Published on Tuesday, 25 September 2018 01:41
Written by Cheryl Teo Kai Lin
There is nothing like a good glass of whiskey to drown that work week misery. Working in the city is a dreary rat race that can drain your spirits. Fortunately, there are establishments in the CBD designed to alleviate burnout from the daily grind, such as Rookery, with a plethora of beers, cocktails, wines, and spirits to go along hand-in-hand with the scrumptious international fusion cuisine this gastrobar whips up.
Perhaps the most alluring aspect of Rookery is its insane Happy Hour duration that spans from 8am till 8pm, Monday to Friday. Rookery has two outlets, one in Hong Leong Building (3 mins walk away from Raffles Place MRT and Downtown MRT station) and another in Capital Tower (3 mins walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT station) to effectively attend to the stressed out masses in the CBD. Even if you are not part of the city's office crowd, Rookery is still a great restaurant to chill out at and take advantage of its affordably priced alcoholic beverages.
The three owners, Daniel Ong, Quek Sue-Shan and Michelle Quek named it Rookery because a rookery is the haunt of gregarious birds and mammals like birds, penguins and seals, and they believe that it reflects what the place is all about as it attracts “a gathering of awesome individuals indulging in wonderfully good times over simple good food”.
Rookery is tastefully done in an industrial chic interior design with the concept of comfort and enjoyment in mind. It is a paradisaical refuge where you can escape from the crowd and the daily grind to indulge in creature comforts through its enticing international fusion culinary offerings, and the majestic eclectic waterfall of the drinks menu.
Infamous “Har Cheong Gai” Wings, $16
Prawn Paste Mid Wings with Housemade Chilli Sauce
These wings are each sliced lengthwise between the two bones and separated so that the prawn paste batter coats a larger surface area of the meat, imparting more of its savory and umami crustacean flavor, and this method also enables easier eating as the meat can be sucked clean from each individual bone without worrying about trying to get to remnants hanging between the bones. The wings have a crisp and crumbly crust, and the meat within is so succulent that it drips with juices as you chow down into it. The wings are served with chicken rice chilli sauce that packs a punch of spice and is heavy on the aromatic sharpness of garlic and ginger, with just a touch of tanginess from the lime to bring the flavors together.
Rookery Signature Truffle Fries, $14
Hand-Cut Potato Crisps, Parmesan, Truffle Oil, Parsley
Truffle fries by itself are already good. It is hard to go wrong with ordering truffle fries as bar grub. However, Rookery's version completely took us by surprise as it did not resemble or taste like the run-of-the-mill truffle fries in other cafes or bars. These roughly hewn steak-cut fries are nothing short of amazing. The fries are thick and fat, similar to wedges, which makes them crisp on the outside and soft and pillowy as a cloud on the inside. Due to the thickness and fluffiness of the fries, they wonderfully absorb all the truffle oil within it, and the musk, earthiness and funkiness is taken up a notch with the ample dusting of parmesan cheese.
Vongole alla Blanc, $16
Korean Clams, Garlic, White Wine, Crushed Chilli, Toast
This small platter of korean clams and toast is a lip-smacking starter to whet the appetite. The clams are fat, plump, springy, juicy and taste of the sea. The sauce that pools at the bottom of the bowl with the clams is garlicky, buttery, slightly spicy and herby with a hint of sweetness and tanginess from white wine, that further accentuates the oceanic succulence of the clams. The dish is served with crisp golden toast that is best eaten when allowed to soak up all the delectable buttery goodness of the light but flavorful sauce.
Baby Calamari, $18
Fried Baby Calamari, Squid-Ink Mayo
Crisp, springy and sweet, these battered baby squids are divine and meet the perfect ratio of crunchiness to springiness. Squeeze the wedge of lime over the bite-sized treats for that extra hit of zesty sharpness that cuts through the briny creaminess of the squid-ink mayo.
Miso Salmon, $28
Ocean Trout, Zucchini Noodles, Pesto-Mayonnaise, Garlic-Yuzu Dressing, Tomatoes
Two slabs of salmon are slathered in miso sauce and lightly torched so that the miso slightly caramelizes and forms a gratinated crust. The coating of miso is creamy and imparts a salty umami taste to the salmon, which balances out the oily richness of the fish. It is difficult to get salmon right as chefs tend to overcook this fish which in turn dries it out, but Rookery has managed to obtain the perfect doneness. It is firm and cooked on the outside but inside is medium-rare which is the only way to serve cooked salmon. The flesh within is tender, moist, buttery and succulent. The entanglement of chilled zucchini noodles, that the salmon sits on, is light and refreshing on the palette with a nuanced ever-green taste. The diverse elements of the cold noodles and warm salmon meld together to form a myriad of ever evolving flavor and textural compositions with every bite.
Baby Back Ribs, $29
Low & Slow BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Slaw
The grilled baby back pork ribs are so superbly cooked that the meat slides off like butter with just a gentle tug on the bone. The pork is rich and smooth with a robust and slightly sweet nutty taste that has just a hint of char from the grill. The meat is imbued with so much fat that it is almost gelatinous and melts in the mouth. Delicious globs of fat rim the meat giving off bursts of delicious savory fatty juices. It is lightly glazed with a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce that wonderfully complements the delicate sweetness of the pork. A saucer of refreshingly creamy and zesty coleslaw is served on the side to balance out the heaviness of the BBQ pork.
Cajun Roast Chicken, $22
Cajun Marinated Whole Spring Chicken
One whole spring chicken is grilled to a beautiful brown and nicely charred. The skin is savory, spicy, sweet and fragrant from being dusted with cajun spices prior to grilling, and the meat is tender and so succulent within that its own natural delectable secretions will ooze all over the plate.
Wagyu Rump, $35
Westholme Wagyu, Garlic-Brown Butter Sauce, Petite Salad
This hefty 300 grams Westholme wagyu rump steak is grilled to your preferred doneness, with a pinch of sea salt for that salty pop and a deluge of garlic beurre noisette (brown butter) that brings a savory, fatty, buttery, nutty and fragrant explosion of flavors to the beef. This flavorful cut of beef is grilled to just the right temperature so that the intramuscular fat within the beef melts ever so slightly to inundate and coat the steak in a buttery infusion of sinful goodness, while the intricate webbing of fat that did not yet succumb to the heat sets off a huge burst of juices and slowly dissolves in your mouth to a rich and creamy consistency.
Rookery Hong Leong Building
Address: 16 Raffles Quay, #01-02A Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581
Hours: Mon – Fri 8am – 11pm, Sat 11am – 9pm (Closed Sun & PH)
Rookery Capital Tower
Capital Tower Address: Robinson Road #01-08 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912
Hours: Mon – Fri 8am – 11pm (Closed Sat & Sun)
Hi, I'm Cheryl. I possess a joie de vivre spirit unique to my character, my expressions of euphoria are wild in nature and I approach life like one colossal party. I love venturing into the unknown and exploring all that is possible; from exotic foods to cliff-diving. When I am not seeking out something extraordinary to check off my bucket list, I love curling up on a comfy couch with a glass of wine and a book in hand. Follow my personal adventures in my blog here where I let loose of all inhibitions, voice my inner-most emotions, exult in all that is wonderful, unleash the monsters within, lose myself in beautiful reveries, reminisce treasured memories and curate recherché experiences.