Fusion food review: Binary at Palais Renaissance #01-01A, Singapore 238871

Had the pleasure of checking out a relatively new gastro-bar called Binary after seeing it on @sgfoodonfoot Derrick's TikTok and verifying on Google Reviews that it is worth going (I've made the mistake of blindly trusting another TikTok I saw, and got sorely disappointed). The space can be entered via the Palais Renaissance mall (though the alfresco area is sat along the main Orchard Road). It was definitely limited in space, hence the reservations ahead of time (and even so, we could only get the low indoor lounge table, vs the alfresco which we passed on). The gastro-bar was a tad chilly.. but on the bright side you cannot smell any food being cooked. 

Here's the house pour wine menu. As mentioned by almost everyone on Google, Binary makes you do the 1s and 0s in the form of addition - there's a $30 corkage charge for any wine bottles consumed in the restaurant. Which is strange, since you'll want people to open the bottles inside no? Why not just add it to the listed price?

Other than their house pours and wine list (not pictured) they also have other drinks, including $24 cocktails. I didn't include them since I didn't try it, nor felt compelled to.

Here's the one page food menu - the concept (and hence the descriptor of fusion) is based on their "binary approach to cuisine" which actually is only for the small plates and mains where you choose the sauce. To be honest, cool concept but I'm unsure of the execution. 

Regardless our merry band forged ahead and got the Tiger Prawns (S$18) ala gambas style to start since it looked like one of their must-tries. TBH it was so-so only, or should I say, binary. Everything was executed well but there's nothing exceptional. 3/5

The star of the night though, and the only dish you should try, would be the Homemade Kubaneh bread (S$14) with garlic butter and kombu butter. The still-warm and fluffy Israeli bread was like eating buttery pillowy air encased in a satisfying bite. The addition butter too added, instead of detracted, from the Jewish Yemeni bread. Now I need to find other places with this dish. 5/5

We also had the "small plate" of the Octopus (S$18+10) with pesto ala Genovese. Again with the math. This was also pretty good though no where near the bread's godlike level. The octopus was meaty and chewy without being overly tough, and the pesto was refreshing as well. It would be interesting to try it with the Lao Gan Ma chilli though I am strangely not that eager to find out. 3.5/5 

Meanwhile, the bottle of rosé we ordered still has not arrived...

Then, seeing how the 2 small plates and a bread was really not that substantial for the 4 of us we also got the Wagyu Striploin (S$38+12) in red wine sauce. This was the $50 steak that arrived, lying on some good mash and very flavoursome potato fries. But for $50? Not worth it. I'm sorry not sorry but we weren't impressed at all. There's nothing very wagyu about the meat and the sauce did nothing to elevate it at all. I'd say give this a miss and take your chances on the other mains, perhaps. 2.5/5

Ended the meal with warm homemade fudgey brownie with vanilla ice cream ($$16). The brownie was good and rich but definitely not what I'll describe as fudgey. It was like a rich dense chocolate cake, more like. I enjoyed it but again not too sure if this warrants the price tag or the description. 3/5

So there you have it! A rather ambivalent review of Binary, as the name might have hinted at. I liked the bread so much, and the space seems like a good one for some drinks and snacks, but at the same time the menu and prices didn't seem to make sense nor justify what we are supposed to experience. So go at your own risk.

🙅 Thank you, next
🤷 Try if nearby ✔️
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390 Orchard Rd, #01-01A Palais Renaissance, Singapore 238871
Daily 11.30am to 10.30pm
Reservations on Chope

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