The Kite Restaurant on Craig Road is a relatively new restaurant that opened at the end of 2015, adding to the great variety of food places in this part of Singapore. We had lunch there recently. It was a place which we instantly liked, even before a single dish had been served. Perhaps it was the charming shophouse in which it was located in and the professionalism of the staff. No, I think it was probably the unpretentiousness of it all. A very plain name, simple furnishings, no “still or sparkling” type of salesmanship and wallet-friendly prices in the menu that do not require you to do mental sums before ordering.
The Kite restaurant is the corner shop in this row of restored shophouses along Craig Road. Getting to Kite is easy. The Tanjong Pagar MRT station is a few minutes walk away and the Craig Road multi-storey carpark is across the road, where you will also find more established restaurants such as Pasta Brava, an Italian restaurant that has been there for years and Binomio, a Spanish restaurant that seems to be perpetually crowded at night.
The indoor space is typical for this type of shophouse. Long and narrow with a high ceiling. There are bar counter seating for about 10 and at small tables for around 30 diners. Kite serves what looked like a fusion kind of cuisine with Western, Japanese and Singapore influences. The lunch menu items are classified into three groups – cold, hot and sweets. At lunch time, you can select 3 or 4 items (from any group) for $25 or $30 respectively. The quail, beef and pork dishes however require a $3 to $5 surcharge.
The meal started on a positive note when the bread and butter arrived. If these routine, complimentary items looked and tasted so good, we looked forward to the arrival of the “real” dishes. By the way, the bread was also warm.
Here are the five cold dishes that we tried.
“Dirty Vegetables” – The sticks of carrot and asparagus were dipped in brown butter and coffee. Reminded us of Glico Pocky sticks. A fun and light start to the meal.
The Radish Salad was light and refreshing. The presentation was excellent and would not have looked out-of-place in a “fine dining” kind of establishment.
Tomatoes and Soy – a salad with tomatoes, tofu and almonds. On a normal day, we would have thought it was pretty good, but compared to its more glamorous fellow dishes, it seemed very ordinary.
Golden Snapper Sashimi – despite some hesitancy as result of the recent raw fish health issues, we nevertheless proceeded to try this dish. The fish was clean and fresh tasting. The overall package of vegetables, fish and condiments made it a very enjoyable dish.
Somen – noodles served with leek and prawns in lap cheong oil. We must say this fusion dish worked very well. It was also another beautifully presented dish.
Now for the “hot items”.
Uncle William’s Quail. This tiny bird had drumsticks the size of frogs’ legs. The overall taste was good, except that we would have preferred the quail to be fully cooked. This item attracts a $3 surcharge.
Ubin Sea Bass – This was a very good fish dish. The lotus root and sprouts combined very well with the sauce and fish.
Black Spanish Pig – A heavy dish with big chunks of pork. The toppings of apple, plum, chestnuts and walnuts added variety of flavours and sweetness to the dish. $5 surcharge applies.
Salmon 42deg. This was one of the best dishes of the day. The salmon was nicely prepared and the Japanese seaweed taste as company was unusual but successful.
Finally, the sweet stuff.
Panna Cotta – I think the secret to beautiful dishes is to sprinkle flower petals on to them. Here the petals enhance the clumps of panda cotta with strawberries, coriander & coconut.
Smores – I don’t know how to describe this dish because I did not eat it (except to say the shape looks like a map of Australia), so I will just quote from the menu – “Brown Butter Marshmallow, Hazelnut Praline, Wheat Crackers & Warm Chocolate”
Sugee Cake – our Eurasian friends will be happy to see this dish. The ginger and orange tastes made it light and easy to eat.
Finally, time for coffee. Take note that they do not serve some watered down coffee that in some other places, get served as part of a “set lunch” deal. No such stunts at Kite restaurant, we are glad to say. We had the freedom of choice of real coffee, cappuccino, latte etc. Which brought the meal to an end.
We really like this new Kite restaurant on Craig Road. We hope the Kite will go fly high and spawn more of itself in Singapore. But do continue to keep the prices down to earth!
Overall Rating: 5 TOPs
53 Craig Road
Tel: +65 9729 7988
Tuesday – Friday
12 pm – 230 pm
Tuesday – Sunday
6 pm – 10 pm
Tuesday – Sunday
6pm – 12mn
Nearby Stations: Tanjong Pagar, Outram Park