Back-alley dinner tasting: 11 Hamilton at Singapore 209182

What used to be the cafe Hustle Co. at 11 Hamilton Road at (closest MRT Bendeemer) has changed to a back-alley cafe and restaurant memorably called.. 11 Hamilton! I had the pleasure to be invited to try out their dinner last week and was pleasantly surprised by the food. When we arrived at 11 Hamilton for the first time we all made the rookie mistake of standing at the front door wondering if we got the time and place wrong. Turns out, the entrance is round the back so we went down the road and u-turned right to find a cosy restaurant that starts with a coffee and pastry bar, followed by actual seating. 

The entrance you will see after passing several cool doors. 

Despite the open kitchen with a bar running along it, the place was well-ventilated and there was barely any smells, which is very important. It's intimate 32-seater with about 10 more at the bar facing the kitchen. The decor is contemporary and whimsical with its rose and gold accents. 

Here's the dinner menu (from 5pm onwards) and yes it is only 1 column (next would be drinks). As you can see, it's very simply divided to mains and sharing items. We got 3 sharing and 2 mains between the 3 of us, and by the end we were stuffed! So portions are pretty good for these reasonable prices.

Here's the drinks menu, which is pretty interesting given their craft gin and beers on tap feature. And the cafe section shows with their coffees, and matcha/chai! 

I got the Matchaya Uji Matcha Latte (S$5) which was awesome because it wasn't too sweet at all nor powdery. I have this obsession with matcha so I had to order it, over drinks, when I see it on the menu. Haha. 

Drinks aside! We started off with some lovely but unfortunately un-photogenic Salmon Carpaccio with sourdough (S$22). The cured salmon slices with togarashi themselves were pretty unremarkable, in contrast to the brilliant pieces of sourdough that we couldn't get enough off, dipped in creme fraiche. Just that alone I think is worth ordering this :P 3/5

Ohhh, they were marvellous. Here's another shot. Kudos to their bread supplier, In the Brickyard.

Our second sharing plate which ended up being less sharing, more me eating, was the Chicken Liver Pate (S$9) with raisin bread (again, it was!!!) and pickles. This is not something for everyone for sure as the liver pate had a taste reminiscent of ...durian, or something pungent to that effect. I get why it might be described as so, but I didn't taste that - instead it was rather smooth and pleasant if not a bit heavy on the palate. We should have ordered the Chicken Wings, haha. 2.5/5

Our third sharing plate was the best of the lot, if not the night! If you're here, definitely get the grilled octopus (S$16) with smoked paprika on top of some smooth and tasty potato puree (mash!). The octopus was super juicy and soft, not at all tough, and lends itself perfectly to the spices and mash. 4/5

On to the 2 mains! We first had the Rigatoni Crab Pasta (S$18), which we were looking forward to. However it ended up being rather bland despite the mountain of shredded crab claw meat (possibly not super fresh/sweet?). So while I appreciated the generosity, the flavours could be intensified. I find my tongue craving for something with more depth, so we added more salt and pepper, to a certain extent. 

Next, I would imagine a very popular item for date night - the 200 Steak (S$36). It's named such because of the 200g 200-day grass-fed ribeye that is served with beef au jus, kale chips & fries I reckon! Well this was a beauty to behold. The steak was tender, juicy and everything you want in a steak. No frills, just pure flavour. And at a very reasonable price point may I add. 4/5

Lastly, we had to etch out some space in our stomachs for this delicious Pulut Hitam Cake (S$7) from the dessert/coffee bar, supplied by In the Brickyard. Great cake, no complaints, love that local flavours like Orh Nee (yam) and Pulut Hitam (black glutinous rice) are used. They do whole cakes too so you could enquire! 4/5

Here's their lunch set menu which is a good deal! 

Here's brunch. My friend @sgcafehopping has done a good review for it - go check it out!

11 Hamilton is a small, cosy restaurant for intimate dinners over drinks and conversations. I recommend for you to give them a try if you are in the area looking for some quality steak, cake, octopus and bread (not necessarily all of it in that order)! I'll be back to try their brunch and chicken wings!

11 Hamilton
11 Hamilton Road, entry at the back alley, Singapore 209182
Daily 9am to 10pm (12 am on Fri/Sat), Closed on Mondays
+65 82880402

Thanks to 11 Hamilton's Rachel for the invite!

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