Sticks and pots that warm the soul plus drinks that never bore you.
‘Singapore’s first skewer and claypot rice cocktail bar’ may seem like a slightly confused concept at first, but it all makes sense after your first visit.
Provisions is a newcomer in the Dempsey enclave of eats and drinks with a focus on Asian ingredients and a theme of Singaporean nostalgia. It is a joint venture by chef Justin Foo—who trained with André Chiang in his youth and was notably appointed head chef of Italian restaurant Senso at age 24—and bartender KC Rahmat—who was a consultant with Pangaea and previously worked at Beer Market and bespoke cocktail bar Nektar.
Don’t be confused if you can’t find a drinks menu at Provisions. KC specialises in bespoke cocktails, and favours Asian herbs and spices—you can check out his infusions of the week behind the bar.
Justin’s menu keeps it simple yet modern. It offers food for sharing that highlights Asian flavours, from Korean fried cauliflower (KFC, $10) to spicy pig ear fritters ($12). Skewer prices are per stick, ranging from $4 for chicken gizzards or hearts to $10 for octopus or sirloin, so they can get a little steep for a rather small portion, but keep in mind that all prices are nett.
What really pushes the menu beyond the field of regular bar food is the new takes on claypot rice. A stellar example is their seafood rice ($16), a bountiful mound of prawns, clams and liver sausage. Mushroom tea rice ($9) uses oolong to set off the flavours of shiitake while oyster omelette rice ($18) is a straightforward but effective adaptation of the hawker favourite. In a way, the pairing of grilled skewers with fired claypots makes sense, given that both are about fire and char, employing rustic, elemental forms of cooking.
The inclusion of nostalgic memorabilia such as bubble-blowing gum may seem a little clichéd, but it adds interest and identity to the space, not to mention activities and photo ops some customers will surely relish. For others, the quality drinks and soul-warming food should be enough to bring them back again and again.
7 Dempsey Road. Tel: 6250 7090/9783 0792