A claypot rice shop at the top of Dempsey seems novel, and a step forward to spreading the local food culture to the more upmarket side.
Good to find some hearty local sar poh fan at Dempsey anyway – known for many of its bars and restaurants, but few of such humble nature.
Chef-Owner Justin Foo looks like he has it all, 20-something, good-looking (think most will agree, I wonder what skincare products he use. Care to share, Justin?), with cooking experience at Restaurant Par Andre (current JAAN), Le Saint Julien, Senso Ristorante and Bar, and was also F&B Manager with Sodexo Singapore. (Sorry, think my photo didn’t do him justice. He looks better in person.)
He is helped by follow co-owner and Head Bartender KC Rahmat with 14 years of experience in the industry.
Provisions brands itself as Singapore’s first Skewers & Claypot Rice Cocktail Bar. The place is dark (horrid for food instagrammers, so perhaps time to leave cameras aside), and music is loud. Think whoever is in control of the playlist has a penchant for Beyonce.
There is some nostalgic factor as as kachang puteh and other old-school titbits are left around. You can take some and choose to “Tip-Bits” the staff as there is no service charge.
There is also FREE kopi-o from a kettle, next to where they place the utensils and chilli sauces.
The restaurant-bar focuses in Claypot Rice, and its highlight include Seafood Rice ($16.00), Mixed Pork ($14.00), Oyster Omelette Rice ($18) and Oyster & Uni Rice ($28).
This is complemented with small plates of Muar Otah aka Mackerel Fish Cakes ($6), Oyster & Omelette ($8); KFC – Korean Fried Cauliflower ($10), and Pig Ear Fritters ($12); and skewers of Chicken Thigh, Octopus and Pork Jowl priced between $4 – $10.
I ordered a Mixed Pork Rice ($14), and I do need to highlight claypot rice does need some time to be cooked properly.
While portion is meant for one, it was still comforting with generous ingredients compared to the proportion of rice. Pork jowl, pork belly and intestines were in the mix – don’t think there was salted fish.
The dark sauce was already poured in for you – half the fun omitted, but I still enjoyed the fragrant charred bits at the bottom.
Not to be missed is the KFC ($10), actually Korean Fried Cauliflower, made to taste like Fried Chicken. The pieces were piping hot, soft on the inside, crispy batter coated with sweet-soy sauce.
Who would have known cauliflower could be this addictive?
The recommended Oyster & Omelette ($8) however, had parts that were unevenly salty, and oysters didn’t taste THAT fresh.
I liked the whole premise and concept of Provisions – it was both promising and fun.
However, I wished to see more local food being incorporated, such as Satay or a fusion of it, rather than yakitori-type skewers which was half-too burnt.
7 Dempsey Road Singapore 249671
Tel: +65 6250 7090
Opening Hours: 4:00pm – 1:00am (Tues – Thurs), 4:00pm – 2:00am (Fri – Sat), 10:30am – 3:00pm (Sun), Closed Mon