Ever had Southern American BBQ with Indian flair before? Neither had we, before we tried the eye-opening Meat Smith @ Cocotte Pop-Up happening in Little India!
Any restaurant lover in Singapore has probably by now been to Meat Smith, a modern American-style smokehouse on Telok Ayer with some of the most finger-lickin’ good barbeque this side of the Rio Grande.
If you thought that was unique for Singapore, wait till you try Meat Smith @ Cocotte, the restaurant’s new pop-up concept currently on through April at Wanderlust Hotel in Little India.
Staying true to its location, the inventive menu combines Meat Smith’s Southern American BBQ roots with Indian flavours and ingredients. It was totally unlike anything I’ve ever eaten before, but definitely delicious!
Under the direction of American Chef Andrew Baldus, the menu continues to make meat the star, whether its Madras Pork Ribs with Okra & Green Chili ($25), Pork Jowls with Green Mango, Rassam Vinegar and Cabbage Cups ($22), or a totally bonkers, falling-off-the-bone Hyderabadi Lamb Shank with curry spices and mashed potatoes ($22).
But I’m getting ahead of myself. As delish as the meats are, I loved the “Snacks” even more. Whatever you do, mama, be sure to order the Onion Bhaji & Smoked Yogurt ($8) – preferably get multiple orders (you’ll thank me later). Pairing the traditional Indian fried snack with a Southern fried twist on onion rings, it highlights Indian spices that are then cooled off by the moreish smoked yogurt dipping sauce. The dish succeeds because it is absolutely perfectly fried: golden, crispy, and melt-on-your-tongue delicious.
Other can’t-miss snacks include the Indian Nachos – pappadums replace tortilla chips here – with shredded chicken Tikka, charred jalapenos, mango chutney, mozzarella and raita ($12), and the out of this world Na’an with Bombay Butter ($6), which elevates plain old na’aan (pretty great to begin with) with a blanket of fresh green herbs atop a sinful pillow of decadent spiced butter.
But the consensus fave snack at our table was the one-bite (you can do it!) Puri & Paneer ($9): puffed fried semolina pastry, smoked paneer, puri pesto, crispy chickpeas and herbs. This is like the amuse bouche of your dreams, mama: creamy, flavourful, ever so slightly spicy, and just unlike anything else you’ve ever tasted.
In addition to the mains listed above, we also tried out Maksa Chicken with almonds, onions and herbs ($18) and Hamachi Collar with coconut chutney and eggplant ($25). While the aforementioned Lamb Shank was perhaps our group’s favorite main, I liked the chicken quite a bit as well. Surprisingly my least favorite were the pork ribs, which I found a little tough.
It will be difficult saving room for dessert but trust me, mama, it’s worth it. The Banana Roti Sundae ($8) – with crispy, slight charred banana, doughy roti triangles, and coconut ice cream and a dollop of caramel – is the stuff dreams are made of. Mango lovers will go crazy for the Mango Sorbet & Murukku ($7), a lovely balance of sweet and savoury.
I can’t remember the last time I felt so full, but I also left wanting to come back because there were so many other yummy-looking things on the menu that I didn’t get a chance to try. I’m also intrigued by the Set Lunch and Dinner menu, with meals starting at just $19++ per person. Meat Smith @ Cocotte will only be running through April, mama, so get down quick to Little India to give it a try.
Meat Smith at Cocotte is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 7am to 11:30pm.
Meat Smith @ Cocotte, The Wanderlust Hotel, 2 Dickson Road, Singapore 209494, www.meatsmith.com.sg/meatsmith-cocotte