A new Asian-inspired bar and grill descends on Keong Saik Street, started by Andrew Walsh of Cure. The Irish chef-owner has some renown in this town. Having worked with chef Jason Atherton at London’s Pollen Street Social, he followed Atherton to Singapore to launch Unlisted Collection’s Esquina and The Study. He left two years ago to start Cure, his own modern European fine dining bistro. Butcher Boy, set up just a few doors down, could be called the cheeky little brother to Cure, a casual concept that pays homage to the flavours Walsh experienced travelling around Asia.
The fun starts with Butcher Boy’s name.
It is a nod to one of Walsh’s favourite novels and movies—The Butcher Boy—about a troubled boy who escapes into a violent fantasy world. Not quite such heavy stuff, but the dark interiors, warm amber lights and light box artworks of nature photographs in the restaurant speak of a storybook hideaway or a refuge. The Japanese katakana characters below the name is a literal translation of Butcher Boy, an apt reference to the Asianfocused cuisine here.
In that department, Walsh and opening chef Nicole Phillipson from Mexico have organised the menu according to Snacks; Small Plates; Bao, Bun, Banh Minh; Butcher Boy; Sides; and Sundaes and Sweets. A moreish snack to start with is fried chicken, yuzu kewpie, bao ($18), a lovely morsel of crisp, moist chicken with a hint of citrus. For mains, there’s a wide range of grilled meats to choose from. Think beef short rib ($33 for 180kg) finished in the Josper oven, and crispy skin pork belly ($32 for 200g) served with hard-hitting homemade sauces like sambal, Vietnamese sauce and XO sauce. For dessert, try the coconut, Thai rice pudding, mango ($12), a sinful spin on the popular Thai mango sticky rice dessert.
Meanwhile, bar manager Knut Randhem, formerly of Cé la Vi and Dictador serves up Asian-inspired cocktails like Street Side Milk Punch ($18), a blend of cachaça, Thai milk tea and salted caramel syrup, and a range of wines, sake and Japanese beer. This is certainly a good place to adjourn to for a nightcap, especially when a DJ is in the house bi-weekly. And on Sundays, try their Sunday roast featuring roast beef ($36), and roast pork ($30) served with Yorkshire pudding.