808 Eating House is a new entrant to the already buzzing dining enclave of Joo Chiat. Helmed by young Singaporean chef, Eugene Chee, 808 Eating House’s menu is one that focuses on local and regional quality ingredients and drawings from the chef’s experience in San Francisco and his time at Magic Square. Diners can tuck into a selection of snacks, small and big plates so grab a friend or two before heading down.
We started off with Chicken and Eggs ($4), which was inspired by one of the dishes that Chef Eugene used to make during his stint at Bar Crenn. Smooth chicken fat chawanmushi is served with creme fraiche and a generous topping of finely chopped chives for freshness and texture.
The other appetizer that will whatever your appetite is the Pickled Quail Eggs ($6). Quailed eggs are marinated in black vinegar and molasses to produce a firm, tart and slightly sweet quail egg – something easy to pair with drinks.
Our recommended snack has to be the Duck Fat Financiers ($10). These buttery babies are served warmed and amped up with the use of rendered duck fat and creamy chicken liver mousse. Decadent but so delightful. A touch of orange zest is added for that bit of brightness and fragrance. Ooh la la.
From the small plates, I found myself reaching out for the Crispy Baby Squid ($16). We were told that each piece is coated with a thin layer of potato start and deep-fried until golden. Shichimi togarashi (seven-flavor spice) is sprinkled over and a housemate squid ink aioli dip is available for added umami.
Alternatively, go for the Sweet XL Clams ($24) if you can take spices and love seafood. Cooked in hua tiao broth, these extra large claims are salty, sweet and slightly spicy. Deep fried egg floss is also added for texture.
For the mandatory greens, we had You Mai Chai ($12) but the twist was that it had pandan oil, honey and mustard dressing then a generous sprinkling of prawns and coconut flakes to finish. It is a light dish, salad style.
Moving on to the Big Plates, the Pork Belly Fruit ($26) is a must-order. Braised for 12 hours in buah keluak, soy sauce and homemade serundeng, the meat is incredibly tender and flavourful. The sour and tangy pickled achar complements the rich flavors from the meat and buah keluak.
For those who prefer fish, the Barramundi ($28) is seared until the skin is crispy then perched atop lightly-spiced garam masala pumpkin puree and some pumpkin relish. At the table, shellfish broth is poured in to complete the dish.
To round up the meal, we went for the Ice Cream Sandwiches ($12). Black sesame parfait is sandwiched between two wafer biscuits and topped with coconut caramel, earthy mushroom crumble and mint leaves. It is a solid dessert but we feel the black sesame flavors could be more distinct in the parfait. Fun fact – we were told that the wafer biscuits were supplied by a local bakery just across 808 Eating House, talk about collaborating neighbors!
the Peanuts In A Cup ($5) is another dessert that pays homage to local flavours. Concentrated peanut milk is poured into muscovado syrup in the base of the cup. After swirling the glass to mix the syrup into the peanut milk, it reminded us of local peanut soup, just more intense and with a creamier texture. Recommended!
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 808 Eating House seats 29 pax so make a reservation if you are planning a visit with a larger group.
Budget per person: $35 to $45 per person