Arterial did not exactly have a smooth start, having gone under the radar in the realm of too many new cafes in Singapore.
The cafe and event space is located in a conservation shophouse on Temple Street, behind the iconic Sri Mariamman temple in Chinatown.
I have some affinity to the space, as it was previously occupied by the charming Crazy World Café and Table 24, both unfortunately did not manage to last long.
The choice of name was a puzzling one which needed some explaining. Inspired by the concept of ‘artery’ which runs behind the ‘temple’ (as it is situated on Temple Street), Arterial aimed to connect, pump and bring life to the surrounding heritage zone.
When Arterial first started, it had its bumps and I was not overly impressed with its initial offerings. After a month of initial challenges, the café had Chef Shen Tan to consult on its menu, who managed to work some magic into the dishes.
Her concept was to channel the spirit of community with sharing platters of crafted house-made signatures such as Chicken Liver Pate ($9.90), Hunter’s Beef Stew ($16.90), Warm Wanton Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette ($11.90), and Meatballs Al Forno ($11.90).
The revamped menu also featured a selection of pastas and sandwiches creations such as the Eggcetera ($12.90) and Top Dog ($15.90).
Our table enjoyed both the recommend Pork Aspic Terrine ($13.90), and Chicken Wing Fries ($11.90).
The wings, 14 mid joints to be exact, were crisp and moist – fortunately not dry as some cafes would have mid-handled that, and addictive when dipped in their housemade garlic mayonnaise.
Unlike other cafes which would have a usual repertoire of red velvets, waffles and lava cakes, Arterial’s offering of Banana Semifreddo ($6.90), Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding and Mocha Cake with Coffee Glaze ($6.90) would (I think) appeal to diners who are older, who may not be so concerned with their desserts’ photogenic qualities. These were rich and heavy, more appropriate for sharing.
The food has indeed been transformed. The real challenge would for Arterial to get into the radar again, for fickle-minded customers are always looking for the next best new thing.
24 Temple Street Singapore 058569 (Chinatown MRT)
Tel: +65 62228589
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Tues-Sun), Closed Mon