Man at His Best

SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar Delights Tastebuds With A Revamped Menu

While, at first sight, its original chef, Jonathan Ong’s departure might not bode well for the restaurant, the absence has become an opportunity.

BY Wayne Cheong | Jun 22, 2017 | Food & Drink

We suppose the lack of vowels is an aesthetic choice, a marketing gimmick for letting the brand stand out from among the crowd. Starting at McCullum Street, throughout its five-year tenure there, it went from a breakfast nook to a vibrant place brimming with life, art and food. Owners Quek Sue-Shan and Joseph Yeo then opened another outlet in the Robertson Quay area. Taking up two storeys, there’s SPRMRKT Daily, a retail space and a café, occupying the lower level, and the restaurant, SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar, taking up the second floor.

“New American” used to be served in the 30-seater restaurant, but after Chef Jonathan Ong left, it went with him. Picking up the reins is co-founder Yeo, who revamped the entire menu with a French flair. Chef Yeo has an impressive CV: he cut his teeth in a restaurant at 16, worked at Les Amis and Waku Ghin, and handled the behind-the-scenes of SPRMRKT with catering and business building. Given his oeuvre, his new menu is a testament to his talents at the stove.

I don’t eat octopus but the starter, Octopus & Prawn, won me over. The former is cooked using the sous-vide method with mirepoix and red wine to keep the flesh tender and easy to rend. Then, it and the prawn are grilled on a plancha before they are dressed escabache style.

The Monk Fish Liver was an unexpected delight, partly because I hadn’t eaten fish liver before and didn’t expect it to be tasty given the Spartan method of being flour-coated and pan fried. We didn’t complain about the Stockyard Cote De Bouef either. The grain-fed 600G Australian beef ribs are meant for two, but the creole spice rub adds to the flavour profile, making it hard to share with the other party.

Ending off with dessert (a Three Beet Chocolate Lava Cake), the dish is a 70 percent Valrhona chocolate cake that seeps more dark goodness that balances with the beetroot and raspberry sorbet.

SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar is located at STPI—Creative Workshop & Gallery, #02-01, 41 Robertson Quay. To make a reservation, call 9736 4170.