The Place Located in the Palais Renaissance shopping mall, I checked out the newly opened Binary, a new 45-seater gastro-bar with an alfresco terrace and edgy indoor dining interior. Other than bar seats and regular tables, there is also a semi-private room. The binary ideology of the restaurant is primarily built on offering two distinct flavours of Asian and Western cuisine on its menu.
The Food The drinks menu is extensive with over 60 wine labels along with their signature cocktails, craft beers and sakes. The food menu showcases dishes from two culinary approaches or you can enjoy both styles on the same plate, with the idea of sharing plates. There are six categories on the menu: Bread & Chips, Small Plates, Kebabs, Mains, On the Side, and Desserts.
I started with the Homemade Kubaneh Bread (S$14) served with Garlic Butter & Kombu Butter. My first time having Kubaneh, which is a Jewish Yemeni pull-apart bread. The bread is soft and fluffy, and buttery enough on its own. Spread it with the accompanying butter, it is so good! I will gladly order this bread again.
For something more refreshing, there is the Tomato (S$14) – Bruschetta with Fresh Tomato Concasse and Sour Plum Infused Tomatoes.
On to the small plates, you can’t go wrong with the Tiger Prawns (S$18) with Gambas Al Ajillo. The prawns here are served with garlic, parsley, and chilli flakes in olive oil, and I thought it will go well with some bread too.
I had the Chicken Wings (S$18) done in the Asian “Nasi Lemak” style where it is served with sambal tumis. My favourite part is the sambal, which is sweet and not too spicy. The fried chicken spots slightly crispy and juicy texture which is familiar taste, and it is interesting to have it in a gastro-bar.
The Cheese (S$18) is not a cheese dish I was imagining. Instead, the burrata is hidden within a golden crust and is contrasted with the green pesto alla genovese. You get a creamy and rich flavour from the burrata, balanced out by the more subdued pesto element.
If you are looking for a punchy dish to share, go for the Octopus (S$28) done in the Asian style where it is prepared with “Lao Gan Ma Chilli”. This is a condiment commonly seen in Chinese dishes, and it is a dish which probably goes well with some beer to wash it down. Tender octopus texture here, and the “Lao Gan Ma Chilli” is not too heavy handed in flavour but satisfying enough.
For mains, I had the Iberico Pluma (S$38) served with Korean Gochujang. The presentation looks like a dish out of a Korean restaurant, as the grilled Iberico pluma is served with fresh green coral lettuce, ssamjang sauce, chopped kimchi, and sea salt. You can also have the Iberico on its own, which I find very tender and flavourful. Wrapping the meat in the lettuce and spread it with the ssamjang sauce and some kimchi completes the Korean experience.
For sides, I had the Parmesan Bacon Cauliflower (S$14) and Mushroom Fritti (S$14), where the latter reminds me of the version in Taiwanese night markets, crispy and addictive as it is sprinkled with white pepper, black pepper and chilli powder.
Desserts include the likes of Warm Homemade Fudgy Brownie served with vanilla ice cream (S$16), though I had the Hong Kong Egglet (S$16) instead. This is a creation based on a popular street snack in Hong Kong, where the Egglet waffle here is served with sea salt ice cream, chocolate pop rocks and yuzu jam. It is quite filling, so I recommend sharing this out at the end of your meal.
Rants Limited indoor tables and it can get a little noisy with the acoustics.
Will I Return Again? The concept of Binary is interesting where it marries both the east and west elements in their dishes, which is a good thing for diners where you can try different styles of preparation each time you are here. Most dishes are familiar flavours, and its location in Palais Renaissance takes away some of the hustle and bustle of the main Orchard Road district as well.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
390 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 9363 0101
Monday to Sunday: 11:30am to 10:30pm
Ranted by The Ranter