Setting up a Pan Asian or Modern Chinese restaurant tends to be tricky in Singapore. The line between creative and pretentious can be so thin.
After some gimmicky try-too-hard attempts by others, I think The East Bureau has got the right balance and attitude.
The location already hits a sweet spot – at the rooftop garden at Marina Square with a view of the Esplanade and the Bay, which I think many are still unaware of. Amazing view, barring no haze of course.
This modern Asian bistro is helmed by the team behind Supply & Demand and Equilibrium at Capitol Piazza, which menu is said to be inspired by Chef Samdy Kan’s childhood days of running in his grandparents’ kopitiam.
Chef thinks East meets West is “typically dull” and terms the dishes “East meets East” – originating in Asian and given another Asian twist.
The menu is diverse, partly intriguing – Glutinous Rice with Lap Cheong and Shiitake Mushroom ($13), Reinterpreted Tom Yum Goong On Ice ($13), Cereal Shrimps on Skewers ($12), Hakka Braised Pork Belly with Crunch Fried Yam and Fresh Lettuce ($15), and Southeast Asian inspired Pastas.
Some worked; some didn’t, while some I was indifferent to.
The Local Pasta With Orecchiette($19) is inspired by our local Black Bean Beef Hor Fun. It is strange to say this pasta has wok-hei, but well, this pasta has wok-hei. The taste and feel is similar to what you get in a zhi-char restaurant, but cooked with Orecchiette (pasta ‘ears’) plated ‘Western way’. This interpretation worked.
While I was recommended the Savoury Soy Milk Panna Cotta With Shoyu Jelly And Abalone ($15), a twist on the local Tauhua, I thought this was just weird.
Having soy cold milk pudding topped with a (rubbery) abalone tasted at odds, like a cold chawanmushi.
The Lychee Martini Sweet And Sour Pork ($13) had a faint touch of the Lychee Liqueur infusion. On one level, this gave the common dish a different dimension. On another level, I might have preferred the good old ku lo yok.
We could imagine this dessert being a hit. A Menage A Trois ($19) – mini croquembouche tower of ‘Bo Luo’ Cream Puff filled With Salted Egg Yolk Creme Patisserie, whipped Orh Nee Paste and Black Sesame Soy Milk Bavarian bound by coconut caramel and adorned with desiccated coconut.
Take my money already?
The East Bureau Modern Pan Asian Restaurant & Bar
6 Raffles Boulevard #03-03 Marina Square Singapore 039594
Tel: +65 68370148
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm Lunch, 6pm – 11pm Dinner (Sun – Thurs); 12pm – 3pm Lunch 6pm – 12am Dinner