Small-Plate Seafood Restaurant Humpback Opens

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Humpback Oysters

Humpback Oysters

As an oyster lover, my tastebuds practically tingled when I first saw my friends posting photos of these delectable shellfish on social media. After some research, I found that the food was from a new restaurant called Humpback which I formed the resolve to visit one day.

It didn’t take long. Within two weeks, I was there. It was a hazy evening when I found the nondescript oyster bar in atmospheric Bukit Pasoh Road just across the boutique New Majestic Hotel. Humpback was founded by the same folks behind Jigger & Pony and Sugarhall. The restaurant specializes in small plates. The sizing is quite similar to the raciones if you’re familiar with Spanish cuisine. That makes it bigger than tapas but smaller than a main course. The restaurant recommends six to eight plates for a party of two which works out quite decently price-wise.

Humpback - 01.basil cucumber gin tonic

Basil cucumber gin tonic

I started the night with a Basil and Cucumber Gin Tonic ($ 22++), a cooling concoction to keep my mind off the haze even for a bit. Made from gin, tonic water as well as a mixture between cucumber and basil, the cucumber really stood out from this drink and was actually quite refreshing.

Humpback - 06.clam dip

Clam Dip

To whet the appetite, we began the meal with the Clam Dip ($10++). Theoretically a simple dish, I had to restrain myself from just eating the entire dip with a spoon. No compromise was made in letting the taste of the chopped clams stand out to my delight, despite the mixture with cream cheese.

Humpback - 02.brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Vegetarians will be pleased to know that Humpback has a decent Garden menu with straightforward names such as kale, carrots and cabbage. Even as a self-confessed carnivore, I particularly enjoyed the Brussel Sprouts ($12++) with more than a sprinkling of eggs, chipotle and raisin. There was a tinge of sweetness to this dish brought about by the raisins but otherwise it complemented the slightly crunchy texture of the Brussels Sprouts quite nicely.

Humpback  Hamachi Ceviche

Hamachi Ceviche

For mains, Humpback offers a decent balance between seafood and meat dishes. For the former, I tried the Hamachi Ceviche ($22++). Lightly prepared with yuzu, slices of avocado and a dash of almond; I was quite impressed with how they managed to squeeze in just the right amount of citrus taste to this dish in true Peruvian spirit.

Humpback - 09.rainbow trout

Rainbow Trout

In contrast, the Rainbow Trout ($16++) offered a saltier raw fish alternative and is probably the most photogenic of Humpback’s dishes.

Humpback - 03.calamari

Calamari

The crispy Calamari ($14) deserves special mention for its tangy tomato broth. I’ve had plenty of calamari elsewhere and this was the first time I’ve seen it prepared with such a flavorful sauce. This was my go-to dish for the evening. I simply couldn’t stop going back to it as the dinner progressed.

A dinner at Humpback won’t be complete without trying the famous oysters flown in from Washington state in USA. At $6 to $7 each, they’re a bit pricey when considered in isolation but the pricing is actually quite decent when compared to other oyster bars in Singapore. Also, the price goes down to $2 to $3 per piece during Happy Hour which happens all night on Mondays and from 5 to 7PM on other days in which case the pricing actually becomes even more competitive than specialty supermarkets selling oysters. I managed to try three types. The Kumamoto ($7 per piece) was the smallest of the three I tried and was also the sweetest. I preferred its balanced flavour although oyster purists would probably choose something more commanding. The Totten Inlet ($6 per piece) was slightly stronger and creamy while the heavily touted Hama Hama ($7 per piece), with its strong flavours and mild cucumber aftertaste, would probably appeal more to oyster connoisseurs.

Humpback - 10. Beef short ribs

Beef Short Ribs

After having so much, I still managed to squeeze in some space for the Beef Short Rib ($23++). The 120-day grain fed meat was really tender despite not being particularly filled with fat. It came with carrot puree, which made for a wonderful alternative to the usual potato puree.

Humpback - 07.fernet panacotta

Fernet Pana Cotta

We ended the meal with a couple of desserts. The first was the curiously shaped Fernet Panna Cotta ($8++) with bitter cocoa and orange. It’s not what one would immediately expect from the traditional Italian dessert but after a few bites, I managed to distinguish the Fernet from the panna cotta base and was able to enjoy it overall.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

The Valrhona Chocolate Mousse ($8.00) on the other hand, came with a deeply rich flavour that even the berries and fresh cream alongside it get relegated as mere accessories. It’s something that chocolate lovers would totally love.

Overall, I enjoyed my meal at Humpback and will definitely be back. The oysters are decently priced, especially for Happy Hour and I could totally imagine myself sitting at the bar next time eating buckets of it. The other seafood and meat dishes are likewise fresh and creatively interpreted. The restaurant has a tendency to change their menu offerings from time to time so it’s always worthwhile to check out their new dishes once in a while.

Humpback is located at 18/20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089834. Tel: +65 6750 4461. Operating hours are 5pm to 12am from Monday to Saturday.

 

About the Writer:

BinoBino Chua is a banker, part-time wanderer and a sometime travel writer / photographer. 

He is the author of travel blog, I Wander, which focuses on off-the-beaten path locales. He believes that Iran and North Korea are excellent places for a holiday.

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  1. Pingback: Mortlach Single Malt Scotch: The Beast Of Dufftown Lands In Singapore »

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