The search for Don Ho at 1 Keong Saik Road is real.
From the photos on their Facebook Page, I reckoned that they are probably sharing the same space as Loloku, given the same garden-like wallpaper (sans the pinky flamingos), but was told by the staff at Loloku that the sliding door linking to Don Ho is not for public usage.
Oh I see.
The only route is to walk through the alley with wall graffiti beside Loloku, stare in awe at the long queue for Man Man by Teppei at the bottom of the slope, and enter via the back of The Working Capitol.
Taking over the defunct-Lollapalooza are both Loloku and Don Ho, with doors on different sides of The Working Capitol building.
Aloha! Don Ho was named after the Ambassador of Hawaiian music (and not because they sell Japanese Donburi, in fact they don’t), where the interior reminded us of the Nth number of tropical garden-themed restaurants (not again?) that opened in Singapore lately.
Here, we can catch the chefs in action (cues #SaltBae) from the open concept kitchen right from our seats, or mingle at the bar table with a glass of fresh tropical cocktail.
Serving modern Australia in small sharing plates, 3 plates as stated on the menu will be a comfortable number for each person (really?).
The menu is divided into “Land” for meats, “Earth” for vegetables and “Sea” for the seafood. Signature dishes include Roasted Iberico Pork Jowl ($16), Crispy Eggplant ($10), Wood Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato ($12), Red Snapper ($18) and Baklava ($10).
My favourite was the Red Snapper ($18), pan-fried to give a crispy, golden-brown skin contrast to the moist and tender flesh that slices apart easily.
While the puffed wild rice was a bit dry and tough, the cauliflower puree and hazelnuts complements well with the fish.
The Wood Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato ($12) was worth a mention.
The proportion was right: woody and earthly roasted scent of the pumpkin and sweet potato mixed with creamy and slightly sour garlic yogurt to balance out the taste.
The Pork Cheeks Char Siu Sliders ($20) might sound promising with toppings such as kimchi and chili mayo, which unfortunately turned out slightly hard and dry.
Bigger sharing plates are available for big group gatherings such as 600g Oven Grilled Lobster ($68), 2.7kg Beef Short Ribs ($190) and 4kg Crispy Whole Suckling Pig ($280), which is probably sufficient to feed an entire small village.
The dessert menu only consisted of 3 items: Baklava ($10), Chocolate Pudding ($10) and Passion Fruit Marshmallow ($10).
My favourite was the Baklava ($10), a pastry made up of layers of filo (thin dough) with pistachio crumbs and candied almonds in between.
Traditionally, honey or syrup is used to sweeten it, but instead, Pashmak (Iranian candy floss) is used instead to lessen the sweetness.
I enjoyed the contrast in texture between the filmsy filo and the crunchy nuts, but it could get a little dry without the use of honey.
For something more refreshing, the citrusy Passion Fruit Marshmallow ($10) will fit the bill, or opt for the classic Chocolate Pudding ($10) which is a safe choice.
Frankly speaking, I felt that the serving portion for each plate was a little small, and there was not a huge selection for carbs to fill up the stomach.
But the fun-loving vibes and interesting food selection made up for it.
1 Keong Saik Road, The Working Capitol Building #01-05 Singapore 089109
Opening Hours: 6pm – 12mn (Tue-Fri), 9am – 4pm, 6pm – 12mn (Sat), 9am – 4pm (Sun), Closed Mon
* Written by Nicholas Tan @stormscape who loves all things [NEW].