FYR Cycene Ond Drinc
Our team goes undercover to suss out the latest and most talked about restaurants in town
Yet another small plates joint, yet another opening at Boon Tat Street. FYR Cycene Ond Drinc’s (pronounced FIRE Kitchen and Drink) décor goes for rustic with a touch of industrial – a stacked log façade, distressed woods and exposed bulb chandeliers, with murals dominating the back wall. On paper, it sounds like another wannabe trying its luck with the most recent trends. But before you dismiss the casual outfit, give it a try – their dishes are adventurous, refreshingly localised and put a Josper charcoal oven to good use.
The menu isn’t lengthy, but it’s enough to pique our interest with its Southeast Asian influences such as sambal belacan dips, five-spice marinades and gula melaka sauces with European favourites. We started with Breaded Kaffir Lime Fresh Oysters ($15) – crisp battered bivalves that paired surprising well with its three accompanying dips of sambal belacan, cilantro gribiche and lemongrass chilli. We were particularly partial to the latter for lending the molluscs a slightly tangy and spicy punch that cut through any greasiness from the batter. The Roasted US Bay Scallop ($13) was another winner with its walnut vinaigrette, which lifted the scallops’ subtly nutty and sweet taste, though a local basil pesto sauce was absent despite being on the menu.
Small plates naysayers are also catered for at FYR – the restaurant provides the choice of both sharing plates and individual portions for mains. Go for the Five-spice Half Chicken, Striploin, Asian-spiced Tiger Prawn ($55, sharing plate) – the fowl didn’t impress but the striploin was unctuous and well seasoned, and the prawns were charred to succulent juiciness. Lemongrass is used generously and in the right places – the Whole Maine Lobster ($35), which is grilled just right to yield luscious flesh, benefits from the addictive shallot lemongrass béchamel topping that is torched for a caramelised sweetness. But our favourite main was undisputedly the Spiced Deboned Red Snapper ($25) – one bite of the fork-tender flesh had us swooning. Perfectly blackened by the Josper oven, a savoury smokiness permeated the fish, which married well with sweet and spicy sambal belacan.
When it came to desserts, however, we were less than impressed. Both waitstaff and friends alike urged us to try the Baked Pistachio Melt & Pandan Ice Cream ($10), but we found it to be short on flavour and a little too artificially green. The Banana Parfait ($10) didn’t fare any better – confusingly, it lacked the frozen dessert’s signature layers and was instead presented in a chocolate dome, with barely a grating of the advertised Parmesan. You’re better off with the Exotic Fresh Fruits & Local Basil Sorbet ($10) – lychees, jackfruit, strawberries and kiwis are glazed with red wine, and while I can’t say that the sorbet was an ideal companion to the fruits, it was interesting enough to order again. It’d also be remiss to skip the house-made sodas and iced teas ($4.50 each). The Apple Rosemary Soda carried a pleasant perfume of the assertive herb, and while our waitress warned of a potentially over-heady ginger relish, we found the Ginger Lemongrass Iced Tea to be refreshingly fragrant. And that’s where FYR shines – with bold pairings and regional flavours. 19 Boon Tat Street. Tel: 6221 3703
Average dinner bill for two, with drinks: $180
Must-tries: the beautifully charred red snapper and béchamel-sweetened Maine lobster
Book a table at FYR Cycene Ond Drinc with Chope.