($18) that came with edamame, pork belly (!!) in a kombu broth that was so addictive, we had to stop ourselves from ordering more bread to have with it. While mussels are not really my thing, I must say that the 5-flower pork belly and broth really made the dish stand out. 3.5/5


Then came even more beautiful fishes, like I've never eaten before. First, the cod ($20) that came with some leek on top of chestnut mousse and dressed with vinaigrette. It looked so simple and unassuming you'd never know what hit you as you slide the slivers of cod in your mouth. They were freaking amazing. I was in food heaven with this dish because I've never tasted cod prepared like that before! The chestnut gave it an uplift, but mostly the sweetness came from the fresh fish itself. I'd definitely go back for it. 4.5/5

I am running out of analogies by this point, but the next dish again blew me out of the water like rainbow trout being eaten. And that's exactly what it was! The sous vide rainbow trout ($16) had egg yolk, almond milk and pickled mustard seeds over it, and looked suspiciously like salmon, but you'll know it's something more special when you taste it. The textures and flavours were perfect. 4.5/5


Then we tried the chicken breast ($14), which came with king mushrooms, lentil and balsamic vinegar. Sorry but after all the excitement from the seafood, this was a little bit of a let down because the meat was a tad dry, and lentils aren't really to my liking. I suspect land-based proteins are not really Humpback's forte. C'mon, if you are there, why aren't you guzzling down oysters and fish?

Still, by the end of the meal we did have our faces stuffed, but not before we tried their amazing desserts. Do you know that all their dessert china were from the White House collection and are one-of-a-kind (in the restaurant)? How's that for fancy! 

We were oohing and aahing over the china, but then we stopped because our mouths were full of fernet panna cotta ($8) with some bitter cocoa dust and orange zest. If not for Mad for Sucre, I would say Humpback also wins in the desserts department hands down in the 5-mile radius. Still this is pretty amazing. When you put the panna cotta in your mouth, try pressing down the roof of your mouth onto your tongue to get the "lao ban" beancurd solid-to-liquid effect. Very fun. 4/5


Then there's a little bit of the classic, with a valrhona chocolate mousse made with berries compote and fresh cream ($8) which was good too, though given a choice I would have picked the panna cotta because I am not a big chocolate fan. If you are, pick this! Rich and velvety chocolate mousse is always easy to eat.


Right then! So ends my epic Humpback review. I'd say this is a great place for drinks, food and company. I really can't find any fault with Humpback other than their land-based protein. Everything else is just perfect for that lovely dinner with people you like, so go there soon before it gets overrun and then head down to the basement's Flagship whiskey dive bar for a nightcap.
Humpback
20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832
+65 67504461
Mondays to Saturdays 5pm to midnight
Closed on Sundays

Thanks to Food News PR and Humpback for the invite!

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