66 Kampong Bugis
Tel: +65 6467 3987
Kilo is exactly the kind of place we like to frequent. What used to be the Raw Kitchen Bar at the old Bukit Timah fire station has decamped to a converted light-industry warehouse along the banks of the Kallang Basin. It is a far flung outpost dedicated to casual dining – low-key, quiet, with food served in hearty bistro portions. The restaurant makes the best use of its surroundings, opening up the premises to the evening breeze and keeping decor to a minimum. In Singapore, where space is a precious commodity, it was liberating to sit in a restaurant where the next table was not an elbow-jostle away.
We started the evening with starters of pan-fried scallops in mushroom and sweet tomato; and tuna tartare with wasabi. The scallops were magnificently succulent. I was surprised at the healthy size of the molluscs. The variety I have grown accustomed to were mostly the bleached, slightly anaemic type served in Chinese restaurants all around the world. The mushroom jus, so liberally drizzled around the plate, was in turns sweet, savoury and tangy, a fitting complement to the scallop.
The tuna tartare in wasabi paste was nice, and we enjoyed pairing it with the pappadum crackers on the side. However, the kick-factor that the wasabi had tantalisingly promised was disappointingly understated. It was detectable in trace amounts, but a little more of that delectable green poison would have done the dish marvels.
At Kilo, it seemed evident that the only distinction Chef Javier makes between food portions is Large and Larger. We shared a main of lamb racks together. The individual racks were reassuringly chunky, with four ribs in the serving instead of the customary three. The lamb was served with a liberal accompaniment of jus, with some extra sauce at the side in case we wanted more.
We went to Kilo for a private, quiet way to spend Christmas together, and the dinner was a memorable one for us. It is rare to find a restaurant with such an unadulterated dedication to serving good food at affordable prices, and we are definitely going back again to have a go at their signature duck leg and cordon bleu.