While quality people in Singapore are not hard to find, quality pita is a whole other story. My favourite place in Singapore has always been Blu Kouzina, for their family-owned vibe and simplicity in taste and decor. However, their lack of brunch and lunch menus have always left me wanting more.
Thankfully, I was brave enough to venture out of my Mediterranean comfort zone and step into the little house of Artichoke. The brainchild of local chef personality, Bjorn Shen, Artichoke is set in a little cottage – just a stone’s throw away from busy Beach Road.
The tables and chairs offer plenty of room for your party to stretch out and relax. No awkward squeezing in-between tables to get to your seat here. Though the setting is a bit dark, grab a seat in their outdoor verandah area for beautiful natural light. Do not worry – it’s sheltered.
The crowd at Artichoke welcomes big groups. A casual scan around the restaurant speaks to the restaurant’s popularity among families and lazy brunch Millenials. Don’t be surprised to see a sundress or circular hipster glasses floating about.
Even the presentation of their cutlery lends itself to a communal vibe. The texture of the basket echoes the rustic quality of their food and presentation.
To my delight, there were plenty of vegetarian options available. The portion sizes were also manageable, so my belly size was well managed by the end of the meal. I wanted to enjoy the Halloumi cheese separately from my eggplant dish, so the staff lovingly plated it on its own little dish.
For the main meal, I had a medley of mushrooms (a great antioxidant and a true friend), arugula and pesto, atop a grilled half-eggplant. This is a more modern take on an Imam Baldi, a slowly roasted and olive-oiled eggplant dish commonly seen in Greek or Mediterranean establishments.
And for once, do not worry about getting dessert. This Gooseberry Softie Pie basically is everything a soft serve should be. Tart, tangy, textural and just the right amount of sweetness, this dessert is as fun to look at as it is to eat. I threw caution to the wind and had one all to myself. The first bite was full of joy and evoked great curiosity, while the last bite was completely bittersweet. Like a hero dying at the end of a movie.
61 Middle Rd | Bugis | Singapore 188978
Tuesday – Friday: 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
Saturday: 11.30 am – 3.30 pm | 6.30 pm – 10.30 pm
Sunday: 11.30 am – 3.30 pm