Tim Ross-Watson’s terrapin filled quirky bar table is probably indicative and a tell tale sign that this restaurant of his is no ordinary one.
And indeed, I was not sure what I was looking at when I was served the Pigaroon ($3), the first bar snack we ordered with their cocktail. Imagine beetroot macaron swirl paired with pickled pig skin, cream cheese, encased in pork belly and smoked bacon on a stick. It tasted like bacon flavoured bubble gum, and a melted one. Not exactly Bad. Not exactly Good. It was just… … Interesting, and a little intriguing.
The Carrot Dog ($5) comparatively is probably a more “common” bar item. The Gula Melaka marinated carrot was char-grilled with curry leaves, and the cooked root, alongside achar pickles are wedged in between housemade brioches. It was unique since the carrot hardly carries any flavours by itself but instead it relies on the caramel and spices to uplift their profiles. Both items are on their Bar Menu, and only available from 10.30pm.
Bar snacks aside, alcohol drinkers would be happy to know that PYXIEMOSS take their cocktails very seriously and prices here are deflated intentionally to allow revelers to indulge in spirit!
For instance the Ginger Julie, priced at $18 would give Bitters & Love or 28HKS a run for their money. Not only did they use the prized Monkey 47’s proprietary herb blend for this concoction, a complementary rare Japanese shiso sake was to make this refreshing drink with hints of spiciness after each sip.
The SRWMC ($22) incidentally the most expensive was also supposedly the best Negroni that Chef Tim had conceived up to date. The sprightly drink is a blend of Four Pillars Gin, two types of vermouth and Suze gentian liqueur. Negroni is usually an old men’s drink but this version has somewhat a more bubbly personality to it.
The starter of the Seaviche ($8) was pleasing. Intended for both vegetarians and non vegetarians alike, the raw fish here have been replaced by fresh sea coconut, which I thought was a brilliant substitute since their texture are so similar in many ways. The sea coconut are mixed in chilli, coriander, lime and its flavours further enhanced with the accompanying hickory-smoked corn chips-easily my favourite dish of the night.
The Coffee Lox ($18) was another dish that I felt had great potential. Here, sliced smoked salmon is given a coffee rub from upcycled coffee grinds, paired with fresh chervil, cucumber, green apple sorbet and freeze-dried grapefruit. You would imagine the plate to be full of robust flavours, yet it was anything but that; I could only get a light coffee aftertaste, and most of the other accents were just too faintly negligible to be recognizable.
The Tongue in Cheek ($14) is an uncommon English dish that bears uncanny resemblance to our Teochew pig jelly 猪脚冻. Meat from the pig’s head is pressure-cooked, then scavenged and set in porcini mushroom, tarragon and parsley gelée. Chef Tim also prepared a crusty homemade coffee flour rye bread with a generous serving of Piccalilli, which is a typical English cauliflower & onion pickles with turmeric and mascarpone. So the result is one that is sour, creamy and a little pungent.
Both of this British fare are not usually eaten together, so I thought this daring approach to food is what differentiate Chef Tim from the rest, and while I am not a fan of game or offals, I must give credit to Chef Tim for the multiple layers of nip he had brought out.
Meat lovers would also be pleased with the The Rump ($22) or the Mother’s Lamb ($18). Compared to the starters, meat dishes are probably where the strength of PYXIEMOSS lies. For the latter, it was a dramatic assembly of tandoor cooked lamb hearts, neck plus two slabs of lamb bacon perched on a sand of brioche breadcrumbs and grapes to lend that acidity. Paying homage to his Indian roots (Chef Tim is half Indian), he decided to keep the tandoor oven from the previous tenant and use it to roast his meat, like this perfectly seasoned and spiced hearts. The various components of this dish work beautifully albeit it might be a little gamey for the faint hearted.
Leaving room for dessert, I had the Pina Colada ($10) which is a combination of a five day fermented young coconut cake, coconut granola, salted coconut cream, and compressed pineapples in extra virgin olive oil with caramelised pineapple ice cream. Like the rest of the dishes, it was rather experimental and its toned down sweetness seemed to me more like a Amuse Bouchée rather than a dessert. Not that I am complaining. It was also quite appetising.
The Snickerz ($10) which is made of glutinous rice brownie, topped with salted Gula Melaka cream and garnished with Thai Basil meanwhile seems like a lost sheep in the realm of fusion cooking. I could not see how glutinous rice and chocolate could go in sync together, well maybe unless it is a chocolate mochi.
I had fun but it wasn’t the exacting standards I was expecting from Chef Tim, but judging from his strong culinary foundation and his dedication to his craft, it is only a matter of time these dishes get tweaked for perfection.
The above article is written by Guest Writer @ramenking2016. You can find him on instagram where he shares his love for food and travel.