[Review] Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar

[Review] Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Scallop Carpaccio, Peas & Ham

What: Same father-and-son team behind Moosehead Kitchen + Bar, Glen and Daniel Ballis, has launched Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar (opened 31 Aug) , new Mediterranean-inspired concept discreetly tucked away in the backstreets of hip and buzzy Amoy-Telok Ayer area.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Setting

What to expect: The almost-missable entrance opens into a surreal, quirky yet attractive industrial-chic space where various vintage finds and specially designed knick-knacks—from the brocante bone cutlery to crystal chandeliers and raw brick walls—seem capriciously thrown together (though it works). The menu, however, is anything but haphazard.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Yellow Tail Sashimi, Carrots and Brandade
Yellow Tail Sashimi ($23) with brandade mousse and thin slices of carrot for acidity, studded with fried sourdough crumbs.

Tidbit: The restaurant is named after Daniel’s two grandmothers; Joan being his maternal grandparent, and Maggie being the great cook that inspired Glen himself to become a chef in the first place.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Bread

Like Moosehead, the establishment centers around use of freshest ingredients and seasonal produce, as well as making things from scratch “exactly like Grandma would”—like this piquant Garlic & Rosemary Bread ($5) paired with a moreish, cumin-spiked hummus dip.

Menu: Maggie Joan’s is still in its soft launch period, so currently only dinner is available. The dinner menu is kept compact, with less than 30 dishes including desserts, though we hear Head Chef Oliver Hyde (formerly of Pollen) will soon be launching a separate lunch menu consisting of 2- or 3-course sets.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Roast Bass, Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes

Must-tries include Roast Bass ($28) teamed with a duo of marinated tomatoes—the lighter and sweeter ones prepared with honey and vanilla, and the tart red ones with balsamic and sugar—and a basil pesto sauce. My first impression was that the dish wouldn’t work with the contrasting sharp notes, but the addition of pine nuts and Parmesan to the intense green sauce imparted a nice, earthy flavour that rounded it wonderfully.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Grilled Iberico Pork Jowl, Prunes, & Cauliflower

Other menu highlights include the Scallop Carpaccio ($21)—garnished with artful dollops of pea puree, peas, Paleta Iberica bits, fried-crunchy sourdough crumbs and a flourish of bright mint notes—and the mouth-watering Grilled Iberico Pork Jowl ($34).

First brined for deeper flavour and sous-vided for 12-hours till tender perfection, the pork is then finished off in an Inka charcoal oven for that enticing, charred smokiness and served with marinated prunes, pickled cauliflower, woody curry caramel (rasel hanout) and fried curry leaves on a swirl of smooth and creamy cauliflower puree.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Heirloom Tomatoes, Peach and Burrata

Also delicious and return-worthy at Maggie Joan’s are the Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salad ($21) of compressed peach, olive tapanade and burrata, and the Ravioli ($25) stuffed with a substantial filling of ricotta and fork-smashed, smoked potatoes on a bedding of hazelnut-spinach salad.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Smoked Potato & Egg Ravioli, Spinach & Hazelnuts

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Egg, Dukkah & Saffron Mayo
Slow-poached Egg ($6) rolled in dukka (sesame, coriander, cumin, hazelnut and panko) then deep fried, with saffron aioli on the side.

 

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - Roast Apricots, Basket Ricotta & Almonds
Roasted Apricots ($10), enjoyed with housemade ricotta, apricott gel, candied almonds and almond powder.

Desserts: I took an instant liking to the White Chocolate Dessert ($10), a beautifully textured presentation of smoked passion fruit, mango gel, chocolate cookie crumble, almost-doughy blobs of white chocolate with hints of spice from Tellicherry pepper and that moist crunch of passion fruit seeds.

Maggie Joan’s Dining & Bar - 110 Amoy Street - White Chocolate, Spiced Crumble & Passion Fruit

Address: 110 Amoy Street #01-01 (Entrance from Gemmill Lane) Singapore 068579
Tel: +65 6221 5564
Operating hours: Closed on Sundays. Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-11pm. Sat 6pm-11pm.

Jazpster
Jazpster

What started out as just something fun for Jasper has developed into a passion for food over the years. Always having weird urges to take pictures of other diners’ food, he is used to being forcefully restrained by dining companions, but has yet to have security called on him. Jasper is open to all sorts of cuisines and dishes, and is always on the lookout for a good meal or deal. To him, an ideal restaurant is one that combines good food, friendly service and a warm ambience. "Food is all about the dining experience."

There is 1 comment
  1. Awesome! Can’t wait to try it!

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