Wok & Barrel @ Duxton Hill | NOW CLOSED

Serving local favorites with a contemporary twist is Duxton Hill’s quaint little bistro- Wok & Barrel, opened by Chef Shen Tan- previous owner of the popular Madam Tan’s Nasi Lemak stall at Maxwell Food Centre. Chef Tan has certainly done well for herself, moving from a small stall to a whole unit space of her own and opening her own cafe.

Having heard many good things about their local delicacies offered in their menu such as the Beef Rendang Pizza, Bak Chok Mee Pasta and Bak Kwa Pork Ribs, I was definitely excited and keen to make a visit down to try it out. Unfortunately, when we reached the Wok & Barrel at lunch time, we realised that those items were only available after 5pm. The lunch menu was mostly nasi lemak sets, sandwiches and wraps.

It was disappointing having traveled all the way down, only to realise that we could not sample those dishes but we were much too hungry to leave for another place so we decided to give their Nasi Lemak Sets a shot.

There were 6 different types of sets varying from Mutton Curry, Crispy Pork and Beef Rendang but all served with coconut rice, omelette slices, ikan billis, sambal belachan and Asian Coleslaw.

The Crispy Pork $7.90 which was actually deep fried marinated thin pork belly slices reminded us a tad of bacon streaks when we first saw it. It was crisp and sinfully tasteful- the sort of guilty pleasure you feel biting into meat that has been submerged in hot oil. Pleasing to the tastebuds but not so on the waistline.

Special mention goes out to their Asian Coleslaw which I loved. The cabbage and carrots were neatly shredded into thin slices and the lime dressing was not your typical coleslaw dressing. It offered a refreshing twist which worked extremely well as a contrast to the usual heaviness that mayonnaise gives in regular dressings.

The Crispy Chicken $7.90 was another deep fried item we ordered. Yes, we were on an artery clogging streak. Nonetheless, the boneless chicken thigh was succulent, juicy and crispy and was a nice match with the soft fluffy coconut rice. The sambal belachan definitely hit the right notes with its colour and presentation yet the spiciness did not quite match. This is one for the non spicy fans and a miss for those who appreciate a spicy kick.

Since the Beef Rendang Pizza was not yet available, I was still determined to try their famous Beef Rendang. So we ordered an A La Carte version for $9.90 as a top up. Well for starters, rendangs and curries are not exactly the most photogenic dishes but this spicy meat dish did pack a punch in taste. While it could have been a little spicier, the tenderness of the meat was proof of the amount of time taken for it to cook and absorb all the spices though I really wished I could have enjoyed it with a nice pizza crust.

Well, I am most certainly making a trip back after 5pm one day to try out the delicacies that were not on the lunch menu. And my advice would be to definitely come for dinner or even brunch on the weekends for a wider variety unless you are just there to have some Nasi Lemak which, after today’s experience, isnt such a bad choice either!

Wok and Barrel
13 Duxton Hill, Singapore
Tel: +65 6220 0595

Singapore

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