The Place The proliferation of new restaurants along Boon Tat Street this year is staggering, with Den being one of the relatively new kid on the block. A bistro by day and tapas bar by night, the casual European cuisine joint offers quite a good dining option for the working crowd in the CBD area, in terms of value and quality. The vibe at the Den is casual industrial chic, which makes me feel quite at ease when I checked it out on a quiet Saturday evening.
The Food The lunch and dinner menu are different, but still revolves around seafood, meat, pizza and bites. Prices are surprisingly reasonable as well for this area, starting from $8 for bites to $19 for pizza. However, portions are relatively small due to the tapas style, hence it would be ideal to order a few varieties to share. Share the love, share the calories.
From the meat selection, it was not a difficult choice for me to decide on the Shortrib & Mash ($18), braised shortribs cooked with mash and sauteed mushrooms. The combination of ingredients is probably the key success for the dish, as mash simply goes so well with the tender braised shortribs, which is done tastefully. I wish that this is a bigger portion.
Another must try I will recommend is the Truffle & Jamon Bikini ($15), deliciously filled with vintage cheddar and caramelised onions. I just have to say the combination is perfect, especially when I had it with the well-toasted bread. So good.
I was in the mood for pizza as well, hence the Truffle, Bacon & Mushroom ($18). The pizza texture is quite thin, but that is how I like it to be. The truffle smell is enticing enough and works well with the bacon and garlic béchamel and hints of shiitake mushrooms. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the pizza was.
Available on the lunch menu, the Seafood Mafalda ($15) was a delight to have. I am usually not a tomato base person but this is one Tomato pasta I really enjoyed. The al dente linguine pasta is served with fresh seafood such as fish, squid and prawns, topped with yuzu dressed rocket salad. For desserts, I prefer the Lemongrass Creme Brulee ($8) with dark chocolate milk crumbs and strawberries to the Lemon and Olive Oil Cake ($8) with marshmallow ice-cream. I like olive oil with bread, but somehow infusing it in desserts just doesn’t really work for me. Conversely, the mix of bitter dark chocolate with crème brulee and strawberries is a balanced combination for me.
Rants I wish the portions are bigger, but wait, it’s meant to be tapas size?
Will I Return Again? For an affordable meal in the CBD during lunchtime or after work, DEN is worth a try, especially if you are looking for a more casual and chill-lax vibe. Food does not disappoint as well for its price. I am already tempted to try the brunch menu next time round.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
29 Boon Tat Street
Tel: +65 6220 0629
Monday to Tuesday: 8am – 11pm
Wednesday – Friday: 8am – Midnight
Saturday: 11am – 10pm