The Place Located along North Canal Road, the few weeks old PYXIEMOSS sounds like an enigma. The restaurant’s name is inspired from Pixie moss; the only flowering moss in over 12,000 species. It sounds all geeky, but that is what Chef Tim Ross-Watson alludes his restaurant to be – an aspiration to blossom and flourish. The rugged interior is chef’s idea of punk rock meets apocalyptic, think industrial theme with ample use of metal and steel, with a seating capacity of about 40 pax.
The Food We struggled to pinpoint a specific cuisine to PYXIEMOSS, even though it is probably closest to Modern European. That is no surprise, as Chef Tim has British roots, Indian heritage and has spent a great deal of time living in Asia.
We started with the Seaviche (S$8), a vegetarian dish which looks like raw seafood at first glance but is in fact freah sea coconut. The sea coconut strips are tossed with chilli, coriander and lime, and it comes served with hickory-smoked corn chips. It is an ingenious pairing of the crunchy chips which brings out the fresh flavours of the dish. Try having it on its own without the chips too, I was amazed by how refreshing the flavours were. This was a promising start to the meal.
The Coffee Lox (S$18) appeared to be a normal salmon dish, but clearly not after we tried it. The thinly sliced Norwegian salmon was cured using upcycled coffee grinds, matched with fresh chervil and cucumber. It wasn’t obvious but there is also green apple sorbet beneath the salmon layers which was an interesting combination with a surprisingly well-balance overall taste.
Our favourite from the Cold Dish section is undoubtedly this dish – the Tribbiani (S$15), essentially duck liver mousse. The duck liver mousse itself was very good on its own, creamy and tasty with a tinge of sweetens from the addition of Pedro Ximénez, an intense dark sherry. I can spread this on my bread any day. The dish is served with the ultra-addictive and crunchy focaccia chips, which totally sealed our love for this dish. Spread the mousse. On the chips and you will have no regrets.
From the Hot plates, the Rad-dish (S$8) was a comforting dish, prepared in a triple-braised fashion; first in salt water, then miso water and onion broth. The accompanying onion consommé with yuzu miso and pickled red radish was then poured over the radish.
We are usually not fans of celery, but the Not Just The Tip (S$14) is not an ordinary celery dish as much thought was also given to the root, leaves and stem. The root of the celery was cooked over consistent minimal heat for six weeks to give it an intense ‘black celeriac’ flavour, and paired with barley risotto. The leaves were deep fried; the skin was dehydrated and turned into charcoal; and the stem was diced and sprinkled over raw. As if this was not elaborate enough, green apple and candied walnuts were added for some crunch and stilton cheese for a tinge of creaminess.
The Mother’s Lamb (S$18) is definitely not for the faint hearted literally. This Indian-inspired dish is made up of skewered lamb hearts and neck cooked in a traditional tandoor oven with slabs of lamb bacon, laid on herbed brioche breadcrumbs. This dish wasn’t my favourite as I am less of a lamb eater, but my dining companions seemed to enjoy it.
For desserts, I love the Pina Colada (S$10) over the Banoffee (S$10), not that the latter was any bad. The Pina Colada is like a deconstructed rendition of the cocktail’s key ingredients, made up of five-day fermented young coconut cake, coconut granola, salted coconut cream, compressed pineapples in extra virgin olive oil and a creamy caramelised pineapple ice cream. The caramelised pineapple ice cream was so good.
The Banoffee is essentially made up of banana, plantain, creme brulee, bacon walnut and sour cream.
Food menu aside, the bar snacks menu is available from 10.30pm onwards, with bar treats such as the Pigaroon (S$3 – macaroon, pork, pickled skin, cream cheese) and Carrot Dog (S$5/piece – carrot, gula melaka, coriander, curry ketchup, achar).
For drinks, the highlights will be the “chef-driven” cocktails, most of which comprises a savoury element, concocted by Chef Tim and his team. There are the refreshing Ginger Julie (S$18), a concoction that comprises aromatic Monkey 47 gin, Japanese shiso sake and grapefruit juice; SRWMC (S$22), basically white Negroni, with gin, two types of vermouth, and Suze gentian liqueur. The taste is lighter than the classic Negroni.
Rants We wish that the restaurant will be only for lunch soon, as it only operates during dinner hours currently.
Will I Return Again? We came to PYXIEMOSS without much expectations but left feeling very satisfied. The play of ingredients and presentation are cleverly executed by the team, with dishes done in ways we never had before and beyond our imagination. The most surprising and pleasant element is that the prices are extremely wallet-friend, with most dishes under S$20 given the ingredients and immense thought behind the dishes. We do want to be back for the Tribbiani again, at least.
Make your reservation instantly at PYXIEMOSS here.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
43 North Canal Road
Tel: +65 6532 2171
Monday to Saturday: 5pm to midnight
Ranted by The Ranter