Kilo Kallang has always been a favorite date night spot; now it’s got a newly-revamped menu and (yes!) air conditioning. Check out our fave new dishes, mama!
Kilo Kallang has long been a favorite date night spot for its romantic, out-of-the-way location by Kallang Riverside Park and its wildly inventive, eclectic menu featuring Asian-inspired dishes like Truffled Tai Yuzu Roll, Beef Tongue Tacos and Squid Ink Rice. Kilo has always taken its laid-back mission quite seriously: until this year it was entirely open-air (no air conditioning at all!), to go along with spartan décor and cool cement floors.
But 2016 has brought some big changes for Kilo. In addition to adding a new location in Bali (and with it a new Chef, the Aussie Tim Forster), Kilo Kallang renovated its old space and announced a number of new menu additions reflecting Chef Forster’s light and fresh sensibility.
On a recent Wednesday night (Kilo was just as packed and lively as I’ve seen it on any weekend) I got a chance to try out some of the new menu additions and came away delighted by the revamp (and far less sweaty than I ever was on previous visits).
The menu is perfect for sharing and divided into “Raw”, “Small”, “Salad” and “Mains” sections (though the Mains I saw seemed far too big for one person to eat, particularly if you’re sampling from the other sections – which you definitely should!).
“Raw” features Kilo classics like the aforementioned Yuzu Roll and always-popular Wasabi Tuna Tartare, and also includes two of my favourite new adds: Salmon Poke ($18) and Kilo Gazpacho ($28).
Paired with succulent little watermelon cubes, sesame and shiso on a sesame cracker, the Salmon Poke offers the perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a fresh, citrusy brightness you don’t often find with salmon.
The Gazpacho comes loaded with Boston Bay live mussels that instantly make it a much more robust dish than your typical melange of fresh veggies. This version is also quite herbaceous and less sweet than other gazpachos I’ve had, with strong notes of dill and ginger. At times I found it verging on bitter, but it’s mellowed by a perfect pairing with toasted sourdough baked in-house.
Remember how I said the plates are huge? Case in point is the Atlas Lentils ($34) from the “Small” section, a protein-packed powerhouse with jamón Iberico, bacon, manchego cheese, poached egg and fresh truffle. This warm, earthy dish is like bizarro steak tartare (I like it even more!); the lentils provide a wonderful texture that offsets the saltiness of the pork, and the egg was absolutely perfectly cooked. This is definitely a dish for sharing; I was starving and I LOVED it and could still only muster my way through maybe half of it.
I restrained myself from splurging on one of Kilo’s awesome pastas (Cream of Ebiko or Homemade Riccotta Gnocchi with brown butter miso, for example) and tried out the oh-so hearty Grain-fed Beef Cheek Guisado ($36). In America we’d say this is the kind of dish that sticks to your ribs: the meat itself is tender and delicious, and is meant to be mixed in the creamy congee accompaniment with bone marrow that you scoop out yourself. This was unlike any other meat dish I’ve ever had: bold and buttery to be sure with the addition of the marrow, but also pleasantly peppery and piquant. I didn’t love the greens mixed in – I think I would have preferred them less seasoned and on the side, but overall it’s a winning dish for curious carnivores.
One of the things I love most about Kilo is its relatively large menu (28 different items by my count, with nine mains among them), which makes it a total crowdpleaser if you’re dining with a large group (or allows you to always find something tasty no matter what you’re in the mood for). Of course, this would all be for naught if the kitchen didn’t execute; I’m happy to report that it’s yet to disappoint. Kilo continues to be one of the most creative, inventive spots in Singapore, and the new menu additions make it more of a must-visit than ever.
Kilo Kallang, Ture Building, 66 Kampong Bugis, Level M, Singapore 338987, Tel: (+65) 6467 3987, www.kilokitchen.com