Maggie Joan’s – New Chef, Revamped Menus & Refreshed Interiors

I am always on the lookout for hidden bars and restaurants as I find that there are something alluring about them. Hence, the stretch of restaurants behind amoy street and at the backlane of Gemmill Lane always fascinate me. Among the
restaurants, Maggie Joan’s recently turned 3 with a new chef and revamped menus. In fact, the interiors were refreshed too.
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Besides a new overhead canopy at the outdoor area, one would have notice a shelf of of liquor and house-infused concoctions that serves as a bar for cocktails. Oh yes, that is my current fav corner of the restaurant. There are also addition of vintage posters to the walls in the private dining room that enlivens the space.
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One might find the new chef rather familiar if you have been dining very often around the area. Yes, he is Seumas Smith, former Head Chef at Moosehead. He has now taken on the role of Group Executive Chef of Maggie Joan’s and even took the effort to source for the finest seasonal ingredients from small or artisanal producers. This will be reflected on the new menu where every component is made from scratch.
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I have a weakness for bread, good bread to be exact. When the Housebaked sourdough with smoked beef fat butter ($4) was served, I can’t help but to reach out for second and even third servings. The Sourdough bread is made from a dough mixture of a three year-old sourdough starter and has proofed three times before it is baked in the morning. Hence, it is super soft and fluffy on the inside with a lovely crusty shell. Oh yes, don’t forget to spread some of those smoked beef fat butter which is made from the trimmings of O’Connor beef, rendered and smoked in an INKA charcoal oven over hickory wood chips. Together with the artisanal French butter,salt and thyme, it is savoury, smoky, smooth and heavenly!
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When Shiso tempura, taramasalata, nori & lime zest ($3 each) was served, I was rather excited to try as Shiso leaf is commonly found in Japanese cuisine and I adore the unique aroma of the leaf. The batter used to envelope the fresh shiso leaf was as light as a veil and has added some crunch to the dish. Paired with Taramasalata, nori and lime zest, it was really refreshing yet pleasant to have as a starter.
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Next up, we had Burrata , peas & preserved lemon ($21) which is good to share among 2~3 pax. Simple and pretty as it might look, a hell of work have been done to put this onto the table. The lemons are preserved by soaking in a salt brine for 2 to 3 weeks before they are thinly sliced and pickled with chardonnay vinegar and sugar for at least two days. The Sourdough breadcrumbs are sauteed with butter, rosemary, thyme and garlic and oven baked till crispy then roughly crushed. The trings from English snap peas are removed then thinly sliced while the Australian garden peas are removed from the pod, lightly blanched with the skin removed from each pea.
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One of the highlights for me is the Beetroot, smoked crème fraiche, walnuts & burnt honey ($17). I like how the Australian beetroot was done two ways – barbecued in the INKA charcoal oven for a nice smokiness and pickled in a solution of red wine vinegar, wine and sugar for a minimum of two days. The end result was beetroot without much of the earthy notes while retaining the crunch. The candied walnuts was a lovely touch to add in some texture and nuttiness to the dish.
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Oh yes, not to forget the dressing made using the Scottish heather honey is from Prince Charles’ Mey Selections, which sources ingredients and products from within 150 miles of the Castle of Mey, red wine vinegar and wine. It literally completed the dish with an unique fragrant from the heather honey.
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Hamachi crudo, almond, trout roe & edamame ($23) is definitely one dish to order if you want to let your eyes feast as well. The colours on the plate were so naturally vibrant that one would have a better appetite just by looking at it. But wait, don’t forget to enjoy it! The Japanese hamachi is thinly sliced and seasoned a la minute with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice while the trout roe is lightly marinated in soy and mirin.
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Carbs lovers, don’t forget to order some Fried potatoes, pickled mustard seeds, crème fraîche & chives ($10). This is one dish that won the hearts of everyone around the table and any resistance to it is totally futile! These home made fried Australian Russet potatoes were painstakingly peeled and cut before being blanched in salted water. They are then allowed to cool down and chilled in the fridge to set the shape. After that, they are double fried to achieve that super crispy exterior while the inside stays nice and fluffy.
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One can choose either the Roasted carrots, ricotta, apricot & rosemary ($10) or the Cucumber, peas & sesame miso dressing ($10) if you are looking at adding a healthy dose of vegetable into your diet. My personal fav is the cucumber ones as it was refreshing and paired very well with the sesame miso dressing.
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You might have heard about Iberico pork but Duroc pork, this long distance cousin of his, is not anywhere far from giving you a stab of tender meat with good fat marbling. The pigs are born and bred in small farms, and fed on olives! Duroc pork chop, apple puree & pork sauce ($42) was another dish that gained the approval of everyone around the table. While the pork chop was juicy and moist, the pork crackling made by dehydrating pork skin added some textural bite to the dish.
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Sourced from a local fish farm, the Barramundi from Barramundi, mussels, cavelo nero & parsley nage ($34) is pan seared till skin is crispy, then finished in the oven while the sustainable farmed mussels are sauteed in a very hot pan. The roasted fish and vegetable stock is cooked with thyme, sauteed shallots and garlic and reduced to become a sauce with white wine and cream added. Overall, it was a delightful fish dish that even bff approved (he is not a huge fan of fish).
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Do remember to leave some space for desserts. There are quite a good selection of desserts made in house. Coconut panna cotta, prosecco & grapefruit ($12) if you want something more refreshing or Blackberries, yogurt sorbet & shiso ($12) to end the meal on a sweet note. Oh yes, don’t miss the complimentary Petit Fours which came in a form of Salted caramel sable. Buttery, light and satisfying.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar
110 Amoy Street #01-01 (Entrance from Gemmill Lane) Singapore 069930
Tel: +65 6221-5564
Operating Hours: Mon ~ Fri Lunch 12 pm – 2.30 pm
Dinner 6 pm – 11 pm
Sat Dinner 6 pm – 11 pm
Closed on Sundays



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