Lunch review: Cheek Bistro at 21 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069620

Cheek by Jowl was one of my favourite restaurants back in the day and I was devastated when I heard that it was closing. However, I was not sad for long because it got re-birthed as Cheek Bistro after a few months and was helmed by the same brilliant Chef Rishi Naleendra and his team. So I went there for my actual birthday lunch a few months back and thought I'll just share how it went with the food and menu. Since we sat outside (we were a big group, no reservations) we didn't really get to interface much with the crew, though the staff was lovely.

The space is the same as before and I didn't get to take pics, but here's the lunch menu (click here to view in bigger size). Very light one-pager which is enough for us to choose from!

We got the party started with some Sourdough and butter (S$6), which was yummy with the right amount of sour, dough and fats. 4/5. Oh and perhaps we were a big group of 5 but it took them a bit of time to come up with all the dishes so don't go there if you got there at 1 and have a post-lunch meeting at 2.

We started with some Beef Tartare (S$26) instead which looked unlike any beef tartare I've tried, paired with another unlikely side of Iceberg (S$12) lettuce with honey and mustard. Both were bloody good though. So simple yet ingenious. Shows all you need is fresh, quality ingredients! 4/5

Next was a vegetarian dish of Burrata (S$22) with heirloom tomatoes and fermented green chilli in delightful textures against the creamy buffalo cheese. Yum. This plus the sourdough got along fabulously! 4/5

And because our new colleague was vegetarian, we also ordered another veggie main dish of Cauliflower (S$28) with amaranth & Thai basil and buttermilk which turned out to be a sleeper hit as well.  The clever use of piquant spices really elevated the plain taste of the cauliflower along with the crispy leaves. Sometimes it is worth trying the more 'exotic' dishes on a menu because they could be better than expected! 4/5

Our next main was the Spanish Mackerel (S$32) with zucchini and basil. Again very well-done such that there's no stale fishy taste which is typically associated with that type of fish. Even the plating looks fresh and springy! However I still don't really enjoy fish that much to crave it. 3/5

Steak Frites (S$42), instead, would seem like the better choice for lunch OR dinner, but to be honest - this was the weakest dish in the bunch. Even the sourdough performed better. Yes the medium-rare beef was nice and juicy and fries were thick-cut and fresh. However there just wasn't any sort of liveliness I've come to recognise Cheek for! 3/5

The Hasselback potatoes (S$12) were a signature from the old Cheek by Jowl and I'm glad it maintained its position on the menu! They were gorgeous as usual in their fried perfection. A great pairing to a smaller main! 4/5

We didn't have the time for desserts, but in any case we were all very satisfied and happy with this lovely birthday lunch! I feel so blessed for my office to be situated so near to it and have such lovely colleagues who treated me to this foodie adventure (and went along with it)! Of course Cheek Bistro is still as good - as long as you decide to be a little less conventional. 

Cheek Bistro
21 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069620
12-2.30pm (except Saturdays), 6-10pm
Closed on Sundays

Reserve on

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