"What a cute name", I thought, as I walked around looking for the Neon Pigeon to meet my friends.
It wasn't far from Outram Park MRT (about 6 minutes walk), but was a little hard to find as it didn't have a clear sign - Look out for the (literal) small neon pigeon so that you won't accidentally walk past it like I did:
Very discreet sign
Inside, it's quirky and cool, with the typical(?) hipster style mix of exposed brick, warm wood furnishings and cool graffiti style wall art.
It was also dark and noisy (music volume as well as fellow diners), which may suit younger folk. Conversely, not so young folk like me may find it a bit uncomfortable to have to shout conversations when trying to catch up with friends.
(Ok lah - I can see that this could be a good date spot because of its romantic lighting, and "oh, you don't want to but you just have to move closer to hear each other" kinda thing but that's not the life stage I'm in right now...)
Velly lomantic lighting inside
There was a decent selection of interesting fusion Japanese dishes on the menu, and we started the night with the Soft Shell Crab Bao (S$14/ $26). Really enjoyed this as there was a generous amount of fresh, crispy soft shell crab which went well with the moist bao, creamy avocado and seared corn kernels:
We also tried the Chicken Tsukune Bahn Mi (S$ ?) which wasn't bad - chicken was moist and there was nice "punch" from the pickled veg, all nestled in a crusty bun. Unfortunately, as I have been spoilt with AMAZING freshly made bahn mi made by my dear Vietnamese colleagues, the one at Neon Pigeon paled in comparison.
Mini Bahn mi
The Roasted Bone Marrow (S$19/ $36) fared better - although just a bit too greasy, it was well roasted (still jiggly, but with a nice char), and enjoyably decadent, pairing well with the crunchy bits of garlic and umami furikake seasoning:
Sinful to the core...
The Crispy Brussels Sprouts (S$15/ $28) were also nice - moist texture with a bit of char/smoky fragrance, pairing well with the large chunks of not too salty mirin glazed bacon.
(Would have preferred the sprouts to be a bit more crunchy though, but I do tend to prefer my veggies underdone)
Some at the table were a little taken aback by the lifelike presentation of the Charcoal Grilled Barracuda ($ ?), as it looked like it was ready to swim away (Lol).
Taste-wise, while the skin was moist and the flesh conveniently bone free, I didn't find it particularly memorable.
(Not sure if I'd order this again)
Looks like a wiggly eel...
Sorry I didn't have all the exact prices by the way - I'll be more careful with the receipt next time.
(It also doesn't help that the restaurant doesn't post up prices on their website so I couldn't check the ones I missed)
Overall, it added up to an expensive but enjoyable meal... Wouldn't mind going back again at some point to try out some of the other menu items, once my wallet recovers.
(Note: There were also a lot of interesting cocktails available but it was a "school night" so I didn't have any)
Pigeonus Giganticus Onna Wallus
So, it's: Cool ambience, good variety of fusion Japanese dishes and cocktails, convenient location, friendly service BUT some hits and misses on the menu, a bit too loud inside and gosh, it's pretty pricey as the small plates add up very quickly....
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