Kite at Duxton Hill has ventured into the territory of small plates – literally by situating itself opposite small plates maestros such as Binomio, and their more recent sister tapas bar – El Tardeo. Besides a strong showing of their own creative renditions of fusion small plates fare, they boast a cool beverage list conceptualized by Samuel Sim of the Horse’s Mouth fame.
The most well-done cocktails aren’t the ones that are the newest or fanciest, but the ones that have stood the test of time, using the freshest condiments and high quality spirits that sends those shivers down your spine. I typically use an Old-Fashioned Whiskey or a Negroni as a benchmark of bar quality and the Negroni here’s one to remember. Sleek, with all the right proportions starting from the bitter-sweet vermouth – this is still a little behind L’Aiglon‘s rendition but a tasty, smooth concoction nonetheless.
My bold companion asked for a tea-based cocktail that was probably made off the cuff, and it tasted awfully sublime with the gentle tea nuances culminating in an alcohol roundhouse kick.
Kite’s menu isn’t the widest out there, nor the most flowery in terms of descriptions when it comes to ordering. But every dish came artfully garnished, with deliberate themes that went in perfect harmony. While every dish came with flavours that impressed, the portion size, as highlighted by many other articles, was rather apt to the descriptor of “small” plates.
The fried Fish Skins (S$6) in shoyu and sesame was a crackle of salty, umami delight. And, the Dirty Vegetables (S$10), an attractive display of garden rhizomes still buried in earth (brown butter and coffee). I was looking for a dish with substantial greens however, for my daily dietary fibre needs, but as good as this tastes, it was simply hardly sufficient for one. And I had to share. =\
The Somen (S$12) was terrifically coated in Lup Cheong Oil that conferred a luscious texture with the unctuous fragrance of Chinese waxed meats. You can only imagine the springiness of the prawns cooked just-in-time with the slippery, smooth somen that helps lubricate your palate.
Sous vide prepared dishes are the best. It keeps the integrity of the food, and preserves the natural flavours so you really don’t have to do much. The 42 Deg Salmon (S$14) was perfectly “poached”, and even with the umami explosion from the furikake, the freshness of the salmon still remained intact. I must say though, that the accompanying side of seasoned seaweed was amazingly delicious, and I can only hope it becomes a Small Bowl dish by itself.
Comparing the price of the salmon and the dirty vegetables, I must say this delivered a lot more value!
My friend was lamenting that I ordered too many fried dishes but this is one that I definitely didn’t regret. The Sweet Breads (S$12) are fried to an amazing crisp and served over a mandatory curry sauce that makes you forget it’s an awkward offal to ingest.
I can’t decide which was my favourite dish between the salmon and this but I have to say they are both must-orders. I must say every dish we had was very well-executed but keep this for bar night. Otherwise, have a light meal before this because you might leave not feeling satiated.
Quality of food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 6.5/10
Kite at Duxton Hill (Map)
#01-01, 53 Craig Rd
Tel: +65 – 9729 7988
Hours: Tue to Fri 12pm to 2.20pm, 6pm to 12am | Sat & Sun 6pm to 12am
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
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