Dibs Restaurant and Bar's a newly opened space at 51 Duxton Road and we made the trip down tonight in order to check out the food, after seeing Charmain's effusive review on Instagram. With new restaurants the worry is always the early teething problems that tend to surface, and I visited them on a night which was rather quiet, probably because of Laneway; but this at least gave me the opportunity to have a chat with the owner, Lawrence, and the chef, Git.
We started off with some fries since I was a little peckish: these were probably double-fried and rather delicious, and it came with some delicious garlic aioli, and some tartare sauce. Good stuff, but well the next time I come back I would save my stomach for some of the more delicious grub - and they were delicious.
We ordered some sweet Kumamoto oysters which were going at $19 for 6 - pretty reasonable prices especially for Kumamotos which are sweet and delicate oysters. Yums. Not the most flavourful and certainly no candle to the Kusshi I had at John Dory Oyster Bar in NYC but these were no slouches. (7.75/10).
Back to the cooked food - I was very impressed with the "Meat Butter" which was really bone marrow with bonito, sea salt. These were delicious - a mixture of East meets West. The decision to use bonito flakes along with bone marrow was an inspired one, since the bonito flakes infuses a Japanese touch to the bone marrow which was very well-seasoned. Full of delicious flavour, solid stuff. (8.5/10)
We then moved on to the mains, and we first started with the Crabcakes which was a particular highlight. Three large crabcakes came in a robust and intensely flavoured lobster bisque that was just so delicious and slurpworthy that I polished the plate clean and was about to lick it but for social niceties. The crab cakes contained fresh crab meat seasoned with herbs and enlivened with some Cayenne peppers which gave it the required heat. I loved this: (8.75/10).
The pork belly was interesting as well - it was encrusted with panko breadcrumbs and served with a pea and horseradish puree, while the pork was marinated with soy and apple which gave it a slightly Chinese flavour. Another good dish, with very interesting flavours. (8.25/10)
The last main we had was the Charred Lamb with root vegetables and coriander - the lamb was exceedingly tender, another winner. Loved it as well. (8.25/10).
The chef, Jit, who used to work in Abu Dhabi and formally was from Gaia Ristorante, is clearly a talented individual who's not afraid to experiment to come up with creative and tasty dishes. It's all very well-executed and delicious and I'd certainly come back. We were stuffed at the end, really!
If there was any grouse I had, it was probably the choice of alcohol: they can do a bit more with the alcohol list! There are alot of really good wines that are coming into Singapore from really well-established labels and that deserves to be served along such delicious food. Add all these excellent wines to the wine list and it would certainly heighten the dining experience. But it's early days yet - and the wines notwithstanding, I would still highly recommend the restaurant: just make your way down to 51 Duxton Road for a taste of some excellent "fusion" food.