I met R here for brunch – had not seen her in more than a year, and we bumped into each other at one of the Fat Pig matinees at the DBS arts centre, and she left without saying goodbye! One reproachful facebook conversation later we settled on a date to meet for brunch and she picked Artichoke.
The first word I think of when I think of Artichoke is ‘defensive’. They have these little disclaimers plastered over their menus and the wall saying “We are not a “Western” restaurant.” and “Please do not ask us why we don’t sell eggs benedict” and “we are not one of those chilli-ketchup-eggs-any-style places”.
While truthfully the food (and omg the desserts!) was great, these little disclaimers all over the place make you feel like the owner is a little bit of an uptight ass. They were freaking annoying!
Also, I don’t know what they mean by a “chilli-ketchup” brunch place, ok, I have never really had chilli or ketchup with my brunch. :S Like almost ever. And the only thing that pisses me off more than a defensive restaurant, is a delusional AND defensive restaurant, who thinks it is being super cool by breaking from the typical brunch mould and simultaneously fancies itself martyred by singaporeans and our uncreative tastebuds.
Get a life!
Rant aside, I really liked their maple glazed bacon chop [$20].
The portions are a wee bit large – I mean look at the size of that thing. So typically bacon is served in rashers right? Now imagine 10 strips of back bacon welded back together into one hunk. This is thicker than that. The glaze was perfect, the meat salty and comforting, and their scrambled eggs are without a doubt, the best I’ve had in Singapore so far. Creamy, buttery, and soft! This is perfect hangover food, in short. If you are not a fan of bacon fat, you can saw it off here much more easily than when it’s on a strip of bacon.
R had the lamb shakshouka [$26]. I am not a fan of lamb, so I didn’t really try this. R’s pretty adventurous, but she doesnt like lamb when the gamey taste is too strong – this was alright, probably because of the tomato-ey gravy surrounding the minced pieces of lamb.
For dessert she had the snickers tart [$6.20] (which tasted just like a snickers bar) and I had the horlicks tart [$6.20] – a sweet crust, topped with horlick goo (not mousse, more like a horlicks ganache), and a horlicky crumble on top. I am extremely interested in trying their baklava – they have a sampler platter for $11 in which you choose 4 different types of baklava to try – they have about 8-10 different types at the little pastry window outside the shop.
When we left they gave us each a little packet of gummies in a paper bag – such a cute touch!
Their housemade lemonade is also really nice and has little passion fruit beads at the bottom. The cuisine here is sort of middle-eastern/egyptian – they do have an Egyptian little plates sort of set for $28 with various lentils and dips and bread and dukkah and anchovies. It is very unlike any brunch place I have ever been to here and is certainly worth a visit!