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I only managed to visit three days ago, a few months after it subtly shapeshifted into a bistro. To me, the intangible but undeniably present qualities that have remained of #cheekbyjowlsg is Chef-owner Rishi Naleendra’s unique take and elegant execution of choice produce and ingredients as evidenced by the new dishes on the menu, and his wife Manuela’s disarming smile and relaxed hospitality which makes everyone immediately feel at home (she has quite the knack of changing your mind about a midday glass of wine too). I may have missed Chef Rishi that day (he’s busy getting his new restaurant on Amoy Street ready for the scheduled opening in mid July), but I saw Chef Alan more than capably holding the fort with the team during the lunch hour rush.
Although my friend and I had already ordered a few dishes including the barramundi for ourselves, we were surprised by chef with the house-cured trout shown above. You can bet we were only too happy to give it a try and yes, it revealed itself to be most delicious.
The layer of very fine black olives was a delightful savoury foil to the clean-tasting fish. Even more so when whooshed through the light almond cream, and interspersed with bites of the crisp, cool shaved fennel. Needless to say, the plate was as clean as a whistle by the time we were done.