After years of not picking up a paint brush, I went for my first art jamming session. It was therapeutic.
More on that later. Arteastiq, known to merge a boutique tea house and social painting studio in the same space, has opened its second outlet at Plaza Singapura.
Some of my friends call Arteastiq the ‘tai tai’ café, where you got for high tea, dainty bites and sweet treats, while lazing around in comfy huge sofa seats. “Enjoy the good life,” they say.
Admittedly, I have been to the Mandarin Gallery branch a few times, and it was always some female friends who would ‘jio’ (ask) me there.
This meal at PS, there were four of us at the table – two females and two males. I couldn’t help noticing the main courses were divided into two parts of “Ladies Affairs” and “Gentleman’s Dinner”.
The revamped menu was conceived with the idea that ladies would prefer lighter items, and gentlemen enjoy more straight-forward and robust dishes like Striploin steak. (They obviously haven’t seen some of my female friends who can chomp down a slab more heartily than I do.)
The dishes are a collaborative result of three chefs – Chef Jason Vito, Chef Benson Tong, and Chef Jack Tan, who incorporate inspirations of their travels into the recipes.
Anyway, this is all in the name of fun. Make a quick guess what dishes “Louisiana Love”, “Grains of Oasis” and “The Royal Princess” are.
Okay. They are Chicken and Waffles ($22), Scallop Barley Risotto ($25), and Salmon Wellington ($38 for 2) respectively. Could never have gotten it correct, especially the last one.
Arteastiq’s Chicken and Waffles ($22) had an Asian twist. The buttermilk chicken was pan-fried, then tossed with red onions, cashew nuts and Thai mayonnaise. So rather than a slab of chicken, you get pieces on top on the waffles.
If you are also wondering why the waffles would taste healthier than the usual, a whole-wheat version is used.
Interestingly, the guys at the table did fancy items from this side of the menu better.
Wonder who names the dishes though. They seem culturally-inspired – The French Connection (Black Angus Striploin $30), Latin Lover (Baked Mexican Pork Bean Stew $25) and Beijing’s Dynasty (Duck Confit Pancake $28).
The mouthful-sounding The Prince Of Monte Carlo Short Ribs Croque Monsieur ($29) was our favourite dish of all we tried. (Technically, this can be called a ‘madame’ as it is topped with a fried egg.)
Beneath the crispy brioche was meltingly tender short ribs in a rich sauce, complemented with rocket and can’t-take-your-fingers-off sweet potato fries.
When the Boston Love Boat ($29) arrived at the table, I had the inclination to why the seafood and saffron stew dish was called a ‘boat’. Its size was unexpected.
Enveloped by a crispy fluffy crust like a soup bowl, there were treasures to be found within – generous fresh chunks of seafood.
The Sweeter Sides Of Love
The premium tea selection and desserts are the strengths of Arteastiq comparatively.
On hot days like these, we particularly found delight in the iced tea with gelato pairing which was like a breath of refreshing, such as Lychee Yang ($12) where you get cold oolong tea topped with lychee tea gelato. Kind of apt as the imperial consort Yang Guifei was known for her insatiable liking for lychees.
Or Admiral Cheng ($12), iced ginger spice tea with MAO SHAN WANG gelato. Named possibly because he travelled south quite often during his voyages.
I have walked past Arteastiq quite a few times, and finally decided to express on a canvas. So the piece of the right (5 loaves and 2 fishes) is my work. What would my art teacher have said? Haha.
The process is straight-forward and fun.
For $48 per 3 hour session (or $180 for 5 sessions), you will be given a 50×50 canvas, with unlimited acrylic paint, a set of brushes and palette to exercise your passion. Plus one free beverage to sip as you paint.
I have observed that some of the other jammers went alone (and they painted really good stuff), some went in groups (and laughed at one another’s creativity). Great opportunity to bond with friends. Otherwise, just get yourself lost in the moment.
The calming needed in a busy lifestyle.
Arteastiq Bistro & Bar – Plaza Singapura
Plaza Singapura, #03-70/72 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839
For Boutique Tea House reservations: +65 6336 0951
For enquiries and reservations for Social Painting: +65 6336 0952
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
Arteastiq – Mandarin Gallery
Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15 333A Orchard Road, Singapore 238867 (Somerset MR)
Tel: +65 6235 8370
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
* This post is brought to you in partnership with Arteastiq.