A couple of weeks before Christmas holidays began, which would see everyone jet off to various global locations, we had one of our final get-togethers for 2016 and thought it only right to tick another new opening off the list. This time it was Pyxie Moss, an achingly cool restaurant and cocktail bar taking up a ‘grungy’ space on North Canal Road, which opened in August.
The door is subtly marked and when you make your way inside, the interior is a long room, with dark finishings and white walls, elegantly lit. The eyes are immediately drawn to an impressive long bar stretching along the right-hand side, numerous bottles of interesting booze hung on little hooks on the wall, and mysterious bottles, jars and mini casks lining the shelves. The bar turns into a kitchen at the end where you can glimpse the chefs working their magic. It took us a little while before we realised that at the other end of the bar, a section of the countertop seating is actually made out of an aquarium, revealing little terrapins swimming under your elbows and glasses. The tables are along the left hand side of the room opposite the bar, and a big blackboard displays the cocktails and specials of the day. It’s industrial, modern, classy, fun, with a relaxed vibe, and just so very, very cool.
So we were sold on the environment at least, and wasted no time getting stuck into the food. This restaurant is another small plates joint, and for our group of 5 and with such a playful and intriguing menu it was perfect – we ordered pretty much everything, and everyone got to taste and try it all.
The menu can only really be described as ‘modern’. It is an eclectic mix of European and Asian flavours, which would make sense given that the main man behind Pyxie Moss (chef Tim Ross-Watson) has British roots and Indian heritage, and uses the ingredients he can source around him living in Asia. It is divided up into cold and hot, and the cold came first.
The highlight had to be ‘The Tribbiani’, a smooth buttery duck liver mousse with date jam, and served with crisp focaccia to spread it on. The addition of the indulgent schmaltz (chicken fat) pre-spread on the focaccia just added to the rich and decadent mouthful. You don’t need much of it but my god it’s delicious.
The Avocacho (avocado gazpacho) whilst beautiful to look at was not quite so well received, refreshing but not quite packing enough punch.
The hot dishes were where we all got REALLY excited. The ‘Bacon n eggs’ from the specials board was a winner, so much so that we devoured it and immediately ordered another. Chewy fresh bread topped with soft creamy scrambled egg, crisp salty bacon and home made tomato sauce. Playful and simple, yet somehow chef managed to elevate it to sit very comfortably at a dinner table, not just a brunch.
The other dish that got an immediate repeat order was the ‘Fish no Chips’. Whilst I’m sure any chips would have been delicious, they weren’t required, this was simply unadulterated hot, crisp battered and deep fried fish, with perfect sharp tartare sauce. It also came with all the crispy salty leftover batter, which any fellow Brits will know as ‘scraps’. Perfect. This was definitely a nod to chef Tim’s British roots.’Joshua Prawns’, going back to the Asian flavour zone, were also faultless; sweet juicy prawns with a creamy salted egg sauce, crispy rice and curry leaves.
There were also various meat dishes, we kept to the Specials board for this and went for the ‘Iberico Collar’ pork, with creamy smoky mash (more like a sauce, it was tasty, but we were expecting some hearty mash) and the ‘Onglet’ which came with crispy cauliflower, pickled aubergine & a slightly spiced sauce. It didn’t need the poppadoms, which seemed a little out of place, but nonetheless a delicious plate.
This was all washed down with some fantastic cocktails and wine, and served by friendly, knowledgeable yet pretty hipster staff. Oh and even the bathrooms out the back are cool, check them out. We had a great evening and were all certainly full. And the best part was that despite our repeat orders of various dishes, the bill was pleasantly much less than expected and offered really good value for money. We didn’t quite make it to dessert but we will definitely be back to try those, along with more of these fun, inventive and delicious plates of food. Especially since they are opening for lunch, and Sunday roasts from January…book us in.
Pyxie Moss, 43 North Canal Road, Singapore