Offbeat Boat Quay gastrobar Eat Sum Thing offers a quirky modern Asian menu that fuses classic European culinary techniques with Asian inflections.
You seldom see a venue name that’s a literal call-to-action. But Eat Sum Thing at Boat Quay is exactly that. Opened by Thugshop – the party maestros behind underground music club Headquarters, pop-up nightclub concept Tuff Club, and the XXL series of rave parties – Eat Sum Thing is a gastrobar dishing out some cutting-edge modern Asian bistro-style fare.
Located at Boat Quay along the Singapore River, Eat Sum Thing can be too easy to miss among the chaos of the dining and nightlife entertainment stretch bustling with rowdy watering holes and touty eateries. Its dark, foreboding interior can also seem unwelcoming, which doesn’t help the least bit.
But don’t let that fool you. Beyond its pop culture drab and nightclub vibes is really a gastrobar with a kitchen that’s punching way above its weight class. Here ex-Les Amis chef Brandon Lee pulls together contemporary European techniques and Asian inspiration for fusion creations that can stand toe-to-toe with the best.
Consider the Ayam Bakar Karaage. This is really Korean-style yangnyeom fried chicken that’s glazed with sweet kicap manis instead of the usual spicy sauce. Smear each piece with some of the accompanying housemade sambal mayonnaise dip, and the flavours – sweet, savoury, spicy and umami – will send you to high heaven. Or the Mac & Cheese Balls, the delightful spheres a lovely mash-up of mac & cheese and arancini.
And those are just bar-friendly bites.
Then you have the Grilled Caesar, a twist on the classic salad that sees a whole baby gem lettuce charred over binchotan that’s then tossed in an umami bomb of a dressing comprising brown butter anchovy sauce and creamy pistachio.
For mains, you hardly can do better than the pao fan-inspired Miso Cod. This is Atlantic cod simmered into tender submission and served atop cabbage that’s been carefully braised with miso. This Japanese-inflected take retains the natural sweetness of the fish, while the broth it comes with is redolent with flavour.
The drinks programme at Eat Sum Thing is nothing to write home about; it’s not Drink Sum Thing after all (although that would make a cool offshoot). But there’s a rather decent natural wine list that works rather well with the modern Asian eats presented by Chef Brandon, so that’s a plus.
That said Eat Sum Thing makes for an interesting addition to Boat Quay, a refreshing concept in a stretch that’s far too cluttered with tired ones. And we’d love to see what more Chef Brandon can do.
Eat Sum Thing
Address 66 Boat Quay, Singapore 049854 (Google Maps link)
Opening Hours 5pm to 12am Tuesdays to Saturdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Tel (65) 9667 9424