There is a lot of hype about restaurants in Purvis Street. Mention Purvis Street and a foodie will have plenty to say about the old favorites Yet Con and Garibaldi or the more recent arrivals like Saveur and Clinton Street Baking Company. Argo Restaurant in Purvis Street is one the restaurants that seemed to have stayed under the radar of the effusive foodies. Located in the heritage boutique Adonis Hotel (since September 2016, the Hotel NuVe Heritage), it is probably intended as a place where hotel guests can have breakfast or a night cap. However, Argo Restaurant is open to the general public and serves rather good food at reasonable prices.
Adonis Hotel is a stylish contemporary hotel in a beautifully restored shop house. The shop house was once home to a traditional tau sar piah bakery, Nam Tong Lee. Argo Restaurant is on the ground level of the hotel. It is a small and charming space. The tasteful paintings on the white walls, pots of green plants and flowers help give the place a homely feel.
At the entrance is an elegant bar counter which is also the hotel reception desk. There is then a counter where there are small jars of snacks. Diners are welcomed to help themselves to jelly beans, bar nuts and some old school cookies.
Argo Restaurant offers healthy Italian food with a few fusion dishes like Kimchi Pasta and Tom Yam Seafood Pasta. The menu is fairly straightforward. It has pasta, pizza, dessert, salad, soup and 4 mains – chicken, fish, ribeye steak and lamb.
We ordered the Chilli Crab Spaghetti ($12.90) from the Asian Flavour Pasta Section. We were debating whether to try the chicken or the fish and decided on the Organic Beer Battered Fish & Chips ($14.90). The beer in the batter swayed the decision. It turned out to be a good choice. The nice golden brown batter was thin and light. The thick slab of fish inside the crispy batter was tender and delicious. The shoestring fries were also very well done.
The Chili Crab Spaghetti came with a fierce looking soft shell crab sitting on top of the pasta. The crab was crispy and delectable. The sauce was quite spicy but did taste very much like the sauce of the Singapore chili crab dish. On the whole the Chili Crab Spaghetti was enjoyable.
The portion of the dishes at Argo Restaurant was really quite generous. We did not really have room for dessert but we ordered a Tiramisu ($4) anyway. Any regret we might have regarding the dessert was quickly banished once we had the first spoonful of the tiramisu. It was the simple traditional version with good texture and decadent robust taste of coffee and liqueur. Having the tiramisu with a cappuccino ($$4.10) was really a very nice way to complete a satisfying meal.
There may be no hype about Argo Restaurant in Purvis Street but we like it. It is just like a little known neighborhood eatery, where the good food, reasonable prices and comfortable setting make you want to return again and again.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Hotel NuVe Heritage
13 Purvis Street
Tel: +65 63360013
Nearby Stations: Bugis, City Hall, Esplanade