Moving into the premises that formerly houses Chew The Fat is one-month old Marble Bistro, which is also one of the few relatively new places to open within walking distance from Outram Park MRT Station.
Hidden behind a lift lobby along the same line as Nylon Coffee Roasters and At The Myo, Marble Bistro is a mid-sized bistro that is decked with concrete flooring and a largely white interior with marble accents in the furnishings. Marble Bistro strives to bring to their patrons restaurant quality food at affordable prices in a casual environment, thus all of the items on their ala-carte menu are priced below $20 nett, offering soup, small plates meant for sharing, meats and desserts. They do have a set lunch menu that starts from $17 nett with dishes from their ala-carte menu, as well as a 7-course tasting menu for dinner available for $37 nett for minimum 2 pax.
We started our meal with the Rustic Bread; sourdough bread served with red capsicum chutney as well as a knob of smoked kombu butter on the side to spread onto the bread. While the bread itself was nothing much to shout about, the red capsicum chutney was bright and tangy while the smoked kombu butter gave it the bread a smoky yet umami flavour that was rather addictive.
We ordered the Crab Porridge from the ala-carte menu, which is being described on the menu as “Pearl Barley Risotto, Blue Swimmer Crab, 63 Degree Egg, Kaisho Seaweed, Ponzu”. A twist to the usual risotto, this seem to fit well for those who dislike risotto for the general creaminess and cheesiness that could be a little too jelak for certain taste buds. The sauce is pretty broth-like here and tasted rather umami especially with the shreds of blue swimmer crab meat, while the pearl barley gives a little bounce in terms of texture which was pretty interesting and quite fun to savour.
Opting for the Beef Steak in the set lunch menu (comes with either a soup or drink, with a main and a dessert), they have used a flank cut here for the beef and had sous-vide the beef for six hours before serving. The result is a beef steak that is pretty tender, cut along the grain so there is no undesirable grainy and veiny bits that may be hard to chew within. Drenched in lightly savoury sauce, salt was also sprinkled atop the beef to further bring up its flavour, while the accompanying mash was surprisingly creamy and smooth. The sauteed mushroom on the side also felt pretty similar to enoki mushroom both texturally and taste-wise; a dish that was pretty well-executed for its price tag.
(Double Chocolate Brownie with Fig & Honey Ice-Cream)
The dessert served alongside the set lunch menu is fixed, being the Double Chocolate Brownie with Fig & Honey Ice-Cream which was satisfying to end the meal with. This works for those who love their brownies more cake-like and soft, but the brownie was still overall pretty rich and decadent with heavy flavours of chocolate without causing the throat to heat up; comes speckled with walnuts and nibs of chocolate within. The accompanying ice-cream carries an evident hint of honey sweetness while coming with cornflakes that help to give the dessert a little crispness.
(Apple Crumble with Flaky Coconut Ice-Cream)
We also went for the Apple Crumble with Flaky Coconut Ice-Cream which we had ordered ala-carte. The Apple Crumble was decent; the sweetness of the caramelised apples was well managed with chunks of apple within but the crumbly bits over the top could come with a little more crunch. That being said, the pastry was satisfyingly buttery and the ice-cream did exude a light hint of coconut flavour, enhanced with toasted coconut flakes atop hence its name. Again, the scoop of ice-cream comes topped with cornflakes to give the dessert a little crispness.
Going for a drink with the set lunch, we topped up $2 to opt for the Red; a slow-pressed juice that is a mix of watermelon, lychee, mint and lavender. A pretty refreshing drink where one can detect the sweetness of watermelon going on before a light hint of lychee takes over right before the cooling mint finish. Works pretty well with the meat dishes such as the Beef Steak that we had.
Our meal at Marble Bistro was decent and actually rather satiating; most of the dishes were well-executed without much to pick on, though the flavours do seem to stay very much on the safe side (could also be due to the items that we have ordered). That being said, Marble Bistro is pretty promising and has potential, though it feels like it is not totally unleashed yet; perhaps they could look into creating dishes with a more daring flavour profile apart from aesthetic appeal and increasing the menu variety to give patrons more options apart from meat dishes for the larger plates. Service was pretty on the mark despite the lack of service charge; the staff were actually pretty patient in explaining the various elements used for each dish which is not very typical in a bistro setting. While the space is not exactly conducive for large group gatherings (it would be good to call ahead for a reservation) nor has good acoustics (loud conversations could easily echo within the space, even drowning out the music played at times), Marble Bistro is certainly an interesting place to check out for casual lunches with friends within Outram Park that is worth trying at least once to see what they can offer.
Blk 6 Everton Park
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/marblebistro