50 Tiong Bahru Road Link Hotel
After toiling week after week, night after night, and surviving on nothing but calorie-laden Macs and oversampled canteen food in this nightmare boot camp, nothing beats a relaxing sumptuous meal out with great company.
Persimmon (on Facebook) is a 2-month old restaurant tucked snugly at one corner of the Link Hotel, just across the gentrified Art Deco estate. It markets itself as an Euro-Singaporean Bistro, a fusion of local delicacies and Western sensibility that in my opinion really suited its context – nothing too far off from the Tiong Bahru Market yet retaining a certain sophistication for its discreet location.
The ambience is essentially in a black and white decor, with a diffusion of earthy warm light cleverly shone on the glowing marbletop table. Old-school wooden kopitiam chairs and mosaic floor tiling firmly anchors the restaurant in the quaint laidback heritage tradition, not unlike the atmosphere of the neighbouring SIT estate.
We tried the Hainanese Chicken Salad (S$14) and Garlic Fries (S$8 ) for starters, both of which I thought were “standard” Western fare given a twist with new ingredients, more so for the salad where the soft chicken strands melt in your mouth and opens up your palate. To our pleasant surprise, we were also treated to Pumpkin Shooters compliments of the restaurant, a sweet flavourful soup lightly sprinkled with parsley flakes served in a shooter glass, before we had our mains.
The Fisherman’s Pie (S$26) is, for most, the must-try item on the menu. It required at least 20 minutes for preparation, and we were immediately bowled over by the sight of the golden puff pastry crusting a bowl of rich laksa. It was a balanced combination of crispness from the tender top-crust and the fullness from the deep gravy infused with bite-sized seafood.
Devil’s Curry (S$22) isn’t as devilish as the original Eurasian version even after adding all the mustard and the “3-layered” pork may not appeal to the health-conscious. It is nonetheless a unique dish in its own right.
The Spaghetti Aglio Olio Porchetta (S$22) is a simple dish accentuated by the pieces of Porchetta pork which were really tender and sweet. The waitress enthused about how the pork was roasted for 4 hours, no wonder!
An Apple Infusion (S$10) drink was also ordered on impulse – a zesty blend of apple and ginger which I guess isn’t really the right drink for us.
The wait staff was exceptionally amicable, with Sharon (one of the owners) even dropping by for some banter, asking about food quality and how we knew about the place among other things. Very professional service and makes you feel right at home.
All in all, a delightful experience. I guess I could drop by again!