[Updated Oct 2014] The Academy Bistro operated by the Singapore Academy of Law SAL since 1989 will cease operations on 30 November 2014, stating “escalating costs and rising F&B service expectations”.

The dining facility in the Supreme Court Building will be taken over by “a larger-scale, professional restaurateur”.

In the meantime, the Academy Bistro will be offering a ‘Special of the Day’ for the month of November. Have a meal there before it says “Goodbye”!

This is no ordinary food review – it is food at the Supreme Court. I bet half of you do not even know there is a restaurant inside.

According to the Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC), mediators take disputing parties to lunch at the Academy Bistro in the Supreme Court so that they can get to know each other better. The rationale is after lunch and interaction; parties are more inclined to come to a settlement.

Cases handled by the SMC can range from business, family, to construction disputes, and since their settlement rate is quite high (75-80%), the food at the Academy Bistro has to be good.

The The Academy Bistro at the High Court used to be helmed by celebrity chef Jimmy Chok, but has changed its menu to include more Asian fare. The good news is, food is cheaper now than the past.

The local delights included Salted Fish Fried Rice ($8.50), Seafood Mee Goreng ($8.50), Beef with Bittergourd Hor Fun ($8.50), Sliced Fish Noodles ($8.50), and Szechuan Chicken ($8.00).

Though not a recommended dish in the menu, the Seafood Crispy Egg Noodles ($8.50) with its generous ingredients of sliced fish, squid, prawns and vegetables is a decent choice. Firstly, eating zhi char fare in a ‘proper’ setting is a mental barrier you need to cross. And while it does not have the ‘wok hei’ flavours, I felt that it did not affect this dish as much as compared to say, dark sauce hor fun.

The Sambal Seafood Fried Rice ($8.50) with seafood and vegetarian char siew and bull’s eye egg is quite fragrantly fried, with the rice evenly coated with the sambal sauce. Not every dish is fantastic though. Generally, the noodles and Western style dishes seem to fare better.

It is not all the time that ‘ordinary’ people would say “Hey, let’s go makan at the courts,” and you may find yourself eating next to Chief Justice or high profile lawyers. I would say, give it a try, get past the security gantry for your metal devices, and (food bloggers) leave your DSLR cameras behind.

And if you are going for mediation at SMC, I hope you settle after lunch.

The Academy Bistro
1 Supreme Court Lane, GF Supreme Court, Singapore 178879 (nearest MRT City Hall), Tel: +65 6339 2827
Opening Hours: 8am – 5:30pm (Mon-Fri, closed Sat/Sun/PH)

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