Artichoke Restaurant by Bjorn Shen located at Middle Road has been around for 9 years and still the #bestshitrestaurant in town. Chef Bjorn Shen is also one of the judges of Masterchef Singapore 2018.My first visit to Artichoke was few years back and the restaurant still pretty much the same in terms of their décor and set up. The restaurant has recently refreshed their menu and I am here to check out its “Funky Middle Eastern” cuisine by Chef Bjorn Shen.
Here are the highlight dishes we tried during the tasting session.
Bag of Turkish Bread S$4.50 | Hummus & Iraqi Spiced Mushrooms S$14.00 | Sea Asparagus S$12.00 | Spinach S$12.00
We kick start with appertiser dishes and hummus is one of them. The hummus is prepared with whipped cream tahini, lemon juice and garlic and blended with blanched chickpeas, cumin and Cobram Estate olive oil. This is soooo good to with the homemade toasted breads. I love it so much! And the spinach served with sliced black plums is rather interesting with the sweetness from plum.
Crab Toast S$14.00
Look at the presentation! It tasted as good as it is. The blue swimmer crab meat mixed with Greek yoghurt, mayonnaise, chopped chives, chopped and degorged cucumber and piled on fresh house-baked brioche. The dish is completed with deep-fried chicken skin and garnished with ikura. Umami flavour indeed!
Green Harissa Prawns S$38.00
This dish is prepared with rocket, mint, parsley, coriander, spring onion and green chilli blended together to get rich green sambal. As for the prawns, they are nicely grilled. The sauce is inspired by Middle Eastern and North African flavours. Thus, this explains the flavour-packed of this dish. Everyone loves it.
Cuttlefish Shawarma S$25.00
Skewered sashimi-grade cuttlefish marinated with Artichoke’s #notasecretanymore shawarma blend and other spices and shallot oil then cooked through over a mangal grill. Tender and the cuttlefish absorbs the spices and aroms, making every bite tasted flavourful.
Charcoal-Grilled Duck “Shisk Taouk” S$30.00
Fresh duck breast cubes marinated in yoghurt, onion juice, spices for a minimum of 2 days then skewered and cooked on a charcoal grill with olive oil and lemon. The dish is served with sumac onions and Zhug (Middle Eastern pesto) and Toum (garlic meringue with whipped egg white, oil,salt). And squeeze some lemon for citrusy flavour before u dig in.
Cauliflower Kushari S$24.00
Hearty vegan dish of deep-fried cauliflower mixed with rocket leaves, onions, lentils, mint, puffed corn and fragrant basmati rice and tossed in shallot oil and seasoned with salt and amba. This is only available on weekends.
Crispy Lamba Floss S$28.00
This is surprisingly tasty. The braised lamb shoulder shredded and cooked till crispy and served with thinned down hummus, sunny side up and Turkish bread toast with fresh and fruity olive oil. And this dish totally no gamey taste at all. This is also available on weekend only.
Chicken Urfa Kebab S$28.00
Minced chicken thigh mixed with onion, garlic, dried spices, ice cubes and kosher salt and shaped on a skewer before cooked over a mangal. It is served along with cabbage salad , orange, mint and garlic sauce. Weekend dish as well!
Baklava Cheesecake S$22.00
Generous portion of cheesecake made with cream cheese, sugar and egg yolks and topped with toasted chopped pistachios, orange blossom honey, syrup prepared with rhubarb, lemon and sugar, whipped cream, edible dried rose petals and kataifi pastry. You can order this as a “birthday cake” when you celebrate birthday occasion here.
Date Pudding S$16.00
Never judge a book by its appearance surely can apply on this dish indeed. The date pudding prepared with soaked dates, cream, butter, eggs, brown sugar, flour and steamed in a water bath. Smoked milk is“twice-cooked” dulce de leche milk boiled in the can for 6 hours and cooled before pouring it into another pot to caramelise again until a black char is formed to give the smoky flavour. Chef Bjorn Shen also tweaked a bit on the recipe and added coffee jelly into apart from cashew praline, cashew nut brittle, cracked sea salt and cocoa powder.
In summary, innovative Middle Eastern food that is quite unique on its own. No wonder 9 years and still counting. I would be back with a group of friends for the fascinating dishes here.
Address: 161 Middle Road,