The refreshed menu at Beasts & Butterflies brings about delightful new dishes while retaining old favourites; there’s bound to be something that you will like on this appetising menu.
The eatery attached to M Social boutique hotel wants you to know that it’s different and it certainly makes things clear right from the get-go with an entrance that will certainly attract your attention.
Once you step inside you are greeted by a dizzying array of chandeliers, each with its own unique design, marble top table, iPad-like screens on a bartop, lava lamps and an eclectic array of chairs. And by eclectic we mean a $10,000+ chair covered entirely in beads that patrons are permitted to sit on or unceremoniously put their bags on. But the decor is not the main star; that honour goes to the food that is served up by chef Bryce Li.
Credit must go to the design of the menus. It is one of the prettiest menus that we’ve ever seen, with a unique design that draws inspiration from the tiles on the floor. The food is divided literally into items for beasts (those with a more voracious appetite) and butterflies (presumably those with lighter palates aka the ladies). But make no mistake to call the food fusion, though you can see clear east and west influences on each dish in the menu. Rather he’ll prefer that you call it borderless and created by the available produce and chef Li’s personal experiences.
Our dinner starts off with a unique starter that didn’t seem impressive when we were first served it. However, once we popped it in our mouths, we couldn’t believe the flavour that we tasted: chicken rice popcorn. It is one of those things that you got to taste to believe it, and this is one of the best chicken-rice flavoured treats that we’ve ever tasted. Chef Li has also experimented with teh tarik and curry flavours, with the former given to hotel guests as an in-room treat. Chicken rice popcorn is given complimentary with every drink ordered, and extra portions can be ordered for $5 a pop.
Our tasting menu for the night started with a tomato latte ($9). The broth was thick in flavour, and we loved the bacon bits and basil oil pearls that added texture to the dish.
It was shortly after followed by what the chef describes to be “ang moh” yu sheng. Thinly sliced Hokkaido scallops are drenched in yuzu and sesame oil, and paired with minced ginger and crispy bits. Scallop Carpaccio ($26) is served on a plate the size of a personal pan pizza, and the dish though raw, doesn’t taste that way at all, and proves to be a great appetiser to the rest of the dishes to come.
Next up was a meat lover’s paradise – Crispy Pork Knuckle ($26 half/$36 full). Done german style but baked instead of fried, the crackling is beautifully done and is just “crunchy” enough in our mouths. There is also a twist to the sauerkraut, which happens to be Asian-inspired – we liken it to chap chye done with a sour twist. The accompanying sauces are also decidedly Asian: Thai Nam Jin sauce and Hoisin sauce, similar to what comes with suckling pig at a typical Chinese restaurant.
The Scallion Soy Barramundi ($26) is the latest rendition of the dish – the fourth to be precise. The smell wafts out immediately once you lift up the claypot lid, especially that of hua diao wine, Chinese cooking wine. The dish itself though is not too remarkable, and if you are too full, we would recommend giving it a miss.
The star dish, which we hear sells especially well on rainy days, has got to be the Lobster Porridge ($38). The winning factor has to be the broth that we couldn’t help slurping non-stop. Its flavour comes from crab, as well as the premium ingredients inside: baby abalone, conpoy, and lobster. It’s the ultimate comfort food that we wouldn’t mind having again and again.
The Szechuan Lamb Steak ($38) was a surprise as it didn’t have the usual gamey taste that you find in lamb. That’s because it has been sous vided and is cooked in a Szechuan inspired sauce that is more sweet than spicy. Good in general, but nothing we would really write home about.
The desserts are great too. The Yam Brulee ($12) is a unique take on the Teochew Orh Nee, with the caramelised “crust” adding an interesting layer of texture to the dish. Instaholics will want to have their phones on standby for the Chocoholic ($12). Coconut Ice Cream is encased in a shiny chocolate casing that melts as hot Malibu chocolate sauce is drizzled tantalising over the chocolate sphere.
Should you pay a visit? It’s a resounding yes from us. The food is definitely worth trying and there are many instaworthy spots for the gram here to. And don’t forget to ask for the Chicken Rice Popcorn – it’s a must-try.
Beast & Butterflies
50 Roberston Quay, Singapore 238259
+65 6664 8888