Owen Road has become more ‘happening’, with the opening up of a few interesting food establishments – from Old Hen Kitchen, Tingkat PeraMakan, The Palmary to Wo Peng Cantonese Cuisine (I shall reserve my comments on the last one).
The Palmary which means “praiseworthy, victory and success” is a “fusion dining concept”, located in a 3-storey pre-war transitional shop house at 142 Owen Road.
It is owned by the Food & Friendship Group, a bespoke canapés catering company, and helmed by (a good looking) Head Chef Timothy Ong (not to be confused with another Chef Tim Ong).
The first floor houses the restaurant, while the upper level is a lounge for bar snacks, drinks and desserts.
You would notice a bicycle hanging on the wall. It was not trying to be hipster, but to pay tribute to the vintage bicycle shop which used to occupy this space.
The menu offered a range of items of signature soups ($8.90), light starters of Peas In A Pod – chilled poached edamame ($4.90), Squid & Salad ($10.90), Keen On Quinoa ($12.90), Foie Gras with Citrus Jelly (15.90) to mains selections like The Butcher’s Cut ($24.90), Soba So Good ($16.90) and Aglio Olio ($18.90).
My friends and I took a while with the menu as we were not quite sure what to order, as the menu’s direction was not entirely clear at first glance.
We were initially sceptical about the Just Wing It ($9.90). With no pun intended, whether they could really wing out a dish that is synonymous with a neighbourhood zhi char restaurant.
To our surprise, the house deep fried prawn paste chicken wings were crisp, juicy with slight aroma of the prawn paste. In local foodie terms, they were “on point” and “legit”.
On the other hand, the Quack ($18.90), a duck confit dish with sautéed spinach with berry compote, fell short in expectations, especially if we were to compare with some of the mid-priced French restaurants out there.
Skin wasn’t crisp enough, meat tasted gamy on parts.
The Soba So Good ($17.90) which came highly recommended, sounded good on paper – a refreshing bowl of organic cha soba, braised cod fish and leeks with in house kirimochi crackers.
I thought overall the bowl was too cold, as the noodles rested on pieces of ice, and some bites could send you on a brain freeze.
The temperature affected the texture of the cod as well, which my friend who took the biggest piece commented was ”Too hard”. The crackers which were supposed to add some crunch, ended up sticking to the teeth instead. Perhaps losing the ice could help.
To be fair, the Cake Of The Day ($6.90) – an Earl Grey cake looking like it has merged with Tiramisu, was fluffy, not too sweet, with that faint tea allure. Good stuff.
There were some items on the menu which stood out, such as The Palmary’s Spiked Ondeh Shot. Yet, there were other ‘boring’ thing like Aglio Olio and Ben’s Egg Ben.
Personally, I think they were trying to be adventurous in some dishes, while overly safe in the others. The Palmary should be able to afford to push some boundaries.
142 Owen Road, Singapore 218941 (Farrer Park Mrt, Exit D)
Tel: +65 6909 1431
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 12:00am (Tues – Thurs), 11:00am – 12:00am (Fri – Sat), 11:00am – 10:00pm (Sun)
Last Order Time: Food 11:00pm, Drinks 11:30pm (Tues – Sat), Food 9:00pm Drinks 9:30pm (Sun)