Komyuniti (read “community”) is the new co-working space at the heart of Orchard Road that does not just provide tables and chairs but fuel for your stomach and soul. Located at level 10 of YOTEL Singapore, the 238-seater restaurant-and-bar is the answer for moments like, “braindead without food” and “I need a drink right now.”
Head Chef Mark Tai (formerly from Cheek by Jowl) has curated a menu for small bites and snacks if you are feeling peckish at any time of the day. Salmon Poké ($13) is well-marinated with house-made chilli sauce and soy sauce. It is good until you eat it with the colourful onion crackers that come with it, then it becomes excellent. The umami effect increases two-fold if you eat it with the crackers. I find that there are way too much coriander and onion on the Beef Tartare ($14, below), masking the taste of the meat. The garnishes can be removed easily if you are not a fan. If you like them, revel.
Both homemade soups, Mama’s Tomato Soup ($9) and Curry Corn Soup ($9, below), come in three small ceramic cups to drink from. The tomato soup is tantalising, delicious and comforting – a perfect ‘warm-your-tummy’ fix for a cold and rainy day. The sweetness from the cream of corn complements the curry flavour very well. It is not spicy at all.
Deep fried with cornmeal flour, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($13) has a crispy thin layer of crust that conceals a juicy morsel of chicken thigh meat. The bitterness of Fried Brussel Sprouts (currently not on the menu, pictured below) is even out by the caramelised taste from the house-made hot sauce, a mixture of sriracha and honey. It has a pleasant bittersweet flavour, slightly smoky.
The skin of the Roasted Pork Belly ($10 – Snack; $19 – Main, pictured below) lacks crackling and the meat is too lean. Despite the lack of fats, the pork belly is still tender but it could have been so much better. The star of the day has to be the Slow Roasted Duck Breast ($10 – Snack; $20 – Main). Every slice is packed with flavour and a hint of gaminess. Often mistaken as smoked duck, it is actually brined and slow-roasted to achieve that perfect pink at the centre. I strongly recommend that you order it as a main. It is a very generous portion and such a great value for money!
The Apple Walnut Cake ($10) is nutty, sticky and sweet. The salted caramel and brandy cream help to even out the sweetness of the cake. Hay Panna Cotta ($9) is eaten with mixed berries compote and I like that it is soft and creamy. Caramelised Banana Cake ($10) with toasted barley ice cream is delicious. The banana cake is soft, chewy and moist. It is a great pairing with the barley ice cream.
There are three series of cocktails to go with the food: “Sours” for appetisers, “Tropical” go with the mains and “Bittersweet” to complement the desserts. All of these concoctions are created by Komyuniti’s F&B Manager, As’ad Isnin, who has a fondness of using unusual ingredients to draw out interesting flavours.
Sours: The hotel’s signature drink, KOMpliment ($18, above), contains butterfly pea flower-infused gin and violet liqueur to obtain the deep purple hue that is congruent to the corporate colour. It is sweet and the top foam has a light floral fragrance from the hibiscus perfume. Chaussettes ($18) contains truffle vodka, parmesan, egg white and lemon. It is mostly savoury so it is like drinking food, the same feeling you get when you drink cheese tea for the first time. La Negra Rita ($18), an eponym of margarita, is a mix of kaffir leaf-infused tequila blanco, orange liqueur, lime, orange blossom water and charcoal syrup sprinkled with black salt. Bold and refreshing, it is my favourite from the drinks’ list.
Mexico City ($18) and Tiki Chin Chin ($18, above) fall under the Tropical range of cocktails and they are fruity and easy to drink. The bartender flambés the cinnamon in Tiki Chin Chin in order to release the spice’s fragrance.
Bittersweet: Before you can savour a Benjamin Button ($18), you have to push a handful of candy floss into a tall glass of coconut-washed cherry-infused whisky and port wine. It sounds sweet but after the candy floss dissolves into the liquid, it ultimately becomes an ‘old man’s drink’. It is so strong and dry. Very clever. After taking a sip of Fat Roger ($18, above), you have to roll up a piece of smoked ham with dried cranberries to enhance the taste. I feel that the ham and cranberries are unnecessary but I enjoy the bourbon a lot, on the whole, finding Roger more palatable than Benjamin.
I appreciate that most of the food and sauces are house made, and many of the infusions of hard liquor are kept in those green bottles above the bar counter. A lot of thought and effort had been put into the creation of the cocktails and food. All the mains can be ordered as a snack portion, which means you can afford variety. Sometimes, you just need something to munch on with a drink or when you have a pressing deadline.
YOTEL Singapore, 366 Orchard Road, Singapore 238904
Lunch & Dinner: 12pm – 12 am (till 1 am on Fri, Sat and eve of Public Holidays)
You may be interested in…
–Fat Chap, Suntec City: When you Want a Boozy Indonesian Weekend Brunch
–Ash & Char, Telok Ayer: Gastrobar with New Menu, Delicious Chicken Wings and Blue Wine
–Papi’s Tacos, Seah Street: Damn Happening and Authentic Mexican Joint
–Q-WA Izakaya, Bugis: Casual Izakaya Opens Second Outlet with Japanese Spirits Going For $5
Written by Cheang Shwu Peng.